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Pick of pro-Vietnam leader highlights shift away from China

Newly elected Secretary-General Bounnhang Vorachit forged deep ties with Vietnam.

VIENTIANE -- The ascension of the vice president to lead the ruling Laotian communist party signaled the country's move away from its dependence on China, given his deep ties to Vietnam. But it remains to be seen whether Laos can accomplish that feat while maintaining a strong economy.

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