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Asian nations cash in on China's softer sell of Belt and Road

Regional players jockey for advantage amid Washington-Beijing rivalry

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposes a toast after a ceremony welcoming leaders to the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on April 26.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Nearly six years have passed since China set in motion the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, seeking to create a massive economic zone linking itself to Europe by land and sea.

Although it got off to a slow start, more and more countries, drawn by the promise of Chinese money, are getting on board.

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