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Backlash builds against China as Belt and Road ties fray

Troubled infrastructure projects fuel resentment in Southeast Asia

Traffic enforcers remove an anti-China banner hanging on an overpass in Metro Manila on July 12.
Traffic enforcers remove an anti-China banner from an overpass in Metro Manila on July 12.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- With China suffering setbacks in its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, Southeast Asian countries are starting to fight the pull of the emerging Chinese-led regional order.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's recent change of heart on China was a hot topic of conversation when Asian journalists met recently in Bangkok for a media forum, hosted by the Japan Foundation Asia Center, centering on Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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