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International relations: China, Vietnam, Cambodia and South Korea

Chinese leader Xi Jinping opened a “new chapter in China-Vietnam relations” with his first trip to this country in six years. Experts expect both countries to modernise, among others, railway connections. The railway route under consideration would run through the northern regions of Vietnam where rare earth metals are found – from southern China to the Vietnamese port of Haiphong. The Chinese offer is one of the counter-proposals to Vietnam’s cooperation with the United States. China is the largest foreign investor in Vietnam and its largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching USD 200 billion annually.

The Prime Ministers of Cambodia and Vietnam, Hun Manet and Phạm Minh Chính, met during an official visit to strengthen their countries’ close but historically complicated relationship. The talks and signed agreements concerned, among others, cooperation in education, trade, security, defence and border affairs.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited the Netherlands to forge a “chip alliance” between two global semiconductor powers amid rising technology tensions with China. Yoon Suk Yeol became the first foreign leader to visit the tightly controlled production facilities of Dutch technology giant ASML Holding. That company produces state-of-the-art machines for producing semiconductor chips. During the visit, the Korean president was joined by the heads of the largest Korean chip manufacturers: Samsung Electronics and SK hynix.

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