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Is COVID-19 Eroding China’s Influence in Southeast Asia?

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CoronaIn recent years, China has risen to become the largest source of imports for nine of the 10 Southeast Asian countries. Also, it is an increasingly important export market for all 10.

Will coronavirus turn this relationship upside down?

Even before the outbreak, many had warned these countries about their over-reliance on China, but it is coronavirus that has sparked a fire. And with the inflow of tourists – from China especially – practically halted, business owners are feeling the heat.

“I don’t have any customers now and I spend a total of $20,000 per month as I hired about 35 people,” a Korean operator of hotels and saunas in Vietnam’s coastal city of Da Nang reports. “I’m keeping them because they are good; we are prepared for a longer break in operations.”

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