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Taiwan's President-elect Lai Ching-te attends a press conference outside the headquarters of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taipei on Saturday. Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida shake hands following a joint news conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Thursday. Kiyoshi Ota/Pool photo via AP hide caption

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Kiyoshi Ota/Pool photo via AP

A train is ready on the station during the handover ceremony of the high-speed rail project in Vientiane, Laos, connecting the city with Kunming, China, on Dec. 3, 2021. Phoonsab Thevongsa/Reuters hide caption

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Phoonsab Thevongsa/Reuters

With U.S. focused on defense, China's trade and infrastructure sweep Southeast Asia

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) shakes hands with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte after a guest book signing at the MalacaƱang presidential palace in Manila on Tuesday. Duterte called Xi's visit to longtime U.S. ally the Philippines a "milestone." Mark R. Cristino/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark R. Cristino/AFP/Getty Images