In Influence for Sale? China's Trade, Investment and Assistance Policies in Southeast Asia, author Shanthi Kalathil argues that while China's significant investment in Southeast Asia has improved relations with Vietnam and other Southeast Asian neighbors in some ways, it has proved less effective than is commonly perceived. Kalathil contends that China’s development projects have often alienated local populations, and its nationalistic rhetoric over the South China Sea has increasingly strained its relations with other South China Sea claimants.
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