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Vietnamese party chief visits Cambodia to shore up relations

February 25, 2019

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong is in Cambodia for a two-day state visit to strengthen already close bilateral ties.

He arrived Monday from Laos, where he paid a similar visit.

Trong’s visit comes just before Vietnam plays host later this week to the summit in Hanoi between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Although Trong’s travel to two of Vietnam’s neighbors is not directly related to the summit, it shows the importance Hanoi attaches to maintaining good relations with them.

Vietnam has maintained its influence in Cambodia and Laos since the end of the Vietnam war, but China’s economic muscle makes it a rival.