US and Canada, China Compete for Influence Around South China Sea

Washington is doubling down on efforts to court southeast Asian countries by elevating relations and putting money on the table after China’s presence has grown significantly in the region.

Countries there, like Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Cambodia, surround a critical body of water. It’s called the South China Sea. It’s one of the world’s most important economic regions. Almost one third of global maritime trade passes through its waters every year.