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Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party gathers for a congress next week that will help shape the country’s global role for the next five years, selecting new leaders and setting policy as tensions bubble with Beijing and Joe Biden settles in at the White House.

The Communist Party’s 13th Congress, from Jan. 25 to Feb. 2, will cement leadership looking to leverage Vietnam’s economic success to bolster legitimacy. Key to that will be the challenge of balancing relations with China and the United States, for which Vietnam has become an important strategic partner, in a world economy that’s been dislodged from previous certainties.

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