As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken takes part in Group of 20 meetings on his first visit to Asia in more than six months, his Chinese counterpart is halfway through a two-week diplomatic blitz across the key strategic battleground.

Since Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has secured a fresh pledge from Thailand to complete a $5.2 billion rail link between the two countries and expressed a willingness to open a “golden age” of ties with the Philippines’ newly elected president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Wang also attended a regional summit in Myanmar, which the military regime hailed as a sign of growing recognition of its rule, more than a year after ousting the civilian government in a coup.

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