Later this year, Obama will become the first U.S. president to visit Laos for the ASEAN summit. Laos is one of the last few communist nations in the world. The country has moved away from a hard-line communist system in the past two decades, but like its close ally Vietnam, it retains a one-party political system and its government has been criticized for being intolerant of dissent.
Smart politicians should NEVER decline ways to rake in the bucks, from whoever that wanted to give them to you.
Fact is, Laos is more intimately linked to China than it is to Vietnam.
China, as I have been saying, has enough "discretionary" spending, IN THE TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS === being that theirs is the second largest economy in the world === to dole out to the TOP, DECISION MAKERS of poor countries like Laos, Cambodia, Burma, etc..... TENS OF MILLION A YEAR, and sometimes more in one-time infrastructure (road or large municipality) projects... so there's no way America is gonna really win any substantial from COMMUNIST LEADERS in Laos.
Think about it:
If your leaders are COMMUNISTS who think THEY have the "correct" --- sorry, THE ONLY ONE & EXCLUSIVELY CORRECT --- political ruling ideology, and China has the same exact approach, with the West and America being run on multi-party political ideologies that YOU, AS CORRECT COMMUNIST LEADERS, neither understand nor like... would you abandon China to follow the model of governance of the West?
Especially true, again, if you are at the top ruling structure in poor little countries like Laos and you and your associates have WESTERN-COMPARABLE LIVING STANDARDS & LIFESTYLES---- IN TERMS OF... the education of your children (in the West or in private school taught by Western-trained and Westerners themselves)... your ability to travel around the world... your property accumulation.... your LARGE "OFFSHORE" bank accounts, etc. --- and you have no doubt it's all due to your CORRECT & EXCLUSIVE COMMUNIST IDEOLOGY... why would you want to risk all that by reforming and restructuring your government and how your people develop?