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Vietnam's grip on Kampuchea (Cambodia) since 1979 has been so tight that some Southeast Asian nations appear ready to be seek improved relations with that nation's communist regime.

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations -- Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines -- have disagreed on how far to press Vietnam over Kampuchea. Now Indonesia, long a ''dove'' on Vietnam, again is urging its fellow members to open the door to Hanoi.

Thailand may be bending. A recent speech by supreme commander Gen. Saiyud Kerdphol appeared to sound a conciliatory note toward Vietnam and a veiled criticism of China, which supports anti-Vietnamese guerrillas in Kampuchea. He accused an unnamed superpower of trying to push Thailand toward war with its neighbors.

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