As a 420 km high-speed railway nears completion, two Chinese-built highways have been given the green light. Will these projects open up Laos, or make it a crossing point on China’s Belt and Road?
Cambodia insists work on a newly-dredged port and shipyard at Ream Naval Base is not being carried out to enable a permanent Chinese military presence. Washington is not so sure.
The first elections in the Bangsamoro autonomous region have been pushed back to 2025, giving its transitional government more time to establish democratic institutions and demobilize rebels.
Laos has reduced its reliance on fossil fuels by building dams on a mass scale, and aims to export the electricity generated to its neighbours. Yet the plan comes with economic and environmental risks.
Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Malaysia’s fourth prime minister since 2018, must fix the COVID-hit economy and heal political divisions if he is to avoid the fate of predecessors Mahathir and Muhyiddin.
After 16 years under emergency rule and with peace talks halted amid the pandemic, eroding trust and cycles of violence at the local level are driving Southern Thailand’s decades-old separatist war.
Lacking the mega-projects seen in mainland Southeast Asia, Beijing’s infrastructure plans in the Philippines have been noticeably smaller in scale and focused more on local connectivity.
The World Bank projects that Myanmar’s economy will contract by 18% in 2021 as a third wave of COVID-19 compounds the impacts of February’s military coup.
Opponents of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party are pushing to amend Thailand’s 2017 constitution, which kept Junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha in power. A military-appointed Senate stands in their way.
Since a regional intelligence chief was killed in an ambush by Papuan rebels in April, residents of Indonesia’s restive easternmost province have lived in fear of an imminent military crackdown.