ASEAN Countries

COVID-19 Pushes Laos Further into China’s Economic Orbit

cc Flickr Christian Haugen, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Already heavily indebted to Beijing over Belt and Road infrastructure projects, the economic hit from COVID-19 has pushed Laos further into China’s sphere of influence.

Singapore Charts a Middle Path Amid Worsening US-China Ties

cc Flickr Pasi Mämmelä, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Singapore has always followed the middle path in its US and China relations, but with the advent of a new Cold War-esque bipolarity, that path is rapidly narrowing.

Land Rights in Cambodia and the Long Persecution of a Buddhist Monk

cc Flickr Appie Verschoor, modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/xiffy/2781586556/in/photolist-5eNmLU-aikHeH-94b7qJ-uHbmFx-d6yfkS-3hQeyG-iavtBP-6BQpiA-dKkfPd-5UUFog-7SsmJv-aimPhD-aindxG-uHaAtV-vEoJmv-5h1ptb-nH4au2-zFFk1w-vnyR1x-qFWKnj-6r4cwt-5SJenE-vnyUMR-vDsQV1-3hPd5N-uHb1dt-uHb3fz-c7Bpbo-vE1Rat-vBHEZq-vEp66B-vDsQs7-vE1MMX-vEp2qk-uHbpvR-uHbrQa-vnryTN-5vUaCg-a1grT-5vYG6m-8j96RF-czUe43-psQWzA-b9vxW8-ki5jVX-dNY1rf-bg923D-ki58hr-oaTGgk-c7B6VQ

The personal experience of activist Luon Sovath reflects a rapidly shrinking space for political dissent in Cambodia.

Having Crushed the Opposition, Cambodia’s Hun Sen Mulls a Dynasty

Cambodia's Hun Sen, cc Flickr thierry ehrmann, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party dissolved, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son Hun Manet is quickly rising through the ranks of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

In Search of an Independent China Policy in Post-Duterte Philippines

Rodrigo Duterte, CC Flickr, Casino Connection, Modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/globalgamingbusiness/28758099456/

A more holistic approach will be needed if the Philippines is to craft a China policy that’s actually fit for purpose.

Thailand’s Student Protestors Take On Military and the Monarchy

Democracy Monument, Cc Flickr, Opal Lee, Modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/125330872@N02/25344348717/in/,

Thanks to a broad anti-government pro-democracy youth movement, risky calls to reform the Thai monarchy are breaking new ground.

Fostering Vietnam-Australia Defense Ties Matters for Both Sides

Australia - Perth - Elizabeth Quay, CC Flickr, Frank Maddocks, Modified https://www.flickr.com/photos/fotosfromfrank/49797504317/in/

With increasing overlap in their defense and trade interests, it only makes sense that Vietnam and Australia take the next step in their bilateral relationship.

Beyond the Narrative of Progress in Myanmar’s Panglong Peace Initiative

Myanmar, CC Flickr, Toozler, Modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/toozler/18675948192/in/

With a national election fast approaching, barriers to peace remain in Myanmar’s ethnic borderlands.

US Raises the Flag, and Stakes, in South China Sea

cc Flickr Official U.S. Navy Page, modified, SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 13, 2020) The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) conducts routine operations in the South China Sea, May 13, 2020. Gabrielle Giffords, part of Destroyer Squadron Seven, is on a rotational deployment, operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brenton Poyser/Released)200513-N-WP865-0237

Is Washington’s newfound assertiveness on the South China Sea dispute a matter of long-term statecraft, or short-term electioneering?

Vietnam’s Leadership in ASEAN: Opportunity in Crisis

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo participates in the ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 2, 2019. [State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain], cc Flickr U.S. Department of State, modified, http://www.usa.gov/copyright.shtml

Over the second half of 2020, Vietnam should focus on integrating the informal economy with the formal economy and resuming negotiations for a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

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