Aid and development

Development policy and administration

Vietnam is powering full steam towards the future

These days, I get nostalgic every time I make a trip to Hanoi. This time around, it was about Vietnam’s street food scene. When I first came to Hanoi in 1986, my favourite eating place was at the corner of Ly Thuong Kiet and Pham ...

Kavi Chongkittavorn

China’s hegemonic choice in the Mekong region

If you are the world’s second-largest power, what do you dream about? How do you go about making this dream come true? Put bluntly, the Mekong River region represents a crucial testing ground for Beijing’s mid- to long-term ambitions — not acknowledged officially — to become ...

Sebastian Biba

China and the Mekong states: Divergent responses to Chinese initiatives

In June 2018, the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) held its eighth summit in Bangkok. ACMECS countries include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. Initially an initiative of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2003, there were few indications that the Thai government ...

Selina Ho

Is the Indo-Pacific eclipsing Asia-Pacific?

Thailand and the smaller states in its neighbourhood will miss the Asia-Pacific era. It is not as if the Asia-Pacific has gone away or disappeared in any sense. But its role as a cradle of prosperity linking larger and small economies around the Pacific Rim ...

Thitinan Pongsudhirak

How to engage China and Japan constructively

At the moment, China and Japan are planning to work together on at least 52 business projects in third countries in the region, encompassing both the Indian and Pacific oceans. Certainly, these projects provide tangible ways for Asia’s two largest economies to foster mutual trust ...

KAVI CHONGKITTAVORN

The EU and Laos conclude the third formal negotiation towards an agreement on combating illegal logging and promoting trade in legal timber products

The European Union (EU) and Laos held their third round of face-to-face negotiations on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). The talks took place in Brussels, Belgium from 17-21 June 2019. The Agreement aims to establish a system ...

Rohingyas bring a statement to ASEAN Summit, police block them

On Sunday 23 June, the Rohingya Community in Thailand planned to hand a statement to Myanmar, Thailand as ASEAN’s chair, and the leaders of the ASEAN countries, but the police blocked them. They therefore decided not to go to the ASEAN Summit and Thai Ministry ...

China’s Belt and Road Initiative criticised for poor standards and ‘wasteful’ spending

China’s massive infrastructure spending in Southeast Asian nations under the Belt and Road Initiative has run into a series of problems including substandard work and money wasted on unprofitable projects, a new report has warned. The Belt and Road Initiative, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping ...

Teddy Ng

China bids to bring Yangon into a modern age

Across the river from Myanmar’s colonial-era old capital of Yangon, low-slung shanties dot rice fields that extend into a bucolic rural distance. But that could soon change if local property developers and their deep-pocketed Chinese backers build the Yangon New City Project, an ultra-modern design with ...

Survey: Less coal, more solar, say citizens of Belt & Road countries

Citizens of countries participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI, strongly prefer clean energy over the coal projects that have become Beijing’s calling card, a new survey shows. The findings, from a multi-country survey, commissioned by environmental group E3G, were published ahead of an international forum hosted in ...

Hans Nicholas Jong

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