South China Morning Post

Thailand nixed China’s Mekong River blasting project. Will others push back?

China has had a setback in its infrastructure building along the Mekong River after Thailand cancelled a project on the vital Southeast Asian waterway. But observers say that without more coordination between downstream countries, China’s influence in the region will continue to go unchallenged. In a ...

Laura Zhou

Overcoming barriers to fighting wildlife crime

ildlife trafficking, like drug and human trafficking, is often a trans-boundary crime. Animal parts and products, non-timber forest products, and living creatures heading to the pet trade find their way across borders every day, passing fluidly between jurisdictions and human societies. Given legal and language barriers, ...

Mia Signs

The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the East’

To Tibetans, it’s known as Dza Chu, or the River of Rocks, and to the Chinese it’s the Lancang Jiang, the Turbulent River. The Lao refer to it as the Mother of Waters, in Cambodia it’s the Great Water and by the time it reaches ...

Tim Pile

‘Death by plastic’ for animals must spur Southeast Asia to tackle waste crisis

The animal is dead. It can be a fish, bird, mammal or reptile. An autopsy is conducted and inevitably reams of plastic are discovered in its stomach. When I wake up every morning, I step into my bathroom and survey the shelves. There are rows of ...

Karim Raslan

China’s dam-building programme must take neighbours into account

The building of large dams has increasingly run into opposition in established democracies but gained momentum in autocratic states, which often tout their benefits for combating droughts and water shortages. But, as the Mekong basin illustrates, giant upstream dams can contribute to river depletion and ...

Brahma Chellaney

China’s Mekong ambitions cause concern for Thai locals (Video)

The Mekong River is possibly the most important waterway in Southeast Asia. It feeds 60 million people in six countries and there have been long-standing concerns that China is trying to control it. China recently halted plans in March to blast rapids along the river ...

Yuki Tsang

Vietnam has a new partner in its old rivalry with China – the US

When Dang Duc Toai completed the Aviation Leadership Programme at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi last month, he became a trailblazer among pilots from his native Vietnam.    Dang, a captain in the Vietnam People’s Air Force, was the first of his countrymen to graduate from ...

John Power

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

Southeast Asia to suffer intense, more frequent drought without government action: UN and Asean report

Drought in Southeast Asia may become even more frequent and intense if countries do not take steps to reduce its impact, according to a joint study from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and ASEAN. “Ready for the Dry Years: ...

Dozens of companies launch US$1 billion bid to end plastic pollution in Asia but environmentalists dismiss it as ‘greenwashing’ stunt

The “Alliance to End Plastic Waste” (AEPW) consortium of more than 30 companies launched last month, dedicating a combined total of US$1 billion over the next five years – aiming for US$1.5 billion if more conglomerates join – to develop better plastic recycling practices and ...

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