South China Morning Post

Japan resumes meeting with 5 Mekong countries after suspending it due to Myanmar coup

Japan is expected to use its meeting on Friday with the five Mekong River states to reiterate its commitment to the region, although analysts said it will also aim to reinforce its foreign policy objective of countering China’s influence. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will hold ...

Julian Ryall

How Asean’s Covid-19 recovery measures are missing opportunities for a green future

More than a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency, the – a region with a combined GDP of US$9.34 trillion and a population of more than 650 million – has not recovered from the global economic tumult ...

Melinda Martinus and Sharon Seah

Advantage China, as democracy slides from view in Southeast Asia

As Myanmar’s dark era of junta rule began winding down in 2011 with the bold reforms initiated by the quiet ex-general, President Thein Sein, other events happening across Southeast Asia gave reformists hope this was not an isolated instance of democratic progress.   That year, Yingluck Shinawatra ...

Bhavan Jaipragas

Mekong dam: China cuts river flow 50 per cent, is slammed for lack of warning

China’s decision to hold back the Mekong River’s water flow at a hydropower dam for close to a month will disrupt fisheries and local livelihoods along the waterway that is a lifeline for 60 million people, watchers and activists have warned. The Chinese water resources ministry ...

Catherine Wong and Maria Siow

Satellites to track Chinese dams on Mekong river, as US likens ‘threat’ facing Southeast Asia to South China Sea

Threats to Southeast Asian unity on the Mekong are as “existential” as those in the South China Sea, according to the United States, which this week launched a project that will use satellites to track water levels at Chinese dams along the river.   David Stilwell, US ...

Maria Siow

US claims China’s ‘manipulation’ of Mekong is ‘urgent challenge’ for Southeast Asia

A senior US diplomat on Thursday said China’s “manipulation” of water flows in the Mekong River – currently at record lows – was an immediate challenge to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, signalling the issue could be on the agenda in a regional forum ...

Bhavan Jaipragas

Vietnam dodged the coronavirus bullet, so why are its workers struggling?

Along a busy highway on the outskirts of Vietnam’s largest city, a worn-out looking woman carrying all her worldly possessions in a handful of plastic bags picks her way through a web of swaying hammocks, looking for one that’s empty so she can lay her ...

Sen Nguyen

As China’s role in Mekong grows, Asean states must weigh ties with US, other powers

Mainland Southeast Asia, especially the Mekong subregion, has become a site for renewed engagement by external powers, a trend driven by China’s proactive foreign policy as well as its promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative and minilateral forum, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC).   The United States is ...

Pongphisoot Busbarat

China promises its Mekong neighbours priority access to a coronavirus vaccine developed in China

China stepped up its vaccine diplomacy on Monday with Premier Li Keqiang promising five Southeast Asian partners priority access to a  coronavirus  vaccine while also pledging to share water control information for flood-hit nations along the Mekong River. Li made the remarks at a videoconference of the Lancang-Mekong ...

Keegan Elmer

How eco-tourism saved this stunning Cambodian valley and is key to attracting visitors back after Covid-19

“Mind your head, you are too tall!” warns Rin Rith with a big grin as we dodge another low-hanging branch, the motorbike he is driving skidding along a forest path made muddy by a rain shower. We are hurrying to the base of Mrech Kongkep ...

Peter Ford

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