The Diplomat

Why Vietnam Should be Worried About Laos’ Economic Crisis

Laos is facing one of its worst economic crises in many years. Last month, inflation hit a 22-year high of 23.6 percent, according to official reports. Consequently, the price of fuel, gas, and gold has increased by 107.1 percent, 69.4 percent, and 68.7 percent, respectively, compared to June 2021’s price. Long ...

Khang Vu

US Adds Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei to Human Trafficking Blacklist

Human trafficking worsened considerably in Southeast Asia in 2021, with the United States government adding Vietnam, Cambodia, and Brunei to its trafficking in persons blacklist and downgrading Indonesia. In this year’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP)  report, released on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department scrutinized 188 nations’ efforts ...

Sebastian Strangio

Laos Pushes Forward With Seventh Mekong River Dam Project

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported this week that officials in Laos will soon take an important step forward on a new hydropower project, the seventh large-scale dam project to be undertaken on the mainstream of the Mekong River. The report cited an unnamed government official as saying that ...

Sebastian Strangio

Myanmar Timber Exports Continue, Despite Western Sanctions: Report

Myanmar’s military junta exported more than $37 million worth of timber to nations with active sanctions on the country’s state-run timber monopoly, according to the environmental advocacy group Forest Trends. In a report released yesterday, the U.S.-based organization examined the impact of sanctions imposed since the ...

Sebastian Strangio

Hydropower Dams Have Had ‘Profound’ Impact on Mekong River, Monitor Claims

Hydropower projects, including a spree of mega-dams in China, have had a significant impact on the midstream reaches of the Mekong River, exacerbating drought conditions and altering the river’s flow in fundamental ways, according to a group of U.S.-based researchers. The finding was contained in a report assessing ...

Sebastian Strangio

Abby Seiff on the Slow Death of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake

Cambodia’s Great Lake – the Tonle Sap – is in trouble. The lake and its residents face the converging impacts of global climate change, upstream hydropower dams, and illegal fishing abetted by government corruption. All have combined to threaten the lake’s nourishing flood-pulse, which for ...

Sebastian Strangio

How Asia’s Rice Producers Can Help Limit Global Warming

The United States and European Union want countries from around the world to join them in slashing methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The recent EU-U.S. pledge recognizes that rapid reductions in methane emissions are critical to limiting global temperature rise to within 1.5 ...

Oliver Frith, Reiner Wassmann, and Bjoern Ole Sander

China Courts Vietnam With More COVID-19 Vaccines, Mistrust Remains

Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi concluded a three-day visit to Vietnam, making him the second high-ranking Chinese official to have visited the country since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019 and early 2020. Wang’s trip to Hanoi came on the heels ...

Hai Hong Nguyen

Bringing Clean Air to 4 Billion People in Asia

As the lives lost to COVID-19 edge closer to 5 million globally, policymakers have demonstrated sharply growing interest in how protecting biodiversity, mitigating climate change, and addressing other planetary crises can improve public health. One planetary crisis that benefited temporarily from COVID-19 lockdowns but requires ...

Kaoru Akahoshi and Eric Zusman

COVID-19 Has Resulted in Massive Southeast Asian Job Losses

Southeast Asian nations have suffered “unprecedented” employment losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Labor Organization (ILO) said today, suggesting that the region faces a long road out of its current Delta-variant maelstrom. While the year 2020 marked the high-water mark of the COVID-19 pandemic ...

Sebastian Strangio

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