The Diplomat

China’s Mekong Security Role in the Headlines with New Joint Patrols

Last week, China conducted another iteration of its joint patrols with three riparian countries in the Mekong River. The development spotlighted one aspect of Beijing’s continued effort to advance collaboration in the Mekong subregion and Southeast Asia more generally. As I have noted before, as China ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

China’s ‘Development Approach’ to the Mekong Water Disputes

Even as COVID-19 is wreaking havoc and uncertainty around the globe, Vietnam’s Mekong Delta declared an emergency over the devastating drought in early March. Studies suggest that the frequency and severity of droughts in the Mekong region has increased in the past decades, and many blame ...

Zhang Hongzhou

The Truth About Hun Sen and the Media in Cambodia

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen seems to have forgotten who he is. Praising journalism and defending reporters? That is not the Hun Sen of yore. Yet this month, amid a trial of two Radio Free Asia reporters on “baseless espionage charges,” according to Human Rights Watch, the ...

David Hutt

What Does Myanmar’s First Submarine Mean for Its Security and the Region?

Earlier this week, we saw another round of headlines tied to Myanmar’s receiving of its first-ever submarine from India. The focus on the capability addition, which has been the subject of speculation over the past few months, has once again spotlighted its significance both for ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

Myanmar’s ‘Rohingya’ vs ‘Bengali’ Hate Speech Debate

Rohingya activists have accused the Myanmar Press Council, a quasi-government media adjudication and ethics body,  of defending the practice of using the word “Bengali” to refer to the Rohingya. Rights groups and Rohingya advocates argue that the term amounts to “hate speech” and that it is ...

Shafiur Rahman

Vietnam’s Internet Control: Following in China’s Footsteps?

On January 1 of this year, a new cybersecurity law entered into effect in Vietnam after its passage in the Vietnamese National Assembly in June 2018. The law (original; unofficial translation) had a number of concerning elements, which included granting the government relatively unchecked authorities to ...

Justin Sherman

Vientiane Vision 2.0 Puts Japan’s Asia Security Role into Focus

One of the significant but under noticed developments at this year’s ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-related (ADMM) meetings in Bangkok was Japan’s launching of a sequel to its defense initiative for Southeast Asian states, termed Vientiane Vision 2.0. The development once again put the focus on ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

People’s Power: Anti-Dam Movements in Southeast Asia

For more than two decades, communities in Southeast Asia have been facing threats from the expansion of hydropower development. Dams have been justified by the governments of Southeast Asian countries as the main development agenda, which would generate large amounts of income and contribute to ...

Wora Suk

Thailand Seeks US Talks After Trade Privileges Loss

Thailand plans to seek talks with the United States on a decision to end preferential trade privileges on a range of Thai exports including seafood, officials said Monday. Keerati Rushchano, acting director-general of the Commerce Ministry’s Foreign Trade Department, said his office has been warning exporters ...

Associated Press

Are Laos’ Land-Linking Dreams a Risky Bet?

The Lao government aspires to gain centrality in the Greater Mekong Subregion via new infrastructure; but at what price? The Lao government is strongly pushing ahead with different projects to better connect the country to the main transport networks of the region and integrate it into ...

Fabio Figiaconi

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