The Diplomat

How Meaningful is the New US-Mekong Partnership?

On September 11, the United States and the five lower Mekong nations launched a new framework for multilateral cooperation amid rising concerns about China’s expanding influence in mainland Southeast Asia. In announcing the new Mekong-U.S. Partnership at a meeting in Hanoi, the U.S. State Department pledged  at ...

Sebastian Strangio

The Last Farewell to the Mighty Mekong

The miracle of the Mekong, where the pulsating force of the monsoon-driven river every year pushes its tributary to back up and reverse its flow into the great Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia, has again been disrupted and obstructed by dams, drought, and climate change. “This ...

Tom Fawthrop

Can Vietnam Prevent the Next Pandemic?

A growing awareness of the links between wildlife trafficking and SARS, COVID-19, and other infectious diseases has prompted the Vietnamese prime minister to issue an executive order to clamp down on this vast smuggling trade in endangered species. During recent months, conservation NGOs and Hanoi’s Ministry ...

Tom Fawthrop

A Deadly Gamble: Myanmar’s Jade Industry

The tragedy was all too familiar in Myanmar’s infamous northern jade mining town of Hpakant: In the early hours of the morning, hundreds of jade pickers teetered on the edge of unstable mountains to scavenge the loose debris dumped by trucks. They are convinced finding ...

Nicholas Muller

Confronting Southeast Asia’s Troubled Media Landscape

Earlier this month, Maria Ressa, a prominent journalist and outspoken critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was found guilty of cyber libel in another concerning development for media freedom in the country. While the incident was notable on its own terms, it also spotlighted the wider troubles ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

China’s Control of the Mekong

A recently published report by Eyes on Earth, Inc. has pointed the finger at Chinese dams holding back water as having significantly contributed to the major drought impacting the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. The drought’s effects have been felt by millions and hamper efforts to ...

Philip Citowicki

Myanmar’s 2020 Elections: What Does the Future Hold?

Later this year, Myanmar is scheduled to hold its third general election in six decades in a landmark development for the country’s democratic transition. While details remain unclear amid the global coronavirus pandemic, as of now the Southeast Asian state is set to hold its ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

Why COVID-19 Will Worsen Inequality in Thailand

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand’s capital was the world’s most visited city. Now Bangkok’s once-bustling streets are quiet. With its struggling economy, the timing of the crisis could not be worse for Thailand. Exports have been falling since 2019 while the GDP growth rate remained one of the lowest ...

M Niaz Asadullah and Ruttiya Bhula-or

What’s in Vietnam’s New Coronavirus Assistance to Cambodia and Laos?

Late last week, Vietnam handed over some assistance to Laos and Cambodia as the two fellow Southeast Asian states continue to manage the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. While the development was in line with what Hanoi had previously signaled, it nonetheless put the ...

Prashanth Parameswaran

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

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