Beijing should not ignore rising anti-China sentiment and neither should Hanoi

• Editorial

Beijing should not ignore rising anti-China sentiment and neither should Hanoi

Since mid-June 2018, numerous anti-China protests have been reported in Vietnam. Demonstrations of this kind have not been seen since the widespread anti-China protests in the country in 2008 and 2014. Protesters rallied to express opposition to the draft law on special economic zones (SEZs) that was to be brought before the National Assembly for […]

Maritime security: Time for Asean to reach beyond low hanging fruit

• Editorial

Maritime security: Time for Asean to reach beyond low hanging fruit

During its year as Asean chair Singapore has continued the association’s work in developing measures to help mitigate tensions in the South China Sea. In recent years communications hotlines between respective foreign ministries have been introduced and the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) introduced. CUES is intended to reduce incidents between the navies […]

Asean centrality key to maintaining South China Sea stability

• Editorial

Asean centrality key to maintaining South China Sea stability

The 51st Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings held in Singapore from July 30 to August 4 were hailed as a success. Most notably, there were no delays in the issuance of a joint communique, which had previously been delayed because of seemingly intractable issues such as the South China Sea dispute. In […]

Myanmar has changed, but remains firmly in China’s grip

• Editorial

Myanmar has changed, but remains firmly in China’s grip

April 2018 marked the second anniversary of Aung San Suu Kyi assuming the position of state councillor of Myanmar. Despite predictions that Myanmar’s tentative steps towards democracy would weaken the country’s long-standing relationship with Beijing, the security situation in Myanmar’s border regions and tepid relations with the West ensure that China remains the Suu Kyi […]

Thailand election: Under a new reign old order trinity must make way for fresh blood

• Editorial

Thailand election: Under a new reign old order trinity must make way for fresh blood

More than four years after it seized power in May 2014, Thailand’s military government appears intent on holding onto it indefinitely. Led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has repeatedly delayed the pledged Thailand elections, currently slated for February 2019. However, this could again be pushed back several months […]

Rice self-sufficiency insufficient: In search of a better food security policy for Asia

• Editorial

Rice self-sufficiency insufficient: In search of a better food security policy for Asia

Three processes drive modernisation: a structural transformation of the economy with agriculture playing a lesser role as the country gets richer; an agricultural transformation that raises the sector’s productivity and produces a more diversified output; and a dietary transformation that occurs when consumers become richer and can afford to choose from a greater variety of […]

Indonesia foreign worker reform unlikely prior to election

• Editorial

Indonesia foreign worker reform unlikely prior to election

Controversy has surrounded revision of Indonesia’s foreign worker regulations ever since a presidential regulation (PP20) on the subject was issued on March 26. This is hardly surprising considering 2019 is an election year. Parties and potential presidential candidates are already looking for standout issues to garner public support. It is surprising, however, that President Joko […]

Phnom Penh’s glut of empty condos and homeless urban poor

• Editorial

Phnom Penh’s glut of empty condos and homeless urban poor

In January 2018 Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Cambodia and oversaw the signing of 19 new development deals. The deals were announced just a few weeks after Chinese firms pledged to invest an additional US$7 billion in Cambodia, including for a highway construction project that will connect the capital city of Phnom Penh with the […]

South China Sea: Ample opportunity for Asean-China connectivity

• Editorial

South China Sea: Ample opportunity for Asean-China connectivity

China-Asean and China-US relations in the South China Sea have trended in opposite directions since July 12, 2016. On that day the Philippines and Asean set aside the near-term implementation of the South China Sea arbitration award supporting the case against China’s maritime infringements and opened a new chapter in relations with China. China-Asean ties […]

National Resilience: Key to Singapore’s counterterrorism preparedness (HD video)

The arrest of members of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), an organisation linked to al-Qaeda, in Singapore in 2001 sent shock waves across the national security landscape. This portentous incident signalled both the need for Singapore to fortify national counterterrorism measures and the naissance of a new strategy that amalgamates existing kinetic and novel non-kinetic approaches to […]

Cambodia juggles energy need V risk new Chinese dam could ‘kill the Mekong’

• Editorial

Cambodia juggles energy need V risk new Chinese dam could ‘kill the Mekong’

In June 2018, a leaked environmental impact assessment report on the proposed Sambor Hydropower Dam project in Cambodia revealed that constructing a dam at the proposed site could “literally kill the [Mekong] river”. The Cambodian government kept the report, which was conducted by the US-based National Heritage Foundation, under wraps prior to the national elections […]

Urban planning should not ignore Cambodia’s invisible entrepreneurs

• Editorial

Urban planning should not ignore Cambodia’s invisible entrepreneurs

Southeast Asia is experiencing rapid urbanisation, and with it comes more and more people who are absorbed into the unregulated, informal sectors of the economy. In Cambodia, more than 95 per cent of the aggregate labour force is employed in unregulated, informal activities such as street vending, construction and transport. In its 2013 report on Cambodia the […]

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