Since taking office, President Duterte has eschewed traditional allies in favour of a pivot towards Beijing. Three years into his term, there are few tangible signs that it was a worthwhile endeavour.
New Myanmar-China and Laos-Cambodia border agreements saw leaders exploit power dynamics to push national interests that risk exacerbating ethnic conflicts and political repression.
Southeast Asian economies are facing a downturn as markets follow trends in the US and China. If the slide continues, it risks worsening wealth inequality and poverty across the region.
Renewed violence between ethnic armed groups and the Myanmar military in Shan State has thrown joint China-Myanmar development plans into question. Relying on China to broker peace seems an increasingly risky gamble.
ASEAN’s universities are struggling to compete. But the same forces that are pushing them to the brink can pull them to safety.
China is trying to manipulate international dispute resolution mechanisms to sew confusion and further its economic interests in the South China Sea. Its diplomatic and military activities are pushing the region closer to the brink of conflict.
Rice merchants in Myanmar are struggling to adapt to a new barter trade deal with China. The barter deal aims to stabilise border trade but risks depriving Myanmar’s rice industry of much-needed income.
China is pushing two of its Belt and Road development projects in Myanmar without addressing local communities’ social and environmental concerns.
As the two global superpowers go head-to-head over trade, the two leaders’ rhetoric reveals underlying currents at play.
The new China-Laos railway is spanning the Mekong River and drilling through mountains. So far, many local Laotians are seeing more trouble than benefits from the project.