The 36th ASEAN summit took place via videoconference with leaders and high-level politicians convening virtually. Here’s how the media covered the story as Vietnam played host to a very different event.
Until recently, startups in Southeast Asia were rising fast with support from governments and investors. But many startups in the region are now fighting for survival as revenues and funding plummet due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Indonesia’s heavy-handed approach has failed to crush Papuans’ nationalist sentiment. COVID-19 is an opportunity for Jakarta to push for reconciliation and address the community’s genuine political concerns.
China’s new security law for Hong Kong will considerably erode the city’s autonomy. Once implemented, China will have legislative protection to crush all forms of opposition in Hong Kong and ASEAN cannot afford to remain silent, as doing so will only embolden Beijing’s assertiveness in Southeast Asia.
George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis last week sparked widespread protests against racial injustice. Citizens of Southeast Asia were among those in support.
While competition between the US and China rages, it is unclear if Southeast Asia’s leadership can pursue policies that draw maximum benefit from both sides while ensuring their independence remains intact. The existing tensions between Washington and Beijing mean that leaders in Southeast Asia will struggle to find a position that pleases both partners.
While the new Indonesia-Australia free trade agreement is expected to boost trade between the countries, it also represents a step for Australia towards increasing its engagement with ASEAN.
As COVID-19 spreads through Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, this week they faced another threat with the arrival of Cyclone Amphan. Here’s how the media covered the story.
Myanmar authorities recently seized 35.5 tons of drugs and chemicals in Shan State—a haul worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But the fact that Southeast Asia’s crime syndicates allowed the busts shows the drug trade is only becoming more deeply entrenched in the region’s economy.
This month marks 65 years since Indonesia hosted the Bandung Conference, a ground-breaking summit between newly independent nations that shaped international law. As the Global South takes on a greater role in global affairs, Indonesia would do well to return to the principles of this historic conference.