Myanmar has dismissed the developer for what would be Southeast Asia’s largest economic zone, throwing Dawei SEZ into question yet again. Though the grandiose plan is backed by Thailand, Japan and China, its continued financial struggles reveal a project plagued by instability and mismanagement.
Faced with economic and strategic challenges, Turkey has turned to Southeast Asia to potentially help revive its economy. Ankara may find support from China in its new push, but building ties with the region will depend on Turkey’s ability to keep religion out of the equation.
Japanese beer conglomerate Kirin says an investigation by Deloitte was unable to determine if the company has been funding the Myanmar military through its joint ownership of domestic beer companies. Critics say Kirin has been complicit in human rights abuses by partnering with a Myanmar military-owned company.
China’s construction of a fence along parts of its varied border with Myanmar has prompted questions about Beijing’s changing approach to the frontier.
The case represents a civilian win against the military but likely doesn’t signal a shift as far as accountability for the military’s human rights abuses, including its record of genocidal acts against the Rohingya.
Myanmar’s military and the Arakan Army appear on the verge of establishing a ceasefire after over two years of intense fighting. For supporters of Myanmar’s peace process, it’s worth examining how and why the two sides have moved towards dialogue.
The signing of the RCEP points to the potential power of Southeast Asia’s neutrality amid US-China tensions.
The 37th ASEAN Summit, which ended on November 15, saw member states adopt decisive and concrete measures to bolster internal and external cooperation and to overcome major challenges facing the regional bloc, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the US election finally over and President-elect Joseph Biden set to enter the oval office, leaders across Southeast Asia have turned to what the next four years may hold for relations with the embattled superpower.
In Myanmar’s election, ethnic minority parties offer a key alternative for voters disillusioned with Aung San Suu Kyi’s government. Though their success is key to making the country’s democracy more representative, they face major barriers in this year’s vote.