US designates Vietnam as a currency manipulator: What does it mean?

The US Treasury Department’s designation of Vietnam as a currency manipulator reflects President Trump’s push to punish countries that have trade surpluses against the US. However, the move is likely to start a new phase of negotiations to avoid harm to both countries’ strategic interests.


How significant is India’s accelerated outreach to Vietnam?

The past few months have seen growing engagements between India and Vietnam. While China’s aggression remains a common concern, for India this is also an opportunity to reset its engagements with ASEAN after opting out of the RCEP in November.


Malaysia and Singapore drop high-speed rail plan

Malaysia and Singapore have finally canceled a fraught high-speed rail line from Kuala Lumpur to the island city-state. The two governments reportedly could not reach an agreement after Malaysia pushed to modify the project yet again over financial concerns.


Philippine authorities kill nine indigenous leaders in raid on “communists”

Philippine authorities shot and killed nine indigenous Tumandok leaders on the island of Panay who were flagged as communist insurgents after they allegedly resisted arrest. But indigenous rights advocates say the victims were targeted for their resistance to militarization and damaging government-backed infrastructure projects.


Migrants in Thailand face racism amid new coronavirus outbreak

Thailand’s large migrant population is facing racist backlash as the country works to contain a new outbreak of COVID-19 tied to a seafood market in Samut Sakhon province, near Bangkok, where a significant portion of the country’s migrants from Myanmar live.