The banned Filipino communist party has ordered its armed wing to attack Chinese firms in the country, saying Beijing’s infrastructure projects are displacing thousands and harming natural resources. The party’s actions could complicate Manila’s relationships with Beijing.
ASEAN has pushed to keep Southeast Asia out of the nuclear weapons race. However, with growing military interference from international actors, Southeast Asian countries may reconsider the choice in order to ensure their security.
Thai protests on October 14 a catalyst for resurgent democracy movement. The date commemorates mass protests in 1973 that led to the ouster of a junta leader, but it’s unclear if this year’s movement can lead to lasting changes.
Two Cambodian rappers face charges of inciting social unrest as the government continues its crackdown on dissent. Their cases, like many others in Cambodia, show the reach of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s authoritarianism but also point to the growing role of hip-hop in social movements in Southeast Asia.
As protests in Thailand gain momentum, harsh laws and censorship have restricted citizens from engaging in meaningful political discourse. However, mounting protest campaigns on social media are putting the government on the defensive.
The United States has blacklisted a Chinese firm building an extensive resort in Cambodia, alleging human rights violations and corruption. However, there is much more to the project and the US’s actions than meets the eye.
Bali’s economic lifeline was severed when the Indonesian government officially closed borders on March 20. Now, after seven months without tourists, the island is struggling to survive.
Malaysia has reportedly withheld a report on Rohingya graves a full year after a government probe. Its government should make its findings public on the grounds of transparency and accountability.
As Thailand’s economy cracks under COVID-19, land ownership and access are key to many communities’ ability to ride out the crisis. Amid ongoing popular protests, Thailand must decide how to address its stark wealth gap and the needs of low-income rural communities.
As the United States and China compete for influence in Southeast Asia, could Indonesia’s efforts help keep ASEAN neutral?