Viewpoint

07.18.19

‘See, They Are So Happy with Our Generosity!’

Yaqiu Wang
On June 22, in Sihanoukville, a port city in southwest Cambodia, a Chinese-owned building under construction collapsed, killing at least 28 people, all Cambodians. The owner had undertaken the construction without the required permit, and defied...

Worries Grow in Singapore Over China’s Calls to Help ‘Motherland’

Amy Qin
New York Times
Growing up in Singapore, Chan Kian Kuan always took pride in his Teochew heritage — the dialect, the cultural traditions and the famous steamed fish. But after visiting his ancestral village in Teochew, in Guangdong Province, China, and seeing the...

Railroaded: The Chinese High-Speed Train Network No One Else Really Wants

Trefor Moss
Wall Street Journal
Terrain is easy, negotiations hard, as construction begins on politically fraught route through Southeast Asia.

Railroaded: The Chinese High-Speed Train Network No One Else Really Wants

Trefor Moss
Wall Street Journal
Li Guanghe has built some of the most technically complex railroads in China.

Books

05.03.18

High-Speed Empire

Will Doig
Columbia Global Reports: The story of the world’s most audacious infrastructure project.Less than a decade ago, China did not have a single high-speed train in service. Today, it owns a network of 14,000 miles of high-speed rail, far more than the rest of the world combined. Now, China is pushing its tracks into Southeast Asia, reviving a century-old colonial fantasy of an imperial railroad stretching to Singapore, and kicking off a key piece of the One Belt One Road initiative, which has a price tag of U.S.$1 trillion and reaches inside the borders of more than 60 countries.The Pan-Asia Railway portion of One Belt One Road could transform Southeast Asia, bringing shiny Chinese cities, entire economies, and waves of migrants where none existed before. But if it doesn’t succeed, that would be a cautionary tale about whether a new superpower, with levels of global authority unimaginable just a decade ago, can pull entire regions into its orbit simply with tracks, sweat, and lots of money. Journalist Will Doig traveled to Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore to chronicle the dramatic transformations taking place—and to find out whether ordinary people have a voice in this moment of economic, political, and cultural collision.{chop}

China Draws Myanmar Closer as the World Turns Away

Jane Perlez
New York Times
For the second time in a week, one of Myanmar’s top leaders is visiting Beijing, as international criticism over the brutal purge of Rohingya Muslims is bringing the neighboring countries together.

China or the U.S.? Asian Nations' Answer: Neither

Andrew Browne
Wall Street Journal
It’s a neat narrative: America’s inevitable decline means the inexorable rise of China. But Asian countries have more to say.

Asia's Longest-Serving Strongman Shows Power of China's Cash

Blake Schmidt
Bloomberg
A few decades ago, the U.S. and its allies could use financial leverage over aid-dependent Cambodia to nurture a democracy forged after Pol Pot’s genocide wiped out about a fifth of the population. But these days the biggest spender is China, which...

Video

04.19.17

Trafficked into Wedlock

Yan Cong
When Buntha left Cambodia to marry a Chinese man, she did so for money, not for love.Thirty-two years old at the time, and never married, she had few opportunities to earn money for her family in her village in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. The China she...

Stephen FitzGerald: Managing Australian Foreign Policy in a Chinese World

Stephen FitzGerald
The Conversation
This is an edited extract of the 2017 Whitlam Oration, delivered by Stephen FitzGerald, Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (1973-76), at the Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University, on March 16, 2017.

Here’s Who Will Benefit from the Beijing-Seoul Fallout

Huileng Tan
CNBC
Currently, South Korea’s decision to allow the U.S. to deploy an advanced missile defense system on the peninsula has culminated in a series of retaliatory measures from Beijing. South Korean firms have already started investing in the fast-growing...

Environment

03.14.17

Source of Mekong, Yellow, and Yangtze Rivers Drying Up

from chinadialogue
In 2015, the Chinese government announced plans to set up a new nature reserve in the Sanjiangyuan (“three river source”) region of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. This area is a key source of fresh water for Asia and is known for the rich biodiversity...

Books

03.13.17

The End of the Asian Century

Michael Auslin
Since Marco Polo, the West has waited for the “Asian Century.” Today, the world believes that Century has arrived. Yet from China’s slumping economy to war clouds over the South China Sea and from environmental devastation to demographic crisis, Asia’s future is increasingly uncertain. Historian and geopolitical expert Michael Auslin argues that far from being a cohesive powerhouse, Asia is a fractured region threatened by stagnation and instability. Here, he provides a comprehensive account of the economic, military, political, and demographic risks that bedevil half of our world, arguing that Asia, working with the United States, has a unique opportunity to avert catastrophe—but only if it acts boldly. Bringing together firsthand observations and decades of research, Auslin’s provocative reassessment of Asia’s future will be a must-read for industry and investors, as well as politicians and scholars, for years to come. —Yale University Press{chop}

Sinica Podcast

03.10.17

Jane Perlez: Chinese Foreign Relations in a New Age of Uncertainty

Jeremy Goldkorn & Jane Perlez from Sinica Podcast
Jane Perlez has been a reporter at The New York Times since 1981. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for coverage of the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She has reported on wars, diplomacy, and foreign policy from...

China Warns U.S. against Fresh Naval Patrols in South China Sea

Reuters
China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty, responding to reports the United States was planning fresh naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea.

A Retreat from TPP Would Empower China

Editorial Board
New York Times
China will take full advantage of the American shift to press its own trade vision--the Beijing-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Is China Getting Better at Charming Southeast Asia on the South China Sea?

Bill Hayton
Diplomat
Beijing looks to be getting better at how it uses soft power in the region

Malaysia’s Najib Risks Backlash at Home After Deals with China

Joseph Sipalan
Reuters
Malaysian Prime Minister is facing grumblings at home that he is "selling off" his country after returning from China with $34 billion worth of deals...

On Duterte’s Heels, Malaysia is the Next Asian Country to Embrace China

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called himself a “true friend” of China, determined to take their relationship to "new heights"...

China Boosts Regional Ties with Milestone Xi Visit to Dhaka

Arun Devnath
Bloomberg
China is expected to sign off on more than $23 billion in loans to Bangladesh to fund a series of large-scale infrastructure projects

Why Cambodia is Pinning its Hopes on Chinese President’s Visit

Luke Hunt
South China Morning Post
A country reeling from falling rice prices and foreign investment has its eyes on emergency aid and a boost in trade

Why China’s Plan to Build a New Silk Road Runs Through Singapore

Bloomberg
Cultural ties make city-state key gateway to Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asian Nations Give Weak Rebuke to China Over South China Sea Dispute

Los Angeles Times
It exposes the deep divisions in a regional body that prides itself on unity.

Viewpoint

07.14.16

China’s Failure in the South China Sea

Orville Schell
By reiterating its policy of “no acceptance, no participation, no recognition, and no implementation,” China has painted itself into a difficult corner and diminished the chances of resolving the myriad maritime disputes—involving Vietnam, Brunei,...

Viewpoint

07.07.16

The South China Sea Needs ASEAN More Than Ever

Yanmei Xie
A ruling from The Hague next week on maritime disputes in the South China Sea is likely to exacerbate frictions between China and the U.S. Both would be better off respecting the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)...

Books

12.10.15

Pacific

Simon Winchester
Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature.As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World, the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow. With China on the rise, so, too, are the American cities of the West coast, including Seattle, San Francisco, and the long cluster of towns down the Silicon Valley.Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long transformed us—tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis—but its human history, from a Western perspective, is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s sixteenth-century circumnavigation. It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made.In telling the story of the Pacific, Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between. He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila, visits aboriginals in northern Queensland, and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego, the land at the end of the world. His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway, a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands, and a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor.Winchester’s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none. And his historical understanding of the region is formidable, making Pacific a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty, myth, and imagination that is transforming our lives. —HarperCollins{chop}

Full Text of Chinese President’s Speech at Boao Forum for Asia

Xinhua
Xi's speech, entitled, "Towards a Community of Common Destiny and A New Future for Asia"...

Media

03.25.15

Was Lee Kuan Yew an Inspiration or a Race Traitor? Chinese Can’t Agree

Rachel Lu
When Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore, passed away at the ripe age of 91 on March 23, the elderly statesman was as controversial in death as in life—and nowhere was the debate more vigorous than in China. While state media was full of...

Caixin Media

02.18.14

Lee Hsien Loong on What Singapore Can—and Can’t—Teach China

As one of the Four Asian Tigers, Singapore is known for its strong economy and orderly society. The city-state, with its population of 5.3 million people, is listed by the World Bank as fourth in the world in terms of per capita income. As a...

China is Playing Chicken with the U.S. Military in the South China Sea

Benjamin Carlson
Global Post
Vessels from the U.S. military and other countries increasingly find themselves in high-stakes confrontations in the region.

Sinica Podcast

07.05.13

Myanmar’s Uncertain Glasnost

Jeremy Goldkorn from Sinica Podcast
Buddhist terrorists, military juntas, resource clashes, and pro-Western democracy movements? If China has lulled you into thinking that Southeast Asia is predictable and boring, join us for this week’s discussion of Myanmar, the former client state...

Alarm as China Issues Rules for Disputed Area

Jane Perlez
New York Times
New rules announced by a Chinese province last week to allow interceptions of ships in the South China Sea are raising concerns in the region, and in Washington, that simmering disputes with Southeast Asian countries over the waters will escalate.

Asian Leaders at Regional Meeting Fail to Resolve Disputes Over South China Sea

Jane Perlez
New York Times
Disputes in the strategically important South China Sea proved so contentious here that an annual regional gathering has ended without even a basic diplomatic communiqué, which appeared to have been blocked by China.

Reports

11.25.09

China’s Assistance and Government-Sponsored Investment Activities in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Thomas Lum
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In recent years, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has bolstered its diplomatic presence and garnered international goodwill in the developing world through financing infrastructure and natural resource development projects, assisting in the...

Reports

02.25.09

China’s Foreign Aid Activities in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Thomas Lum, Hannah Fischer, Julissa Gomez Granger, Anne Leland
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In the past several years, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has bolstered its diplomatic presence and garnered international goodwill through its financing of infrastructure and natural resource development projects, assistance in the carrying...

Reports

10.08.08

U.S. Foreign Aid to East and South Asia: Selected Recipients

Thomas Lum
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Since the war on terrorism began in 2001 and the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and Global HIV/AIDS Initiative (GHAI) were launched in 2004, the United States has increased foreign aid spending dramatically in some regions, including East and...