Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Cambodia in mid-October 2016 marked Cambodia’s entry into the growing group of nations participating in China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. President Xi pledged Chinese investment for infrastructure projects including a high-speed railway and a new airport in Siem Reap.
The Mother’s Day bombings were followed with a double bombing in the southern provincial capital city of Pattani. The Thai military government soon turned its attention to the Malay Muslim insurgents of southern Thailand, in particular the military wing of the Patani Malay National Revolutionary Front.
The river security of the Mekong has emerged as another area of growing contestation and despite its lower international profile and arguably lower global impact, this sub-region will have a determining factor on China’s relations with Southeast Asia.
This essay is a preliminary analysis of the possible impacts the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling on July 12, 2016 will have on the South China Sea situation, China-US relations and China’s relations with its neighbors.
The arbitration proceedings that the Philippines initiated against China more than three years ago regarding issues in the South China Sea should soon reach its end, and the arbitral tribunal is expected to rule shortly.
Economic policies beg for a major update from the implementation of the Doi Moi reforms in 1986. To ensure full integration into the global economy, including fulfilling expectations of the TPP, Vietnam need to do some serious adjustments.
China has become a major source for tourists for all Southeast Asian states. Laos is no exception in trying to attract this revenue earner. Improved connectivity through high-speed rail is one way to harness this potential and ensure Laos stays competitive in this market.
A recent China-ASEAN agreement for a “framework” for a South China Sea Code of Conduct has triggered an outburst of diplomatic optimism. But the sad reality is that there has been little progress towards a binding, robust COC.