Opinion

Our experts on Asia guide you through the big issues facing the region
Opinion - South China Morning Post
  1. First proposed at the 17th Asean-China Summit in 2014 by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism aims to enhance economic cooperation, environmental protection efforts and transboundary water governance between the countries along the river’s length, namely China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Seen as a rival to the US-backed Mekong River Commission (MRC) – which excludes Myanmar and China and was formed in 1995 – the LMC differentiates…
  2. Last weekend was somewhat painful for Hong Kong, with many eyes in Europe and the United States focused on the city and how it has changed over the past two years.Kicking off with the Cannes Film Festival, the surprise announcement of a special screening of Hong Kong filmmaker Kiwi Chow’s hard-hitting documentary Revolution Of Our Times is sure to raise Beijing’s ire. The carefully edited drone and webcam footage of the protests was reportedly a brutal and lengthy reminder of the street warfare…
  3. US President Joe Biden assumed office promising a departure from Donald Trump’s disruptive foreign policy, but his administration has embraced the same zero-sum rhetoric where China is concerned. That approach could bifurcate the globe politically and technologically along racial lines, yet the project has instead been promoted as a contest of values.This rhetoric did not begin with Trump. It was adopted by the Washington elite during the 1990s following the publication of Samuel Huntington’s…
  4. Saying that Malaysian politics has been turbulent over the past three years is something of an understatement. But on July 8, when the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) – which commands the largest bloc of parliamentary seats in Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional government – withdrew its support for the ruling coalition and called for the premier’s resignation, local politics was thrown into even greater uncertainty.The Muhyiddin administration remains in power, as…
  5. By all accounts, Britain’s move to relax nearly all coronavirus restrictions on July 19 – known as Freedom Day – could not have come at a worse time.It is hardly surprising that on the same day, American and European equities suffered their worst session of the year amid rising fears that the highly contagious Delta variant could impact global economic growth. After marking Freedom Day, Britain recorded its largest number of Covid-19 deaths in months.Despite a surge in cases, Britain is not…
  6. The number of Hongkongers moving abroad has increased in recent months: couples plan new lives overseas, grandparents wave goodbye to grandchildren, school seats are left vacant. As the city faces unprecedented political and social turbulence, some leave as migrants, others as asylum seekers. It’s heart-wrenching.On the other hand, many argue, the most underprivileged can hardly consider such options. Among them, there is a group that has long lived at the margins of society: hundreds of asylum…
  7. Technology has reshaped the dynamics of Asia’s anti-government protests and the social movements behind them, as recent events in Hong Kong, Thailand and Myanmar have shown.Just a decade ago, smartphones and social media were in their infancy as consumer products, yet they had already proven themselves to be powerful organising tools for protesters.In both the Arab spring protests that swept the Middle East at the start of last decade and 2011’s anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street protests in…
  8. With most Covid-19 restrictions now lifted in England, the world is watching to see what its “freedom day” will bring.Some scepticism is warranted, given Britain’s approach throughout the pandemic has hardly been a success. By July 19, there had been 128,985 deaths from Covid-19, and the death rate per 1 million population was just under 1,900.True, there are countries with worse rates, including Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic in Europe. But countries that have taken a different approach…
  9. South Korea has reaped rewards from its policy of strategic ambiguity towards the US-China rivalry, avoiding antagonising Beijing, its largest trading partner, while remaining Washington’s military ally. However, developments in domestic politics before next year’s presidential election could spell the end of this approach.On one hand, there is Lee Jun-seok, the Harvard-educated leader of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), who clearly favours the US over China. Lee, 36, is too young…
  10. More than a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak a public health emergency, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) – a region with a combined GDP of US$9.34 trillion and a population of more than 650 million – has not recovered from the global economic tumult resulting from the pandemic.While some economies in the region do appear to be recovering, Asean governments are still prioritising the disbursement of stimulus measures for short-term…