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China Looms Over Jokowi’s Southeast Asia Trip

Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo embarked on a Southeast Asian tour this week, visiting the Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei. The visit comes as China steps into a more assertive role in Southeast Asia. Its territorial claims in the South China Sea ...

Prominent Scholar Warns That Philippine South China Sea ‘Provocations’ Are Undermining China-ASEAN Ties

A respected Chinese scholar has given insight into official thinking on the impact Beijing’s maritime conflicts with the Philippines are having on China-ASEAN relations. Philippine “provocations” in the South China Sea are undermining cooperation between China and ASEAN and could have ...

Japan, China Both Court ASEAN Countries as Part of Burgeoning Battle for Influence in Southeast Asia

Both Japan and China held a series of events with senior leaders from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in recent days as part of a ramped-up effort to increase their respective influence in Southeast Asia.

ASEAN Defense Chiefs Expand Talks to China, U.S., India

ASEAN defense ministers gathering in Jakarta expanded talks on Thursday to include defense chiefs from China, the U.S., Japan, and India. U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin attended but did not meet with a Chinese counterpart. ...

South China Sea Crisis and ASEAN’s Quiet Diplomacy

At the maritime symposium this week in Hainan, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi warned against a “bloc confrontation” approach to solving disputes, alluding to the Philippines, the United States, and Japan’s growing complaints about the brewing tension in the South China Sea. On October 22, two Chinese ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

Days After Meeting Biden, Vietnam PM Calls for Closer Ties With China

Vietnam's legendary skills in managing the burgeoning Great Power rivalry between the U.S. and China were on full display this weekend when, just days after hosting President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính headed across the border for talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang.

South China Sea, Infrastructure Top Agenda in China-Malayasia PM Talks

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim met with his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang on Sunday on the sides of the 20th China-ASEAN Expo in the southern Chinese city of Nanning. The two PMs addressed the politically sensitive issue of competing territorial claims ...

ASEAN Knocks On The West’s Doors While Keeping China Close Amid Territorial Flare-Ups

This week’s summit in Jakarta saw ASEAN countries again knocking on the West’s door to ask for far more concrete support for their future growth. At the same time, the bloc seemed united in refraining from ruffling China’s feathers too much on the subject of the South ...

ASEAN Talks with Major Powers Navigate Numerous Controversies

China’s Premier Li Qiang warned against a ‘new cold war’ as the ASEAN summit moved on to a series of talks between the bloc and its partners. Calling for ways to "appropriately handle differences and disputes," Li said: "At present, it is ...

Premier Li Qiang Tries to Reassure China’s Southeast Asian Neighbors in ASEAN Address

Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang sought to soothe tensions with its neighbors in Southeast Asia during his keynote address on Wednesday at the ASEAN leaders summit in Jakarta. Li did not specifically reference the recent confrontations with the Philippines in the ...
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