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China-Indonesia Ties in the New Prabowo Subianto Era

They're still counting the votes in Indonesia after last week's election but it's all but certain that Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto will become the country's next president. While some of the world's major powers, like the U.S. and India, are holding ...

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 ...

Q&A: How Cambodia’s Chinese-backed Funan Techo Canal Risks Destabilizing the Lower Mekong Delta

In May 2023, the former prime minister of Cambodia – Hun Sen – led a cabinet meeting that gave the green light to the “Funan Techo Canal”, the first waterway system in Cambodia, which will connect Phnom Penh Autonomous Port to Kep Province of Cambodia.

Can “Strongman” Prabowo Subianto Take Indonesia’s Nickel Dream Away From China’s Orbit?

Prabowo Subianto, an ex-military commander and former son-in-law of Indonesian dictator Suharto, is finally on his way to the presidency. During the campaign season, Prabowo drummed up the promise that he would continue Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s policies, including the promise of nickel-for-battery developments. Lo ...

Prabowo Subianto Set to Win Indonesia Presidency, Relations With China, U.S. Expected to Remain Stable

The clouds still hadn’t left the sky on Wednesday morning in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta, where millions were preparing to elect their new president and vice president. Parts of the city were flooded due to heavy rains on the previous night, causing some polling stations to ...

Q&A: Indonesia’s EV Success Now Hinges on U.S. & EU. Will Indonesia Be Forced to Pull Away From China?

In November last year, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo met with United States President Joe Biden to talk trade and investment. At the very top of Jokowi’s agenda was to find a way to expand markets for Indonesian nickel-based EV batteries. Jokowi had hoped to secure ...

Southeast Asia: Best Place To Celebrate Chinese New Year Outside China

Chinese migration is one of the oldest and largest movements of people in the world. The latest tide lasted for over 300 years, which intensified in the sixteenth century and again in the nineteenth century due to the Opium Wars. As a result, there are about ...

Chinese and Philippine Coast Guard Trade Barbs Over Encounter on Remote South China Sea Shoal

Tensions between the Chinese and Philippines Coast Guard moved from the South China Sea to social media where the two sides on Wednesday battled it out over shaping the narrative about an encounter that occurred two weeks ago. On January 12, 

Chinese Telecom Fraud Suspects in Myanmar Discover Even Amid an Insurgency They Can Still Get Caught

Chinese security officials are celebrating the apprehension of ten "major suspects" accused of large-scale telecom fraud who were captured in Myanmar and forcibly repatriated this week. The group arrived in the southern Chinese city of Kunming on Tuesday aboard a jet chartered ...

Vietnam, Philippines Sign Coast Guard Pact That is Sure to Anger China

Vietnam and the Philippines pledged to work more closely together on maritime security issues in the South China Sea as part of a broader effort to push back against China's assertive territorial claims in the region. Visiting Philippine President ...

Indonesia 2024 Election: VP Candidate Bizarrely Frames “Anti-Nickel” as Supporting China

In Indonesia’s second vice presidential debate, Gibran Rakabuming — the eldest son of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate of Prabowo Subianto — tried to trap his rival Muhaimin Iskandar by asking the latter’s team’s campaign about lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP), a nickel-free electric vehicle ...

Why Vietnam is Not “In Play” in the U.S.-China Rivalry

There was a lot of speculation in the U.S. last year that an upgrade of diplomatic ties with Vietnam would prompt Hanoi to be more aligned with Washington in its rivalry with China. While ...
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