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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.

“The Mekong is Dying”: How China’s River Diplomacy Neglects Locals, Exacerbates Climate Change

The rainy season would usually start in May, but this was late June and it was still not raining much. Niwat Roykaew, who grew up on the bank of the Mekong River in Thailand’s northern Chiang Rai province, noticed.  Born and ...

Chinese Scholar on Why Railway Financing Makes Sense for Beijing, Despite Criticism

Chinese-financed railways in Asia and Africa have sparked enormous controversies over whether it was wise for countries like Kenya, Indonesia, Nigeria and Laos to put themselves in so much debt for infrastructure that will take decades to become profitable, if it ever does.

What Does Kenya’s SGR Tell Us About the Future of Chinese Railway Development in the Global South

The Chinese-financed Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Kenya is one of the flagship projects of the Belt and Road Initiative. But the SGR like other Chinese-sponsored railway projects elsewhere in the Global South also serves as a prime example of the ...

As China Nitpicks Terms, Asia’s Debt Bomb is Ticking…

As technocrats in Sri Lanka and Laos grapple with renegotiating loans to a variety of creditors, including China, the region's creeping debt distress is slowly tipping into a full-blown humanitarian disaster.  The situation is the most critical in Sri Lanka, where ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Joint Battlefield Training to Raise Pressure in South China Sea

The U.S. military will reportedly introduce joint combat training with the Philippines in June. Major General Marcus Evans, commander of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division, told the Associated Press that the training would increase the Philippine army’s ability to fight in challenging jungle conditions.
The training will run from June 1 to 10. At Manila’s request, the training will be held in Philippine territory for the first time. It will involve about 2,000 people ...

Wang Touts China’s Human Rights Record to Visiting Asian, African Diplomats on Their Way To Visit Xinjiang

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke glowingly of Beijing's human rights record with indirect references to the situation in Xinjiang when he met on Tuesday with a delegation of visiting UN diplomats from Asian and African countries. The group ...

Debt Warnings Are Flashing in Laos

How China acts in the Zambian debt restructuring process will no doubt be closely watched in Laos. This is because of rising fears that the Southeast Asian country could be the next to fall into debt distress.  Laotian public ...