Southeast Asia

This tag is associated with 41 posts

China marks South China Sea claims with coast guard, marine militias

China’s growing use of non-conventional means to assert control over the South China Sea is raising concerns among neighboring countries and regional military planners. Analysts say that in “front line” flash points in the vast waterway, Beijing is deploying coast guard ships and armed fishing vessels instead of its regular navy vessels. China claims sovereignty … Continue reading

Southeast Asia attracts more foreign direct investment than China for second year

Southeast Asia’s major economies drew more foreign direct investment combined than China for the second straight year in 2014, as growth in their giant neighbour cooled. But by country, inflows into the region were uneven, swayed by political change and the varying costs of doing business. Overall FDI into Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand … Continue reading

A useless ASEAN will lead to the Chinafication of the entire Southeast Asia

I refer to TJ A. Burgonio’s “Philippines, Vietnam urge strong Asean action vs China” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 12th with regard to the on-going 24th ASEAN Summit being held at Burma. The world is well aware that besides the usual chores and normal talks of the countries involved in the said region, the … Continue reading

Japanese investment in Southeast Asia surged last year to almost three times amount invested in China

Japanese companies‘ investments in Southeast Asia surged last year to almost three times the amount invested in China, after relations between Beijing and Tokyo soured in 2012 and Chinese labor costs rose, a government agency of Japan said on Friday. Japanese companies invested 2.33 trillion yen ($22.8 billion) in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines … Continue reading

China causing imbalance in “Asian Century”

The eminent academician Dr. Anis H. Bajrektarevic says that “there [can be] no Asian century, without the Pan-Asian multilateral setting.” The Americas, he says, have the Organisation of American States (OAS), Africa has the African Union, and Europe has the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). There is no counterpart in the sprawling … Continue reading

Chinese investments in Cambodia ignore environment queries

China’s expanding investment portfolio in Cambodia has brought into sharper focus the darker side of the Asian giant’s “development projects” in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation. And it is in the southwestern corner of Cambodia – known for its rich biodiversity, forest-covered hills and bubbling rivers – where this Chinese economic footprint is leaving a … Continue reading

Japan seeks defence ties with ASEAN amid China rows

Japan on Wednesday, March 13, called for stronger security ties with Southeast Asia as Tokyo looks to boost alliances at a time of growing territorial tensions with China. Vice-minister level representatives from Japan and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were beginning a two-day gathering at a Tokyo hotel, with several participating nations embroiled in … Continue reading

China spurs defence of narrow seas in East Asia

Southeast Asian states are pursuing an unprecedented level of naval modernisation as tensions in the South China Sea test their abilities to find diplomatic solutions to their territorial disputes. According to projections by a US-based naval consulting company, AMI International, Southeast Asia is set to spend more than US$25 billion on new naval acquisitions through … Continue reading

An Asian century is highly unlikely

The 19th century was the European century, the 20th century was the American century and the 21st century is believed to be an Asian century. While this century has 86 more years to go, Asia is unlikely to be the sole dominant political and cultural power.  Out of the big Asian players, none has arisen, nor … Continue reading

Cambodians flock to learn Mandarin

Seventeen-year-old Muth Sovannara is not like most Cambodian teenagers. For starters, he speaks three languages – his native Khmer, the English he spent most of his life studying, and, for three years now, Mandarin. Each weekday, he wakes early to get to his high school at 7am. After four hours of lessons in Khmer, the … Continue reading

China builds hydroelectric dams in Cambodia

In the hilly wilderness across southwestern Cambodia, the foundations of the country’s strengthening bonds with China are taking root. It is there that large dams supported by Chinese money are being built to literally bring the impoverished Southeast Asian nation out of darkness. The largest of them so far, the US$280 million Kamchay Dam in … Continue reading

China invests heavily in Malaysia

Chinese and Malaysian companies agreed to invest 10.5 billion Ringgit ($3.4 billion) on an industrial park in the Southeast Asian nation, which will include steel and aluminum plants as well as a palm oil refinery. This comes just a few days after the Chinese Xiamen University announced to open its first overseas campus in the Malaysian … Continue reading

The way forward for China’s economy

China and Europe must end their business-as-usual stance this year and get their houses in order for a better future, said experts at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies’ regional outlook forum 2013 in Singapore. While China had, last year, averted an expected hard landing due to its slowing economy, China expert Shen Jianguang said it … Continue reading

China says Philippines’ UN request on seas complicates issue

China said on Wednesday that a request by the Philippines for a U.N. tribunal to intervene in its longstanding South China Sea territorial dispute with China would only complicate the issue, and denounced Manila‘s “illegal occupation” of islands there. Manila has asked the tribunal of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) … Continue reading

Shinzo Abe’s first overseas trip to Southeast Asia: a measure against China?

New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes his first official visit overseas to Southeast Asia instead of the United States. This trip highlights two main points: Japan’s ‘return’ to the region and the rise of Southeast Asia in Japan’s strategic calculations. The newly elected Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has chosen to make his first … Continue reading

Japan’s Abe turns to South East Asia to counter China

The last time he was prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe‘s inaugural foreign trip was to China. In the job again 7 years later and relations with Beijing now chilly, Abe is turning first this time to the rising economic stars of Southeast Asia. A hawkish Abe wants them to help counterbalance the growing economic … Continue reading

China-Laos high-speed railway link meets fierce western opposition

According to Ming Pao’s exclusive report, Indochina has become an emerging hot spot for investment as Southeast Asian countries hope to establish an economic commonwealth by 2015. In 2006, about 20 Asian countries signed an agreement on an Asian railway network. The China–Laos high-speed railway will be part of the network. For China, the railway … Continue reading

East Asian cooperation: Is Japan falling behind China?

China’s presence in East Asian regional cooperation has been conspicuous. As one of the founding members of the two key regional institutions – the Asean +3 and the East Asia Summit – Beijing seems to be an indispensable partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in the process of regional cooperation in East … Continue reading

China secures potential Cambodian crude oil

Cambodia’s first oil refinery will break ground early next year and, once completed, will refine an estimated 5 million tons of oil per year. Two state-enterprises signed an agreement on the USD2.3-billion refinery in Kampot province: Sinomach China Perfect Machinery Industry Corp. and the Cambodian Petrochemical Company, at the Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh. … Continue reading

China is top dam builder, going where others won’t

On the Tatay River, up a sweeping jungle valley in a remote corner of Cambodia, Chinese engineers and workers are raising a 100-meter- (330-foot-) high dam over the protests of villagers and activists. Only Chinese companies are willing to tame the Tatay and other rivers of Koh Kong province, one of Southeast Asia’s last great … Continue reading

China’s toy industry is in serious trouble

It’s a very difficult winter for the toy industry in Guangdong province. You could say it is an extremely harsh winter, if such occurred in the southern province of China. But more than 50% of all Chinese toy factories are there. And here, ends the jokes. Toy manufacturers in China are fighting with all their … Continue reading

To feed its millions, China needs to look to the world’s oceans

  China is facing increasing difficulties in feeding its growing population, which is at the same time becoming more affluent. Although China has achieved nine consecutive years of increases in grain production, from 2003 to 2012, its grain demand and supply gap continues to widen. In the first ten months of 2012, China’s cereal imports … Continue reading

Singapore concerned over China’s South China Sea rule

Singapore expressed concern on Monday over China‘s plan to board and search ships sailing in what it considers its territory in the South China Sea, as tension grows over Beijing’s sovereignty claims in busy Southeast Asian waters. “Singapore is concerned about this recent turn of events,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in response to … Continue reading

China’s imperialist designs; showing it’s ugly head and bloody arms (South China Sea)

I refer to the report of Reuters by Matthew Bigg “ASEAN chief voices alarm at China plan to board ships in disputed waters” last Friday, November 30th. Said report pertains to China’s plan to “board and search ships” it deemed to have illegally entered what it considers its “legitimate” territory in the disputed South China … Continue reading

China angers neighbours with sea claims on new passports

The Philippines and Vietnam condemned Chinese passports containing a map of China‘s disputed maritime claims on Thursday, branding the new design a violation of their sovereignty. The map means countries disputing the Chinese claims will have to stamp microchip-equipped passports of countless visitors, in effect acquiescing to the Chinese point of view. Stand-offs between Chinese … Continue reading

China might be moving closer to ASEAN on South China Sea.

China’s new leaders may be moving closer to resolving disputes over the South China Sea through a regional alliance rather than through separate negotiations with each of its territorial rivals. This week’s summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations showed again the scale of sensitivities over the South China Sea with the Philippines objecting … Continue reading

South China Sea dispute wrecks Asean unity

Asean unity yet again lay in tatters [Monday] night – thwarting a Chinese-backed effort to keep South China Sea territorial disputes off the agenda of [the] international leaders’ summit in Cambodia. Host Cambodia’s claim on Sunday that the 10 leaders of Southeast Asia had agreed not to “internationalise” the issue by limiting it to meetings … Continue reading

An arms-buying spree across South-East Asia as neighbours try to counter China

An arms-buying spree across south-east Asia will be the elephant in the room when almost 20 world leaders meet in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, on Tuesday. Defence spending across the region increased 13.5 per cent to US$25.4 billion (A$24.5 billion) last year and was expected to rise again by 2016, the Stockholm International Peace … Continue reading

Asean demands maritime talks on South China Sea

Southeast Asian nations displayed a rare show of unity yesterday against China‘s sweeping maritime claims, calling for the first formal talks with Beijing over a sea dispute that has raised tensions and exposed deep divisions in the region. As Chinese premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Cambodia for meetings with Southeast Asian leaders, the 10-member Asean … Continue reading

China weighs on Obama’s trip to South East Asia

U.S. officials are not saying it directly but President Barack Obama’s first overseas trip following his re-election, to Southeast Asia, appears intended to blunt China’s growing clout in the region. Obama will leave Washington on Saturday for a visit to Thailand and then attend the 18-nation East Asia Summit in Cambodia before winding down his … Continue reading

Japan firms turn to booming Southeast Asia, hedging China risks

Almost a quarter of Japanese manufacturers are re-thinking their China investment plans. Japanese firms, encouraged to expand abroad by a strong yen, are increasingly using Southeast Asia as an alternative manufacturing base to balance their China risks. Japanese government and business leaders have also been among the fastest to tap the potential of Myanmar’s dramatic … Continue reading

China snubs SE Asia push for South China Sea deal

China is stonewalling attempts to start talks on a multilateral “code of conduct” governing the strategically located South China Sea and an agreement could still be years away, Southeast Asian officials said on Monday. Beijing‘s assertion of sovereignty over the vast stretch of the water has set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while … Continue reading

Further signs of a strengthening Chinese economy

Manufacturing and, more importantly, order volumes from international customers have both risen this month, according to the South China Morning Post. The China HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) recorded a three-month high in output. Despite GDP just missing the official government target in Q3, this news is the latest in a string of … Continue reading

As China tensions simmer, Japan pulls back from “world’s factory”

Almost a quarter of Japanese manufacturers are rethinking their investment plans in China and some may shift future production elsewhere after the spike in tensions between Asia’s two largest economies. The sentiments were expressed in a Reuters Corporate Survey released on Wednesday and in interviews conducted in recent weeks with executives in industries ranging from … Continue reading

China must learn that size only gets you so far

For more than three decades, China has been courting its neighbours to the south. Enticing the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations into closer cooperation has been a top goal of Chinese foreign policy since the days of Deng Xiaoping, and it has brought great rewards. In 2010 the two sides entered into … Continue reading

China’s Xi Jinping: sea dispute hardliner or peace seeker?

We now have two conflicting reports on China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping’s speech to Southeast Asian leaders in Nanning, Guangxi yesterday. Reuters gives its report the title “China’s Xi seeks to reassure Southeast Asia on sea dispute”. SCMP’s title, however, is “Xi Jinping uses tougher tone on South China Sea disputes at Asean meeting” They both … Continue reading

China’s rising pay decreases production competiveness

Labour costs in China would match those of the United States within four years, catching up with eurozone countries in five years and with Japan in seven, the French bank Natixis forecast in a study last month. China “will soon no longer be a competitive place for production given the strong rise in the cost … Continue reading

adidas closes its factory in China; move to Myanmar

Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily reports today, “World sports clothing leader adidas confirms that it has decided to close the only factory directly under it in China and may move it to Myanmar. The company explains that the closure is its strategy to rearrange its resources all over the world. However, analysts guess that as wages … Continue reading

Can China extend its colonisation to Africa?

It seems that no Western power has succeeded in their colonisation in the past, and their influence in their previous colonised countries is limited now. However, Chinese people were extraordinarily successful in their colonisation in South East Asia when China was very poor and weak. France made great efforts and spent a lot in order … Continue reading

Where will low-value manufacturing go after China?

Labour-intensive and low-margin goods must be made elsewhere as China moves up the economic value chain. In theory, any country with a lower GDP per capita than China could step into its shoes. In practice, however, few seem ready to do so. Shaun Rein, managing director of market research firm CMR China, said his corporate … Continue reading

Wilmar founder triples stake in Singapore’s Perennial

Wilmar International’s billionaire founder Kuok Khoon Hong has tripled his stake in a China property trust and set up a S$500 million ($400 million) investment firm with a former CapitaLand executive, raising his exposure to the real estate sector. Kuok, Singapore’s second richest man according to Forbes, increased his deemed interest in Perennial China Retail … Continue reading

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