Southeast Asia

A section of newly constructed offshore seawall on April 27, 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Indonesia Floats Yet Another Plan to Move Its Sinking Capital

Big plans to relocate from Jakarta keep disappearing into nothing. Will this time be different?

A peatland forest burns to make way for a palm oil plantation on Nov. 1, 2015, on the outskirts of Palangkaraya, in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Whoever Wins Indonesia’s Presidential Election, Indigenous People Will Lose

Millions of Indonesians lack basic protections. The presidential contenders don’t seem to care.

An Indonesian election commission worker arranges ballot boxes in preparation for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Surabaya on March 18. (Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images)

What’s at Stake in Indonesia’s Elections?

The world’s third-largest democracy goes to the polls.

Vietnamese soldiers stand guard near the Dong Dang railway station, in Lang Son on February 25, 2019.  (Photo by NHAC NGUYEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Vietnam Wants Western Politicians, Not Western Politics

As Hanoi welcomes Trump, it shuts down a key reformist think tank.

Princess Ubolratana of Thailand at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, in 2008. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)

Thai Politics Has a Princess but No Storybook Endings

With elections coming, the junta still fears the specter of Thaksin Shinawatra.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (left) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the welcome ceremony for the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on May 15, 2017. (Kenzaburo Fukuhara-Pool/Getty Images)

The Belt and Road Initiative Is a Corruption Bonanza

Despots and crooks are using China’s infrastructure project to stay in power—with Beijing's help.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the ASEAN summit in Singapore on Nov. 15. (Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images)

Asia Needs Pence’s Reassurance

He should confront Trump’s mistakes and put forward a positive agenda.

Vietnam communist party chief Nguyen Phu Trong takes the presidential oath at the National Assembly hall in Hanoi on October 23, 2018.(/AFP/Getty Images)

Vietnam’s Quiet New Autocrat Is Consolidating Power

President Nguyen Phu Trong is drawing from Xi Jinping's playbook.

A man stands under an umbrella as monsoon rains arrive in Balukhali refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on Aug. 28. More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

It’s Time to Hold Myanmar Accountable

A year after the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya began, the United States is still dragging its feet.

Islamic Research Foundation President Zakir Naik delivers a speech at a conference in Istanbul on March 23, 2017. (Salih Zeki Fazlioglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Malaysia Can’t Decide if Zakir Naik Is a Preacher or a Terrorist

The fiery Muslim teacher is wanted back home in India, but Malaysia won’t give him up.

Lim Zheng Jie Wo, 76, scavenges in a back lane of the financial district in Singapore on January 5, 2009. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Hollywood Has No Time for Crazy Poor Asians

Asian-American politics don't translate on screen into sensitivity to Singapore's real issues.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) casts his vote during the general elections as his wife Bun Rany (centre L) looks on in Phnom Penh on July 29, 2018. (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Fake Monitors Endorse Cambodia’s Sham Election

Dubious electoral endorsements are becoming normal for dictators worldwide.

A supporter of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) shouts slogans during a demonstration in Phnom Penh on December 17, 2013. (Tang Cchin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese Hackers Back Beijing’s Authoritarian Pals

Cambodian dissidents come under cyberattack in run-up to sham election.

John Tomac illustration for Foreign Policy

Closing the Factory Doors

For two centuries, countries have used low-wage labor to climb out of poverty. What will happen when robots take those jobs?

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw, Myanmar's capital, on May 22. (That Aung/AFP/Getty Images)

Myanmar’s Atrocities Demand New Sanctions

Rep. Eliot Engel’s sanctions legislation offers the right response to the Myanmar military’s campaign of murder and displacement.

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration)

Sexpat Journalists Are Ruining Asia Coverage

Newsroom predators in foreign bureaus hurt their colleagues — and their stories.

Volunteers take down posters of Aung San Suu Kyi at the National League for Democracy Party head office on November 6, 2015 in Kaw Hmu, Myanmar.

Aung San Suu Kyi Is A Politician, Not A Monster

Western liberals projected their own hopes onto "the Lady" — and then blamed her for not living up to them.

Philippine Senator Leila de Lima waves to supporters after appearing in court outside Manila on Feb. 24. (Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)

A Message From Philippine Sen. Leila de Lima

The 2017 Global Thinker hopes that the world will "keep watching the Philippines."

Iraqi fighters of the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Units) stand next to a wall bearing the Islamic State (IS) flag as they enter the city of al-Qaim, in Iraq's western Anbar province near the Syrian border on Nov. 3.  (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)

The Caliphate Is Destroyed, But the Islamic State Lives On

Why the United States can’t be complacent about undermining the remnants of the terrorist group.

Mourners pray for the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej during the procession transferring the relics and his ashes from the Grand Palace to a local temple in Bangkok on Oct. 29. (Ye Aung/AFP/Getty Images)

The King Is Dead, and Thailand’s Storybook Monarchy Might Be Next

As Thailand mourns its revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the public braces for an uncertain future.

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