Southeast Asia

Coronavirus Health Checks Malaysia

Malaysia’s Coronavirus Scapegoats

Undocumented migrants and refugees are caught in the crossfire of Malaysia’s coronavirus response and a xenophobic backlash.

Soldiers respond to coronavirus in the Philippines

The Pandemic Has Given Armies in Southeast Asia a Boost

In Indonesia and the Philippines, military leaders are managing the coronavirus response—with lasting political repercussions.

Scarecrows known as ting mong stand guard in front of homes in Takeo, Kandal, and Kampong Speu provinces in Cambodia to ward off the coronavirus in May.

In Cambodia, a Spiritual Army Battles an Earthly Pandemic

With little faith in the government’s coronavirus response, many rural Cambodians are turning to the divine.

Coronavirus Misinformation Arrests in Indonesia

Coronavirus ‘Fake News’ Arrests Are Quieting Critics

In Southeast Asia, the coronavirus pandemic has provided a handy excuse for a clampdown on free speech.

Bangladeshi security personnel attend to emaciated Rohingya refugees following their arrival by boat in Teknaf on April 16, after nearly two months at sea.

As Rohingya Boats Keep Sailing, Southeast Asia Turns a Blind Eye

With the coronavirus now an excuse for inaction, the threat to the embattled minority is growing ever sharper.

Firefighters spray disinfectant in Yangon, Myanmar.

In Myanmar, the Coronavirus Gives Nationalists an Opening

In its delayed response to the pandemic, Aung San Suu Kyi’s government prioritizes the country’s ethnic majority.

Cambodians dry fish in a village along the Tonle Sap River in Phnom Penh in 2019, the year the country faced one of the worst droughts in modern history.

In the Mekong, a Confluence of Calamities

Drought coupled with the coronavirus pandemic spells danger for food security.

Police block drivers in Cambodia during the coronavirus pandemic

Hun Sen’s Coronavirus Crackdown

The Cambodian prime minister is using the pandemic as cover to silence his remaining critics.

A fisherman floats on the Mekong River in Thailand

Science Shows Chinese Dams Are Devastating the Mekong

New data demonstrates a devastating effect on downstream water supplies that feed millions of people.

Malaysian police officers stop vehicles at a roadblock

Malaysia’s Preventable Coronavirus Disaster

The country’s newest leaders should have jumped into action immediately. Instead, they wasted precious weeks jockeying over cabinet positions.

Visitors to Luang Prabang town, Laos, a world heritage site, are drastically lower than usual

Claims of a Coronavirus-Free Laos Are Probably Fiction

China’s poor rural neighbor says it has no cases. That’s unlikely to be true.

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen

Xi’s Fake History Lesson for Hun Sen

Eager to appease his benefactor in Beijing, the Cambodian leader is excluding China’s role from the Khmer Rouge narrative.

Venezuelan dancers welcome the Chinese hospital ship Peace Ark on its arrival at the port of La Guaira, Venezuela, on Sept. 22, 2018.

China’s Military Can’t Deliver on Humanitarian Promises

Amid the coronavirus crisis, the PLA has been missing in action.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin release doves to mark the 68th anniversary of the Cambodian People's Party in Phnom Penh on June 28.

In Cambodia, ‘Rule of Law’ Means Hun Sen Rules

The prime minister uses a shroud of democracy to counter dissatisfaction and thwart the opposition.

Members of the Myanmar military march in formation during a parade to mark the country's 74th Armed Forces Day in Naypyidaw on March 27.

Myanmar’s Military Is Only Hurting Itself

As the U.N. warns of a continuing risk of genocide, Myanmar should seriously consider the last 30 years and ask if its security policies are helping anyone at all.

Protesters demonstrate against proposed changes to Indonesia's criminal code.

Indonesia’s Activists Are Ready to Fight Together

Coalitions are forming in the face of threats to democracy and pluralism.

Jonathan Bartlett illustration for Foreign Policy

Can American Values Survive in a Chinese World?

A new book looks at the China challenge for the United States—and China itself.

Load 10 More Articles