Southeast Asia

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.

Chinese People's Liberation Army honor guards stand in front of a mural of the Great Wall inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2010.

China’s Vast History Can’t Be Caught in the CCP’s Net

There are 10,000 stories of China. The government wants to tell only one of them.

Chinese President Xi Jinping greets U.S. President Donald Trump at a welcome ceremony in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017.

The U.S.-China Cold War Is a Myth

The 20th century’s great standoff doesn’t explain the emerging dynamic between Washington and Beijing.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen waves during the Cambodian People's Party ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in Phnom Penh on January 7.

Hun Sen’s Man in Washington (State)

Cambodia’s strongman has found an unlikely American voice.

Filipinos protest in response to China's actions in the South China Sea and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's public statements in Manila on June 21.

Filipinos Don’t Trust Duterte to Handle China

A maritime clash has left the public wondering why their president won’t stand up to Beijing.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy aircraft carrier Liaoning participates in a naval parade near Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province, on April 23, 2019.

China’s Hidden Navy

The evidence shows that supposed fishing boats around contested islands are part of an extensive maritime militia.

A man uses Facebook on a mobile phone in Yangon on June 7, 2018.

Facebook Keeps Failing in Myanmar

The Arakan Army’s online propaganda campaign shows the tech company hasn’t yet figured out how to tackle hate speech on its platform.

A dissident student asks soldiers to go back home as crowds flood into  central Beijing on June 3, 1989.

Tiananmen Crushed Asia’s Wave of Rebellion

China's shadow darkens democratic hopes today.

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.

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