Foreign Policy Blogs

Southeast Asia

Obama Lifts Arms Embargo on Vietnam

Obama Lifts Arms Embargo on Vietnam

Despite concerns human rights violations in Vietnam, Obama opted to fully lift the arms embargo on lethal military equipment during his recent visit.

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U.S. Must Still Compete with Russia for Vietnam’s Affections

U.S. Must Still Compete with Russia for Vietnam’s Affections

The U.S. decision to lift its arms embargo against Vietnam must factor in Russian rivalry and regional economic considerations.

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UN Calls on Vietnam to Respect Freedom of Assembly

UN Calls on Vietnam to Respect Freedom of Assembly

The UNCHR stated that it is “concerned about the increasing levels of violence perpetrated against Vietnamese protesters expressing their anger over the mysterious mass deaths of fish along the country’s central coast.”

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China Continues Attacks on Vietnamese Fishing Boats

China Continues Attacks on Vietnamese Fishing Boats

The incident last week was not a one-off: there have been dozens of attacks by Chinese vessels on Vietnamese fishing boats in the Paracel Island chain since last year.

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The Islamic State in Singapore

The Islamic State in Singapore

On May 3, Singapore announced that it had detained 8 Bangladeshi workers in April for their alleged membership to the Islamic State in Bangladesh and on suspicion of planning attacks.

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Brunei, Silent Claimant in the South China Sea

Brunei, Silent Claimant in the South China Sea

In contrast to the more vocal governments in Manila and Hanoi, not much is heard these days concerning Brunei’s claims in the South China Sea.

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Will Beijing Declare Another Air Defense Zone?

Will Beijing Declare Another Air Defense Zone?

In a potential geopolitical tit-for-tat, some analysts warn Beijing may soon declare an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, should the U.S. go ahead with plans to conduct a freedom of navigation exercise announced for April.

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U.S. Announces New Freedom of Navigation Exercise in the South China Sea

U.S. Announces New Freedom of Navigation Exercise in the South China Sea

On Friday, the U.S. Navy officially announced another episode of its planned “freedom of navigation” series in the South China Sea, shortly after U.S. President Barack Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a nuclear summit in Washington.

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U.S. Warns China Against an Exclusion Zone

U.S. Warns China Against an Exclusion Zone

On Wednesday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work warned Beijing against declaring an exclusion zone in the South China Sea, calling any potential announcement as “destabilizing,” and vowing the United States would not recognize such a zone.

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Blood Brothers?: China’s Push for Influence in Myanmar

Blood Brothers?: China’s Push for Influence in Myanmar

China has responded to its apparent loss of influence in Myanmar by unleashing an aggressive propaganda and organizing campaign aimed at countering Western influence and cultivating a pro-Beijing grassroots political base particularly among ethnic Chinese in Myanmar.

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Jakarta Reacts Strongly to Chinese Coast Guard Intrusion

Jakarta Reacts Strongly to Chinese Coast Guard Intrusion

By defying international law using “traditional fishing grounds” as an excuse, China’s latest show of aggression in the South China Sea has only heightened tensions among its neighbors, and provided the region’s militaries an excuse to increase defense spending.

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Washington Requests China to Stop Intimidating Fishermen

Washington Requests China to Stop Intimidating Fishermen

The U.S. State Department has issued a request for China’s navy to refrain from harassing fishermen of other countries in the disputed South China Sea.

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Chinese Oil Rig Again Angers Hanoi

Chinese Oil Rig Again Angers Hanoi

Beijing is back to salami-slicing again, as it moved an offshore oil drilling rig on January 16 near the entrance to the Gulf of Tonkin, about 21 nautical miles east of the median line between Vietnam and China.

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The Realism of Aung San Suu Kyi

The Realism of Aung San Suu Kyi

When oppositions win by significant margin, the tendency is for sweeping changes. The previous regime’s leaders are investigated, arrested and prosecuted for corruption. Policies are thrown out the window and new constitutions are drafted. Myanmar has taken a different path.

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Vietnam’s Military Build-up

Vietnam’s Military Build-up

In the face of perceived threats from Beijing, Vietnam has embarked on its greatest military build-up in decades, albeit starting from a low base following economic problems after the Vietnam War.

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