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Geopolitics & Worlds In-Defense

Daily news – February 4, 2022 p.m.

AFGHANISTAN What the US and its allies left behind in Afghanistan. Amin Saikal, The Strategist: The Afghanistan war is over for the United States and its allies. But the suffering of the Afghan people has multiplied under the extremist, repressive rule of the Taliban in the name of Islam. No country today is in as […]

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Is the United States finally playing its cards right in Southeast Asia? (Premesha Saha, ORF)

The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, recently embarked on his maiden Southeast Asia tour starting with the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, after which he was heading to Malaysia and Thailand. The visit had to be cut short after a member of the press traveling with the Secretary tested positive for COVID-19, as was reported by the State Department […]

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US’ port congestions drive up freight rates in Southeast Asia (Yin Yeping, Global Times)

Ports in some Southeast Asian countries have encountered a new round of freight rate surge since late November, driven by US port congestions and booming market demand for much-needed Chinese goods less than two months before the Chinese New Year, Chinese industry insiders and analysts said on Wednesday. US’ port congestions drive up freight rates […]

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Southeast Asia’s Migrant Labor Dilemma (M. Niaz Asadullah, Project-Syndicate)

COVID-19 has disrupted labor markets around the world, causing a global manpower shortage. Lockdowns in the early months of the pandemic triggered an exodus of millions of rural migrant workers from booming megacities like New Delhi and Dhaka. In the Global North, the United Kingdom has experienced the largest decline in its foreign-born labor force since World War II. Countries […]

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No AUKUS arms race in Southeast Asia (Collin Koh, East Asia Forum)

Regional states have much to say about the potential risks of AUKUS and Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine program. China and Russia both warn about the danger of an arms race, while some Southeast Asian governments — especially Malaysia and Indonesia — have raised similar concerns. These concerns are understandable but far from novel. No AUKUS arms […]

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ASEAN Countries Must Lead on Biodiversity (Tony La Viña, Project-Syndicate)

Southeast Asia is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, and it is also highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Policymakers in the region must ensure that plans to preserve nature while promoting sustainable economic growth are part of the post-pandemic recovery. ASEAN Countries Must Lead on Biodiversity by Tony La Viña – […]

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AUKUS mixed reception a symptom of strategic fault-lines in Southeast Asia (Evan A Laksmana, East Asia Forum)

AUKUS, the new trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States that launched last month, has had a mixed reception. Some regional policymakers publicly and privately welcome a stronger presence, commitment and set of capabilities that could balance China. Others are concerned about regional tension and an arms race, while many […]

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How Far Have Southeast Asian Countries Come with Digitizing Vaccination Certificates? (Azusa Sato and Anit Mukherjee, Center for Global Development)

In May, we examined the possibility of Southeast Asian countries working together to create a regional COVID-19 Vaccination Certification (CVC) system. We posited that CVCs present unprecedented collaboration challenges, especially that of coordination and trust. We suggested that the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate (formerly called Digital Green Certificate) approach provided an example of how regional blocs can […]

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What the US ‘EAGLE Act’ means for Southeast Asia (Karl Chee Leong Lee, East Asia Forum)

Two months after its introduction to the US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, the ‘Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement (EAGLE) Act’ has passed the mark for it to be introduced in the House for a vote at a later stage. Southeast Asia should sit up and take note. What the US ‘EAGLE Act’ means for Southeast Asia […]

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Biden’s underwhelming engagement with Southeast Asia (See Seng Tan, East Asia Forum)

President Joe Biden’s failure to personally contact any Southeast Asian leader since taking office in January 2021 has not won the United States any favours in the region. But while US engagement with Southeast Asia got off to a rocky start, the region remains receptive to US strategic influence. Biden’s underwhelming engagement with Southeast Asia […]

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Southeast Asia. Supporting the creative economy for sustainable development in Southeast Asia (Pitchaya Sirivunnabood and Herlyn Gail A. Alegre, ADBI)

Many efforts have been made in Southeast Asia to support creative industries and boost the creative economy, realizing the ability of knowledge-based economic activities to foster income generation, job creation, and export earnings while promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity, and human development (UNCTAD 2010: 10). The creative economy has the potential to not only strengthen […]

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USA/Southeast Asia. What did Kamala Harris’ trip do for US engagement in Southeast Asia? (Brookings)

Jonathan Stromseth and Adrianna Pita Building on previous visits from high-level Cabinet officials, Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Singapore and Vietnam adds positive momentum to the Biden administration’s efforts to re-engage with key partners in Southeast Asia. Jonathan Stromseth explains why it’s important for America to expand its political and economic agenda in the region with […]