Category: Asia-Pacific

SOUTHEAST ASIA: The week ahead

Specific issues could arise in several countries next week.

Indonesia’s gambit

President Joko Widodo continues to argue against both shelter-in-place (or home containment as it is referred to in other Southeast Asian countries) and the quarantining of the populated island of Java from the rest of the archipelago – a move that could backfire politically if the numbers of the diagnosed and fatalities post a sustained and significant increase in the coming weeks.… Read the rest

SOUTHEAST ASIA: Outbreak scenarios

● An increase in COVID-19 cases in many countries this week is likely to lead to more restrictions on movement and business in the coming days.

● Approaches continue to vary, from the relatively light measures of Myanmar and Laos to the stringent tightening in the Philippines and Malaysia—all with potentially-different political consequences.… Read the rest

SOUTHEAST ASIA: Outbreak scenarios

● Covid-19 cases are low in Southeast Asia.

● One possible reason could be deficiencies in diagnostic capabilities.

● Response capabilities vary within the region and porous borders are a concern.… Read the rest

SOUTHEAST ASIA: A look at the early 2020s

● For the first time in decades the region may lack a strong external geopolitical driver.

● This will put domestic concerns at the forefront of policy decisions.

● Elections could be disruptive even if broad stability concerns are low.… Read the rest

KOREAN PENINSULA: Pyongyang sends cautious signals as deadline passes

After a four-day party plenary session of the central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), North Korean leader Kim Jong Un struck a cautious note towards the US, even after North Korea’s year-end deadline for progress in denuclearization talks passed without any change in Washington’s negotiating position.… Read the rest