Maria Siow

Maria Siow

Senior Correspondent, Asia

Maria Siow is a long-time China-based correspondent and analyst with keen interest in East Asia. Maria has a masters degree in international relations.

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Latest from Maria Siow

In Solomon Islands, a calm after riots, but suspicions of China linger

The Pacific nation was rocked by anti-Chinese violence in November, following claims its PM Manasseh Sogavare was using money from China to sway MPs’ votes.

The Pacific nation was rocked by anti-Chinese violence in November, following claims its PM Manasseh Sogavare was using money from China to sway MPs’ votes.

24 Jan 2022 - 1:44PM
If Japan joins Aukus, will China, Russia, North Korea make a Rucndprk? (And will Seoul sign up to JauSKus?)

The possibility of a ‘Jaukus’ military alliance between the US, UK, Australia and Japan could push Moscow, Beijing and Pyongyang into a mirror group, experts say.

The possibility of a ‘Jaukus’ military alliance between the US, UK, Australia and Japan could push Moscow, Beijing and Pyongyang into a mirror group, experts say.

22 Jan 2022 - 5:09PM
21 Jan 2022 - 3:45PM
Japan, France to hold ‘2 plus 2’ security talks amid concerns over China’s growing Indo-Pacific influence

Tokyo has been expanding military ties with Britain, Germany and Australia while France has strategic interests in several island territories in the region.

Tokyo has been expanding military ties with Britain, Germany and Australia while France has strategic interests in several island territories in the region.

19 Jan 2022 - 6:54PM
As Australia and Japan universities guard tech research, could China fears affect competitiveness?

Experts agree reducing foreign interference and ensuring national security are essential. But will surveillance end up crimping innovation and competitiveness?

Experts agree reducing foreign interference and ensuring national security are essential. But will surveillance end up crimping innovation and competitiveness?

15 Jan 2022 - 12:05PM
As I see it | ‘Slanted-eye’ models: why do brands like Mercedes, Three Squirrels and Dior alienate Chinese customers if they want their money?

Put aside arguments about aesthetics, Chinese consumers have shown time and again they don’t appreciate these images. So why alienate your target audience?

Put aside arguments about aesthetics, Chinese consumers have shown time and again they don’t appreciate these images. So why alienate your target audience?

7 Jan 2022 - 10:30AM
Cambodia’s Hun Sen accused of undermining Asean with ‘cowboy diplomacy’ on Myanmar trip

Cynics question whether Hun Sen is an ‘honest broker’, given his own crackdown on political opponents and dependence on Beijing. Others doubt his leverage.

Cynics question whether Hun Sen is an ‘honest broker’, given his own crackdown on political opponents and dependence on Beijing. Others doubt his leverage.

7 Jan 2022 - 11:21AM
As I see it | Will Japan’s defence moves heighten tensions in the Taiwan Strait?

Apart from unveiling a record military budget, Tokyo and Washington have also drawn up a draft plan for a joint operation for a possible Taiwan emergency.

Apart from unveiling a record military budget, Tokyo and Washington have also drawn up a draft plan for a joint operation for a possible Taiwan emergency.

31 Dec 2021 - 9:30AM
This Year in Asia: a Philippine F-bomb, China vaccines, Kim Seon-ho cancelled, Wang Leehom’s divorce and other highlights of 2021

These stories are just some of the favourites from around the region chosen by the Asia desk’s Maria Siow, Bhavan Jaipragas and Francine Chen.

These stories are just some of the favourites from around the region chosen by the Asia desk’s Maria Siow, Bhavan Jaipragas and Francine Chen.

1 Jan 2022 - 11:28PM
Wang Leehom saga: fallen idol crushes dreams of a generation of Southeast Asian female fans

From Singapore to Malaysia to Thailand, Wang Leehom won hearts for being among a new breed of bilingual Asian stars who burst onto the scene in the 1990s and 2000s, until his very public falling out with estranged wife Lee Jinglei.

From Singapore to Malaysia to Thailand, Wang Leehom won hearts for being among a new breed of bilingual Asian stars who burst onto the scene in the 1990s and 2000s, until his very public falling out with estranged wife Lee Jinglei.

24 Dec 2021 - 7:43PM
As I see it | As US cries ‘genocide’ at China for Xinjiang, its silence on Myanmar’s Rohingya is deafening

The grim details of both countries’ alleged abuses against their respective Muslim minority groups emerged the same year, so why is Washington dragging its heels on condemning Naypyidaw?

The grim details of both countries’ alleged abuses against their respective Muslim minority groups emerged the same year, so why is Washington dragging its heels on condemning Naypyidaw?

24 Dec 2021 - 6:00AM
Public row between singer Wang Leehom and estranged wife Lee Jinglei unites Chinese, Taiwanese netizens

After the celebrity Taiwanese-American singer announced he was divorcing his wife, she publicly accused him of infidelity and other indiscretions.

After the celebrity Taiwanese-American singer announced he was divorcing his wife, she publicly accused him of infidelity and other indiscretions.

20 Dec 2021 - 9:21AM
Why China’s belt and road plans for Central Asia are changing

China is the largest investor in Central Asia, but amid demands for more jobs, exports and skills training Beijing is changing its approach to the region – as sustainability concerns and international competition mounts.

China is the largest investor in Central Asia, but amid demands for more jobs, exports and skills training Beijing is changing its approach to the region – as sustainability concerns and international competition mounts.

18 Dec 2021 - 12:30PM
US comes a-courting in Asean as it pressures Beijing. What will it achieve?

While Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit helped to rebuild ties after Donald Trump, he offered few details on Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy.

While Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit helped to rebuild ties after Donald Trump, he offered few details on Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy.

18 Dec 2021 - 9:02PM
As I see it | US can criticise Cambodia all it wants, but don’t expect Phnom Penh’s help

One minute Washington is imposing an arms embargo, the next it wants Phnom Penh’s help on Myanmar – but the United States cannot in the same breath castigate Cambodia and expect it to cooperate.

One minute Washington is imposing an arms embargo, the next it wants Phnom Penh’s help on Myanmar – but the United States cannot in the same breath castigate Cambodia and expect it to cooperate.

17 Dec 2021 - 8:30AM
Ahead of Blinken’s Southeast Asia visit, US steps up rivalry with China in Mekong region with funding, Mississippi tie-up

Support comes ahead of a visit to the region by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is expected to have China’s actions in the Mekong on his agenda.

Support comes ahead of a visit to the region by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is expected to have China’s actions in the Mekong on his agenda.

10 Dec 2021 - 3:10PM
US playing catch-up to China after neglecting Asean: report

While US influence has waned, China has been courting the region – maximising its influence and setting the agenda.

While US influence has waned, China has been courting the region – maximising its influence and setting the agenda.

8 Dec 2021 - 11:00AM
3 Dec 2021 - 4:22PM
As I see it | US needs a trade deal with Southeast Asia to counter China, not a democracy summit

At a time when China is determined to position itself as the dominant power in Southeast Asia, playing the democracy game is counterproductive.

At a time when China is determined to position itself as the dominant power in Southeast Asia, playing the democracy game is counterproductive.

3 Dec 2021 - 9:05AM
Is US-China struggle behind Solomon Islands riots – or ‘just icing on the cake’?

Some say switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing has fuelled resentment of Chinese influence. But violence has long dogged the islands.

Some say switching diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing has fuelled resentment of Chinese influence. But violence has long dogged the islands.

30 Nov 2021 - 7:24AM
Can the US ever match China’s concrete economic offers to Asean?

‘Many countries in the Indo-Pacific are waiting for Washington to step up its economic engagement to match its more robust security cooperation.’

‘Many countries in the Indo-Pacific are waiting for Washington to step up its economic engagement to match its more robust security cooperation.’

27 Nov 2021 - 5:00PM
As I see it | Why Grace Meng’s claims of injustice won’t spark a Peng Shuai-style outcry

The wife of ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has described the Chinese government as a ‘monster’ but there’s been little support for her claims that her husband was punished for being a reformer.

The wife of ex-Interpol chief Meng Hongwei has described the Chinese government as a ‘monster’ but there’s been little support for her claims that her husband was punished for being a reformer.

26 Nov 2021 - 10:30AM
In denying ‘old friend’ Xi Jinping, did US President Joe Biden prioritise politics over regard for Asian, Chinese culture?

The White House’s frosty response was shaped by bipartisan consensus that China is a threat to the US’ global influence but across Asia, terms of familiarity are commonly used to forge warmer ties

The White House’s frosty response was shaped by bipartisan consensus that China is a threat to the US’ global influence but across Asia, terms of familiarity are commonly used to forge warmer ties

23 Nov 2021 - 5:44PM
South China Sea: will Aukus affect Asean’s code of conduct talks with Beijing?

Analysts say Aukus could motivate China to seek a speedy conclusion to code of conduct talks, but the original sticking points remain. And Asean members are expected to raise objections at recent assertive tactics by Beijing in the disputed waters.

Analysts say Aukus could motivate China to seek a speedy conclusion to code of conduct talks, but the original sticking points remain. And Asean members are expected to raise objections at recent assertive tactics by Beijing in the disputed waters.

21 Nov 2021 - 8:30AM
Taiwan not a ‘vital Australian interest’ and Aukus submarines like throwing ‘toothpicks at a mountain’: former PM Paul Keating urges Canberra not to provoke China

Former Labour Party leader Paul Keating urges Canberra against needlessly provoking Beijing.

Former Labour Party leader Paul Keating urges Canberra against needlessly provoking Beijing.

11 Nov 2021 - 8:09AM
Opinion | Will Taiwan’s ‘pangolin diplomacy’ be a turning point or a double-edged sword?

Taipei hopes that sending pangolins to Prague may help it win friends and exert more influence, but this risks heightening Beijing’s anxieties.

Taipei hopes that sending pangolins to Prague may help it win friends and exert more influence, but this risks heightening Beijing’s anxieties.

5 Nov 2021 - 9:00AM
Has China’s release of ‘two Michaels’ allowed Canada to be latest US ally to formulate Indo-Pacific strategy?

Canadian warship in Taiwan Strait suggests Ottawa may be uniting with Washington to counter Beijing’s growing influence in region.

Canadian warship in Taiwan Strait suggests Ottawa may be uniting with Washington to counter Beijing’s growing influence in region.

2 Nov 2021 - 12:00AM
As I see it | Beijing’s fragile feelings over satirical pop duet won’t help its bid to be ‘lovable’

Banning the song by Malaysian artist Namewee and Australian singer Kimberly Chen that pokes fun at jingoistic internet trolls only makes China seem prickly and heavy-handed, writes Maria Siow.

Banning the song by Malaysian artist Namewee and Australian singer Kimberly Chen that pokes fun at jingoistic internet trolls only makes China seem prickly and heavy-handed, writes Maria Siow.

29 Oct 2021 - 3:58PM
Now that the US has finally withdrawn from Afghanistan, ending its longest war, what does this mean for relations between Washington and Beijing?

In this issue of Global Impact, we look at how the US-China rivalry has intensified after American forces withdrew from Afghanistan after 20 years, marking the end of America's longest war.

In this issue of Global Impact, we look at how the US-China rivalry has intensified after American forces withdrew from Afghanistan after 20 years, marking the end of America's longest war.

20 Sep 2021 - 2:57PM
A lesson for Hong Kong, Singapore in mainland China’s crackdown on the tutoring industry?

Sceptics of Beijing’s move say the real stress comes not from tutors but from a cultural emphasis on academic achievement and not wanting to get ‘left behind’.

Sceptics of Beijing’s move say the real stress comes not from tutors but from a cultural emphasis on academic achievement and not wanting to get ‘left behind’.

23 Sep 2021 - 3:17PM