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.

Show more

Latest from Maria Siow

Are China and Russia teaming up on the US in the Indian Ocean?

Naval exercises and other moves by the two countries in the region suggest they are trying to extend spheres of influence, experts say.

11 Jan 2021 - 8:29AM

Naval exercises and other moves by the two countries in the region suggest they are trying to extend spheres of influence, experts say.

Are China and Russia teaming up on the US in the Indian Ocean?
Mekong dam: China cuts river flow 50 per cent, is slammed for lack of warning

Beijing tells countries downstream of weeks of reduced water flow, but observers reported dramatic fall in levels days earlier and say livelihoods are in peril.

11 Jan 2021 - 5:13PM

Beijing tells countries downstream of weeks of reduced water flow, but observers reported dramatic fall in levels days earlier and say livelihoods are in peril.

Mekong dam: China cuts river flow 50 per cent, is slammed for lack of warning
Opinion | China must explain its role in Philippines coronavirus vaccine scandal

After Rodrigo Duterte’s security detail received an unapproved Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine last year, China also has a duty to clarify what happened.

8 Jan 2021 - 8:00AM

After Rodrigo Duterte’s security detail received an unapproved Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine last year, China also has a duty to clarify what happened.

China must explain its role in Philippines coronavirus vaccine scandal
Cambodia is taking a pungent, potent approach to food diplomacy: prepare for prahok

Phnom Penh is looking to use the fermented fish paste – a staple of Khmer cuisine – as a way to boost soft power.

3 Jan 2021 - 12:18PM

Phnom Penh is looking to use the fermented fish paste – a staple of Khmer cuisine – as a way to boost soft power.

Cambodia is taking a pungent, potent approach to food diplomacy: prepare for prahok
Mongolia pins hopes on vaccine, containment after its first coronavirus death

The government is considering various inoculation options, but analysts say there is some resistance in the country to a vaccine from China.

29 Dec 2020 - 11:00PM

The government is considering various inoculation options, but analysts say there is some resistance in the country to a vaccine from China.

Mongolia pins hopes on vaccine, containment after its first coronavirus death
From Covid-19 to the South China Sea, here are 10 stories that rocked Asia in 2020

Not only did 2020 bring a world-stopping pandemic, it’s also been a testing year for Asia geopolitically.

27 Dec 2020 - 4:38PM

Not only did 2020 bring a world-stopping pandemic, it’s also been a testing year for Asia geopolitically.

From Covid-19 to the South China Sea, here are 10 stories that rocked Asia in 2020
From Mahathir to Lee Kuan Yew, late scholar Ezra Vogel’s work on Japan and China inspired a continent

Vogel’s book, Japan as Number One, helped shape the Malaysian and Singaporean leaders’ domestic and foreign policies and changed Japan’s view of itself on the world stage.

23 Dec 2020 - 11:37AM

Vogel’s book, Japan as Number One, helped shape the Malaysian and Singaporean leaders’ domestic and foreign policies and changed Japan’s view of itself on the world stage.

From Mahathir to Lee Kuan Yew, late scholar Ezra Vogel’s work on Japan and China inspired a continent
Cambodia’s caution over China’s Covid-19 vaccine a signal to US: analysts

PM Hun Sen’s wariness sends a signal that even though Phnom Penh’s ties with Beijing are deepening, it won’t always bend to China, experts say.

20 Dec 2020 - 8:27PM

PM Hun Sen’s wariness sends a signal that even though Phnom Penh’s ties with Beijing are deepening, it won’t always bend to China, experts say.

Cambodia’s caution over China’s Covid-19 vaccine a signal to US: analysts
Satellites to track Chinese dams on Mekong river, as US likens ‘threat’ facing Southeast Asia to South China Sea

The US-funded Mekong Dam Monitor will track water levels at 11 Chinese dams along the river, where Washington has blamed droughts on China.

17 Dec 2020 - 3:01PM

The US-funded Mekong Dam Monitor will track water levels at 11 Chinese dams along the river, where Washington has blamed droughts on China.

Satellites to track Chinese dams on Mekong river, as US likens ‘threat’ facing Southeast Asia to South China Sea
Opinion | Why China’s vaccine diplomacy shouldn’t be a high-profile charm offensive

China’s lacklustre soft power rankings and the fact that Covid-19 vaccines are a new frontier in public health mean it should dish them out quietly.

14 Dec 2020 - 10:41AM

China’s lacklustre soft power rankings and the fact that Covid-19 vaccines are a new frontier in public health mean it should dish them out quietly.

Why China’s vaccine diplomacy shouldn’t be a high-profile charm offensive
US-backed Mekong monitoring project set to test China’s patience

The Mekong Dam Monitor open-source online platform aims to provide regular updates on water levels at dozens of dams along the river’s length – including 11 in China.

14 Dec 2020 - 7:56PM

The Mekong Dam Monitor open-source online platform aims to provide regular updates on water levels at dozens of dams along the river’s length – including 11 in China.

US-backed Mekong monitoring project set to test China’s patience
Australia needs South Korea, but Kim Jong-un and China are in the way

South Korea faces an image problem in Australia, which tends to ‘see the Korean peninsula through a security lens’, a recent report says.

9 Dec 2020 - 8:35AM

South Korea faces an image problem in Australia, which tends to ‘see the Korean peninsula through a security lens’, a recent report says.

Australia needs South Korea, but Kim Jong-un and China are in the way
US should establish diplomatic ties with ‘enemy’ North Korea: former Singapore diplomat Kishore Mahbubani

Washington should establish diplomatic relations with ‘enemy’ North Korea, former Singapore diplomat Kishore Mahbubani tells the Milken Institute Asia Summit.

8 Dec 2020 - 7:45PM

Washington should establish diplomatic relations with ‘enemy’ North Korea, former Singapore diplomat Kishore Mahbubani tells the Milken Institute Asia Summit.

US should establish diplomatic ties with ‘enemy’ North Korea: former Singapore diplomat Kishore Mahbubani
Opinion | Australian PM’s bid to stir nationalism over Twitter image succeeds – but in China

The feud could reflect Australia’s uneasiness that China – long seen as a human rights violator – is now passing the same judgment on its traditional accusers.

4 Dec 2020 - 3:40PM

The feud could reflect Australia’s uneasiness that China – long seen as a human rights violator – is now passing the same judgment on its traditional accusers.

Australian PM’s bid to stir nationalism over Twitter image succeeds – but in China
Chinese man in notorious ‘case of the humiliated mother’ finally free following public outcry

Yu Huan, who defended his mother during a shakedown by loan sharks, was jailed for murder after stabbing one of them. His sentence was reduced to five years but he walked free five months early last week.

28 Nov 2020 - 11:30AM

Yu Huan, who defended his mother during a shakedown by loan sharks, was jailed for murder after stabbing one of them. His sentence was reduced to five years but he walked free five months early last week.

Chinese man in notorious ‘case of the humiliated mother’ finally free following public outcry
Cambodia’s aim in trade deals: keep the US and Japan close, but China closer

Phnom Penh is negotiating a raft of free-trade agreements, but the pacts are not expected to lessen its reliance on Beijing.

28 Nov 2020 - 8:30AM

Phnom Penh is negotiating a raft of free-trade agreements, but the pacts are not expected to lessen its reliance on Beijing.

Cambodia’s aim in trade deals: keep the US and Japan close, but China closer
China’s Wang Yi heads to Tokyo to ‘test the waters’ with Japan PM Yoshihide Suga

Beijing wants to assess if Japan’s new leader shares ex-PM Shinzo Abe’s position on containing China, analysts say.

23 Nov 2020 - 10:05PM

Beijing wants to assess if Japan’s new leader shares ex-PM Shinzo Abe’s position on containing China, analysts say.

China’s Wang Yi heads to Tokyo to ‘test the waters’ with Japan PM Yoshihide Suga
Opinion | Malaysia’s quiet resistance against Uygur extraditions to China worth emulating

Putrajaya’s approach doesn’t poke Beijing in the eye, but still shows it is not oblivious to the plight of Uygurs in Xinjiang.

20 Nov 2020 - 9:00AM

Putrajaya’s approach doesn’t poke Beijing in the eye, but still shows it is not oblivious to the plight of Uygurs in Xinjiang.

Malaysia’s quiet resistance against Uygur extraditions to China worth emulating
Did Kim Il-sung imagine his ‘martyred’ Chinese best friend Zhang Weihua?

In the North Korean founder’s memoirs, Zhang Weihua is hailed as a saviour who took his own life to save Kim’s. The truth, as is so often the case with the hermit kingdom, might never be known.

25 Oct 2020 - 12:37PM

In the North Korean founder’s memoirs, Zhang Weihua is hailed as a saviour who took his own life to save Kim’s. The truth, as is so often the case with the hermit kingdom, might never be known.

Did Kim Il-sung imagine his ‘martyred’ Chinese best friend Zhang Weihua?
As China calls, is writing on wall for US-Cambodia military ties?

The demolition of US facilities at a naval base in Cambodia is seen as paving the way for a Chinese military presence, a move some say will upset the balance of power in Southeast Asia.

17 Oct 2020 - 12:30PM

The demolition of US facilities at a naval base in Cambodia is seen as paving the way for a Chinese military presence, a move some say will upset the balance of power in Southeast Asia.

As China calls, is writing on wall for US-Cambodia military ties?
What China’s struggles with a Thai railway say about the Belt and Road

As China’s Wang Yi prepares to sign a deal for a 250km rail link, experts say the project shows the leverage Southeast Asian nations have with Beijing.

13 Oct 2020 - 8:52PM

As China’s Wang Yi prepares to sign a deal for a 250km rail link, experts say the project shows the leverage Southeast Asian nations have with Beijing.

What China’s struggles with a Thai railway say about the Belt and Road
In modern China, tripping over a suitcase is a matter for the courts

A family in China has caused uproar by trying to sue a passenger whose baggage tripped up their mother at a Beijing railway station.

10 Oct 2020 - 11:44AM

A family in China has caused uproar by trying to sue a passenger whose baggage tripped up their mother at a Beijing railway station.

In modern China, tripping over a suitcase is a matter for the courts
Mikta who? Covid-19 injects five ‘middle power’ countries with new sense of purpose

A group representing Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia may have finally found its true purpose: leading the battle against the coronavirus pandemic and easing equitable access to vaccines.

7 Oct 2020 - 11:24PM

A group representing Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia may have finally found its true purpose: leading the battle against the coronavirus pandemic and easing equitable access to vaccines.

Mikta who? Covid-19 injects five ‘middle power’ countries with new sense of purpose
Analysis | Will closer India-Australia ties boost Indo-Pacific ‘Quad’ group that has China in its sights?

The US, India, Japan and Australia will meet in Tokyo for Quad talks amid questions of whether India will invite Australia to the annual Malabar naval exercise it has with the US and Japan. New Delhi had previously taken pains to make clear the Quad was not a military grouping against China.

6 Oct 2020 - 1:34PM

The US, India, Japan and Australia will meet in Tokyo for Quad talks amid questions of whether India will invite Australia to the annual Malabar naval exercise it has with the US and Japan. New Delhi had previously taken pains to make clear the Quad was not a military grouping against China.

Will closer India-Australia ties boost Indo-Pacific ‘Quad’ group that has China in its sights?
Opinion | US-China tensions over Taiwan an added challenge for Singapore’s ties with Beijing

As the US election looms, rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait will pose uncertainties for Singapore as it marks the 30th anniversary of ties with China

2 Oct 2020 - 10:10AM

As the US election looms, rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait will pose uncertainties for Singapore as it marks the 30th anniversary of ties with China

US-China tensions over Taiwan an added challenge for Singapore’s ties with Beijing
Japan’s rejection of China olive branch on Senkaku-Diaoyu spat may be sign of tighter US ties

According to a Chinese academic who teaches in Japan, Beijing wanted Tokyo to know earlier this year that it was aiming to reduce its presence in the disputed waters of the East China Sea. The reaction from Japan? Hostility.

28 Sep 2020 - 12:23PM

According to a Chinese academic who teaches in Japan, Beijing wanted Tokyo to know earlier this year that it was aiming to reduce its presence in the disputed waters of the East China Sea. The reaction from Japan? Hostility.

Japan’s rejection of China olive branch on Senkaku-Diaoyu spat may be sign of tighter US ties
Could Chinese investments cost Suu Kyi the Myanmar election?

Controversial China-backed projects like the Myitsone Dam and the Belt and Road Initiative are shaping up to be key election issues as Myanmar heads to the polls.

28 Sep 2020 - 8:20AM

Controversial China-backed projects like the Myitsone Dam and the Belt and Road Initiative are shaping up to be key election issues as Myanmar heads to the polls.

Could Chinese investments cost Suu Kyi the Myanmar election?
Opinion | In China, a drunk student drowns and the man who tried to stop her is jailed

Are drinking companions in China legally obliged to stop each other harming themselves when inebriated? A new court case suggests so, and it says much about our attitudes to alcohol.

26 Sep 2020 - 6:44PM

Are drinking companions in China legally obliged to stop each other harming themselves when inebriated? A new court case suggests so, and it says much about our attitudes to alcohol.

In China, a drunk student drowns and the man who tried to stop her is jailed
Covid, conflicts, Rohingya: is Suu Kyi really a sure bet in Myanmar election?

The National League for Democracy may be favourites to win on November 8, but a surge in support for ethnic parties could prove a curveball yet.

28 Sep 2020 - 8:18AM

The National League for Democracy may be favourites to win on November 8, but a surge in support for ethnic parties could prove a curveball yet.

Covid, conflicts, Rohingya: is Suu Kyi really a sure bet in Myanmar election?
Opinion | Forget the US, Japan’s Yoshihide Suga should visit South Korea first to mend ties

If Suga visits South Korea on his first trip, it could help reset ties and show the US that Japan can play a bigger role in promoting peace and security in the region.

12 Nov 2020 - 6:31PM

If Suga visits South Korea on his first trip, it could help reset ties and show the US that Japan can play a bigger role in promoting peace and security in the region.

Forget the US, Japan’s Yoshihide Suga should visit South Korea first to mend ties