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

Myanmar coup: as the military’s patience wears thin, a call to prevent further bloodshed

Sanctions won’t work, diplomacy clearly has limits and the urgent task at hand is to encourage restraint from both protesters and the Tatmadaw, experts say.

22 Feb 2021 - 11:17PM

Sanctions won’t work, diplomacy clearly has limits and the urgent task at hand is to encourage restraint from both protesters and the Tatmadaw, experts say.

Myanmar coup: as the military’s patience wears thin, a call to prevent further bloodshed
Laos leaders fear ‘domino effect’ of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement amid election

Some 224 candidates are contesting in the general election that has been called by observers as a ‘sham’ given Laos is a one-party state.

21 Feb 2021 - 8:32AM

Some 224 candidates are contesting in the general election that has been called by observers as a ‘sham’ given Laos is a one-party state.

Laos leaders fear ‘domino effect’ of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement amid election
If Laos fell into a Chinese debt trap, would it make a noise?

China’s largesse in funding infrastructure has prompted claims it is seeking leverage over poorer, indebted nations, yet Laos’ reliance on its neighbour has gone strangely unnoticed.

22 Feb 2021 - 11:02AM

China’s largesse in funding infrastructure has prompted claims it is seeking leverage over poorer, indebted nations, yet Laos’ reliance on its neighbour has gone strangely unnoticed.

If Laos fell into a Chinese debt trap, would it make a noise?
Two weeks after the coup, Myanmar’s protesters are undaunted – but how far can the military be pushed?

Analysts say the generals will do what it takes to stay in power, and they have been unresponsive to past sanctions, threats or criticism from the international community.

15 Feb 2021 - 11:03PM

Analysts say the generals will do what it takes to stay in power, and they have been unresponsive to past sanctions, threats or criticism from the international community.

Two weeks after the coup, Myanmar’s protesters are undaunted – but how far can the military be pushed?
Myanmar coup: police fire rubber bullets at protesters as New Zealand suspends ties with military government

Analysts said the US and its Western allies have limited leverage to influence what happens next in Myanmar, unlike China, Japan and Asean countries.

11 Feb 2021 - 9:35AM

Analysts said the US and its Western allies have limited leverage to influence what happens next in Myanmar, unlike China, Japan and Asean countries.

Myanmar coup: police fire rubber bullets at protesters as New Zealand suspends ties with military government
Myanmar coup: why military felt threatened by ‘stubborn’ Suu Kyi

The Tatmadaw has reverted to an old game plan in its decades-long struggle to dominate the democracy icon.

8 Feb 2021 - 11:18AM

The Tatmadaw has reverted to an old game plan in its decades-long struggle to dominate the democracy icon.

Myanmar coup: why military felt threatened by ‘stubborn’ Suu Kyi
As I see it | Myanmar coup: Asean sitting on the fence shouldn’t be an option

Asean countries including Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines stand divided in their response to the coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, risking the group’s credibility.

5 Feb 2021 - 10:00AM

Asean countries including Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines stand divided in their response to the coup against Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, risking the group’s credibility.

Myanmar coup: Asean sitting on the fence shouldn’t be an option
Myanmar coup: protests and political instability on the cards, along with a test for Joe Biden

Experts say the military’s move to seize power has sparked fears of human rights violations, with a return to democratic rule uncertain.

2 Feb 2021 - 7:04AM

Experts say the military’s move to seize power has sparked fears of human rights violations, with a return to democratic rule uncertain.

Myanmar coup: protests and political instability on the cards, along with a test for Joe Biden
Myanmar’s military says elections will be held after year-long state of emergency

Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained in a coup staged by Myanmar’s army. The US and Britain have led condemnation of the detentions while China urged all sides to ‘resolve differences’.

2 Feb 2021 - 12:26AM

Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained in a coup staged by Myanmar’s army. The US and Britain have led condemnation of the detentions while China urged all sides to ‘resolve differences’.

Myanmar’s military says elections will be held after year-long state of emergency
US-Vietnam defence ties expected to strengthen with new governments in place and China looming: analyst

With Hanoi eager for Washington’s help in countering Beijing in the South China Sea, the two sides are said to have much room for military cooperation.

30 Jan 2021 - 3:29AM

With Hanoi eager for Washington’s help in countering Beijing in the South China Sea, the two sides are said to have much room for military cooperation.

US-Vietnam defence ties expected to strengthen with new governments in place and China looming: analyst
Why is Isis silent on China’s Uygur Muslims, when US alleges genocide?

Terrorism experts say this could be due to a few reasons, including its focus on ending the American military presence in the Middle East and South Asia

28 Jan 2021 - 2:17AM

Terrorism experts say this could be due to a few reasons, including its focus on ending the American military presence in the Middle East and South Asia

Why is Isis silent on China’s Uygur Muslims, when US alleges genocide?
When President Biden gets tough on China, can US count on Vietnam?

To win Hanoi’s trust, the US may need to tone down its human rights criticisms and take a tough line in the South China Sea, experts say.

18 Feb 2021 - 11:33AM

To win Hanoi’s trust, the US may need to tone down its human rights criticisms and take a tough line in the South China Sea, experts say.

When President Biden gets tough on China, can US count on Vietnam?
Vietnam beat coronavirus. With its economy booming, can it face up to China?

From the ashes of war to being one of the world’s fastest growing economies – and one that even Covid-19 couldn’t stop – Vietnam is finally on the brink of realising its potential.

24 Jan 2021 - 3:10PM

From the ashes of war to being one of the world’s fastest growing economies – and one that even Covid-19 couldn’t stop – Vietnam is finally on the brink of realising its potential.

Vietnam beat coronavirus. With its economy booming, can it face up to China?
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