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

Japan’s Africa aid rivals China in terms of ‘quality over quantity’: analysts

Tokyo’s commitment to international standards on infrastructure financing and its support of good governance and democratic principles provides African nations with a tempting alternative to China’s deeper pockets, analysts said.

Tokyo’s commitment to international standards on infrastructure financing and its support of good governance and democratic principles provides African nations with a tempting alternative to China’s deeper pockets, analysts said.

2 Oct 2022 - 11:00AM
Shinzo Abe’s funeral unpopular in Japan but may deepen regional ties: analysts

The former PM wasn’t well-liked at home and the US$11.5 million send-off has sparked public anger, but many foreign leaders attended his state funeral.

The former PM wasn’t well-liked at home and the US$11.5 million send-off has sparked public anger, but many foreign leaders attended his state funeral.

28 Sep 2022 - 4:19AM
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan buy Russia’s fuel but face less criticism than India as they’re ‘against sanctions’: analysts

Some nations have supported Ukraine since the start of its invasion but, while mindful of need to diversify energy sources, have not said when they’d phase out Moscow’s imports, whereas New Delhi only recently criticised Putin’s war.

Some nations have supported Ukraine since the start of its invasion but, while mindful of need to diversify energy sources, have not said when they’d phase out Moscow’s imports, whereas New Delhi only recently criticised Putin’s war.

26 Sep 2022 - 8:30AM
Why Malaysia, Singapore, India and other former British colonies in Asia watched Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral

Despite intense discussions in the last week over the ills left behind in Asia during British colonial rule, millions of people from Singapore to India watched the pomp and ceremony of the queen’s funeral. What’s behind Asia’s colonial nostalgia?

Despite intense discussions in the last week over the ills left behind in Asia during British colonial rule, millions of people from Singapore to India watched the pomp and ceremony of the queen’s funeral. What’s behind Asia’s colonial nostalgia?

19 Sep 2022 - 10:38PM
As Asian leaders from Malaysia, Singapore to Sri Lanka arrive for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, analysts see an opportunity for UK to strengthen ‘delicate Commonwealth links’

Monday’s funeral will bring together leaders and royalty from around the world, including Asia, but representatives from Russia and Myanmar are not invited.

Monday’s funeral will bring together leaders and royalty from around the world, including Asia, but representatives from Russia and Myanmar are not invited.

17 Sep 2022 - 6:00PM
Sleepy Malaysian town Titi hopes ‘buzz of domestic visitors’ will return as Covid-19 curbs ease

Strict Covid-19 curbs have deterred even local residents and affected business in the small Hakka township, with many shops and key attractions still closed.

Strict Covid-19 curbs have deterred even local residents and affected business in the small Hakka township, with many shops and key attractions still closed.

19 Sep 2022 - 12:20PM
As I see it | Tearing down tyranny in Philippines, Myanmar begins with rebuke of past and present regimes

This week, the former tyrannical regime in the Philippines, and the current military junta in Myanmar were praised – an unappealing trend that needs a global rebuke.

This week, the former tyrannical regime in the Philippines, and the current military junta in Myanmar were praised – an unappealing trend that needs a global rebuke.

16 Sep 2022 - 8:00AM
Japan’s defence moves ‘necessary’ amid growing China aggression in Taiwan Strait: analysts

Japan views tensions in the Taiwan Strait as ‘seriously destabilising’ to its own security as it relies on an open strait for safe passage of goods.

Japan views tensions in the Taiwan Strait as ‘seriously destabilising’ to its own security as it relies on an open strait for safe passage of goods.

4 Sep 2022 - 11:00AM
Stable US-China ties key to belt and road success, Singapore’s Heng Swee Keat says

Singapore’s deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat says tensions in region – including in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea – must be better managed for belt and road project to boost growth and innovation.

Singapore’s deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat says tensions in region – including in the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea – must be better managed for belt and road project to boost growth and innovation.

31 Aug 2022 - 7:30PM
Biden’s ‘weak’ leadership will trigger US-China conflict, Singapore ex-minister George Yeo says

While deteriorating US-China ties are leaving Singapore ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’, Yeo says it is not the city state’s place to help counter Beijing.

While deteriorating US-China ties are leaving Singapore ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’, Yeo says it is not the city state’s place to help counter Beijing.

30 Aug 2022 - 1:23PM
As I see it | Kimono row highlights hostilities in complicated China-Japan relationship

Anti-Japanese sentiment in China, previously targeted towards wartime atrocities and historical issues, has recently been aimed at Japanese cultural symbols – from kimonos to Japanese lettering.

Anti-Japanese sentiment in China, previously targeted towards wartime atrocities and historical issues, has recently been aimed at Japanese cultural symbols – from kimonos to Japanese lettering.

26 Aug 2022 - 8:30AM
China-India relations: as Beijing asks for one-China reassurance, New Delhi demurs. Why?

Tensions at the disputed China-India border and New Delhi’s opposition to a flagship belt and road project in Pakistan are driving its ambiguity on Taiwan, observers said.

Tensions at the disputed China-India border and New Delhi’s opposition to a flagship belt and road project in Pakistan are driving its ambiguity on Taiwan, observers said.

21 Aug 2022 - 8:30AM
Partners in isolation: Russia-Myanmar ties deepen amid Western sanctions

Moscow has become ‘even more accommodating’ towards Myanmar’s junta, as both seek closer economic and military ties, analysts note.

Moscow has become ‘even more accommodating’ towards Myanmar’s junta, as both seek closer economic and military ties, analysts note.

18 Aug 2022 - 8:30AM
Ahead of historic US-Pacific meeting, climate change and China loom large, say analysts

President Biden is to host important talks with Pacific leaders in Washington amid Beijing’s growing influence, with the island nations ‘happy to work with either’, say analysts.

President Biden is to host important talks with Pacific leaders in Washington amid Beijing’s growing influence, with the island nations ‘happy to work with either’, say analysts.

14 Aug 2022 - 8:30AM
18 months after coup, Myanmar needs a ‘clear endgame’ for peace, urges Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah advocates direct engagement against the junta with the backing of the Asean and suggests bringing in ‘outside help’ from the likes of China, India and Japan.

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah advocates direct engagement against the junta with the backing of the Asean and suggests bringing in ‘outside help’ from the likes of China, India and Japan.

12 Aug 2022 - 7:07PM
Sri Lanka crisis: India leads aid efforts but US ‘could do more’ as strategic interests converge

Washington could take on stronger role in Sri Lanka’s economy after Colombo reaches a debt restructuring agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

Washington could take on stronger role in Sri Lanka’s economy after Colombo reaches a debt restructuring agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

7 Aug 2022 - 2:38PM
10 Aug 2022 - 1:00PM
Beijing’s war games in Taiwan after Pelosi’s trip spark concerns in South China Sea

Analysts say Pelosi’s Taipei visit was not just ‘unhelpful’ to Southeast Asia but could lead to increased aggression beyond the Taiwan Strait.

Analysts say Pelosi’s Taipei visit was not just ‘unhelpful’ to Southeast Asia but could lead to increased aggression beyond the Taiwan Strait.

5 Aug 2022 - 4:01PM
As I see it | Myanmar’s executions were a slap in the face for China. It’s time to ‘speak in one voice’ against the junta

The generals ignored Wang Yi’s calls for reconciliation, further threatening Chinese interests in Myanmar. Such insolence should not go unpunished.

The generals ignored Wang Yi’s calls for reconciliation, further threatening Chinese interests in Myanmar. Such insolence should not go unpunished.

29 Jul 2022 - 8:00AM
More violence in Myanmar feared as junta’s executions send ‘ruthless’ message to Asean

The capital punishment of four democracy activists is a warning to the junta’s opponents and the global community for treating it like a pariah, observers say.

The capital punishment of four democracy activists is a warning to the junta’s opponents and the global community for treating it like a pariah, observers say.

26 Jul 2022 - 9:38PM
Why do Singapore and Malaysia have a more favourable view of China than the US?

The two Southeast Asian states were outliers in a poll in which 25,000 respondents from 19 countries held mostly unfavourable views of Beijing.

The two Southeast Asian states were outliers in a poll in which 25,000 respondents from 19 countries held mostly unfavourable views of Beijing.

25 Jul 2022 - 10:54AM
As I see it | Will Chinese netizens’ jubilation after human tragedies like Shinzo Abe’s assassination fuel foreign ill will?

Chinese netizens have celebrated numerous human tragedies elsewhere, including Shinzo Abe’s assassination, the 9/11 attacks, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, as well as other countries’ response to the pandemic.

Chinese netizens have celebrated numerous human tragedies elsewhere, including Shinzo Abe’s assassination, the 9/11 attacks, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, as well as other countries’ response to the pandemic.

22 Jul 2022 - 8:30AM
Is Singapore pursuing a false climate solution by buying Mekong hydropower?

While hydropower has a low carbon footprint, it has a destructive impact on the environment and local communities, leading to ‘large inequalities’, analysts say.

While hydropower has a low carbon footprint, it has a destructive impact on the environment and local communities, leading to ‘large inequalities’, analysts say.

16 Jul 2022 - 11:00AM
Japan’s energy crisis, Covid-19 woes likely to eclipse LDP’s push to amend constitution

The rising costs of gas and food, a Covid-19 resurgence and an ageing population could take precedence over constitutional changes in the Kishida administration’s agenda.

The rising costs of gas and food, a Covid-19 resurgence and an ageing population could take precedence over constitutional changes in the Kishida administration’s agenda.

12 Jul 2022 - 10:26AM
Analysis | Shinzo Abe assassination: From Singapore to India, tributes flow for ardent champion of ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’

His stint as premier saw Japan deepen the goodwill it had rebuilt in Southeast Asia after painful memories of WWII – his 2007 idea of a ‘broader Asia’ encompassed countries in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

His stint as premier saw Japan deepen the goodwill it had rebuilt in Southeast Asia after painful memories of WWII – his 2007 idea of a ‘broader Asia’ encompassed countries in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

10 Jul 2022 - 10:44AM
Shinzo Abe: a political titan who shaped Japan’s policies on China, defence, economy

His eight-year stint as Japan’s PM was the longest uninterrupted tenure for a post-war leader, and his influence in the ruling LDP continued even after he stepped down.

His eight-year stint as Japan’s PM was the longest uninterrupted tenure for a post-war leader, and his influence in the ruling LDP continued even after he stepped down.

12 Jul 2022 - 7:49PM
Wang Yi’s Myanmar trip could derail Asean’s peace plan by legitimising junta, analysts say

While the visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi reflected open dialogue and engagement channels, critics argue that it undermined Asean unity.

While the visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi reflected open dialogue and engagement channels, critics argue that it undermined Asean unity.

7 Jul 2022 - 8:43AM
Australia will avoid engaging Asean through China ‘prism’, Foreign Minister Penny Wong says

In a lecture in Singapore, Australia’s new Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Canberra is committed to ‘Asean centrality’ and would ‘find its security in Asia, not from Asia’.

In a lecture in Singapore, Australia’s new Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Canberra is committed to ‘Asean centrality’ and would ‘find its security in Asia, not from Asia’.

6 Jul 2022 - 9:38PM
Asia-Pacific leaders at Nato summit a sign of strategic shift amid Russia, China threats: analysts

Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea are not Nato members but are global partners of the military alliance.

Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea are not Nato members but are global partners of the military alliance.

5 Jul 2022 - 11:52AM
New Pacific alliance PBP to counter China’s influence will likely grow to include more European nations, say analysts

Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP) is made up of US, UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand; some say France is already interested in joining despite anger over the Aukus security pact and the new PBP will become ‘multilateral rather than minilateral’.

Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP) is made up of US, UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand; some say France is already interested in joining despite anger over the Aukus security pact and the new PBP will become ‘multilateral rather than minilateral’.

30 Jun 2022 - 5:56PM