Meaghan Tobin

Meaghan Tobin has nearly a decade of experience spanning journalism and public policy in Washington, Taipei and Beijing. For the Post, she covers geopolitics, diplomacy and policy trends in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Meaghan Tobin
Meaghan Tobin has nearly a decade of experience spanning journalism and public policy in Washington, Taipei and Beijing. For the Post, she covers geopolitics, diplomacy and policy trends in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Latest from Meaghan Tobin

From Russia with guns: why is Southeast Asia buying arms from Moscow, not Washington?

Russia sold US$6.6 billion in arms to the region between 2010 and 2017, as Southeast Asian nations spend more on defence as a hedge against China’s rise – particularly those involved in disputes in the South China Sea.

12 Oct 2019 - 4:06PM

Russia sold US$6.6 billion in arms to the region between 2010 and 2017, as Southeast Asian nations spend more on defence as a hedge against China’s rise – particularly those involved in disputes in the South China Sea.

From Russia with guns: why is Southeast Asia buying arms from Moscow, not Washington?
Russia romances Southeast Asia with trade and arms, but it’s no match for China

Russian overtures have been welcomed by Southeast Asia amid trade war uncertainties and disputes in the South China Sea. But even in embracing Moscow, the countries are well aware of the limits of this courtship.  

12 Oct 2019 - 4:08PM

Russian overtures have been welcomed by Southeast Asia amid trade war uncertainties and disputes in the South China Sea. But even in embracing Moscow, the countries are well aware of the limits of this courtship.  

Russia romances Southeast Asia with trade and arms, but it’s no match for China
Indonesia’s Joko Widodo promises probe after violent unrest leaves two students dead

Protests over changes to Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency present a difficult balancing act for the president, who must tiptoe the line between conservative elites and populist pressures.

28 Sep 2019 - 10:33PM

Protests over changes to Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency present a difficult balancing act for the president, who must tiptoe the line between conservative elites and populist pressures.

Indonesia’s Joko Widodo promises probe after violent unrest leaves two students dead
In Indonesia, student clashes with police over new laws spark comparisons with Hong Kong

Thousands of students have protested against controversial legal changes that would discriminate against minorities, restrict free speech and hamper graft investigations.

26 Sep 2019 - 10:22AM

Thousands of students have protested against controversial legal changes that would discriminate against minorities, restrict free speech and hamper graft investigations.

In Indonesia, student clashes with police over new laws spark comparisons with Hong Kong
Explainer | What the US Fed’s interest rate cut means for Asian consumers

The last time the Fed slashed rates, central banks from India to Indonesia followed suit. Experts expect a similar response this time. And that’s a good thing – but there are caveats.

21 Sep 2019 - 11:10AM

The last time the Fed slashed rates, central banks from India to Indonesia followed suit. Experts expect a similar response this time. And that’s a good thing – but there are caveats.

What the US Fed’s interest rate cut means for Asian consumers
US-China trade war will continue as costs to both sides are minimal, says Singapore economist

Singapore economist Tan Kong Yam said the economic confrontation had roiled other economies more and could end up being the ‘sideshow’ as Washington and Beijing battle it out for technological supremacy.

20 Sep 2019 - 10:40PM

Singapore economist Tan Kong Yam said the economic confrontation had roiled other economies more and could end up being the ‘sideshow’ as Washington and Beijing battle it out for technological supremacy.

US-China trade war will continue as costs to both sides are minimal, says Singapore economist
Choose Beijing over Taipei, Solomon Islands task force recommends amid changing tides in Pacific

With China pumping funds into aid and infrastructure projects in the Pacific, island nations are reassessing their ties with Taiwan.

13 Sep 2019 - 10:30PM

With China pumping funds into aid and infrastructure projects in the Pacific, island nations are reassessing their ties with Taiwan.

Choose Beijing over Taipei, Solomon Islands task force recommends amid changing tides in Pacific
Washington sees no distinction between Huawei and Beijing, top US cybersecurity official says

The overlap between Huawei and the Chinese government ‘raises very serious concerns’, says Robert Strayer, deputy assistant secretary of state for cyber and international communications.

13 Sep 2019 - 2:14AM

The overlap between Huawei and the Chinese government ‘raises very serious concerns’, says Robert Strayer, deputy assistant secretary of state for cyber and international communications.

Washington sees no distinction between Huawei and Beijing, top US cybersecurity official says
‘It all started from Hong Kong’: two of Southeast Asia’s richest men on early success and the belt and road plan’s future

The Thai and Indonesian business titans discuss how the city played an essential role on their way to the top – and will do so today for investments related to Xi Jinping’s ambitious global trade strategy.

12 Sep 2019 - 12:41PM

The Thai and Indonesian business titans discuss how the city played an essential role on their way to the top – and will do so today for investments related to Xi Jinping’s ambitious global trade strategy.

‘It all started from Hong Kong’: two of Southeast Asia’s richest men on early success and the belt and road plan’s future
Explainer | Explained: what’s behind the revived dispute between Philippines and Malaysia over Sabah?

Manila recently reignited an old row with Malaysia over Sabah, a founding state of the Malaysian Federation that was historically under the rule of a Philippines-based sultanate.

11 Sep 2019 - 9:21PM

Manila recently reignited an old row with Malaysia over Sabah, a founding state of the Malaysian Federation that was historically under the rule of a Philippines-based sultanate.

Explained: what’s behind the revived dispute between Philippines and Malaysia over Sabah?
As US and China compete in the Indo-Pacific, Australia pledges to boost East Timor naval base

Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to invest in naval infrastructure in East Timor and connect it to an Australian undersea cable system during his visit to the country, to mark the 20th anniversary of its independence referendum.

3 Sep 2019 - 5:00PM

Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to invest in naval infrastructure in East Timor and connect it to an Australian undersea cable system during his visit to the country, to mark the 20th anniversary of its independence referendum.

As US and China compete in the Indo-Pacific, Australia pledges to boost East Timor naval base
Coca-Cola’s ‘jigri’ campaign to push pocket-sized bottles falls flat in Nepal

The drinks giant’s attempt to market its product in smaller bottles has been met with a social media backlash in the Himalayan nation, which is already grappling with litter and pollution.

28 Aug 2019 - 4:31PM

The drinks giant’s attempt to market its product in smaller bottles has been met with a social media backlash in the Himalayan nation, which is already grappling with litter and pollution.

Coca-Cola’s ‘jigri’ campaign to push pocket-sized bottles falls flat in Nepal
Is Chinese support for Pacific nations shaping their stance on Indonesia’s West Papua?

The island nations are unified in support of a UN investigation into human rights abuses in the province, putting pressure on Jakarta, as growing Chinese influence in the region provides them an alternative source of financial support.

26 Aug 2019 - 4:39PM

The island nations are unified in support of a UN investigation into human rights abuses in the province, putting pressure on Jakarta, as growing Chinese influence in the region provides them an alternative source of financial support.

Is Chinese support for Pacific nations shaping their stance on Indonesia’s West Papua?
US$16 billion ‘hoax’: reports of Chinese loan for East Timor gas project were politically motivated, says foreign minister

East Timor is looking for international partners to finance its Greater Sunrise gas project, tapping some of the country’s last remaining resources

24 Aug 2019 - 9:16AM

East Timor is looking for international partners to finance its Greater Sunrise gas project, tapping some of the country’s last remaining resources

US$16 billion ‘hoax’: reports of Chinese loan for East Timor gas project were politically motivated, says foreign minister
East Timor’s China friendship won’t compromise its national interests: foreign minister

Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares tells sceptics of Dili’s ties with Beijing that it is not a ‘new, fragile country’ that would be swayed by the largesse of others.

24 Aug 2019 - 9:17AM

Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares tells sceptics of Dili’s ties with Beijing that it is not a ‘new, fragile country’ that would be swayed by the largesse of others.

East Timor’s China friendship won’t compromise its national interests: foreign minister
Pakistanis in Hong Kong condemn Modi’s move to strip Indian-held Kashmir of autonomy

Since August 4, parts of Indian-held Jammu & Kashmir have been under lockdown, with communications cut and freedom of movement restricted.

17 Aug 2019 - 11:33AM

Since August 4, parts of Indian-held Jammu & Kashmir have been under lockdown, with communications cut and freedom of movement restricted.

Pakistanis in Hong Kong condemn Modi’s move to strip Indian-held Kashmir of autonomy
Explainer | Explained: how Taiwan’s Pacific allies are being wooed by mainland China

Many of Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies will join world leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum this week.

27 Aug 2019 - 4:38PM

Many of Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies will join world leaders at the Pacific Islands Forum this week.

Explained: how Taiwan’s Pacific allies are being wooed by mainland China
In Myanmar, 5G tests in Yangon, but a seven-week web blackout in restive Rakhine

An estimated 1 million people living in a conflict zone in the western part of the country have been without internet access since June 21.

12 Aug 2019 - 12:01PM

An estimated 1 million people living in a conflict zone in the western part of the country have been without internet access since June 21.

In Myanmar, 5G tests in Yangon, but a seven-week web blackout in restive Rakhine
China courts Pacific island states in pursuit of ‘foothold’ as US risks losing influence, Rand report warns

Analysts say Beijing considers the island nations a critical part of its belt and road strategy, and views economic support for infrastructure projects as a stepping stone towards increased military presence.

8 Aug 2019 - 10:16PM

Analysts say Beijing considers the island nations a critical part of its belt and road strategy, and views economic support for infrastructure projects as a stepping stone towards increased military presence.

China courts Pacific island states in pursuit of ‘foothold’ as US risks losing influence, Rand report warns
Mike Pompeo’s visit to Micronesia highlights US anxiety about rising Chinese influence in Pacific

The US Secretary of State on Monday met leaders of Pacific island nations where the US maintains exclusive defence access.

5 Aug 2019 - 10:39PM

The US Secretary of State on Monday met leaders of Pacific island nations where the US maintains exclusive defence access.

Mike Pompeo’s visit to Micronesia highlights US anxiety about rising Chinese influence in Pacific
East Timor wants to tap oil and gas near Australia, so why is it courting China?

International energy firms have left the country in the lurch by pulling out of a critical offshore project near Darwin, which has left Dili with only one place to turn.

4 Aug 2019 - 10:00AM

International energy firms have left the country in the lurch by pulling out of a critical offshore project near Darwin, which has left Dili with only one place to turn.

East Timor wants to tap oil and gas near Australia, so why is it courting China?
Chinese cash: enough to keep East Timor out of Asean?

Southeast Asia’s youngest nation faces a Catch-22 in ties with China. To join Asean, it needs to improve its economy, but accepting China’s help may jeopardise its chances.

4 Aug 2019 - 10:05AM

Southeast Asia’s youngest nation faces a Catch-22 in ties with China. To join Asean, it needs to improve its economy, but accepting China’s help may jeopardise its chances.

Chinese cash: enough to keep East Timor out of Asean?
US steps up its activities in the Pacific to counter China’s growing influence: Coast Guard chief

Admiral Karl Schultz says there are ‘clear indicators’ of Beijing’s increased presence in the Pacific. The Coast Guard plans to offer themselves as a ‘partner of choice’ to nations in the region and help protect their sovereign interests.

23 Jul 2019 - 10:33PM

Admiral Karl Schultz says there are ‘clear indicators’ of Beijing’s increased presence in the Pacific. The Coast Guard plans to offer themselves as a ‘partner of choice’ to nations in the region and help protect their sovereign interests.

US steps up its activities in the Pacific to counter China’s growing influence: Coast Guard chief
Will Donald Trump’s trade crusade ultimately benefit Southeast Asia?

The US is turning its attention to countries used by Chinese firms as a pit stop to avoid tariffs, but experts say a crackdown could see Southeast Asian economies benefit.

22 Jul 2019 - 4:24PM

The US is turning its attention to countries used by Chinese firms as a pit stop to avoid tariffs, but experts say a crackdown could see Southeast Asian economies benefit.

Will Donald Trump’s trade crusade ultimately benefit Southeast Asia?
Is Vanuatu’s deportation of six Chinese nationals an erosion of its democratic rights at Beijing’s bidding?

The Pacific nation’s government has defended the actions as routine law enforcement, but critics fear its rule of law is being undermined as the case takes place against a backdrop of global misgivings about China’s legal system.

11 Jul 2019 - 10:16AM

The Pacific nation’s government has defended the actions as routine law enforcement, but critics fear its rule of law is being undermined as the case takes place against a backdrop of global misgivings about China’s legal system.

Is Vanuatu’s deportation of six Chinese nationals an erosion of its democratic rights at Beijing’s bidding?
Amal Clooney to defend journalist Maria Ressa, one of Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critics, on charges of tax evasion and libel

Clooney also defended two Reuters journalists who were jailed for more than 16 months in Myanmar before being freed in May.

11 Jul 2019 - 2:15PM

Clooney also defended two Reuters journalists who were jailed for more than 16 months in Myanmar before being freed in May.

Amal Clooney to defend journalist Maria Ressa, one of Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critics, on charges of tax evasion and libel
Explainer | Explained: the difference between the RCEP and the CPTPP

The trade pact, if it goes ahead, would create the world’s largest trade bloc, encompassing a quarter of global GDP

7 Jul 2019 - 2:38PM

The trade pact, if it goes ahead, would create the world’s largest trade bloc, encompassing a quarter of global GDP

Explained: the difference between the RCEP and the CPTPP
New Delhi and Beijing cannot let differences turn into disputes: India’s ambassador to China

Ambassador Vikram Misri also says India will not take sides over its use of US-blacklisted Huawei, as ‘any decision taken over this will only be taken in our national interest’.

5 Jul 2019 - 11:14PM

Ambassador Vikram Misri also says India will not take sides over its use of US-blacklisted Huawei, as ‘any decision taken over this will only be taken in our national interest’.

New Delhi and Beijing cannot let differences turn into disputes: India’s ambassador to China
Explainer | Explained: why the G20 summit matters for Asia (and Asean)

Asia’s major economies have become increasingly important at the multilateral forum, which experts say is an opportunity for the likes of China and Japan to step into leadership roles formerly dominated by the West.

28 Jun 2019 - 7:15PM

Asia’s major economies have become increasingly important at the multilateral forum, which experts say is an opportunity for the likes of China and Japan to step into leadership roles formerly dominated by the West.

Explained: why the G20 summit matters for Asia (and Asean)
Going global: could halal be the next kosher?

Those promoting the expansion of halal certification hope that, like kosher, it will be recognised as a symbol of quality, even by consumers not buying for religious reasons.

24 Jun 2019 - 12:56PM

Those promoting the expansion of halal certification hope that, like kosher, it will be recognised as a symbol of quality, even by consumers not buying for religious reasons.

Going global: could halal be the next kosher?