Melinda Martinus

Lead Researcher (Socio-cultural), ASEAN Studies Centre, ISEAS

Ms Melinda Martinus is Lead Researcher (Socio-cultural), ASEAN Studies Centre at the ISEAS –Yusof Ishak Institute.

Activists from Greenpeace Indonesia take part in a rally with an ice-made effigy and postcards to Indonesian President Joko Widodo calling for action on climate change in Jakarta on 10 November 2021, as world leaders attend the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. (Adek Berry/AFP)

US and China not perceived as climate change leaders in Southeast Asia

Although geopolitics is encroaching onto climate change discussions, a poll shows that Southeast Asians remain objective and pragmatic. Achieving climate goals in the region depends on realpolitik and ASEAN leaders’ shrewdness in tapping resources from all major powers.
People participate in a rally during a global day of action on climate change in Manila on 6 November 2021, as world leaders attend the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. (Maria Tan/AFP)

China and US could work on building clean and green BRI and Build Back Better World (B3W)

The 26th Conference of Parties in Glasgow (COP26) concluded with several high-level political pledges delivered, but it is another matter if they will be followed through. For the Southeast Asian region, Indonesian commitments to the phase down of fossil fuel subsidies and the global goal to end deforestation by 2030 will be critical. The broken promise of climate finance may also affect several Southeast Asian countries' ability to see through their pledges. China's climate leadership on the phasing out of coal has taken a hit but amid the gloom, there are some bright spots, not least China and the US finally finding some common ground.
This illustration picture taken on 17 February 2019 shows the 5G wireless technology logo displayed on a smartphone and a wireless signal sign. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP)

Southeast Asia a contested venue for telecommunication superpowers building 5G networks

Many Southeast Asian telecommunication providers have rolled out their 5G masterplans and selected vendors this year, with Covid-19 prompting the need to accelerate the upgrading of digital infrastructure. However, while most Southeast Asian countries welcome collaboration with Chinese telecommunication vendors including Huawei, some telecommunication providers in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines have recently moved away from partnering with Chinese companies. ISEAS academic Melinda Martinus finds out SEA's preferred vendors for developing 5G networks, and the reasons behind these shifts in preferences. Are Chinese companies still well-positioned to seize the opportunities in this arena?