Myanmar

Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim speaks during an event at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra on 7 March 2024. (David Gray/AFP)

[Big read] Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim: Maintaining good relations with both China and the US

With Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in the role as head of government for more than a year, his stance on foreign policy and relations with China and other countries is becoming clearer. Anwar's role on the international stage may gain even greater prominence with Malaysia’s chairmanship of ASEAN coming up next year. Meanwhile, he will also need to contend with garnering domestic support, especially among the Malay community. Lianhe Zaobao journalist So Choon Siang speaks with academics to find out more.
Protesters step on images of Myanmar's army general Min Aung Hlaing during a demonstration outside the UN office in Bangkok on 1 February 2024, to mark the third anniversary of the coup in Myanmar. (Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP)

Myanmar’s crisis set to be drawn-out struggle

The situation in Myanmar is expected to be a drawn-out struggle, with the extension of the state of emergency, and the opposition groups gaining strength and occupying more townships. Researcher Hein Khaing notes that the Myanmar issue is also troubling for the international community, especially for China and ASEAN, both of which could play a role in resolving the situation.
Debris is pictured next to a damaged Buddha statue following fighting between Myanmar's military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Nam Hpat Kar, Kutkai township, in Myanmar's northern Shan State, on 4 February 2024. (AFP)

How China and India are handling Myanmar's crisis three years on

In the three years since the coup in Myanmar, the country’s northern border with China has become an economic and strategic challenge to Beijing’s interests, while India is faced with the biggest humanitarian and security crisis, with refugees entering India posing an immediate security challenge.
Chinese soldiers march in formation in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on 30 September 2023. (Pedro Pardo/AFP)

Will the PLA cross the Chinese-Myanmar border to safeguard security?

Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes that while the recent live-fire drills by China’s Southern Theater Command at the China-Myanmar border is aimed at testing the PLA’s capabilities, it is evidently a form of warning to all sides involved in the war in northern Myanmar. Some are even supporting the idea of Chinese military deployment across the border to tackle the serious, long-term issues of smuggling, drug trafficking and telecommunications fraud in northern Myanmar.
(From left) Bi Huijun, Wei Qingtao and Liu Zhengqi in their confession videos. (Internet)

China's all-out effort to wipe out scam syndicate families in northern Myanmar

It seems that scam operators, not least the “four big families” of northern Myanmar or Kokang, are being put on notice in Northern Myanmar. Skirmishes between the Brotherhood Alliance armed forces and the junta are helping to ferret out these organisations. Given that Kokang borders China, the animosity between the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the junta government will test how China strikes a balance between them.
This photo taken on 10 November 2023 shows fighters of the ethnic rebel group Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) walking down a street market in the town of Namhkam in northern Shan state. A surprise offensive by Myanmar ethnic armed groups has blocked two strategically vital roads to the country's biggest trading partner China, choking cross-border commerce and denying the cash-strapped junta taxes and foreign exchange. (Mai Nyi/AFP)

Why Myanmar’s warring groups are vying to combat cybercrimes

In an unexpected twist, the warring groups in Myanmar’s civil war have a unified goal: combating cybercrime and ingratiating themselves with China.
Thai police standing in front of some Thai nationals allegedly enslaved by scam gangs based in Cambodia. This picture was taken in Cambodia. (Tan Hui Yee/SPH Media)

[Big read] Are Chinese tourists targeted by scam syndicates in Southeast Asia?

Lianhe Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim steps into the world of scam syndicates and scam hubs in Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar, which is one centre of activity. How can the authorities clean up the industry so that tourists — especially from China — will return and boost the recovery of the tourism industry?
Indonesian President Joko Widodo passes ASEAN's hammer to Laotian Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, during the closing ceremony of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 7 September 2023. (Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

Is Laos able to make a difference in the Myanmar crisis?

ISEAS academic Joanne Lin looks at the crisis in Myanmar and recommends possible strategies for Laos to move the needle on the issue, ahead of its ASEAN chairmanship next year. Namely, Laos can make use of its strong relations with China and Russia to encourage them to work and coordinate closely with ASEAN.
A man rides a cart past chinese shops and restaurants in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 15 September 2023. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

Chinese in the crosshairs of ‘mushrooming’ transnational cybercrime

Cybercrime scams and the related kidnappings have exploded since 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn fuelled the number of such crimes, including fake online romantic ploys, bogus investment pitches and illegal gambling schemes. Scam centres were concentrated in Cambodia, but have now been found in Laos and Myanmar, and at least four other Asian countries have become human trafficking hubs.