On the heels of China’s overtures to ASEAN and Mekong countries, comes Japan’s answer — a 244 billion baht new cooperation fund for the region. Tassanee Vejpongsa of the Associated Press explains how the initiative will help promote “connectivity” within ASEAN countries and Japan through funding in infrastructure and development of human resources.
For many, ASEAN conjures up an image of stuffy and serious meetings featuring staid politicians. Thus, finding topics that resonate with media consumers is a challenge that editors constantly face in their coverage of ASEAN-related news. Candida Ng finds out how Vietnamese media professionals approach this in this piece for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ series.
‘ASEAN’ is often seen as being a faceless organisation far removed from people’s daily lives, one that is mostly about states instead of people – and a boring subject for media. How can media redefine what makes for ‘ASEAN news’ and tell stories that look into the benefits and costs of ASEAN integration? Come listen to Johanna Son at Bangkok University on May 18 as she shares her experiences on reporting news in the ASEAN region.
The dispute in the South China Sea issue has already climbed up several notches in ASEAN’s agenda over the last few years. China will try different diplomatic means to push its agenda, as Philip Bowring of the Asia Sentinel argues regarding its attempts to present Brunei, Laos and Cambodia as sympathetic to its side on the maritime feud.
The China-led Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism, which had its first leaders’ summit in March 2016, may sound boring but has big implications for water governance in the Mekong region, and for dividing ASEAN states in their dealings with China. In this commentary for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ series, Johanna Son says that the Beijing-dominated forum that is far from neutral for smaller states. LMC could also undercut the ASEAN centrality the organisation so values.
Welcome to the Labour Day 2016 issue of The ASEAN Beat, a publication produced by the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ program! In this issue, we bring together a diverse mix of features, analyses and video reports around ASEAN and the different facets of labour migration. Happy reading, and a work-free Labour Day!
The reintegration of Southeast Asia’s migrant workers is as important as their departure and the remittances they send home to labour-exporting countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar. But as Tess Bacalla explains in this piece for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ series, ASEAN is unlikely to focus on reintegration when it is averse to addressing the issue of unskilled workers in the region in the first place.
Don’t miss it! The Southeast Asian Photography Masterclass Scholarship is calling for applications. A free photography masterclass workshop for 12 photographers between the ages of 20 to 35 native to Southeast Asia, the project will culminate in a final workshop at OBSCURA Festival 2017 and the launch of the works in a photobook. Successful applicants will have all their tuition fees and accommodation sponsored. Deadline for applications is 15 May 2016.