southeast asia

Protesters staged one of Vietnam's largest ever anti-China demonstrations on Sunday, decrying Beijing's deployment of a deep-water drilling rig in contested waters as territorial tensions soar.  Some 1,000 people, from war veterans to students, waved banners saying "China don't steal our oil" and "Silence is cowardly" – a dig at Hanoi's handling of the dispute –and sang patriotic songs in a park opposite the Chinese embassy.

The online ruckus over the planned Philippine Independence Day celebration on Orchard Road in Singapore is the latest ominous sign of rising xenophobia in the prosperous city state.

Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres and others are backing boycotts of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air because of new laws targeting gays and women in the Southeast Asian sultanate of Brunei.

Vietnam has arrested two democracy activists for posting articles critical of the government on the Internet, signalling a continued crackdown on dissent despite the early release of three dissidents last month.

The U.S. and Philippine militaries have launched a large, 10-day, annual military exercise amid increasing tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

Myanmar, so the popular narrative goes, is a land of pro-democracy peasants bitterly shaking their fists at military overlords. But perhaps the narrative is mistaken. There is no shortage of reasons to despise the military of Myanmar, the troubled Southeast Asian state formerly titled Burma.

Pad Chinese doesn't have the same ring to it, but it might be a bit more accurate. Pad Thai, the now-ubiquitous noodle dish made with chewy, stir-fried rice noodles, vegetables, bean sprouts, peanuts, and egg, among other things, is so popular it’s become the de facto measure by which Thai restaurants in New York, London, and other storefronts around the world are judged.

Despite a mild economic slowdown amidst China’s economic rebalancing and the U.S. Federal Reserve tapering—and despite a dip in Indonesian shares following asurprisingly weak performance by the favorites in Wednesday’s parliamentary election—the general direction of Indonesia’s economy seems clear: onwards and upwards.

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