Stories written by Kris Janssens

Tensions with China Drive Investors Towards Vietnam

In recent months, several European representatives embarked on trade missions to Vietnam. German President Steinmeier visited Hanoi in January. The Netherlands sent Prime Minister Mark Rutte, with the Dutch royal couple, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, soon to follow suit. Notably, the Netherlands stands as the most significant European investor in Vietnam.

Cambodia’s Declining Fish Catch: Can the Tide Be Reversed?

Living in a floating village means embracing the rhythm of the ever-changing water. As I stroll through Kampong Khleang, flanked by wooden stilt houses lining sandy streets, I witness daily life unfolding.  Alongside staircases, people prepare meals or run their little shops.

Centuries-Old Rituals Are Slowly Fading Away in Cambodia

“What on earth are you going to do in Tropeang Krohom?” The driver of the minivan turns his head and gives me a puzzled look. Few passengers want to be dropped off in a settlement between two provincial towns.

Press Freedom and LGBTQ+ Rights: Benchmarks of Democracy Decline in Southeast Asia

Three notable events have boosted the democratic process in Southeast Asia in recent decades. The fall of the Marcos regime in 1986, the Reformasi that shifted Indonesian politics in the late 1990s, and Aung San Suu Kyi's victory over the military junta in Myanmar. However, today Marcos' son is president of the Philippines, Indonesian presidential candidates want to centralize power again, and Myanmar is embroiled in an armed conflict. What is going on in the region, and what does this mean for democracy?

Governments in Thailand and Cambodia Play a Poker Game for Power

Democracy is declining in Southeast Asia. The Cambodian prime minister will hand over his office to his son later this month, after rigged elections. Meanwhile, Thailand's largest political party is kept from power.

Cambodia More Than Ever Squeezed Between Russia and the West

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen walks into a diplomatic minefield these days. He supports UN resolutions against Putin but does not want to jeopardize the long-standing friendship with Russia. At the same time, he tries to be less dependent on the West, both economically and politically.

40 Years Since the Khmer Rouge Regime Came to an End in Cambodia

The anniversary is not actually celebrated. After all these years, talking about the Khmer Rouge is still controversial. This is partly because the genocide came ‘from within’. Almost every family has a feud that goes back to this dark history in the seventies.

The Cambodian Port City on China’s 21st Century Silk Road That’s Becoming the New Macau

The new Macau. That's what the Cambodian coastal city Sihanoukville is called nowadays. Chinese investors are building casinos there on a massive scale. The southern port city lies on the new Silk Road (the so called 'One Belt, One Road') and is therefore interesting for China. The Cambodian government is happy to accept the money. And Beijing never asks difficult questions.



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