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Southeast Asia’s ‘narco-state’ and ‘scam-states’ undercut authoritarian rule boasts

The year 2023 has been one of disorder in Southeast Asia.  War is still raging in Myanmar, where perhaps thousands of civilians were killed this year, on top of hundreds more soldiers and anti-junta fighters. ASEAN, the regional bloc, has failed yet again to either bring the warring parties to the negotiation table or, as…

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US defense bill spends big against China’s maritime claims

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday signed into law an $886 billion defense bill that includes US$16 billion to deter China’s expansive maritime claims and approves exemptions for Australia and the United Kingdom to buy American defense technology without licenses. The 2024 National Defense Authorization Act was passed by the Senate on Dec. 18 in…

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