The Sino-Vietnam War and Myanmar’s politics of disaster

This week we’re marking the anniversary of the Sino-Vietnam War with a wonderful piece from first-time contributor Hoang Minh Vu, in which he lays out the short-lived conflict’s significance in shaping the Cold War. Our very own Kiana Duncan also looks at the Myanmar military’s track record of pouncing on disasters to make political gains, and ask, will the coup exacerbate the pandemic?

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February 20, 2021
The Sino-Vietnam War and Myanmar’s politics of disaster

How the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War shaped the course of world history

For such a consequential war, the Sino-Vietnamese conflict is a little-discussed ordeal. But as Hoang Minh Vu, a diplomatic historian of Cold War Southeast Asia, writes here, the bloody invasion by Chinese forces into northern Vietnam was a pivotal moment of 1979 — a year that set into motion a series of events that now shape our modern world.

The first Vietnamese in Antarctica: The path to conservation for Hong Hoang

Hong Hoang is not your typical environmental activist. But then, her path to activism hasn’t exactly been typical either. Starting off as the first Vietnamese person ever to go to Antarctica, Hoang is now the head of CHANGE, one of Vietnam’s most vocal environmentalist groups. That’s a role that isn’t always appreciated, especially in a country where civil society groups often tread carefully to keep themselves out of the government’s crosshairs, but Hoang has led the way on issues from wildlife crime to climate change. Really cool profile here by Globe reporter Govi Snell in Hanoi.

Myanmar’s politics of disaster: How the coup could worsen the pandemic

Our latest on Myanmar comes from Globe reporter Kiana Duncan, with this incisive look at the intertwined nature of the coup and Covid-19 in Myanmar. The two form a deadly feedback loop intensifying one another at the expense of the public — a very important piece of reading to understand what might happen next for both.

Bridging the urban-rural education gap in Cambodia’s schools

Our latest piece in partnership with educational organisation Caring for Cambodia is all about equal access. As with many places, Cambodia has a stark divide between rural and urban schools, with kids in the provincial countryside getting shorted on vital resources. How do we close this generations-long gap? You’ll have to read this article by our own Stew Post to find out.

As Philippine politicians do the Cha-Cha, is the constitution under threat?

It was a very pleasant surprise when freelance journalist Oliver Haynes contacted us with this piece from the Philippines. But don’t put on your dancing shoes just yet, this Cha-Cha isn’t what you’d expect. In the archipelago nation that is the Philippines, Cha-Cha is shorthand for ‘charter change’, a politically loaded process that opens up the entire constitution to possible amendment. In the last days of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, a Cha-Cha is building rhythm, leaving a broad coalition of society wary of what the bandleader Duterte may have in store. Tap that link to learn more.

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