China has accrued formidable economic power, and is now beginning to channel greater quantities of that power into military modernization. Its primary purpose is overseas force projection in a great arc ranging from the Sea of Japan to the Indian Ocean. Asia’s Pacific rim states have become a primary target for incorporation into a China-centered world system that aims to exclude American influence.
The struggle for racial, political and economic justice in Southeast Asia is a fight for a genuinely postcolonial condition, and its establishment is implied in each protest against authoritarian ambitions. If colonialism made the modern world, then decolonisation will not be complete until the world – including Southeast Asia – is reimagined.
While COVID-19 continues to attack the population of this region, they also become targets of the state, as they demand transparency of information on the pandemic.