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by @jdcv17
Southeast Asia Covid-19 TrackerOn This Page International Assistance National Responses CSIS Analysis What We are Reading Tracker Archives BACK TO TOP International Assistance to Southeast Asia Updated Wednesday June 10 China’s “Mask Diplomacy” With Covid-19 largely contained domestically, the Chinese government has pivoted to providing assistance internationally, with Southeast Asian countries being a particular focus. Unlike in Europe, where China’s so-called “mask diplomacy” has generated criticism due to some faulty equipment and skepticism about China’s geopolitical intentions, China’s emergency medical assistance has been welcomed by the governments of several hard-hit countries in Southeast Asia. Chinese aid typically consists of shipments of surgical masks, test kits, and other medical equipment, as well as dispatching medical experts. Handovers of equipment typically take place with great fanfare. In addition to the Chinese government, foundations linked to billionaire Jack Ma and state-owned enterprises have also engaged in large donations of medical supplies. Assistance to Southeast Asia to date has included the following: ASEAN: China on April 21 donated 75,000 surgical masks, 300 bottles of hand sanitizers, and 35 infrared thermometers to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. Malaysia: The Chinese Embassy in Malaysia delivered a batch of medical supplies to Sungai Buloh Hospital on March 19. The Chinese government and other entities sent three more relief packages in March. Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein received the largest shipment of medical supplies from China on March 28. Despite this close engagement, Malaysian officials have expressed doubts about Chinese-made test kits. Malaysian hospitals are now considering acquiring test kits from Singapore and South Korea instead. On May 15, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob expressed his appreciation for China’s support in fighting the pandemic to his Chinese counterpart, Minister of National Defence General Wei Fenghe. Philippines: China’s first shipment of medical donations to the Philippines arrived on March 21. China sent a team of medical experts and a second batch of donations on April 5, followed by another one on April 27. On May 10, China sent another shipment of supplies, including 100 ventilators, 150,000 test kits, 70,000 protective suits, 70,000 N95 masks, 1.3 surgical masks, and 70,000 goggles. China’s Ministry of National Defence contributed another batch of supplies, including more than 80,000 surgical masks, goggles, and suits on May 13. China on June 9 provided 7,200 bags of rice to officials in Cebu to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Philippines-China relations. The Chinese Embassy in Manila on June 15 announced that it was donating over 3,000 tons of rice to families impacted by Covid-19. Thailand: China sent medical supplies worth $9 million. Deputy Defense Minister Chaichan Changmongkol received them in a public ceremony on May 12. This followed a shipment received in April during the Songkran Festival. The Chinese Embassy in Bangkok in partnership with the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has donated 120,000 masks. An additional batch of supplies with 1.3 million masks, 70,000 N95 masks, 150,000 test kits, and 70,000 suits of personal protective equipment (PPE) arrived on June 29. Indonesia: On March 20, Indonesia sent a military aircraft to Shanghai to pick up 9 tons of medical supplies. A consortium of Chinese institutions and ministries sent 40 tons of Covid-19 test kits and other medical supplies to Indonesia one week later. On April 4, President Xi Jinping committed to helping Indonesia fight the outbreak during a phone call with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, reportedly saying, “We believe that with your perseverance, Indonesia will be able to defeat this pandemic.” Indonesia’s Covid-19 taskforce obtained RNA isolation kits, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits, and a viral transport medium kit from China on April 26. The Sichuan NGO Network for International Exchanges on May 14 donated over 10,000 masks to the Indonesian Chinese Entrepreneur Association. Laos: From April 10-11, a team of Chinese medical experts shared anti-epidemic experiences and held training courses throughout Laos. The team provided 10,000 PCR kits, 10,000 KN95 masks, and 30,000 masks. Cambodia: On March 18, China sent medical supplies including detection kits, ventilators, PPE, and masks to Cambodia. On March 23, a Chinese medical team from Guangxi province delivered medical supplies including ventilators, medical masks, and test kits to Phnom Penh. China shared another shipment of “urgently needed” Covid-19 supplies, including testing kits and protective gowns, on April 26 at Cambodia’s request. Cambodia received another donation of unspecified medical supplies on June 4. Myanmar: On April 8, a 12-person Chinese medical team from Yunnan province arrived in Yangon for a 14-day visit, followed by another visit on April 24. On April 22, China provided 20 ventilators reportedly worth $400,000. Another 15 machines are due to arrive in the near future. China sent medical experts from the People’s Liberation Army on April 24 to train Myanmar army medical workers on Covid-19 infection control. Brunei: On April 23, China provided Brunei with medical supplies, including 100,000 N95 respirators and 1,000 surgical gowns. The Chinese Embassy in Brunei also donated about $42,000 to Brunei’s Covid-19 Relief Fund. On May 14, Brunei received masks, goggles, protective clothing, suits, and more. Singapore: On May 5, Singapore received a total of 620,000 face masks from the Chinese government and the Red Cross Society of China. BACK TO TOP Non-government Chinese aid Chinese non-government entities have also been active, most notably the Alibaba and Jack Ma foundations. On March 19, the two foundations announced they would send 2,000,000 masks, 150,000 test kits, 20,000 sets of PPE, and 20,000 face shields to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Thailand. On April 9, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China donated medical equipment worth $117,500, including 150,000 face masks to Laos. On May 14, Jack Ma and the Manny Pacquiao Foundation donated over 50,000 test and extraction kits to the Philippines. As of May 19, Chinese enterprises in the Philippines have donated 2.65 million masks and 250,000 protectice suits, along with gloves and goggles. Secretary Teodoro Locsin said, "[China] is a model for what the rest of the world should be doing. Instead of blaming each other for what's happening, we should all start working together to help each other." On June 19, the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to donate 500,000 surgical masks valued at $183,000 to frontline workers in Indonesia. Assistance from the United States The United States has committed $1 billion to support the global response to the pandemic since March 2020. So far, $76.9 million of that funding is earmarked for countries in Southeast Asia. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear in March that urgent domestic needs in the United States mean this assistance will not include shipments of critical medical supplies such as protective gear, in contrast to China’s recent “mask diplomacy.” Instead, the funding will be used to train medical workers, boost screening capabilities, and bolster national health systems. When making these new pledges, the State Department has emphasized past U.S. leadership on global health, citing approximately $3.5 billion in international assistance provided over the past two decades. Pledges have included: Philippines: The U.S. government has allocated more than $19.1 million for Covid-19 aid. This includes $5 million in Economic Support Fund (ESF) assistance to provide grants and skills training to heavily affected communities, $6.5 million in health assistance, $6.8 million in International Disaster Assistance (IDA), and $875,000 in Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA). During an April 19 phone call, Presidents Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte discussed cooperation between the United States and the Philippines to combat the pandemic. Indonesia: The U.S. government has pledged $11 million to Indonesia for Covid-19 aid, encompassing $9 million in health funding, nearly $1.5 million in MRA, and testing and visits by technical experts. During an April 24 phone call, Trump promised Jokowi an unknown number of ventilators. Indonesia will receive 100 ventilators in early July. Thailand: The U.S. government has pledged approximately $7.2 million for Covid-19 aid, consisting of $6.5 million in health assistance and $730,000 in MRA for the nine border camps housing Myanmar refugees in Thailand. Laos: The U.S. government has pledged approximately $4.4 million for Covid-19 aid, including testing and supplies, plus deliveries of protective equipment and visits by technical experts. In an apparent exception to the policy Secretary Pompeo announced in March, Washington has provided a modest amount of PPE and medical equipment to Laos, including protective goggles, surgical gowns, face shields, biohazard bags, aprons, N95 masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. On June 19, USAID announced plans to provide an additional $2.5 million to support the Covid-19 response in Laos. Cambodia: The U.S. government has allocated over $11 million in assistance to Cambodia, encompassing risk communication, community engagement, and laboratory support in response to the pandemic. Myanmar: The U.S. government has pledged approximately $13.5 million in Covid-19 aid, consisting of $8.3 million for health assistance, $3 million in IDA, and $2.2 million in MRA. Vietnam: The U.S. government has pledged $9.5 million in Covid-19 aid. This includes $5 million in ESF to support private-sector recovery and $4.5 million in health assistance, covering testing and visits by technical experts. Malaysia: The U.S. government has pledged $1.2 million in Covid-19 aid. This includes $1 million for prevention and control of infections in health facilities, community engagement, contact-tracing systems, and risk communication, and $200,000 in MRA for refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia. Non-government U.S aid: U.S. philanthropic assistance has come from a range of sources, including $50 million worldwide from the Rockefeller Foundation to combat Covid-19, including to its Asia office in Bangkok. Give2Asia, a U.S.-based public charity, has collected over $17 million in donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals to support Covid-19 response in the Asia-Pacific region. The PepsiCo Foundation has contributed $3.3 million, the largest donation yet. Singapore’s “Test-kit Diplomacy” Singapore, partly through the Temasek Foundation, was the first Southeast Asian country with excess capacity and ability to deliver aid to neighbors. “From a foreign policy point of view, we now have test kit diplomacy. What we need to do as a world is to share best practices, to rapidly develop test kits, vaccines, antivirals,” said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on March 10. Malaysia: On April 1, Singapore donated 5,000 Universal Transport Medium swabs, a critical component in fast-acting test kits, to Malaysia. Philippines: On March 25, Singapore sent 3,000 test kits and a PCR machine for processing tests to the Philippines. On April 1, the Temasek Foundation donated 40,000 test kits and 2 ventilators to the Philippines. Vietnam: On March 30, the Temasek Foundation presented 10 ventilators to Vietnam to support the country's treatment of Covid-19 patients. The foundation said it will supply 10 oxygen generators to Hanoi and 10 to Ho Chi Minh City in the near future. Brunei: Singapore sent 3,000 test kits and a PCR machine for processing tests on March 25. Indonesia: On March 13, Singapore donated 50 sets of PPE and 2 ventilators to Batam. On April 2, Singapore sent medical supplies including 30,000 test kits, 5 PCR machines, and more than 1,000 sets of PPE to Indonesia. On April 8, an Indonesian navy vessel was sent to Singapore to collect supplies to manufacture more than 55,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for use in the city. On May 11, Singapore’s Economic Development Board organized a consortium of 13 companies to donate 100,000 KN95 masks and 5 tons of hand sanitizer to the city of Batam. Myanmar: On March 4, Singapore sent 3,000 diagnostic tests and 2 PCR machines to test for Covid-19 to Myanmar. Assistance from Vietnam: Vietnam has extended aid to regional and international partners since early April after ramping up its domestic production of medical supplies. On April 30, Vietnam started exporting domestically made and WHO-approved Covid-19 test kits. Having already received orders from 20 countries, Vietnam is reportedly one of five nations with ready-to-export kits. The government suspended the export of drugs used to treat the virus to ensure sufficient preventive and curative supplies for Vietnam. Laos: On April 3, Vietnam sent nearly 5 tons of Covid-19 related medical equipment worth over $300,000 to Laos, including test kits, 340,000 face masks, and PPE. Cambodia: On April 3, Vietnam donated 390,000 face masks to Cambodia. On April 7, Region 7 of the Vietnam People’s Army provided medical supplies and equipment, including 50,000 face mask, 1,000 sets of PPE, and 260 gallons of hand sanitizer to units of the Cambodian Royal Army. The group also provided 30,000 face masks and over $21,000 in assistance to Vietnamese Cambodians in the area. Indonesia: On April 5, Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology sent 500 diagnostic test kits to Indonesia. Myanmar: On April 10, Vietnam presented $50,000 as a symbolic gift of support during the Covid-19 pandemic. United States: On April 8, Vietnam donated 450,000 protective suits to the United States, with 450,000 more suits to follow in the near future. The delivery drew praise from President Trump on Twitter, who expressed thanks to “our friends in Vietnam.” On April 16, Vietnam announced it is donating 250,000 made-in-Vietnam face masks, including 50,000 sent directly for use at the White House, reportedly worth at least $100,000. Vietnam on April 29 presented 420,000 medical masks to U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink as a donation to the American Red Cross. On June 5, Vietnam donated 1.3 million masks, valued at $450,000. China: On February 8, Vietnam’s Ha Giang province border guards donated 1,000 face masks and 20 sanitizer containers to the Yunan Border Guards as a symbolic gesture. Two weeks later, the Department of Military Medicine within Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence supplied unspecified “medical equipment” to China’s Ministry of Defence in a more formal ceremony. On March 8, border guards at Dien Bien province gifted 10,000 face masks to their Chinese counterparts. Europe: Vietnam on April 7 donated 550,000 masks to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain. Russia: On March 27, Vietnam’s Department of Military Medicine gifted unspecified supplies to the minister counsellor of the Russian Embassy in Hanoi. On April 13, Vietnam donated 150,000 made-in-Vietnam antimicrobial face masks. Japan: Japan received made-in-Vietnam face masks reportedly worth $100,000. Sweden: Vietnam gifted more than 100,000 face masks to Sweden on April 21. France: The Vietnamese Embassy in France on May 7 donated 15,000 masks to local authorities. The Hanoi People’s Committee on May 17 presented 200,000 made-in-Vietnam masks to French localities. Cuba: The Ministry of National Defence announced it would transfer test-kit technology developed by the Vietnam Military Medical University to Cuba. Assistance from Malaysia: Palestine: Malaysia contributed 1 million face masks, 500,000 gloves, and 500 face shields on May 11 to Palestine’s efforts against Covid-19 Assistance from Indonesia: On June 8, the Indonesian Red Cross donated medical supplies to Timor-Leste, including 500 masks, 500 protective suits, 500 face shields, 10,000 pieces of disinfectant, 10 sprayers, and 10 thermometers Assistance from Japan: Japan, traditionally a major donor in Southeast Asia, has been slower to provide assistance to combat Covid-19 than China or the United States. On February 14, the government of Japan announced it would donate 222,000 sets of PPE to Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos, and Mongolia. The equipment was drawn from a stockpile of the Asia-Europe Foundation financed by Japan’s contribution. Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi on April 1 pledged to provide at least $1.8 million (200 million yen) in aid to Vietnam to combat the virus. Japan gifted 4,680 isolation gowns, 6,100 gloves, 6,000 N95 face masks, 13,200 surgical gowns, 27 goggles, and 240 bottles of hand-rub alcohol to Laos and donated $20 million to Cambodia’s Covid-19 response. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on February 7 announced it was providing Covid-19 testing reagents to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology of Vietnam, worth about $130,000. JICA announced on February 25 it would send Covid-19 primer and testing reagents to the National Health Laboratory of Myanmar, worth approximately $3,700. JICA also cooperated with UNICEF, USAID, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency to jointly donate $3 million worth of PPE to the Philippines.This was followed by an additional $46.5 million emergency loan to Myanmar announced on June 1. On June 1, UNDP, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) delivered five ventilators to Indonesia, two of which were sourced through collaboration between the WHO and the Government of Japan. The WHO and Japan will contribute 25 more ventilators through this partnership. Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on June 12 announced that the Government of Japan was providing $6 million in medical supplies and technical assistance through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The Government of Japan provided Laos with $14 million for Covid-19 health and medical equipment. Tokyo pledged an additional $3 million for supplies to Laos through the UNOPS. Myanmar received $19 million (2 billion yen) to bolster Covid-19 health care and medical instruments, including X-ray imaging equipment, ICU beds, and patient monitors. Japan extended a Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan worth $1 billion to the Philippines on July 1. Assistance from South Korea: South Korea has begun to pivot toward international assistance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcing on March 27 that the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and Indonesia were “on its priority list for exporting quarantine supplies, such as coronavirus test kits.” As of April 7, 126 countries have issued requests for the import of South Korean-made Covid-19 tests. On April 8, South Korea committed to provide $500,000 in “varied forms of assistance” to Indonesia. On April 19, Indonesia received 50,000 test kit reagents with an additional 495,000 reagents expected in the coming weeks. South Korean conglomerates pledged to donate 50,000 sets of PPE and PCR test kits each. CJ Corporation donated $255,000 worth of rapid test kits and hand sanitizers to medical facilities and workers in the ride-hailing industry. The Philippines received over 50,000 test kits from South Korea between March and April. On June 17, South Korea launched a program worth $5 million funded by the ASEAN-Korea Corporation Fund that will provide testing kits, PPE, and other medical equipment to Southeast Asia Assistance from Taiwan: Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 14 announced that it would be sending 1.6 million face masks to countries covered by its New Southbound Policy. As of May, Taiwan has provided 100,000 face masks to Singapore, 200,000 to Thailand, 300,000 each to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, and 170,000 masks along with infrared thermal imaging cameras to Myanmar. Assistance from India: India provided Myanmar with Covid-19 supplies, including 200,000 hydroxychloroquine tablets, gloves, body bags, and thermometers on May 6. Assistance From Australia Australia has redirected over $280 million from existing development programs to Covid-19 aid. Canberra provided $14.5 million to Indonesia on May 29, followed by $4.3 million alongside the WHO on June 17 and $3.4 million in partnership with UNICEF on June 22. A $7.3 million pledge was made to Vietnam on June 6, with an additional $3.43 million administered through the Australia-World Bank Group Strategic Partnership on June 25. Assistance From New Zealand New Zealand on May 10 provided $3 million to Indonesia’s pandemic response and recovery efforts through UNICEF Indonesia. Assistance From The European Union The European Union on April 27 announced the mobilization of $378 million to ASEAN countries in support of pandemic response efforts. Indonesia has received $22.5 million in grants, plus $169 million in loans, as part of the European Union’s “Team Europe” global initiative. The initiative will send another $6.7 million to NGOs in Indonesia. Team Europe has also contributed $22.5 million to the WHO’s efforts in Southeast Asia and $500,000 to the UN Multi-Sectoral Response Plan through the IOM in Indonesia. Assistance From France The French Development Bank provided about $2 million to Myanmar, Laos, the Philippines, Vietnam, and the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia. Assistance From Germany In March, Germany pledged $1.6 million to Cambodia’s Emergency Response Pl Assistance From Israel Israel has donated medical supplies to the Philippines, including 50,000 medical gloves, 30,000 surgical masks, 3,000 N95 masks, 4,500 medical gowns, 1,500 face shields, and non-contact thermomenters. Multilateral Assistance World Bank: In early April, the World Bank approved $20 million in credit to support Cambodia’s pandemic response, $18 million in assistance to Laos to help the country strengthen its health system and response capacity, $7 billion in loans to Indonesia in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a $50 million emergency loan for hospital improvements and public health emergency preparedness to Myanmar, and a $500 million loan to support the Philippines’ Covid-19 response and recovery. The World Bank will provide Myanmar’s National Food and Agriculture System Project an additional loan of $200 million on June 30 to help farmers weather the impacts of the pandemic. In total, the World Bank will provide Myanmar with $460 million as of June 1. In late May, the World Bank approved a $250 million fund for Indonesia’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Project, which aims to shore up the country’s health care system. Asian Development Bank (ADB): In late-April, the ADB approved a $1.5 billion loan to support Indonesia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and a $200 million loan to assist the Philippine government in providing cash subsidies to households affected by the pandemic. On May 11, the ADB announced possible plans for an additional $125 million to aid the Philippines.. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): The AIIB will allocate $1 billion in loans to Indonesia to support its pandemic response. The first $250 million will arrive as part of a co-financing program with the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, with the second loan of $750 million coming as a co-financing project with the ADB. On May 29, the ADB and AIIB jointly approved another $750 million loan to the Philippines. United Nations (UN): A UN humanitarian aid flight delivered 10,000 test kits to Myanmar on May 10. A second delivery is due next month from the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, with 10,000 additional tests, reagents, and other medical supplies. The UNDP and IOM will procure six ventilators for Indonesia, in addition to the 27 to be provided by the WHO in partnership with Japan. On June 19, UNDP partnered with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation to present Indonesia with 500,000 surgical masks valued at $183,000 for frontline workers. The United Nations has earmarked an additional $2 million for Indonesia, $1 million for Cambodia, $1 million for Laos, and $1 million for Vietnam from its Covid-19 Multi-Partner Trust Fund. The Myanmar Humanitarian Fund has allocated $1 million from the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, and Luxembourg to Myanmar’s emergency response. The United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Switzerland have also designated $1 million for the Government of Myanmar’s Access to Health Fund. The Livelihoods and Food Security Fund, a multidonor fund financed by the United Kingdom, European Union, Australia, Switzerland, United States, Canada, and Ireland has allocated $15.8 million to Myanmar’s Covid-19 response. BACK TO TOP National Responses to Covid-19 in Southeast Asia Indonesia: Indonesia is seeing a new spike in cases as the government starts easing restrictions. Indonesia’s response to the pandemic has been slow and piecemeal. The government implemented lockdowns in Jakarta and other metropolitan areas, but inconsistent guidelines, the lack of enforcement for self-quarantines, and the weakness of the national government’s communication strategy have meant that public awareness of social distancing remains a problem. Border closures and entry bans: On March 31, the Indonesian government announced a temporary ban on all foreign visitors. Quarantine or lockdown: On March 31, the government declared a “public health emergency,” allowing regional administrations to impose social restrictions like closing schools, workplaces, and limiting religious and public gatherings. Indonesia has declared the Covid-19 outbreak a “non-natural national disaster,” but the implementation of quarantines and lockdowns have varied significantly by location. On May 4, Jokowi announced a five-point plan to anticipate the second wave of the outbreak: (1) an evaluation of “large scale social restrictions,” or PSBB; (2) testing, contact tracing, and isolation goals for provinces under PSBB; (3) stricter monitoring of migrant workers; (4) a stronger social safety net for low-income families; and (5) a hotline for feedbank on the government’s handling of the pandemic. On June 4, Jakarta governor Anies Baswdan extended the PSBB in the capital for another month. This is meant to serve as a “transition period” during which Jakarta will gradually reopen workplaces (at 50 percent capacity), places of worship, public transportation, and educational insititutions. Jokowi announced on May 26 that 350,000 army and police personnel had been deployed across four provinces and 25 cities, including Jakarta, to “discipline citizens and make the society abide” by the PSBB. On June 2, the government canceled the hajj pilgrimage this year, which 221,000 Indonesians were preparing to take. The Ministry of Religious Affairs on July 1 announced a ban on public celebrations of the July 31 Idul Adha (Day of Sacrifice) holiday in areas still at risk of Covid-19 spread Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan on July 1 announced he was extending the city’s PSBB measures until July 14. Economic stimulus: The government announced a stimulus package worth $725 million in February 2020, which provides fiscal incentives to support the country’s tourism, aviation, and property industries. The package also allocated $324 million for low-income households. On March 13, the Indonesian government issued its second emergency stimulus package worth $8.1 billion, which included exempting some workers in manufacturing from income tax and giving manufacturing companies a discount on corporate tax payments. On March 31, President Jokowi introduced Indonesia’s third stimulus package worth nearly $24.6 billion for health care spending, social protection, and tax incentives. Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati on May 18 announced $43 billion in economic stimulus. The funds will be used to support 12 state-owned enterprises, subsidize loan repayments for approximately 60 million borrowers, and strengthen social safety net programs, among other things. The Ministry of National Development Planning projects that the 2020 unemployment rate will reach 9.2 percent, up from 5.2 percent in 2019. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June lowered Indonesia’s GDP growth projections for 2020 to -0.3 percent from 5.0 percent in 2019. Philippines: The Philippines currently has the highest number of new confirmed cases per day in the region. Under President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine government veered from dismissing the threat and refusing to restrict travel from China to imposing an abrupt lockdown of the entire island of Luzon, including Metro Manila, enforced by the military and the police. The Congress granted Duterte “special temporary power,” which allows him to implement draconian measures which are hitting vulnerable populations, especially the urban poor, especially hard. Border closures and entry bans: All inbound and outbound commercial flights have been suspended to ease congestion at quarantine facilities. Foreigners are banned from entry, with exceptions for foreign spouses and children of repatriating overseas Filipino workers. Quarantine or lockdown: On March 16, President Duterte imposed an Enhanced Community Quarantine, or ECQ, in Metro Manila and broader Luzon. Two months later, on May 16, the ECQ was eased in Manila, and businesses have been allowed to operate with 50 percent of their employees on-site. Stay-at-home orders were lifted on May 15 in central and southern Luzon and several provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao. President Duterte on June 15 reimposed an ECQ on Cebu City following a rise in Covid-19 cases; the ECQ has since been extended through July 15. On April 1, Duterte ordered the police and the military to shoot protesters violating these measures. The first case of police shooting a civilian for refusing to follow quarantine restrictions was reported on April 4. Since then, Human Rights Watch has reported other instances of law enforcement abuse during the implementation of these public health measures. The UN high commissioner for human rights called out the Philippines’ “highly militarized response” during the lockdown, which has led to the arrest of 120,000 people for violating curfew. On May 25, President Duterte announced he will not allow students to return to school until a coronavirus vaccine is available. The government eased the lockdown in Manila on June 1 after 76 days. Most businesses were allowed to reopen and domestic flights have resumed. Manila has been placed under a less-restrictive general community quarantine until July 15. Economic stimulus: On March 17, the Philippines government announced the entire country will be placed under a “state of calamity” for a period of six months. The declaration enables national and local governments to quickly access relief funds. On March 24, President Duterte signed into law Republic Act No.11469, granting him “special temporary power” for three months with a possible extension. Duterte can now direct the operations of private hospital and ships, reapportion the Executive Department’s budget, and access $5.36 billion from various government agencies to mitigate the potential economic fallout of the pandemic. On March 30, the government approved a $3.9 billion social protection program for poor families and health workers. On April 7, the Duterte administration announced a $610 million "Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities" to assist local governments. On April 13, the government approved a $1 billion wage subsidy package intended to support about 3.4 million small business workers. Workers qualifying for the financial assistance will receive about $340 for two months. On May 12, House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and eight other lawmakers filed the House Bill No. 6709, or the Covid-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus Act of 2020, aimed at creating jobs in rural areas through infrastructure projects worth $29 billion. More than 20 million families will receive government aid. The IMF lowered the Philippines’s GDP growth projections for 2020 to 0.6 percent from 5.9 percent in 2019. JPMorgan downgraded the Philippines’ growth forecast to 0.9. The Philippine government on June 24 announced that it was seeking a record-breaking $85.9 billion budget for 2021 to support economic recovery from the pandemic. The budget proposal will be submitted to Congress when it resumes session in July. The IMF in June lowered the Philippines’s GDP growth projections for 2020 to -3.6 percent from 5.9 percent in 2019. JPMorgan downgraded the Philippines’ growth forecast to 0.9. Vietnam: Despite limited resources and a bustling border with China, Vietnam has managed to effectively contain the pandemic. It has done so with a prompt and aggressive response, starting with travel restrictions in late January and a local quarantine in mid-February. The Communist Party of Vietnam has shown its ability to mobilize society, enact aggressive containment and monitoring strategies, and communicate effectively with citizens, underpinned by its network of informants who surveil the populace and help enforce government restrictions. Vietnam is the first ASEAN country to incrementally lift lockdown measures. Border closure and entry bans: Vietnam banned all flights to and from China on February 1. The country reopened six secondary border gates with China in mid-May to facilitate the resumption of cross-border trade. Vietnam will resume issuing e-visas to foreign visitors from 80 countries beginning July 1. Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi announced on June 23 that Japan would partly ease travel restrictions with Vietnam for commercial activity, with flights between the two countries restarting on June 25-27. Cross-border travel restrictions with Cambodia were lifted on June 22. Quarantine or lockdown: A national lockdown began April 1. Social isolation measures were lifted in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi on April 23 with some restrictions remaining for hospitality and entertainment businesses. “Unnecessary major events” remain banned, and non-essential public services are suspended. On May 7, the Ministry of Transport announced that all public and commercial transport could begin to operate at full capacity and frequency. With the issuance of Decree No. 19 on April 25, centrally-directed areas can now lift Covid-19 restrictions only if the disease is contained and controlled. Other responses: A decree preventing the spread of “fake news” was set in motion on April 15. Violators may be fined between $426 and $853. Economic stimulus: On March 3, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced a $1.16 billion fiscal stimulus package from the government’s contingency budget. The package includes tax breaks, delayed tax payments, and government spending on infrastructure in an effort to maintain a 6.8 percent growth target, according to state media. Vietnam stopped exporting rice on March 24 to ensure national food security. In early April, the government announced plans for a $2.6 billion fiscal package to support those most affected by the pandemic. Under the new package, those displaced from their jobs will receive about $76 per month through June, low-income households will collect about $42 per month, and those who “rendered services to the state during the revolution” will be sent about $22 a month. The government will also delay collecting and estimated $7.6 billion in value-added tax, corporate income tax, and land rent from various businesses and households for five months starting from April. The IMF lowered Vietnam’s GDP growth projections for 2020 to 2.7 percent from 7.0 percent in 2019. Vietnam’s Q1 employment rate is at a 10-year low. Almost 5 million Vietnamese have lost their jobs as of mid-April. Thailand: The Covid-19 pandemic presents Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha with a new crisis at a time when Thailand was returning to a semblance of normalcy after five yars of junta rule. Inconsistent policies about travel and quarantine, poor communication, and supply shortages have highlighted the government’s inability to promptly and adequately respond to the surge of Covid-19 cases. This has led to widespread criticism and frustration on social media. Prayuth has responded with a clamp down on the press and social media reporting. Border closures and entry bans: All borders were closed on March 22, and foreign visitors to Thailand were banned. Thailand’s ban on incoming flights was lifted on July 1. That same day, the country reopened 37 checkpoints along its borders with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia to facilitate cargo transport. Quarantine or lockdown: On May 17, Thailand’s national curfew was shortened to 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. from the previously announced 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. time. The army is helping enforce the curfew. This followed a state of emergency decree issued by Prayuth on March 26, which was extended a second and third time, now until the end of July. However, lockdown measures for businesses—including nightlife venues—were further relaxed on June 29. The decree grants the government sweeping powers to restrict domestic travel, ban social gatherings, and censor the media. April 15, Prime Minister Prayuth announced plans to gradually ease Covid-19 restrictions at the end of April due to a decline in new confirmed cases. Thailand began to ease restrictions on business operations on May 3 and will allow certain businesses to reopen, including retail stores, food services, and markets. Thailand removed South Korea and China, including Hong Kong and Macau, from its list of Covid-19 Disease Infected Zones on May 15, easing restrictions on travel to and from those countries. ﷟ Thailand reopened more businesses, including department stores and shopping malls, on May 17. Thailand’s ban on inbound flights has been extended from May 31 to June 30. The government announced the country will completely reopen on July 1, following a third phase of relaxation through June. Provincial and international travel has been allowed to resume under the third phase, and all public transport has been allowed to resume. Schools reopened on July 1. Thailand has created a Covid-19 contact-tracing app, Thai Chana (Thailand Wins). The government has yet to announce if use of the app will be mandatory. Economic stimulus: On April 7, the government unveiled plans for a new stimulus package worth $58 billion—10 percent of GDP. Of this, $18 billion will be used for financial aid to workers, $12 billion for infrastructure and job investments, $15 billion for soft loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and $12 billion for a Corporate Bond Liquidity Stabilization Fund. The government had approved an earlier stimulus package on March 10 that was expected to inject $12.7 billion into the economy on March 10. Ninety-two public-private partnership projects worth $3.3 trillion are currently being planned to stimulate the economy. On April 28, the cabinet approved monthly payments of $154 for three months to the 8.4 million households registered as farmers. On June 24, the IMF lowered Thailand’s GDP growth projections for 2020 to -7.7 percent from 2.4 percent in 2019. The Bank of Thailand has predicted the economy will contract by 8.1 percent this year. Up to 14.4 million jobs may be lost due to combined pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic and drought. The National Economic and Social Development Council expects this to include 2.5 million jobs in tourism, 1.5 million in the industrial sector, and 4.4 million in other services. Myanmar: Myanmar did not report its first case until March 23. But considering its long, porous border with China, Myanmar’s paucity of Covid-19 cases likely results more from the lack of testing than from the absence of the virus. The country’s underdeveloped health care system and the government’s failure to act decisively underscore Myanmar’s unpreparedness to cope with the pandemic. The national government has not yet declared a state of emergency or instituted any nationwide lockdown. Border closures and entry bans: Borders with China and India are closed. Border crossings with Bangladesh are restricted to trade flows. International flights and public gatherings are banned until the end of July. Quarantine or lockdown: In mid-March, the government formed a Covid-19 committee led by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to oversee the crisis response. On March 31, however, Myanmar’s military set up a separate task force led by the military-appointed vice president, U Myint Swe. The task force includes other military-appointed members of the cabinet as well as the joint chief of staff of the defense forces and five civilian cabinet members. This military-led task force does not report to Aung San Suu Kyi and has taken upon itself broad powers to investigate Covid-19 cases, conduct contact tracing, and clamp down on the press and social media. Starting April 19, Yangon imposed a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew and a supplementary stay-at-home order on seven Yangon townships until June 18, excluding essential workers. Shan, Karen, and Kachin states and Mandalay, Sagaing, Ayeyarwaddy, and Bago regions have also adopted curfews. Schools nationwide are set to resume on June 1. On May 15, Myanmar extended Covid-19 measures a second time, including the ban on public gatherings, school and cinema closures, and visa and international flight suspensions, until May 31. The first Covid-19 case was reported on May 15 in the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazaar. As of May 25, 29 cases have been confirmed in the camp, and 15,000 Rohingya refugees are quarantined in “isolation areas.” On June 29, the government extended restrictions on visas and international flights until the end of July. A curfew will remain in place, and schools and training centers will stay closed. All citizens are still required to wear masks in public. Long-distance travel within the country resumed in early June, although buses must limit the number of passengers. Restaurants, cafes, tea shops, and markets have reopened with social distancing guidelines and limited customer capacity. Gatherings of more than five people remain prohibited. With stay-at-home orders lifted for the last remaining township in Yangon on June 30, partial lockdown measures have now been relaxed country-wide. Other responses: Rights groups have reported that the military is escalating offensives against ethnic armed groups in Shan, Kachin, Chin, and Rakhine states. On April 21, after an attack on a World Health Organization team, the United Nations called for an urgent cease-fire. UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee said the military was conducting “war crimes” against minorities, emboldened by the significant political role it was granted to fight the pandemic. On April 28, the government and ethnic armed organizations established a coordinating committee to jointly fight Covid-19. Skirmishes were reported on May 8 between the Myanmar army and the Karen National Union. Myanmar’s Union Minister of Health and Sports on May 18 submitted to the Lower House of Parliament a new draft Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases Law. The country’s current law on communicable diseases was drafted in 1995 and has only been amended once, in 2011. Economic stimulus: On April 27, the government released a comprehensive economic relief plan outlining, among other things, new monetary policy, measures to boost private businesses and trade, and efforts to mitigate the economic impacts for workers and households. As of April 28, Myanmar is reportedly close to releasing a $2-3 billion stimulus package. A fund of nearly $70 million was previously established at the Myanmar Economic Bank to provide soft loans to affected business (particularly the garment and tourism sectors and SMEs). The Ministry of Health will receive $200,000 to buy laboratory equipment and medical supplies. Aung San Suu Kyi on June 16 said the government expects the most severe economic fallout to begin in September. On June 24, the Ministry of Planning, Finance, and Industry announced a $1 billion stimulus programs using funds from the IMF and JICA. Malaysia: Malaysia’s initial response to the outbreak was nonchalant and complicated by an abrupt change in government. But in mid-March, the country closed its borders and shut down non-essential businesses, schools, and religious services. The armed forces have been deployed to enforce a partial lockdown and the government is increasing testing capacity and contract tracing as confirmed Covid-19 cases continue to rise. Border closures and entry bans: Malaysia shut its borders on March 16, banning all visitors and barring residents from travel overseas. Starting April 14, Malaysians in Singapore have been allowed to return if they are tested and placed in quarantine facilities. One checkpoint in Songklah on the Thailand-Malaysia border reopened on April 26. Malaysia on June 19 reopened its borders to select groups of foreigners, including medical tourists and international students. On April 18, the government reopened the Padang Besar checkpoint in Songkhla on the Thailand-Malaysia border. On April 16, Malaysia denied entry to a boat carrying 200 Rohingya refugees, saying it feared they might spread the virus. Human Rights Watch has called on Malaysia to better protect its human rights obligations while adopting public health measures. Quarantine or lockdown: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin enacted a “Movement Control Order,” or MCO, on March 18. The government has mobilized the Malaysian Armed Forces﷟ to enforce the order, including through the use of drones, resulting in the arrest of hundreds of MCO violators. The order has been extended four times, most recently to June 9. On May 1, Muhyiddin announced that a Conditional Movement Control Order, or CMCO, would take effect three days later, allowing private tertiary institutions (but not entertainment businesses, hospitality venues, schools, or religious gatherings) to operate under strict conditions. All university-level lectures are to be held online with no face-to-face contact allowed until the end of 2020. Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on June 24 that Malaysians will be permitted to host and attend social gatherings beginning July 1. Secondary schools also reopened after three months of closure. Unemployment hit a 10-year high of 3.9 percent, or 610,500 people, in March. Authorities have ordered a freeze on hiring new foreign workers across sectors until December Other responses: On April 16, Malaysia denied entry to a boat carrying 200 Rohingya refugees, saying it feared they might spread the virus. Human Rights Watch called on Malaysia to better fulfill its human rights obligations while adopting public health measures. On June 18, Malaysia announced possible plans to send 269 detained Rohingya refugees back to sea after Bangladesh refused to take them back. Prime Minister Muhyiddin called on Vietnam, as this year’s ASEAN chair, “to play a bigger role in addressing the Rohingya refugee crisis.” Economic stimulus: Three economic stimulus packages have been unveiled. Interim prime minister Mahathir Mohamad launched the first, worth $4.6 billion, on Feb 27 to cushion the blow of Covid-19 for the tourism sector and other industries. This included nationwide electricity discounts of 2 percent for industrial, commercial, and domestic users, as well as a monetary assistance scheme for employees. Newly-installed prime minister Muhyiddin unveiled the second package, estimated at $53 billion, on March 26. It includes $23.1 billion for businesses and $2.3 billion in direct cash payments for 4 million low-income households. The combined value of the first two packages equaled 15.5 percent of Malaysia’s GDP and 84.2 percent of the federal government’s original 2020 budget. The government announced a third stimulus package, worth $2.2 billion, on April 6. It includes wage subsidies, grants and loans for SMEs, and tax deductions. On June 24, the IMF lowered Malaysia’s GDP growth projections for 2020 to -3.8 percent from 4.3 percent in 2019. Cambodia: After downplaying the risks of the crisis and refusing to shut the country’s borders for several weeks, Prime Minister Hun Sen declared a state of emergency on March 31 and put forward a draft emergency law granting the government unfettered powers. This prompted an outcry from human rights groups. Hun Sen’s reluctance to act earlier likely stemmed from his desire to maintain a close relationship with China. Border closures and entry bans: All visa exemptions, visas on arrival, and e-visas were suspended until at least April 30. On May 22, Hun Sen lifted the ban on arrivals from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, and the United States until further notice. Cross-border travel restrictions with Vietnam were lifted on June 22. Quarantine or lockdown: All persons entering the country are being placed under quarantine for 14 days. Cambodia is expected to resume all international flights in mid-June; hotels are expected to reopen shortly thereafter. Other responses: On April 10, the Cambodian National Assembly passed a state of emergency law granting Prime Minister Hun Sen greater powers to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. A royal decree announced the promulgation of the law on April 29. It grants the government the power to monitor communications and social media and restrict the distribution of information. The government has arrested at least 30 people since January on charges of spreading “fake news” related to the outbreak. Twelve of them were linked to the dissolved Cambodian National Rescue Party. This has raised concerns about human rights violations and the martial power granted to Hun Sen without oversight. Economic stimulus: As of March 30, the Cambodian government was expected to approve around $70 million in additional resources for the health sector. On March 9, Hun Sen announced the government had allocated between $800 million and $2 billion to address the economic impacts of Covid-19. Only “legally registered and formally verified” SMEs will receive benefits. This would exclude the 95 percent of Cambodian SMEs that are informal businesses. As of June 3, Hun Sen’s government has designated $350 million in aid for vulnerable groups and modest wage subsidies. The government launched a cash relief program for 600,000 families especially vulnerable to the pandemic on June 24. Laos: Laos, the most rural country in Southeast Asia, was also the last to report its first Covid-19 infection. The country’s governance and almost non-existent health care system will be tested as case numbers rise in the coming weeks. This will only be partially offset by the significant assistance it has received from China since early March. Border closures and entry bans: On March 30, the government shut down all international border checkpoints until May 3. Returning Lao citizens are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine monitored by local officials. Quarantine or lockdown: On March 30, Laos issued a national stay-at-home order except for essential outings. On May 4, the government permitted restaurants and malls to reopen. Offices can reopen if they adopt rotating shifts. On May 18, authorities announced more businesses can operate, including some schools and sport activities. Entertainment and retail venues remain closed. Economic stimulus: On March 20, the Lao cabinet approved a preliminary 13-part stimulus package during its monthly meeting. The government approved relief measures on April 10 exempting micro- and small businesses from paying income tax for three months. Singapore: Singapore had been hailed as a global public-health model due to its early and aggressive response to Covid-19. It initially managed to contain the virus through widespread testing, comprehensive contact tracing, and mandatory, well-enforced quarantines for those testing positive, their contacts, and all returning travelers. Singapore developed its own test kits as early as January and is now distributing them to countries in the region. But despite its early success, Singapore has had the highest number of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia since April 20 following an explosion of infections linked to foreign workers domitories Border closure: On March 22, the city-state barred all short-term visitors from entering Singapore. Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, South Korean, and Canada have agreed to resume cross-border travel to maintain supply chains. Malaysians with a Singapore work permit will continue to be allowed to work in the country. The only other non-nationals allowed entry are work permit holders in "essential sectors" such as health care. Singapore banned the entry of all travelers from China on January 31. Quarantine or lockdown: On April 5, Singapore imposed a quarantine on dormitories housing 20,000 migrant workers, most of whom are manual laborers from South Asia living in cramped conditions. A task force lead by the Ministries of Health and Manpower has deployed special teams to bring supplies, food, and medical assistance to quarantined foreign workers. On April 21, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long announced that the stay-at-home order, which the government has dubbed a “circuit breaker,” would be extended until June 1. Work permit holders were placed under a mandatory stay-at-home notice until May 18 because of the rise in the number of infections in the community. On May 1, Prime Minister Lee announced the eventual “step-by-step” reopening of the economy. “Circuit breaker” measures will be progressively lifted in three phases. On June 2, Singapore gradually reopened schools and 75 percent of its economy, allowing one-third of workers to return to offices and factories. As Singapore emerges from its shutdown, the government may decide on an early election before April 2021. Phase two of Singapore’s reopening began on June 19, allowing for public and private gatherings of up to five people, a resumption of physical retail and recreational businesses, and the reopening of restaurants with a maximum occupancy of five people. Singapore and China are planning a travel “bubble” for essential trips by government and corporate travelers between Singapore and Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang. President Halimah Yacob on June 23 dissolved Parliament, officially setting a general election for next month. The Elections Department has laid out a series of guidelines for safe campaigning, with online rallies planned in lieu of physical events. As of June 26, religious services with a maximum of 50 attendees are permitted. Tourist attractions will reopen at 25 percent operating capacity on July 1. Economic stimulus: Singapore first announced $4.4 billion of relief funding, dubbed the “Unity Budget,” on February 18 to co-fund business costs and provide tax relief for workers. On March 26, Singapore unveiled a second stimulus plan, the “Resilience Budget,” worth $33 billion. The package was designed to assist hard-hit sectors and self-employed individuals and provide cash payouts to citizens depending on income. On April 6, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced an unprecedented third round of support measures called the “Solidarity Budget.” This includes one-off payments to citizens, wage subsidies, and self-employed relief schemes. Singaporeans over the age of 21 began receive $424 each on April 14. Altogether, the government has earmarked $41.6 billion, about 12 percent of GDP, to respond to Covid-19. This is the largest, most aggressive stimulus package in Asia. On April 14, the IMF lowered Singapore’s GDP growth projections for 2020 to -3.5 percent from 0.7 percent last October. On May 26, Singapore unveiled its fourth stimulus, dubbed the “Fortitude Budget,” totalling $23.2 billion to support workers and businesses affected by Covid-19 border closures and social distancing measures. The “Emerging Stronger Taskforce” has established industry coalitions to spark job growth and new project ideas in areas such as robotics and supply chain digitization. Brunei: The Sultanate has implemented drastic measures to clamp down on travel, impose strict quarantine rules, and conduct extensive testing. Most cases in Brunei can be linked back to a large-scale religious event in Malaysia at the end of February Border closures and entry bans: All foreign visitors have been banned since March 24. On March 16, citizens, foreign residents, and green card holders in the country were barred from leaving without permission from the Prime Minister’s Office. Malaysia has closed its land border with Brunei. Quarantine or lockdown: The government has prohibited mass gatherings, weddings, and sporting events. Brunei started easing Covid-19 measures in certain areas on May 16, beginning with social distancing and the reopening of businesses like sports facilities and markets. Schools are to reopen on June 2. Brunei issued iMSafe tracking bracelets on April 30 to all Covid-19 patients currently under home quarantine and those already recovered. Economic stimulus: On March 19, the Brunei Darussalam Monetary Authority announced measures to alleviate the financial burden on sectors hit hard by the pandemic. From April 1, the Ministry of Finance and Economy announced additional steps in aiding SMEs and individuals affected by the pandemic, amounting to about $1.7 million in the form of deferment of principal or loan repayment and the exemption of fees and charges. On April 13, Brunei announced a special $400 monthly allowance for health care workers, including doctors, nurses, volunteers, hospital cleaners, and security guards. ASEAN Response to Covid-19 While ASEAN has convened a series of meetings on how to deal with the pandemic, including with external partners such as the United States, China, and the European Union, there has been very little collective action to date. Diplomatically, the crisis has threatened ASEAN’s centrality in regional affairs, with the crisis causing the cancellation of several key ASEAN meetings, including the ASEAN-U.S. summit scheduled for March 14 in Las Vegas and the 36th ASEAN Summit scheduled for April 6-9 in Vietnam. The latter was held as a virtual summit on June 26 where leaders agreed to establish an ASEAN Covid-19 fund, a regional reserve of medical supplies and coordinated disease response mechanisms. The 29th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Trade Negotiating Committee Meeting was held April 20-24. The representatives reaffirmed their intent to sign the agreement into law in 2020, their continued interest in continuing engagement with India, and the importance of RCEP in jump starting the global economy in response to Covid-19. ASEAN foreign ministers participated in an ASEAN-U.S. special foreign ministers’ meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi on April 23. In addition to discussing coordination on Covid-19, Pompeo raised Washington’s concerns about China’s damming of the Mekong River and its continued assertiveness in the South China Sea despite the ongoing pandemic. On February 20, the foreign ministers of ASEAN and China met in Vientiane, Laos to discuss ways to tackle the public health and economic implications of the global pandemic. The 10 ASEAN countries and China agreed to step up cooperation in sharing medical and health information and best practices to enhance emergency preparedness and response, with the communiqué praising China’s response to the pandemic. ASEAN leaders virtually attended the 36th annual summit on June 26, where they addressed “land reclamations, recent developments and serious incidents” in the South China Sea, the Rohingya crisis, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the region. As part of the post-pandemic recovery plan, ASEAN will establish a Covid-19 response fund for medical supplies and aid. Thailand has already pledged $100,000 and ASEAN partners China, Japan, and South Korea are also expected to contribute. BACK TO TOP CSIS Analysis commentary The Latest on Covid-19 in Southeast Asia: July 2, 2020 July 2, 2020 | Southeast Asian leaders on June 26 dialed in for the first-ever virtual ASEAN Summit. Covid-19 topped the agenda under the theme of a “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN.” commentary America First versus Wolf Warriors: Pandemic Diplomacy in Southeast Asia June 18, 2020 | Gregory B. Poling, Kim Mai Tran The Covid-19 pandemic has opened a new front in U.S.-China competition for influence in Southeast Asia. And for the most part, the region seems unimpressed. China’s missteps in pandemic diplomacy present a strategic opportunity for the United States, but one Washington has been slow to seize. commentary The Latest on Covid-19 in Southeast Asia: June 4, 2020 June 4, 2020 | The U.S. government has more than quadrupled its pledged funding for Covid-19 aid in Southeast Asia to $77 million, up from just $18 million in early April. commentary The Latest on Covid-19 in Southeast Asia: May 20, 2020 May 20, 2020 | Some Southeast Asian countries are easing Covid-19 lockdown measures and the rest of the region is debating the timing and speed for doing the same. What We are Reading "Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center," Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 2020, https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html. “Policy Responses to COVID-19,” International Monetary Fund, https://www.imf.org/en/Topics/imf-and-covid19/Policy-Responses-to-COVID-19 “Interactive: The multilaterals funding the COVID-19 response in Southeast Asia and Pacific,” Devex, June 5, 2020, https://www.devex.com/news/interactive-the-multilaterals-funding-the-covid-19-response-in-southeast-asia-and-pacific-97376. Nyshka Chandran, “The Pandemic Has Given Armies in Southeast Asia a Boost,” Foreign Affairs, June 15, 2020, https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/06/15/coronavirus-pandemic-army-military-southeast-asia-boost-indonesia-philippines-jokowi-duterte-authoritarianism/. “Covid-19: stay up-to-date with the latest on UNOPS support to response efforts,” United Nations Office for Project Services, https://www.unops.org/news-and-stories/news/covid-19-stay-up-to-date-with-the-latest-on-unops-support-to-response-efforts Jade Sacker, “In Cambodia, a Spiritual Army Battles an Earthly Pandemic,” Foreign Policy, June 12, 2020, https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/06/12/cambodia-coronavirus-pandemic-buddhism/. Joshua Kurlantzick, “How Jokowi Failed the Test of COVID-19 in Indonesia,” World Politics Review, June 9, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/28823/amid-lackluster-response-by-jokowi-indonesia-reels-from-covid-19. William Pesek, “Coronavirus is crushing Cambodia's dreams of oil wealth,” Nikkei Asian Review, June 8, 2020, https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Coronavirus-is-crushing-Cambodia-s-dreams-of-oil-wealth. “National Security Podcast: Indonesia and COVID-19,” Asia and the Pacific Policy Society, June 3, 2020, https://policyforum.net/national-security-podcast-indonesia-and-covid-19/. “Private Sector Tracker: How Asia’s Companies Are Responding To The COVID-19 Pandemic,” Forbes, May 14, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/gracechung/2020/05/14/private-sector-tracker-how-asias-companies-are-responding-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/#35e988aa6741. Murray Hiebert, “COVID-19 threatens democracy in Southeast Asia,” East Asia Forum, May 25, 2020, https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2020/05/25/covid-19-threatens-democracy-in-southeast-asia/. Bill Hayton, “Vietnam’s Coronavirus Success is Build on Repression,” Foreign Policy, May 12, 2020, https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/05/12/vietnam-coronavirus-pandemic-success-repression/. Adam Schwarz, “COVID-19 is increasing strategic uncertainty in Southeast Asia,” The Atlantic Council, May 8, 2020, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/covid-19-is-increasing-strategic-uncertainty-in-southeast-asia/. Zachary Abuza, “Weapons, Viruses, and the New Defense Reality in Southeast Asia,” War on the Rocks, May 8, 2020. https://warontherocks.com/2020/05/weapons-viruses-and-the-new-defense-reality-in-southeast-asia/ Andrew Nachemson, “In Myanmar, the Coronavirus Gives Nationalists an Opening,” Foreign Policy, May 1, 2020, https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/05/01/myanmar-coronavirus-pandemic-gives-nationalists-opening-ethnic-minorities-risk/. Sana Jaffrey, “Coronavirus Blunders in Indonesia Turn Crisis Into Catastrophe,”Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 29, 2020, https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/04/29/coronavirus-blunders-in-indonesia-turn-crisis-into-catastrophe-pub-81684. Malcolm Cook and Ian Storey, “Images Reinforced: COVID-19, US-China Rivalry and Southeast Asia,” ISEAS Yusok Ishak Institute, April 24, 2020, https://www.iseas.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/ISEAS_Perspective_2020_34.pdf. Tomoya Inishi, “Vietnam power struggle enters critical stretch after virus victory,” Nikkei Asian Review, April 28, 2020, https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Asia-Insight/Vietnam-power-struggle-enters-critical-stretch-after-virus-victory. Zachary Abuza, “Explaining Successful (and Unsuccessful) COVID-19 Responses in Southeast Asia,” The Diplomat, April 21, 2020, https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/explaining-successful-and-unsuccessful-covid-19-responses-in-southeast-asia/. Joshua Kurlantzick, “Can Southeast Asia Fend Off the One-Two Punch of COVID-19?,” World Politics Review, April 17, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/28691/can-southeast-asia-fend-off-the-one-two-punch-of-covid-19. Sean Flemming, “Viet Nam shows how you can contain COVID-19 with limited resources,” WEF, March 30, 2020, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/vietnam-contain-covid-19-limited-resources/. “Indonesia in 'worst' position as coronavirus attacks ASEAN bloc,” Nikkei Asia Review, April 7, 2020, https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Asia-Insight/Indonesia-in-worst-position-as-coronavirus-attacks-ASEAN-bloc. Michael Sullivan, “In Southeast Asia, Governments Exploit Coronavirus Fears To Tighten Grip,” NPR, April 3, 2020, https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/03/826510300/in-southeast-asia-governments-exploit-coronavirus-fears-to-tighten-grip. Bertil Lintner, “Covid-19 restores Myanmar military’s lost powers,” Asia Times, April 2, 2020, https://asiatimes.com/2020/04/covid-19-restores-myanmar-militarys-lost-powers/. Prashanth Parameswaran, “The Geopolitics of Southeast Asia’s Coronavirus Challenge,” The Diplomat, April 1, 2020 https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/the-geopolitics-of-southeast-asias-coronavirus-challenge/. Bilahari Kausikan, “How the coronavirus may change the geopolitics of Southeast Asia,” South China Morning Post, March 23, 2020, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3076460/how-coronavirus-may-change-geopolitics-southeast-asia. The CSIS Southeast Asia Program is committed to delivering timely and relevant analysis during the Covid-19 pandemic. 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