ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
International relations

Southeast Asia's defense cuts create opening for China

ASEAN's focus on pandemic fight risks sowing discord with US

China is planning massive military exercises as early as this summer.   © Kyodo

JAKARTA/BEIJING -- Southeast Asian nations have cut their defense budgets to fund efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, leaving them with fewer resources to respond to China's increasingly aggressive territorial claims in the region.

Indonesia, home to 40% of the population of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has decided to lower its 2020 defense budget by 7% from the initial 131 trillion rupiah ($9.2 billion), earmarking the funds for anti-coronavirus efforts instead.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more