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COVID-19 exposes ASEAN's fragility

Prolonged isolation due to the pandemic weakens Southeast Asian stability

| Southeast Asia
A migrant worker locks the gate of their dormitory as they serve stay-home notices in Singapore on Apr. 22: tensions have bubbled over the way these migrant workers have been treated.   © Reuters

Michael Vatikiotis is author of "Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in Modern Southeast Asia."

Bilahari Kausikan, a retired senior Singaporean diplomat, recently suggested that if Cambodia and Laos made what he called "the wrong choices" in terms of their national interests, they might have to be "cut loose" to save the rest of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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