Bhavan Jaipragas

Bhavan Jaipragas

Asia Correspondent

Bhavan is a contributor to Inkstone. He is Asia Correspondent for the South China Morning Post.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil
Areas of Expertise
Southeast Asia politics, ASEAN, macroeconomy
Asia greets tight US election with a giant shrug
The close US election, with the twists and turns involved in the vote-counting process – as well as seeming rival claims of victory – was a messy outcome anticipated by the region’s investors and political punditry. Speaking to South China Morning Post reporters across Asia, observers and analysts said a rising stock market on Wednesday and Thursday reflected the distinct lack of panic in the region. Still, there remained some anxiety about the knock-on effects for security in flashpoint regions such as the Taiwan Strait and the Korean peninsula if Washington remains distracted with internal politics for an extended period. As of press time, the outcome was being decided based on the final
‘Invincible’ youths more vulnerable to coronavirus than previously thought
Younger people may not be as invulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 as previously thought, according to data released on Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Top American health official and US President Donald Trump urged the country’s millennials to heed social distancing guidelines. The CDC’s study of 4,226 coronavirus infections recorded in the US from February 12 to Monday showed that about a fifth of 705 people aged 20-44 were hospitalized, with 2-4% requiring intensive care. Still, the US data matched findings from China – the early epicenter of the global pandemic – showing that the risk of severe complications and death arising from a Covid-19 infection ros
‘Brownface’ ad stirs racism debate in Singapore
Singapore’s national news agency has joined the government in condemning two ethnic Indian celebrities who produced a vulgarity-laced rap in response to a “brownface” campaign that had featured a Chinese man darkening himself to appear Indian. On social media, however, fans of siblings Preeti and Subhas Nair expressed support for the duo and disagreed strongly with the government’s claim that their spoof video could potentially fan ethnic tensions in the multiracial state. Singapore is a city-state with more than 75% ethnic Chinese, 15% ethnic Malays and 7% ethnic Indians. The government is known for its assiduous management of race relations, but non-Chinese groups have complained of instit
The Democrats won the House, but it’s still a loss for China
Donald Trump has lost the House to the Democrats, but it won’t offer any more breathing space for China. In fact, some analysts say the Trump administration will now act more aggressively in foreign policymaking, now that he is facing hurdles pushing forward his domestic agenda. Ian Bremmer, president of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group and a vocal Trump critic, predicted on Wednesday that Trump will make more surprise moves in the coming two years as he competes with the House Democrats for attention. “He’s going to work harder so that [the media] is covering what he wants them to cover. When that becomes a problem for him, he escalates,” Bremmer said on the sidelines of the Bloombe
Sorry, it’s too $$$, Malaysia tells China
Southeast Asian economic powerhouse Malaysia has a strategic location astride one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. It was once an enthusiastic supporter of Chinese investment, signing tens of billions of dollars worth of deals with Beijing. But a stunning election upset in May changed all that. The pro-Beijing incumbent, Najib Razak, who was tainted by a mega corruption scandal, was out. Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 93, was back in. Mahathir, who came out of retirement to contest the top job, immediately began to question the $22 billion worth of infrastructure deals with Chinese companies endorsed by his predecessor. And as he wrapped up a five-day visit to Beijing on Tuesd