Maria Siow

Maria Siow

Senior Correspondent, Asia

Maria Siow is a long-time China-based correspondent and analyst with keen interest in East Asia. Maria has a masters degree in international relations.

Language spoken
English, Mandarin
Areas of Expertise
Chinese foreign relations, Asian affairs, China’s public diplomacy
Is Russia cooling on its ‘special’ friend China?
China and Russia have often described their relationship as “special” and “unprecedented” and have recently promised to maintain what they call a “comprehensive strategic partnership.” In fighting the coronavirus, the “specialness” of this relationship has been clear for all to see. In February, Moscow sent medical supplies to Wuhan, then the epicenter of the outbreak. And when the virus peaked in Russia, China repaid the favor by delivering to its neighbor millions of masks and other protective equipment. What’s more, the leaders of the two countries seem close, having met more than 30 times since 2013. Last month, in what appeared to be a veiled dig at the United States, Chinese President
Are China’s dams causing droughts in its neighbors?
Chinese dams aren’t the problem causing droughts for downstream nations along the Mekong River – they are part of the solution – says a Chinese study released in July. The study is an attempt to pour water on claims by a rival US-backed investigation that blamed dams in China for water shortages suffered by Southeast Asian countries on the river’s lower reaches. The Chinese study, a collaboration between Tsinghua University and China’s Institute of Water Resources, argues that the dams help alleviate the problem by storing water from the wet season and releasing it in the dry season. The claim has sparked an academic discussion about the root cause of shortages so severe that Vietnam declare