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  • News & article

    Global turmoil and Thailand's political reset

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 21/12/2018

    » As the world moves into 2019, there is a consensus that the roughly seven-decade-old rules-based liberal international order no longer works. Either it has to be fundamentally revamped to suit new realities and the international distribution of power and wealth, or it will be increasingly violated and marginalised. In a remarkable parallel, Thailand's hitherto political order that lasted about seven decades also requires adjustment and recalibration.

  • News & article

    Thai geopolitical balancing compromised

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 06/07/2018

    » Thailand is demonstrably famous for its foreign policy balancing. From the era of imperialism and two World Wars through the Cold War, Thailand's gifted geography and diplomatic finesse and skill shepherded the country's sovereignty and independence through the thick and thin of geopolitical headwinds. Whatever happens out there, the Thais (and their Siamese forebears) had a way to diplomatically navigate and geopolitically balance their national interests to stay out of harm's way.

  • News & article

    Global disarray as institutions falter

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 17/08/2015

    » The international system as we know it is unravelling. Rules and institutions that were set up seven decades ago no longer hold the same weight and authority as they used to. As we grapple with an exacerbating global disorder, established powers and players and old rules and institutions need to be revamped and reinvented to accommodate new realities. Otherwise global tensions will mount, most probably accompanied by confrontation and conflict.

  • News & article

    Eastern Economic Corridor must continue

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 07/12/2018

    » As the election looms, the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will likely leave behind a very mixed legacy. Far from being a clean-up crew against graft and a technocratic team for effective policy performance when it seized power more than four years ago, this outgoing government has had its fair share of unaccountable corruption allegations and policy directions that merely served its own vested interests of staying in power after the polls.

  • News & article

    China's Belt & Road needs to listen more

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 30/11/2018

    » In the aftermath of a tense Asean-led summit season, it is clear now that the United States and China are engaged in a great-power competition not seen since the Cold War. The US-China trade war, irrespective of negotiated talks in Buenos Aires between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping, is set to deteriorate over the next two years and probably longer. The two superpowers may have fundamental and structural differences that cannot be resolved without a sweeping deal that realigns their geopolitical status and geoeconomic interests in a way that is acceptable to both, an unlikely prospect. So the confrontation will likely intensify.

  • News & article

    Asean summit season ends with more risks

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 23/11/2018

    » The prominence and utility of Asean as a regional platform for peace and prosperity is demonstrated most vividly in a series of top-level meetings among its leaders and counterparts from other major powers, particularly the United States, China and Japan, among others. That Asean's summit season this year has ended with a whimper and acrimony bodes ill for what lies ahead. As the Asean Chair in 2019, Thailand should feel more pressed and incentivised to get its house in order with an elected government that can function effectively before major Asean meetings get under way next year.

  • News & article

    Asean chairmanship has many limitations

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 16/11/2018

    » Just as all politics is ultimately local, all regionalism is mostly domestic. Such is the case with Asean. Whichever of the 10 member states chairs Asean, its role and performance tends to be domestically rooted. To envision and drive Asean forward requires deft leadership, bold ideas and smart diplomacy that must extend beyond and transcend parochial domestic concerns. No Asean member has shown this sort of farsighted regionalist ambition in recent years. Thailand appears on course to be no different when it chairs Asia's most durable organisation next year.

  • News & article

    Facing up to Thailand's role as Asean chair

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 09/11/2018

    » As Thailand gears up to chair Asean next year, a sense of deja vu is setting in. The last time Thailand held its rotational turn at Asean's helm from July 2008 to December 2009, it was undermined by domestic street protests that ended up disrupting top-level meetings and abruptly sending Asia-Pacific leaders home prematurely. Owning up to what transpired, it has to be said that the Thai hosting of Asean-centred summits back then was an utter fiasco.

  • News & article

    China's Belt & Road impact on Thailand

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 28/09/2018

    » As China's ambitious Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and Maritime Silk Road (MSR) -- popularly known as the Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI -- continues to make ripples and waves in international affairs, its likely impact on mainland Southeast Asia warrants attention. Unlike many of the countries on the Eurasian landmass and along waterways from the South China Sea through the Indian Ocean to eastern Africa, Thailand and its immediate neighbours are not directly on the BRI path.

  • News & article

    Belt and Road is China's 'manifest destiny'

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 07/09/2018

    » No national project of global reach carries as much stake and attracts as much attention as China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Conceived in 2013, the BRI is the colossal brainchild of President Xi Jinping and his government.

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