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    Asean 101: 12 facts for ‘President' Biden

    Oped, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 24/11/2020

    » 1. First and foremost, Asean is one less problem for the US globally because it is peaceful and prosperous. Supporting Asean means strengthening both US cooperation and its profile in Southeast Asia. Former Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan often told his American colleagues including former US State Secretary Hillary Clinton when she first visited the Asean Secretariat in April 2012 that Asean is a big asset for the US.


    Time to upgrade Asean-EU relationship

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 03/11/2020

    » Today, Americans will go to the polls to elect their 46th president. It doesn't matter who the next president will be, the incumbent Donald Trump or his challenger, Joe Biden. Why? As far as Indo-Pacific region is concerned, the die has been cast due to the strategic competition between the two superpowers, the US and China. Therefore, the presidential outcome and impact on the global stage remain unchanged. New rhetoric and approaches might be generated but that would be it.


    In the South, it takes three to tango

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 13/10/2020

    » After a pause brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and unexpected circumstances, some positive signals are coming from the Peace Dialogue Panel, the Thai negotiating team, that the stalled peace process in the country's deep South is moving forward once again. This time, all concerned parties are hoping that dialogue will bridge the divide and forge a common roadmap that will bring an immediate end to the violence and lay firm foundations for peaceful coexistence, greater autonomy and mutual respect for religious beliefs, identities and cultural heritage.


    Asean mulls role in Korean Peninsula

    Oped, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 06/10/2020

    » At the recent Asean Regional Forum (ARF), issues related to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula were extensively discussed by the participants of the region's only security forum. The chairman's statement released after the meeting, the 27th since its inception in 1995, was exceptional regarding one of the world's hotspots.


    Biden win a boon or bane for Thailand?

    Oped, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 08/09/2020

    » There are only nine weeks to go before Nov 3 when American voters decide on their new president. If former vice president Joseph Biden wins, Thailand must prepare a new strategy to "renew" and "reinvent" engagement with the US that will take be tougher on issues related to China, human rights and democracy. The Biden administration's approach could be a boon or bane for Thailand, one of its five allies in the Indo-Pacific, depending on the country's diplomatic pathway and strategic preparedness. With a new administration under the Democrats, the US State Department would again shape overall policy towards its benign ally.


    New dynamics of Asean's external ties

    Oped, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 01/09/2020

    » Before Brexit, very few people in this part of the world would have imagined that the United Kingdom would leave the European Union, then immediately want to become the 11th Asean dialogue partner. Asean senior officials have already discussed the UK's prospects. They have yet to reach any consensus as it is not just about adding a former EU member but involves a plethora of issues that would come with the lifting of a moratorium that has been in place for 24 years. Some members are saying that admitting the UK, a former colonial master of four of the grouping's members, would open Pandora's Box with unknown consequences.


    Sustaining diplomacy post-Covid

    Oped, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 18/08/2020

    » The Bangkok-based diplomatic community breathed a sigh of relief following the announcement of the new cabinet on Aug 5. One of the major reasons was that Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai was staying on with the added role of deputy prime minister, making him one of the most powerful cabinet members at this juncture and post Covid-19. With a tenure of five years, Mr Don is now the longest-serving living minister overseeing the country's foreign policy.


    Thailand must rethink its quarantine

    Oped, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 11/08/2020

    » Thailand's future might well be in danger if the government does not take urgent action to recalibrate its anti-pandemic policies. All the excellent measures the concerned authorities, as well as the public, have taken in mitigating the coronavirus over the past six months could easily turn against them. Thailand could emerge from Covid-19 with more disgruntled Thais including those who were repatriated. Worse, there will likely be additional unhappy foreign countries including their diplomats and citizens who have encountered discriminatory actions, some of which have gone against the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.


    7 secrets of Thai Covid-19 success

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 23/06/2020

    » When the first coronavirus infection was detected on Jan 13, there were fears that Thailand would be the hardest hit by the pandemic, and that the country might not survive due to the onslaught unleashed by a faceless enemy.


    RCEP talks shouldn't leave India out

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 19/05/2020

    » The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged countries around the world over the past three months and India, the world's largest democracy with 1.4 billion people, has been among the hardest hit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his people just four hours advance notice of the mandatory lockdown on March 24, a measure that continues today and which has caused massive hardship. Worse still, it has directly impacted India's overall economic performance, with serious repercussions on its perceived global leadership role.

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