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  • OPINION

    Asean's difficult balancing act

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 05/08/2019

    » The annual meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Nations in Bangkok last week drew attention from all over the world. The presence of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, among others, indicated the importance of Asean as a growing focus of major-power competition.

  • OPINION

    Climate change urgency grows

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 01/07/2019

    » Climate change is global in nature but it is having an especially severe impact on Asia. Chennai, one of India's largest cities, has run out of water as the summer heat intensifies. With monsoon rains below average, four lakes in the city of 4.7 million have dried up. Residents don't have enough water to drink, bathe or wash clothes, malls have closed their washrooms and restaurants are not open for customers.

  • OPINION

    Take your trash somewhere else

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 03/06/2019

    » Malaysia made a clear statement last week that it is ready to take aggressive moves against countries that dump plastic waste in the country, which this year became the world's main destination for the substances.

  • OPINION

    'Womenomics' still isn't working

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 06/05/2019

    » The people of Japan have had a lot to celebrate lately. On May 1 they welcomed their new emperor along with the Reiwa imperial era. The event came in the middle of an unprecedented 10-day Golden Week break for the country's famously hardworking citizens.

  • OPINION

    Adjusting to the new world of work

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 08/04/2019

    » Waking up on my first morning in Las Vegas, where the time is 14 hours behind Thailand, was not easy. Cup of coffee in hand, I walked past a group of senior citizens wearing red long-sleeved T-shirts outside a large conference hall. They were event ambassadors, hired to welcome and guide participants from all over the world, and the sight of their smiling faces helped to bring me awake. What a pleasant start to the day: I get to experience human interaction and some seniors have a chance to earn extra income, I was telling myself.

  • OPINION

    Little progress in war on graft

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 11/03/2019

    » Corruption is rarely out of the news in Southeast Asia, but the last three weeks have been busier than usual. In Vietnam, two former information ministers were arrested on suspicion of mismanaging public investment. The prosecution order issued on Feb 23 for Nguyen Bac Son and Truong Minh Tuan accuses them of "violations of regulations on management and use of public investment capital that cause serious consequences". The news cast a shadow over Hanoi's preparations fo the Trump-Kim nuclear summit.

  • OPINION

    Challenging times for Asean

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 25/02/2019

    » These are challenging times for Southeast Asian countries. On the economic front, China's slowdown is becoming more pronounced, which could have dire consequences since it is Asean's largest export market and a major source of foreign direct investment (FDI) to the region.

  • OPINION

    Avoiding trade-war fallout

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 04/02/2019

    » The United States and China ended their latest round of trade talks in Washington on a hopeful note last week, but negotiators are still racing against a March 1 deadline when US tariffs on US$200 million in Chinese goods will rise unless a deal is reached.

  • OPINION

    Medical costs need creative rethink

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 21/01/2019

    » The persistent thick haze that has blanketed Bangkok in recent weeks has led to growing disenchantment with the government and calls for meaningful action. I find it hard to believe that authorities appear to have put so little effort into planning for such outbreaks of pollution and properly warning citizens.

  • OPINION

    Asean needs leadership in 2019

    Asia focus, Nareerat Wiriyapong, Published on 07/01/2019

    » The high chance that Thailand's general election will be postponed from Feb 24 is disappointing news to me. Hopes that poll-related activities will brighten the gloomy economic picture are fading and uncertainties are mounting about the country's return to democracy, long a concern of outsiders.

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