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  • OPINION

    Ten ways to sidestep fault lines in Asean

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 27/03/2018

    » Given the unsettled international environment, great powers' competition and regional dynamism, the current Asean chair, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, urged the regional grouping to "maintain its centrality and relevance" in his recent speech at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

  • OPINION

    Asean must make EU a strategic partner

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 22/01/2019

    » Asean can be vicious, as relations with the European Union demonstrate. At the Chiang Mai retreat last week, the official status of the EU as a new strategic dialogue partner was one of the prominent issues taken up by Asean foreign ministers. The press statement issued by the chair simply said that the EU's status, which Asean has agreed in principle, is still subject "to further details and time to be worked out". In a nutshell, it is still in limbo.

  • OPINION

    AOIP: A new Asean regional guide

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 25/06/2019

    » At the retreat on Sunday, Asean leaders hailed the Asean Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP), reiterating it is our own perspective and response to an unpredictable world and disruptive international environment. Echoing this sentiment, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told a press conference that the document is significant, as Asean now has a common approach on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region that will reinforce the Asean-centred regional architecture. That was the most important highlight of the two-day 34th Asean Summit.

  • OPINION

    China's BRI push marred by trust deficit

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 02/04/2019

    » As China's economic and political clout grows by the day, Europe finds it increasingly difficult to develop an overall approach with dual objectives -- one that does not undermine its unity or upset its ally across the Atlantic, the US. Some European Union members want to take a tougher stand against China due to its limited market access, while others are concerned about possible security threats posed by China's sophisticated 5G network.

  • OPINION

    Asean engages global strategic partners

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 27/11/2018

    » The Trump administration's chaotic and erratic diplomacy has prompted Asean to intensify and widen engagement with its strategic partners. At its recent summit in Singapore, Asean elevated Russia and the European Union to its eighth and ninth strategic partners, respectively.

  • OPINION

    EU-Asean relations fall under a curse again

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 06/03/2018

    » Each time that Asean-EU ties appear to be on an upward curve, some mishap occurs. In the past year, due to major geopolitical shifts regionally and globally, particularly over transatlantic ties, the EU has paid more attention to Asean, wanting to strengthen ties beyond trade and investment, including on security and strategic matters. Likewise, scenting the US backsliding from multilateral forums, Asean is looking toward the EU as the new stabilising force for the region's economic progress, peace and prosperity. It is still a tall order, as the EU is searching for the right approach to win hearts and minds in the world's second-most successful regional grouping.

  • OPINION

    Thailand wise to act as EU-Asean conduit

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 19/12/2017

    » The first paragraph of the Council of the European Union conclusion on Thailand, released last Monday after the EU foreign ministerial meeting, provided an insight into the state of EU-Thai relations. It says:

  • OPINION

    Will Trump derail Obama's legacy in SEA?

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 17/10/2017

    » As the administration of US President Donald Trump enters its tenth month, one of the most frequently asked questions is whether he will try to take down his predecessor's legacy in Southeast Asia. The answer is both no, and yes.

  • OPINION

    Sino-Singapore bonhomie bodes well

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 26/09/2017

    » Make no mistake, Singapore will always be a powerful catalyst of Asean-China relations. Despite the hullabaloo resulting from diplomatic spats between Singapore and China last year, the two have now reset their relations, recognising the new reality of the emerging strategic landscape in the region and elsewhere.

  • OPINION

    Trump strengthens Asean-EU ties

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 25/07/2017

    » Rapid US withdrawals from its own free-trade initiative, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Paris Accord on climate change have all but shattered Washington's credibility both at the regional and global levels. Sensing the deep diplomatic black hole, and with prevailing anxiety high regarding the future direction of US leadership, the European Union (EU) has moved quickly to fill the gap, especially in Southeast Asia where it has been eager to boost ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

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