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  • OPINION

    RCEP finale: Double U-turn intrigue

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 21/01/2020

    » With the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) approaching its final stages, some Asean countries are revealing what can only be described as erratic behaviour. They have unexpectedly come up with a new position, one previously hidden under their smiles. In other words, they have made another U-turn from their previous position.

  • OPINION

    Vietnam's homework before Nha Trang

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 14/01/2020

    » The latest development in the Middle East and the status of President Donald Trump's invitation for a special summit with Asean leaders in the US will top the agenda of the first foreign ministers' retreat in Nha Trang this week.

  • OPINION

    Vietnam's dual foreign policy strategy

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 07/01/2020

    » Finally, Vietnam has fulfilled its long-held dream of becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (2020-2021) at the same time as the country chairs 10-member Asean. These dual strategies have high diplomatic value in propelling Vietnam to become a leading member in the future Indo-Pacific scheme of things.

  • OPINION

    Cambodia can swing Asean-EU ties

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 17/12/2019

    » As the host of the upcoming 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) next November, Cambodia could be by default the catalyst that will define the future of Asean-EU relations -- for better or worse. At this juncture, it is a toss-up because the EU is contemplating various measures to reprimand Cambodia for its political oppression, land grabbing and disrespect of the human rights of politicians, labour unions, media and farmers. Rubbing salt into the wounds, Cambodia with its close friendship with China has added an extra-thick layer of anxieties among the EU strategists.

  • OPINION

    Mekong nations tighten anti-drug blitz

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 03/12/2019

    » The Mekong region is no longer a mysterious place, as it has now become the world's main hub of illicit drugs across multiple frontiers. Last month, anti-drug officials from riparian countries -- Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, China -- and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDODC) met in a series of meetings in Bangkok to forge a new political agreement and plan that would strengthen their cooperation to address the deteriorating drug situation.

  • OPINION

    Please do not shoot the messengers

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 26/11/2019

    » At the 40th Unesco General Conference in Paris last week, a plethora of issues affecting global well-being were discussed. These days big and small members dutifully raise their voices, remarkably demonstrating their national preferences in an uncertain world. One could easily notice that voices from big funders, except Japan, are louder than ever before. As usual, some smaller countries from the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands and Africa were absent from the week-long meetings due to their lack of funds. However, a few surrogate delegates for the members from the Caribbean region, such as St Lucia, Grenadine and others, managed to pitch their views, wanting to make their presence felt -- sometimes causing confusion and prolonged debate.

  • OPINION

    Embedding S Korea in Southeast Asia

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 19/11/2019

    » For three days from Nov 25-27 in the port city of Busan, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will have a rare opportunity that eluded his predecessors -- to set in cast iron the future and shape of South Korean-Asean and Mekong riparian country relations amid the ever-changing regional and international environment.

  • OPINION

    Can errant Trump save Asean-US ties?

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 12/11/2019

    » The 35th Asean Summit and its related meetings ended last week with stronger Asean solidarity and centrality, thanks to President Donald Trump's absence and high-handed manner in responding to the 52-year Southeast Asian diplomatic process.

  • OPINION

    A sneak peek at the 35th Asean summit

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 29/10/2019

    » Next week, the sprawling IMPACT Muang Thong Thani complex will be temporarily transformed into an international arena for talks between the world's greatest movers-and-shakers.

  • OPINION

    Why Germany is seeking deeper ties with Asean

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 15/10/2019

    » With supersonic speed in terms of the decision and process, Germany will accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in around two weeks' time. If everything goes as planned on the German side, which requires cabinet endorsement, there will be a signing ceremony in Bangkok during the 35th Asean Summit from Oct 31-Nov 2. Bahrain will also join the ceremony.

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