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  • OPINION

    Post-poll policy: Dynamic continuity

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 26/03/2019

    » Speculation is rife about imminent changes in Thailand's diplomatic direction after five years of military-ruled guidance. Political pundits and campaigners ahead of the polls last week also sent out strong signals that they expect a new cabinet in Government House with new policies. One of the casualties would be Thai-Chinese ties, which have progressed and strengthened without waveringly over the past five years. However, the outcome of Sunday's election indicates that whichever parties form the next civilian government, there will be little effect on the country's foreign relations or the current Asean chair. Indeed, Thailand's foreign policy will become more dynamic with continuity.

  • OPINION

    Thailand's going bananas for Korea

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 17/09/2019

    » When South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited Thailand recently, he highlighted two Thai names, Nichkhun of 2PM and Lisa of Blackpink as symbols of the excellent South Korean-Thai friendship. Nichkhun Horvejkul and Lalisa Manoban are young Thai idols who are making a living as K-Pop performers in Seoul. Both of them speak fluent Korean, they are trained to sing in Korean and are well-versed in K-Pop dancing.

  • OPINION

    Thailand gets ready to take Asean chair

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 13/11/2018

    » A decade after living through the devastating experience of the 2009 Asean summit, the kingdom will have another chance to regain its regional leadership and reputation. Singapore will pass the baton to Thailand on Nov 15 as the Asean chair. Although the official role will kick off in January, Bangkok will get the ball rolling immediately.

  • OPINION

    Putting hearts and minds in Thai-US ties

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 24/07/2018

    » The international rescue of 12 boys and their football coach in Chiang Rai earlier this month quickly permeated into the conference room of the Thai-US dialogue in Washington DC last week. The feel-good atmosphere jump-started the much-needed dialogue between the region's oldest allies.

  • OPINION

    Random thoughts from Trump's nation

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 26/06/2018

    » 'Iknow Bruce Lee. Aargh...aargh...aargh…!," screamed a black driver in front of me at the intersection near the Marriott Hotel in Rockville, Maryland.

  • 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

    Thailand's black site: Who is accountable?

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 15/05/2018

    » Suddenly Thailand, a name synonymous with coups and democratic struggles, has been mentioned repeatedly by US lawmakers and TV personalities over the last few weeks.

  • 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.

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