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  • News & article

    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.

  • News & article

    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.

  • News & article

    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.

  • News & article

    Learn from past visa-waiver mishap

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 27/08/2019

    » In September 2003, the Thai government undertook the most incredible step by signing a visa-waiver agreement with Russia. No other Asean country had dared to do that before.

  • News & article

    National strategy the key to continuity

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 23/07/2019

    » Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's civilian government will be the first Thai government that will not have a "honeymoon" period. From the start, his government's performance will be monitored and judged without any sympathy by opposition parties, political pundits, and the media. With political doyen Chuan Leekpai serving as House speaker, all politicians should be held accountable for their policies and positions.

  • News & article

    Thai chair and new branding of Asean

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 18/06/2019

    » Now the election has passed and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha has been named to head the soon-to-be civilian government. Until the new cabinet is officially named, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai will stay on in his position. With both of them at the helm, the Thai Asean chairmanship will proceed as planned. Nearly six months have elapsed since Thailand became chair, but what it has been able to accomplish over 130 meetings of various committees has gone totally unreported, as the local media was zeroed in on the post-election drama and political brinksmanship manifested by Thailand's 27 parties. Thai bureaucrats are free to prepare for the Asean summit and related meetings.

  • News & article

    Can China-Japan-S Korea get closer?

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 04/06/2019

    » Thanks to President Donald Trump’s oft-repeated mantra “America First,” accompanied by his disdain for and hostility towards globalisation and multilateralism, the rest of the world is perplex. Some of them in various continents are getting together in like-minded groups that would be able to respond to the inward-looking US policy, East Asia is no exception. Very few country will be acting alone as the US holds formidable power in the world.

  • News & article

    More 'substantive' deal on S China Sea

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 28/05/2019

    » Goodwill between Asean and China has reached an unprecedented level as both sides are working diligently to conclude the much anticipated code of conduct on the South China Sea. The process, which began in 2002, has now reached a crescendo, though there are still issues and differences that need to be ironed out.

  • News & article

    Why RCEP requires greater effort

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

    » After nearly six years and 26 rounds of bargaining, it is time for the negotiating team to stop playing games and move forward for the common good of the East Asian region. Judging from the latest round of top-level meetings and negotiations in Siem Reap, Cambodia, at the end of February, it is still difficult to conclude the Asean-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) under Thai chairmanship, unless its leaders give their negotiators a big push. No more dilly-dallying.

  • News & article

    Asean must continue to engage N Korea

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 05/03/2019

    » The second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi failed to produce an outcome that would enable regional partners to play a bigger role. Last week's meeting was strictly a leader-to-leader negotiation, nobody else. US President Donald Trump walked away from the tête-à-tête without an agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, simply because he thought it was a bad deal to end sanctions at this crucial moment. It is a chicken-and-egg situation.

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