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  • 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

    20 years of mixing Asean old and new

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 14/05/2019

    » When Asean doubled the number of its member nations to 10 in 1999, doomsayers at the time believed the grouping would not survive. This was because the expansion happened so quickly while new members were ill-prepared to join the capitalist economies.

  • OPINION

    Understanding Japan's Indo-Pacific initiative

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 18/04/2019

    » After making painstaking revisions in the past 18 months, Japan has come out with the region's most comprehensive policy -- the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) initiative. Tokyo's new framework calls for closer cooperation among countries in Asia and Africa, the world's two most dynamic continents. With this plan, Japan has put its 60 years of post-war diplomatic and economic developmental experience into a single coherent policy that might well last throughout the 21st century.

  • 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

    Beyond US-China spat: Asean's options

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 05/02/2019

    » Despite all the pleasantries in Washington, DC surrounding the latest US-China trade talks over the past week, the rivalry between the world's two largest economies will not subside anytime soon. For years, US-China relations have been on top of the agenda in most of the countries in the Southeast Asian region, but never before have those ties stooped to the present level of animosity.

  • OPINION

    Elevating the TAC as a global code of conduct

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 29/01/2019

    » A reference of Asean's most well-known regional code of conduct, known as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), in the Chiang Mai retreat's statement, deserves recognition. It was intriguing, coming at this juncture, as to why it deserved a distinctive paragraph with 90 words. Indeed, the TAC has been the life and soul of Asean since its founding in 1967.

  • 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

    Watch out for Asean's new Indo-Pacific

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 04/12/2018

    » If everything goes as planned, members of the United Nations Security Council will have a rendezvous in Bangkok at the end of 2019. Asean leaders will use the occasion to display to the world's most powerful players their collective leadership on the new vision of an Asia-wide region stretching from South Asia to Northeast Asia. Even though it is still nearly a year away, preparations for the first meeting between Asean leaders and the Big 5 (the council's five permanent members) have already started in earnest.

  • OPINION

    4 big challenges for Thailand as Asean chair

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 20/11/2018

    » Last week, Singapore handed the incoming Asean chair, Thailand, four formidable challenges that would define Asean's centrality and its relevance, not to mention the kingdom's leadership role. These issues are the nascent Indo-Pacific concept, the Rakhine crisis, peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, and the drafting of a code of conduct (COC) on the South China Sea.

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