Showing 1-10 of 27 results


    Is the Indo-Pacific eclipsing Asia-Pacific?

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 02/08/2019

    » Thailand and the smaller states in its neighbourhood will miss the Asia-Pacific era. It is not as if the Asia-Pacific has gone away or disappeared in any sense. But its role as a cradle of prosperity linking larger and small economies around the Pacific Rim may have passed its peak. In its place is the Indo-Pacific, which thus far lacks a trade-liberalisation and economic growth component so integral to the Asia-Pacific.


    Seeing Asean straight as Thailand chairs

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 21/06/2019

    » When Asean organises big meetings, the tendency for the host is to talk up a brouhaha. So it goes with the 34th Asean summit under Thailand's rotating chairmanship this year. By year's end, several hundred Asean-related meetings will have taken place, highlighted by the final annual summitry in October-November that will include top leaders from China, India, Japan, Russia, the United States, among others.


    Rail deals must have accountability

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 03/05/2019

    » Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's recent participation in the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in Beijing was problematic on many levels. On what basis did Gen Prayut negotiate a rail deal between Thailand and China? What are the details and cost-benefit considerations of this deal? The lack of transparency and public accountability surrounding the Thailand and China rail plan is likely to pose future questions and problems for a huge infrastructure project Thailand can use, but according to whose terms its people must be the main beneficiary.


    Election Commission must assert itself

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 25/01/2019

    » Thailand is supposed to have an independent Election Commission (EC) that oversees all electoral contests from local polls to national referendums. But as Thailand heads towards a general election on March 24, the seven-member EC has appeared less than eager and enthusiastic and too beholden to government preferences in staging what will be Thailand's first election in nearly nine years.


    Eastern Economic Corridor must continue

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 07/12/2018

    » As the election looms, the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will likely leave behind a very mixed legacy. Far from being a clean-up crew against graft and a technocratic team for effective policy performance when it seized power more than four years ago, this outgoing government has had its fair share of unaccountable corruption allegations and policy directions that merely served its own vested interests of staying in power after the polls.


    Asean chairmanship has many limitations

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 16/11/2018

    » Just as all politics is ultimately local, all regionalism is mostly domestic. Such is the case with Asean. Whichever of the 10 member states chairs Asean, its role and performance tends to be domestically rooted. To envision and drive Asean forward requires deft leadership, bold ideas and smart diplomacy that must extend beyond and transcend parochial domestic concerns. No Asean member has shown this sort of farsighted regionalist ambition in recent years. Thailand appears on course to be no different when it chairs Asia's most durable organisation next year.


    China's Belt & Road impact on Thailand

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 28/09/2018

    » As China's ambitious Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and Maritime Silk Road (MSR) -- popularly known as the Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI -- continues to make ripples and waves in international affairs, its likely impact on mainland Southeast Asia warrants attention. Unlike many of the countries on the Eurasian landmass and along waterways from the South China Sea through the Indian Ocean to eastern Africa, Thailand and its immediate neighbours are not directly on the BRI path.


    What the rescue of the trapped boys means

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 13/07/2018

    » Global news cycles over the past two weeks have been saturated by Thailand's gripping story of 12 boys from a local youth football team and their 25-year-old coach trapped in a labyrinthine and partially submerged cave complex in the Chiang Rai hills in the north of the country. Even after their successful rescue, the story continues.


    Thailand's global standing at a low point

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 04/05/2018

    » When the fourth anniversary of Thailand's coup comes to pass later this month, Thailand's foreign relations will be one of the many costs to be counted from the military government. While the Thai administration of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insists otherwise, Thailand's international standing has sunk to its lowest point. One of the immediate tasks facing the elected government after the poll will be to rectify and restore Thailand's international reputation.


    Shifting Thai alliances in the 21st century

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 21/07/2017

    » In view of rising geopolitical tensions in Asia, Thailand's foreign policy strategy and posture has come into focus.

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