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  • OPINION

    Thailand's tale told via 'The Nation'

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 28/06/2019

    » Nearly five decades ago, The Nation newspaper started out as a pro-democracy, anti-military news organisation. It was fiercely independent and invariably hard-hitting vis-à-vis the powers-that-be. An English-language newspaper owned by Thais from the outset, it prided itself for having neither fear nor favour. Its lamentable expiry as a print newspaper today -- an online version will continue -- provides multiple parallels for Thailand's contemporary political history, ongoing polarisation and the changing nature of the business of journalism worldwide.

  • OPINION

    Politics of regional trade liberalisation

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 20/09/2019

    » As multilateral trade negotiations have become unworkable, regional and bilateral alternatives are on the rise. In Thailand's neighbourhood, the most consequential of these trade vehicles is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). As it missed the boat on the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Thailand as Asean chair this year should finalise the RCEP expeditiously and find a way to accede to the CPTPP in the near future. Although the Thai political situation remains murky and contentious, there is enough domestic policy consensus on low-hanging fruits, such as regional and bilateral trade liberalisation, that should be reaped without further delay.

  • OPINION

    China's Belt & Road needs to listen more

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 30/11/2018

    » In the aftermath of a tense Asean-led summit season, it is clear now that the United States and China are engaged in a great-power competition not seen since the Cold War. The US-China trade war, irrespective of negotiated talks in Buenos Aires between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping, is set to deteriorate over the next two years and probably longer. The two superpowers may have fundamental and structural differences that cannot be resolved without a sweeping deal that realigns their geopolitical status and geoeconomic interests in a way that is acceptable to both, an unlikely prospect. So the confrontation will likely intensify.

  • OPINION

    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.

  • OPINION

    'Zbig': Renowned geopolitical maestro

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 30/05/2017

    » Last week's death of Zbigniew Brzezinski, the renowned thinker, writer and practitioner of geopolitics throughout the Cold War and onetime national security adviser to former US president Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s, has elicited generally positive global reviews and assessments of his achievements. He died on Friday at the age of 89.

  • OPINION

    Implications from a divided America

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 18/11/2016

    » In the immediate aftermath of the presidential election outcome in the United States, many Americans are dazed and divided. As Donald Trump has beaten Hillary Clinton against the vast majority of pre-election polls that had forecast otherwise, his supporters are calling it fair and square with a convincing victory in the Electoral College that elects presidents based on the popular vote.

  • OPINION

    NE Asia summit shows SE Asia weaknesses

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 13/11/2015

    » Although it papered over differences, the recent resumption of a summit meeting among China, Japan and South Korea has cooled bilateral tensions in Northeast Asia with longer-term implications for Southeast Asia.

  • OPINION

    The imperative of Thailand's trade policy

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 23/10/2015

    » Most of the post-mortems by pundits and trade policy analysts so far on the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Agreement (TPP) have been critical of the largest free-trade pact in two decades.

  • OPINION

    Deft diplomacy needed for coup period

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 06/02/2015

    » The recent brouhaha over controversial comments by visiting United States Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel has further complicated the bilateral treaty alliance between Bangkok and Washington.

  • OPINION

    The best role the army can play is mediator

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 06/12/2013

    » With reports that anti-government protests under the leadership of Suthep Thaugsuban and the People's Democratic Reform Committee are poised to intensify, the role of the Thai military comes into question.

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