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  • 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

    Thai-US relations in the Indo-Pacific era

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 16/07/2019

    » When US State Secretary Michael Pompeo stops in Bangkok for a three-day visit at the end of this month, he will find good old ally Thailand is ready to tango. Their relations will no longer be, as in the past, based on reaction and counter-reaction to the cycle of coups. In the past five years, Thailand has survived Western-led sanctions. Now with a civilian government in place, the Kingdom's economic and political dynamism will no longer be curtailed by what was perceived as democratic backsliding and increased authoritarianism.

  • 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

    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.

  • News & article

    Asean engages global strategic partners

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 27/11/2018

    » The Trump administration's chaotic and erratic diplomacy has prompted Asean to intensify and widen engagement with its strategic partners. At its recent summit in Singapore, Asean elevated Russia and the European Union to its eighth and ninth strategic partners, respectively.

  • News & article

    'New Pakistan' faces big challenges

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 21/08/2018

    » Pakistan's newly sworn-in Prime Minister Imran Khan has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make his country's presence felt both regionally and globally.

  • News & article

    Pyongyang’s threats remain in South Korea

    Oped, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 10/07/2018

    » In summertime, Gangnam district of the South Korean capital is the place to go to observe the country’s dynamism and vibrancy. It is colourful and full of youthful energy. However, when you start casual conversations with youngsters here, immediately a different mood prevails.

  • News & article

    Trump-Kim meet a gift for Southeast Asia

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 19/06/2018

    » All the hullabaloo surrounding the historic Trump-Kim summit in Singapore must be discarded if one wants to seriously assess the overall ripple effects, in particular, the four-point statement. For the region, at least for now, the tight knot of a nuclear war has been untied. After all, President Donald Trump gave his personal assurance of this after he returned to the United States from his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. That is good for Southeast Asia as a whole. If there is a war, the region's progress would be badly undermined as much as, if not more, than those of the two protagonists. The US provides a marketplace and the Korean Peninsula remains the last stronghold of long-awaited peace and stability.

  • News & article

    The 184-year-old paradox of elephant-eagle relations

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 02/10/2017

    » The elephant and eagle as symbols of Thailand and the United States were not the creation of today's news spin-meisters. In 1833, US president Andrew Jackson gave a gift to King Rama III that symbolised one of the most important relations the US had with the outside world -- its first foreign mission in Asia. Jackson gave the king a sword with an eagle representing America and an elephant representing Siam carved into the handle.

  • News & article

    Tillerson's 5-hour trip to reset Thai-US ties

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 08/08/2017

    » When US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson returns to Bangkok Tuesday for a five-hour visit, he will find a bruised but confident ally ready to reset the 185-year-old Thai-US relations. This 300-minute interlude should prove extremely significant in determining the future of Thai-US relations. Lest we forget, his trip precedes a scheduled two-day visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov starting tomorrow.

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