Showing 151-160 of 164 results


    HK protests in a regional perspective

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 11/10/2019

    » When Hong Kong's protest movement against the Extradition Law Amendment Bill began on March 30, few could have anticipated that it would become a full-blown popular revolt. The protesters initially opposed the bill because it would allow the Hong Kong government to detain and extradite fugitives to mainland China. Despite the suspension and subsequent withdrawal of the bill by Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the protest movement has taken on a life of its own. As its end goals of universal suffrage, an independent inquiry into police conduct and Ms Lam's resignation harden, its endgame appears fraught with risks of intensifying confrontation and violence.


    America at war within can't lead world

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 18/10/2019

    » The extraordinary country that once touted itself and was seen by many as the "leader of the free world" is no longer so great. America, the fabled "city upon a hill" and beacon of freedom and democracy for the world, is unwell from within, wracked by nasty divisions and visceral polarisation.


    Thai chairmanship ends on upbeat note

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 01/11/2019

    » Just as Thailand's chairmanship of Asean is about to end and a flurry of Asean-related summits are about to transpire, this year has been more eventful for Southeast Asia's 10-member grouping than anticipated. Despite its domestic constraints, Thailand has managed to steer the sometimes unwieldy ship of Asean with limited propulsion and direction. If Vietnam as the next chair can build on momentum from this year, Asean might just be able to regain and reboot its role in the near term as the de facto bridge, broker and buffer for the wider Indo-Pacific region, notwithstanding its usual warts and flaws.


    RCEP without India poses new hurdles

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 08/11/2019

    » On the face of it, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is an Indo-Pacific trade pact that would shore up the stalled world trade liberalisation and stem the rising tide of protectionism in the global economy. India's withdrawal from the RCEP -- whose other 15 members comprise the 10 Asean economies along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand -- is a major setback, posing new challenges for the Asean-centred trade bloc. Asean should persuade India to return to the RCEP fold, while preparing for a much less promising RCEP15 as second-best outcome.


    Brexit follows history's recurrent curve

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 29/11/2019

    » The longer the time spent together, the more painful any breakup is likely to be. This reality dogs the United Kingdom more than three years after its referendum to exit the European Union, a process commonly known as "Brexit". Notwithstanding opponents who may wish otherwise, Brexit is now seen as irreversible, especially as the Conservative Party under Prime Minister Boris Johnson is polling well ahead of the Labour Party just a fortnight before polls on Dec 12. Brexit is likely to be viewed in hindsight as part of a de-integration process in a recurrent historical pattern increasingly manifesting in trade protectionism, anti-immigration, and curbs on international cooperation.


    Mekong River region on more minds

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 06/12/2019

    » As Vietnam is poised to take over the rotational chair of Asean in January 2020, its second foremost foreign policy priority after the South China Sea is reportedly the Mekong River region. While the South China Sea, where more than one third of global shipping passes, is considered an overall Asean concern, the Mekong region is left to the five riparian countries in mainland Southeast Asia to deal with in view of China's upstream hydropower dams that have led to frequent droughts and depleted fish stocks in downstream communities, especially in Cambodia and Vietnam.


    Where Northeast, Southeast Asia meet

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 13/12/2019

    » That the post-Second World War liberal international order is unravelling is no longer in dispute. While there are ongoing issues and challenges about how and to what extent the incumbent rules-based international order that has been so beneficial to so many nations and peoples in their course of economic development can still be maintained, there is broad agreement that the international system as we know it has run its course.


    Taiwan: a democracy in Asia that works

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 20/12/2019

    » Ask any Taiwanese who owns Taiwan, and the answer invariably will be "the Taiwanese people" or sometimes simply "the people". That the country should belong to its people should be obvious, but this is not always the case in a place where equality is lacking and entitlement is rife. Thailand is a telling example.


    Concentric Mideast wars and prospects

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 10/01/2020

    » Nothing captures attention in an age of media saturation like the talk of war. The recent decision by US President Donald Trump to assassinate a top Iranian official, Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, has conjured up the spectre of a wider conflict encompassing not just the Middle East but the broader world, as Iran's top leaders deemed it "an act of war" and vowed "severe revenge". Although Iran's military and its proxy militias and client states in the Middle East and elsewhere are poised to exact retribution for their loss, we are unlikely to see a world war in the immediate aftermath of this killing.


    Government's competence in question

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 24/01/2020

    » It's just about official. Despite having a government, Thailand is rudderless. Approaching six years under more or less junta rule and military influence, irrespective of an election last year, this once up-and-coming country has degenerated into an authoritarian-bureaucratic state that is unsuited and unfit to address public grievances and demands of the 21st century. Yet Thailand's biggest problem is that this government, a motley coalition propped up by a crooked constitution and led by former junta chief Prayut Chan-o-cha, intends to stay for the long haul despite its growing incompetence. Unless the Thai people's world-famous patience and tolerance are boundless, political tensions will likely mount in the foreseeable future.

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