Showing 1-10 of 96 results


    Admit Timor Leste to bloc now or never

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 21/05/2019

    » The Asean founding fathers' dream was to have all Southeast Asian countries under one roof. Timor Leste's (East Timor) dream was to join Asean as soon as possible. Both dreams have yet to be fulfilled. The reason is simple enough: Certain Asean members are not ready to have the world's youngest democracy stand among them.


    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.


    Asean in 2040: Bolder and stronger?

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 07/05/2019

    » When Asean was set up in August 1967, the founding fathers did not bother to make sure their newly formed organisation would survive for 52 years, as it already has. All they wanted to do at the time was to make sure they got together, looked each other in the eye and pledged to meet again next time. They had to increase their level of comfort with one another as they were trying to avoid future conflicts and looking for more cooperation. No war, make progress. That was a sufficient vision then.


    How Jakarta's rise will impact region

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 30/04/2019

    » The re-election of Indonesian President Joko Widodo has positive implications for Indonesia and Asean as a whole. The president, popularly known as Jokowi, will have five exciting years to shape Indonesia's future and international profile to his liking. Obviously, with the second term limit, he will be bolder and more assertive, both at home and abroad.


    Engaging with China on infrastructure

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 23/04/2019

    » Later this week, 37 heads of state and government, as well as 5,000 participants from over 150 countries, will converge on Beijing for the second Belt and Road Initiative Forum for International Cooperation. The mammoth gathering of dignitaries and policymakers is crucial for the five-year-old BRI to gain wider recognition and power to move onto the next cycle with new lessons learned and adjustments made. For President Xi Jinping, it will be a moment of truth for his leadership and China's dream.


    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.


    Asean-S Korea ties surging forward

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 09/04/2019

    » South Korea is catching up with China and Japan in developing all-around relations with Asean. Last week's announcement of the third Asean-Korea Summit to be held in Busan from Nov 25-27 together with the first Mekong-Korea Summit is a speed indicator of South Korea's approach to Asean. Under current President Moon Jae-in, South Korean officials have described bilateral relations as going gosog, or high-speed.


    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.


    Post-poll policy: Dynamic continuity

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 26/03/2019

    » Speculation is rife about imminent changes in Thailand's diplomatic direction after five years of military-ruled guidance. Political pundits and campaigners ahead of the polls last week also sent out strong signals that they expect a new cabinet in Government House with new policies. One of the casualties would be Thai-Chinese ties, which have progressed and strengthened without waveringly over the past five years. However, the outcome of Sunday's election indicates that whichever parties form the next civilian government, there will be little effect on the country's foreign relations or the current Asean chair. Indeed, Thailand's foreign policy will become more dynamic with continuity.


    Virachai: Thai diplomat extraordinaire

    News, Kavi Chongkittavorn, Published on 19/03/2019

    » It was in the afternoon of Feb 22 that I met Virachai Plasai, the Thai ambassador to the United States, along with his five staffers for a meeting at the Thai embassy's main conference room in Washington at 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW. I had no idea that he was suffering from Myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of bone-marrow cancer. His face was a bit pale, but he was focused and attentive.

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