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Understanding Asean through Unesco's vote on Kosovo
November 16, 2015 1:00 am

Understanding Asean through Unesco's vote on Kosovo

Asean's voting pattern over Kosovo's admission to Unesco membership last week at the organisation's headquarters here was most intriguing. It revealed a perceived fear of losing territorial integrity, which is imbedded in the...

Post-election Myanmar: hope for continuity and change
November 9, 2015 1:00 am

Post-election Myanmar: hope for continuity and change

Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has constantly called for change. The incumbent President Thein Sein has also appealed for continuity. If both are still on good terms, like at their first meeting, and collaborate as they did in 2011-2012, Myanmar...

South Korea: more than K-pop and kimchi
November 2, 2015 1:00 am

South Korea: more than K-pop and kimchi

South Korea is no longer shy talking about its role in promoting democracy and human rights in Asia and beyond. This new sense of confidence comes mainly from its full blossoming democratisation since the economic crisis in 1997. Its civil society...

Shared strategic dilemma of US allies
October 26, 2015 1:00 am

Shared strategic dilemma of US allies

What do Australia, South Korea and Thailand have in common? All three are members of the US alliance in the Asia-Pacific. But their commonality does not end there. They all accept the rise of China and its influence in international order. Most of...

Welcome to Thailand's diplomatic jamboree
October 19, 2015 1:00 am

Welcome to Thailand's diplomatic jamboree

Early October, Rear Admiral Simon Ancona, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) from the United Kingdom was in Bangkok to "re-engage" Thailand after the power seizure last May. He was one of most senior defence officials from Europe to...

Thailand's single gateway is an abyss
October 12, 2015 1:00 am

Thailand's single gateway is an abyss

The controversial plan to impose a "Single Gateway" to control websites on the Internet will certainly damage, or even completely destroy, the accomplishments and reputation Thailand has been stocking up for decades, including those since...

No time to waste in rebuilding Thai-US ties
October 5, 2015 1:00 am

No time to waste in rebuilding Thai-US ties

THE Thai ambassador to Washington, Pisan Manawapat, said he will not waste a minute rebuilding Thailand's badly bruised relationship with the United States, especially since his counterpart, Glyn Davies, is on the ground back home. On Friday,...

Japan's security bills: Asean's big worry
September 28, 2015 1:00 am

Japan's security bills: Asean's big worry

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has finally pushed through controversial security bills. This new situation creates a dilemma for Asean, which has come to expect a calmer, more consensus-based approach from Japan.

Thailand's chance to boost its place in the world today
September 21, 2015 1:00 am

Thailand's chance to boost its place in the world today

Each year at this time, Thailand has the opportunity to display its public face for the world to see. The other 192 members of the United Nations will have the same opportunity to present their countries at their best or otherwise. This year...

US-China summit: ASEAN CENTRALITY AT RISK
September 14, 2015 1:00 am

US-China summit: ASEAN CENTRALITY AT RISK

There are three reasons why Asean leaders must pay serious attention to the outcome of the most anticipated state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his summit with US President Barack Obama later this month. Their tete-a-tete will have...