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“Thai Army Chief Targets Opposition Politicians in His ‘Hybrid War’ Speech” by Supalak Ganjanakhundee

2019/86, 22 October 2019An overtly political speech delivered by Thai Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong on 11 October prompted strong reaction in the country for its partisan targeting of popular opposition politicians as threats to national security.
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"The Proliferation of Free Trade Disagreements (FTDs)" by Jayant Menon

2019/85, 21 October 2019It was not that long ago that trade economists were concerned about the effect that the proliferation of bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) were having on the multilateral trading system. For instance, the number of bilateral FTAs in-effect involving at least one country from the Asia-Pacific, the…
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"Duterte’s Trip to Russia Results in Modest Gains" by Ian Storey

2019/84, 10 October 2019Since he assumed office in June 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has pledged to pursue an “independent foreign policy” to reduce the country’s perceived overdependence on the US, increase its strategic autonomy and galvanize the economy. In pursuit of this policy, Duterte has paid two official visits…
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“Judge’s Gunshot Calls for Justice in Thailand’s Restive South” by Supalak Ganjanakhundee

2019/83, 9 October 2019 Judge Khanakorn Pianchana’s attempted suicide at the Yala Provincial Court last week is a dramatic wake up call to the need for justice in Thailand’s restive South. The judge shocking act was in protest against pressure to force him to sentence three of the five defendants…
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"Vietnam’s Infrastructure Development Dilemma: The China Factor" by Le Hong Hiep

2019/82, 8 October 2019 On 24 September 2019, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport announced that it had cancelled an earlier international tender invitation for eight sections of the North – South Expressway project, which will be built under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model. More importantly, the Ministry decided to rule out foreign…
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"Uniquely Unimportant: Vietnam’s Trade with Southeast Asia" by Malcolm Cook

2019/81, 4 October 2019 Vietnam’s rise as a trading economy and important node in regional production chains over the last decade has greatly added to Southeast Asia’s economic dynamism and attractiveness to foreign capital. It has deepened and broadened Vietnam’s economic development and contributed to the ASEAN Community’s priority of…
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"Takeaways from the Inaugural ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX)" by Tang Siew Mun and Glenn Ong

2019/80, 1 October 2019 In the first two years of the Trump administration, the US Department of Defense has been the torchbearer for maintaining America’s presence and profile in Southeast Asia, compensating for the less visible aspects of US diplomacy. One of the manifestations of the US military – in…
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"Students Protest Against the Weakening of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK)" by Max Lane

2019/79, 24 September 2019On 23 September, large student demonstrations took place in cities and towns in Indonesia. In some cities, including Jakarta, more demonstrations were planned for 24 September. In most cases, the demonstrations were orderly, with clashes resulting in injuries only in Bandung. (In Papua on the same day,…
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“The Myanmar Military’s Latest Attack on Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi?” by Nyi Nyi Kyaw

2019/78, 23 September 2019 On 17 September 2019, 144 military members of the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, the Union Parliament of Myanmar, submitted a bill on constitutional amendment calculated to disqualify Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from continuing to hold the post of foreign minister. More importantly, the bill aims to produce…
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"Forest Fire and Haze Problems Return: Government Needs to Reform its Approach" by Aninda Dewayanti and Siwage Dharma Negara

2019/77, 20 September 2019 Once more Indonesia and its neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia are suffering from haze, stemming from peatland forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan islands. For Indonesia, this is a problem that repeats annually. This year's haze may have been the worst since 2015; in this instance,…
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