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"Sino-Philippine and Sino-US Tensions Persist in the South China Sea" by Ian Storey

2019/19, 14 February 2019 In late February, ASEAN and Chinese officials will meet in Naypyidaw, Myanmar to continue discussions on the Code of Conduct (CoC) for the South China Sea. As the CoC process (slowly) advances, however, at sea tensions continue to bubble between China and the Philippines, and China…
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"Trump-Kim Summit: Why Vietnam?" by Ha Hoang Hop and Lye Liang Fook

2019/18, 13 February 2019 US President Trump has announced that the second Trump – Kim Summit will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam from 27 to 28 February. Why is Vietnam chosen as the venue? Hanoi is an acceptable location to both the United States and North Korea. Vietnam has diplomatic…
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“The Princess Gambit Debacle in Thailand” by Termsak Chalermpalanupap

2019/17, 13 February 2019 As widely expected, Thailand’s Election Commission on 11 February excluded Princess Ubolratana from its list of 69 qualified candidates for the premiership proposed by 45 parties due to contest the country’s 24 March elections. The decision of Princess Ubolratana – the elder sister of King Maha…
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"The Significance of the Second Trump – Kim Summit for Vietnam" by Le Hong Hiep

2019/16, 8 February 2019 During his 2019 State of the Union Address, US President Donald Trump announced that he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un for a second time at a bilateral summit to be held in Vietnam on 27-28 February 2019. While many details of the summit…
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"Ahead of 2020 Elections, Moves to Amend the Myanmar Constitution" by Ye Htut

2019/15, 7 February 2019 On 29 January 2019, Myanmar’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) moved for the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Union Parliament, combining upper and lower houses) to pass an emergency resolution on forming a Joint Committee for Constitutional Amendment. The military-appointed members of parliament objected to this…
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“A Win-Win Scenario for General Prayut” by Termsak Chalermpalanupap

2019/14, 4 February 2019 Thai junta leader and Prime Minister General Prayut Chanocha has made up his mind. But he has only revealed this much: if he wants to stay on in power, he will allow the Phalang Pracharat Party to list him as a candidate for the premiership in…
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“Who Set the Parameters of Monastic Politics in Myanmar?” by Nyi Nyi Kyaw

2019/13, 31 January 2019 Monastic politics — Theravada Buddhist monks’ and by extension nuns’ participation in the electoral realm as voters, founders and members of political parties, or professional politicians — has been banned in Myanmar since the country’s independence in 1948. Each of its three constitutions has prohibited monks…
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"The Election Rallies to Come in Thailand" by Michael J. Montesano

2019/12, 30 January 2019 January 23 brought publication of the long-awaited royal decree making it possible for Thailand’s Election Commission to set a date for parliamentary polls. The following day, wasting no time in launching their campaign, supporters of the Democrat Party appeared in a market in the major Southern…
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"The Perils of an Unrestrained Trump" by Daljit Singh

2019/11, 28 January 2019 President Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria and General Mattis’s resignation as Defence Secretary were greeted with dismay and unease by America’s allies and friends in the Middle East. The President’s stated rationale for the withdrawal --- that the Islamic State (IS) had been…
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"China: Growing Engagement, Growing Risk" by Malcolm Cook

2019/10, 28 January 2019 The Philippines is in campaign mode for the May mid-term elections. Campaign periods bring into sharper relief points of perceived vulnerability for the incumbent government. In the past week, three points of vulnerability related to the President Duterte’s close embrace of China have come to the…
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