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"Duterte’s False Equivalency" by Malcolm Cook

2018/16, 23 February 2018 On Monday, in a speech to the Chinese-Filipino Business Club, President Duterte in his typical off the cuff manner made two statements that caught the media’s attention. He joked that the Philippines could become a province of Taiwan (he probably meant China) to solve its money…
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"Philippine Trade Surprise" by Malcolm Cook

2018/15, 22 February 2018 The Trump administration’s seemingly forlorn push for bilateral trade deals in East Asia has received some unexpected support from the Duterte administration in the Philippines. On Monday, Philippines Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia emphasized the importance for the Philippines of elevating its current Trade and Investment…
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"Japan-Myanmar Relations: What Will the Dog Year Offer?" by Moe Thuzar

2018/14, 21 February 2018 As one of ASEAN’s earliest Dialogue Partners, Japan’s relations with ASEAN countries draws from its commitment under the Fukuda Doctrine to assist Southeast Asia’s post- World War II development. Japan was a major aid-provider to post-independent Burma’s economic development up to the military coup in 1988.…
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"Indonesia between Two Major Powers: US Defense Secretary, Mattis’ Visit" by Leo Suryadinata

2018/13, 15 February 2018On 22-24 January 2018, US secretary of defense Jim Mattis visited Indonesia. This was the second US leader from the Trump Administration to visit Jakarta after Vice-President Mike Pence. In fact, before visiting Jakarta, Mattis had delivered a speech at the Johns Hopkins University, unveiling the shift…
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"Religious Intolerance Marks the Beginning of the Election Year in Indonesia" by Deasy Simandjuntak

2018/12, 14 February 2018 On Sunday 11 February morning, the residents of the generally tolerant, multi-religious, province of Yogyakarta, experienced a rare bout of religious violence. During a mass at a Catholic church, an unknown young man walked in and stabbed the priest and several church-goers. The police shot the…
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"Southeast Asia’s Response to Trump’s Economic and Trade Policies" by Joergen Oerstroem Moeller

2018/11, 13 February 2018 USA is the largest, most vibrant, and flexible economy in the world, however less so than a decade or two ago. The wildly fluctuating stock market in recent times is not a good omen. A benign and positive outlook does not call for contingency planning, but…
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"ASEAN Military Response to Counter-Terrorism" by Hoang Thi Ha

2018/10, 12 February 2018 Counter-terrorism was on top of the agenda of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Retreat on 6 January 2018 in Singapore, which identified “terrorism as the most serious security threat to the region.” The Ministers also issued a joint statement to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation among ASEAN…
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"In Response to US FONOP, China Flies Advanced Fighter Jets over the South China Sea" by Ian Storey

2018/9, 12 February 2018 According to China’s Ministry of Defence, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has used state-of-the-art SU-35 fighter jets to conduct combat patrols over the South China Sea Although the report did not provide details of the exact dates, location or size of the patrols, it…
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"RCEP in 2018? - Expectations must be Tempered" by Sanchita Basu Das

2018/8, 9 February 2018 Concluding the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is a significant deliverable for ASEAN in 2018. If it is successful, ASEAN will be feted for its leadership to bring together big economies like China, India, Japan and South Korea under a single comprehensive…
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"The Finer Points to Note on the EU Resolution to Ban Palm Oil in Biodiesel" by Lee Poh Onn

2018/7, 25 January 2018On 17 January, EU Parliament proposed a ban of the use of unsustainable sources of palm oil in biofuels as of 2021. According to European parliamentarians, palm oil from such sources has driven deforestation and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Indonesia and Malaysia account for 80 percent of…
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