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"Vietnam’s Dilemma in Dealing with Laos’ Mekong Hydropower Dams" by Le Hong Hiep

2020/1, 7 January 2020 On 4 January 2020, during the 42nd meeting of the Vietnam – Laos Inter-Governmental Committee, Electricity Vietnam (EVN), Vietnam’s state power utility, signed five contracts to purchase from Laos’ Phongsubthavy Group and Chealun Sekong Group 1.5 billion kWh of electricity a year for two years starting…
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"AIIB vs ADB Memberships: Larger and Smaller" by Malcolm Cook

2019/109, 26 December 2019At the end of its third year, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Bank already has many more members than the 53-year old Japan-led Asian Development Bank. This is clearly a measure of AIIB success and a useful reminder that Asia is a flexible contingent idea.
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“Will There Be No Elections in Rakhine State in 2020?” by Nyi Nyi Kyaw

2019/108, 20 December 2019 The chief of the Myanmar insurgent group the Arakan Army (AA), Major General Tun Myat Naing, said on 17 December 2019 that the organisation of voting in Rakhine State during the general elections due in late 2020 would require the group’s ‘permission’. This ‘bold’ statement from…
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"President Duterte’s China Benefits" by Malcolm Cook

2019/107, 12 December 2019 Philippine hotels, casinos, airport vendors and banana and pineapple farmers are some of the direct beneficiaries of President Rodrigo Duterte’s personal embrace of China and persistent pursuit of better diplomatic relations with the Philippines’ third largest export market. As with President Macapagal-Arroyo some fifteen years ago,…
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“A Dilemma of Political Survival in Thailand” by Supalak Ganjanakhundee

2019/106, 11 December 2019 The decision of Thailand’s ruling regime, under the leadership of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, to bring ‘money politics’ back into parliament in order to ensure the regime’s survival will leave the country trapped in a maze.
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“The Return of Cut-Throat Money Politics in Thailand” by Termsak Chalermpalanupap

2019/105, 10 December 2019 The government of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha narrowly averted yet another crisis in the House of Representatives on 4 December — this time with support from 10 defectors from the opposition. The incident, however, accentuated the vulnerability of Thailand’s ruling coalition of 18 parties, but…
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"New White Paper Reveals Little Change to Vietnam’s Defence Policy" by Le Hong Hiep

2019/104, 10 December 2019 Vietnam released the fourth edition of its national defence white paper on 25 November 2019. Compared to the third edition released in 2009, the new white paper provides detailed and more updated information about Vietnam’s perception of the global and regional security environment, Vietnam’s defence policy,…
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"Korea Finds in ASEAN a Like-Minded Partner on the Indo-Pacific" by Hoang Thi Ha

2019/103, 2 December 2019 The ASEAN-Republic of Korea (ROK) Commemorative Summit was convened on 25-26 November in Busan to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their dialogue relations. The high-profile event showcased President Moon Jae-in’s strong commitment to bring ASEAN-ROK partnership to a new height under his New Southern Policy (NSP).…
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"Philippine Critical Infrastructure and China" by Malcolm Cook

2019/102, 2 December 2019 On 20 November, National Transmission Corporation President Melvin Matibag testified in the Philippine Senate that the State Grid Corporation of China may be able to turn the power off in the Philippines. In 2009, the administration of President Macapagal-Arroyo privatized the national grid monopoly and granted…
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“US-Vietnam Dynamics: US Defence Secretary Mark Esper’s Vietnam Visit” by Ha Hoang Hop and Lye Liang Fook

2019/101, 27 November 2019 US Defence Secretary Mark Esper visited Vietnam on his last stop to Asia in November 2019 that saw him also travelling to South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. From the US perspective, the Vietnam visit is important on at least two levels. First, the visit underscores…
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