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"Seven Southeast Asian Countries Fly the Flag at RIMPAC 2018" by Ian Storey

2018/76, 4 July 2018 Southeast Asia’s presence at the US-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises off Hawaii is the largest since the biennial naval drills began in 1971. The world’s largest multilateral naval exercises began on 27 June and will end on 2 August. RIMPAC 2018 involves 26 countries,…
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"Mahathir’s Cabinet Reflects New Power Dynamics" by Tang Siew Mun

2018/75, 2 July 2018 Malaysia’s long wait for the appointment of its full cabinet is finally over. Thirteen ministers and twenty-three deputy ministers were sworn-in before the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V on 2 July 2018. This was a significant milestone for the new Pakatan Harapan government, which brought…
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"Reviewing Mahathir’s and Malaysia’s Foreign Policy" by Tang Siew Mun

2018/74, 22 June 2018On the surface, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to Japan from 9-12 June 2018 should not have raised any eyebrows. After all, he was in Tokyo at the invitation of Nikkei Shimbun to speak at the 24th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia, a high-level international…
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"How ASEAN Supports the Korean Peninsula Peace Process" by Tang Siew Mun

2018/73, 14 June 2018 The historic meeting between US President, Donald Trump, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) State Affairs Commission Chairman, Mr Kim Jong Un, in Singapore on 12 June 2018, was the first ever between a sitting US President and a DPRK leader. The meeting produced…
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"President Trump’s Backward Steps on Forward Defense" by Malcolm Cook

2018/72, 13 June 2018 The commitment to forward defense by successive US administrations is the basis for the US network of alliances and security partnerships in East Asia. Forward defense posits that it is better to address potential overseas threats to the US homeland and deter potential overseas conflicts that…
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"Duterte’s China Problems" by Malcolm Cook

2018/71, 12 June 2018 President Duterte’s accommodationist approach to China and Chinese aggressive actions in the Philippine exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea is starting to run into domestic political problems. Chinese actions in the West Philippine Sea appear to contradict agreements President Duterte claims he has reached…
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“China’s Infrastructure Strategy under Review in Malaysia” by Tang Siew Mun

2018/70, 8 June 2018 Chinese mega-projects in Malaysia have come under intense scrutiny under the Pakatan Harapan government. Within weeks of taking over the government, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad pledged to review all mega-project deals signed by the Najib administration to ascertain their financial viability and the government’s ability to…
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"South China Sea Dominates 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue" by Ian Storey

2018/69, 6 June 2018 Although the much-anticipated meeting in Singapore between the leaders of the United States and North Korea was less than two weeks away, the Trump-Kim Summit did not overshadow the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) last weekend. Instead, the South China Sea dispute was front and centre in many…
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"America Pushes Back Against China in the South China Sea" by Ian Storey

2018/68, 28 May 2018Events over the past few days suggest that the Trump administration is following through on the pledge it made in its 2017 National Security Strategy to take a firmer line against China’s military activities in the South China Sea. On Sunday 27 May, two US warships conducted…
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"Vietnam under Increasing Pressure from China in the South China Sea" by Ian Storey

2018/67, 25 May 2018 Ever since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, and implemented a series of policies designed to reduce friction with Beijing in the Spratly Islands in return for Chinese investment, Vietnam has become the frontline state among the Southeast Asian claimants in the South China…
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