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"US Conducts 6th South China Sea FONOP under Trump" by Ian Storey

2018/33, 27 March 2018 On 23 March 2018, the US Navy destroyer USS Mustin conducted a “freedom of navigation operation” (FONOP) in the South China Sea by sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-controlled Mischief Reef in the contested Spratly Islands. Over the past few years, China has constructed extensive…
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"Cambodia-China Military Drills Highlight Deepening Bilateral Relations" by Ian Storey

2018/32, 20 March 2018 On 17 March 2018, the armed forces of Cambodia and China began two weeks of combined military exercises to celebrate 60 years of bilateral relations. The “Golden Dragon 2018” exercises are taking place in Kampong Speu province and involve 307 personnel from the Royal Cambodian Armed…
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"Australia in ASEAN: Vision or Fantasy?" by Hoang Thi Ha

2018/31, 19 March 2018 When Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed his support for Australia to join ASEAN in his interview with Fairfax Media on 15 March, he was thinking way outside of the box, and literally outside the scope of the ASEAN Charter which reserves membership only for those states…
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"Will Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah Elect its Architect?" by Serina Rahman

2018/30, 19 March 2018 There is speculation as to whether former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will stand in Langkawi for GE 14. If he does, will the islanders go with the party that has always been in power or the personality seen as the driver behind Langkawi’s development. In fact,…
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"Fake-news and Hate Speech in the Election Year" by Deasy Simandjuntak

2018/29, 19 March 2018On Sunday 4th March, the Indonesian police arrested a member of the hate speech group called the “Family Muslim Cyber Army”, or the Family MCA. Only last week, the police had caught several other members across the archipelago. Among the Family MCA’s many fabrications was raising the…
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"Tillerson Out, Pompeo In – Hope Springs Eternal for US Asia Policy" by Jason Salim

2018/28, 19 March 2018 When Rex Tillerson was appointed as Secretary of State in the early days of President Trump’s administration, talking heads were confident that the former Exxon CEO would smoothen some of President Trump’s rough edges and leverage on his experiences as CEO of one of the world’s…
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"Jokowi’s Rush to Deliver Infrastructure Projects may Result in Low-quality Products" by Charlotte Setijadi

2018/27, 16 March 2018 President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo is under pressure to deliver promised infrastructure projects ahead of the 2019 legislative and presidential elections. Since 2014, Jokowi has promised to accelerate major projects such as 1,000 kilometres of new toll roads, 3,200 kilometres of railway track, 15 new airports, two…
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"Controversial Changes to Indonesia’s Law on Legislative Bodies Come into Effect" by Eve Warburton

2018/26, 16 March 2018 Revisions to Indonesia’s Law on Legislative Bodies (MD3) were first passed by parliament (DPR) on February 12th. President Jokowi mulled over whether or not to sign the new law. After a month of equivocation, he chose not to add his signature to the MD3. However in…
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"The Philippine Panda Bond" by Malcolm Cook

2018/25, 16 March 2018In the next week or two, the Philippine government plans to issue its first panda bond (a renminbi-denominated bond issued by a non-Chinese borrower to investors in China). The planned ¥1.46 billion ($200 million) issuance, if successful, would be a win-win-win development for the Philippines and China.…
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"China’s New International Development Cooperation Agency and Foreign Aid" by Lye Liang Fook

2018/24, 15 March 2018 One highlight of China’s National People’s Congress session in March 2018 is the restructuring of China’s State Council, or cabinet, to improve its governance and effectiveness. Among the proposed changes is the creation of a new state-level International Development Cooperation Agency (IDCA) that will integrate the…
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