South China Sea ruling Puts Asean and China at a crossroad

South China Sea ruling Puts Asean and China at a crossroad

Almost 30 years to the day that a young, Harvard-trained American lawyer won a famous judgment at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the United States, Paul S Reichler pulled off another momentous victory at The Hague. This time the judgment was against China for having breached its international treaty obligations in the South […]

Saving The Vietnam Textile And Garment Industry

Saving The Vietnam Textile And Garment Industry

In just 25 years Vietnam has transformed from one of the world’s poorest countries to a lower middle income economy. This is primarily due to key structural reforms which were implemented in 1986 in areas such as reforming state-owned enterprises (SOEs), private sector development, financial reform, public expenditure management and trade liberalisation. The World Bank […]

Thailand’s Draft Constitution Faces Uphill Battle

Thailand’s Draft Constitution Faces Uphill Battle

After some months of uncertainty, a representative from Thailand’s Democrat Party last week declared in a televised seminar that the party would not support the proposed draft constitution in the August 7 referendum. This follows an earlier declaration from the pro-Thaksin Puea Thai Party (PTP) that it also opposed the draft. The announcement represents a […]

China Successfully Divides Asean on The South China Sea

China Successfully Divides Asean on The South China Sea

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s whirlwind tour of Brunei, Cambodia and Laos between April 22 and 24, 2016 courted support for his country’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. But the issue of China’s policy in the South China Sea has created a fault line across Asean, complicating the unity and effectiveness of the […]

Achieving Harmony in The Wake of The South China Sea Ruling

Achieving Harmony in The Wake of The South China Sea Ruling

Southeast Asia has descended into a maritime insecurity spiral since the April–June 2012 stand-off at Scarborough Shoal between Chinese maritime security forces and the Philippine Navy which led Manila to initiate legal arbitration proceedings in The Hague. The ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) in favour of the Philippines will be difficult to […]

When it Comes to Chinese Aid Cambodia Should be Cautious

When it Comes to Chinese Aid Cambodia Should be Cautious

In a 2006 speech Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen praised China, saying that ‘China talks less but does a lot’. China is certainly doing a lot in Cambodia, becoming the country’s largest aid donor and source of foreign investment. Between 1994 and 2013, Chinese investment in Cambodia was about US$10 billion, focused mainly on agriculture, […]

What to Expect From President Duterte

What to Expect From President Duterte

Since the election of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the next Philippine president in a landslide victory on May 9, 2016, the regional and international media have highlighted his outrageous remarks on various sensitive topics. For instance, he backed the extra-judicial killings of drug dealers, alleged that journalists were killed because they were corrupt, […]

How The Myanmar Opium Economy Benefits The Military

For the past ten years drug production in Myanmar has been on the rise. The amount of land used to grow poppy — from which the opium sap used to make heroin is derived — has more than doubled since 2006. According to the UN, Myanmar now accounts for more than 25 per cent of […]

Zero Tariffs, Government Policies Threaten Vietnam’s Auto Industry

Zero Tariffs, Government Policies Threaten Vietnam’s Auto Industry

After many years of slow growth and stagnation the last couple of years have seen a significant boom in car sales in Vietnam. The country most known for its immense motorbike-riding population now appears to be rapidly heading for the age of the automobile. What has caused this change of fortunes for the Vietnam auto […]

Brinkmanship in the South China Sea helps nobody

Brinkmanship in the South China Sea helps nobody

Recent months have seen a continuing increase in military activities in the South China Sea, particularly by the United States and China, but also by ‘bit players’ like India and Japan. These activities only serve to heighten tensions in the region at a time when the priority should be to demilitarise the area. In the […]

Why The Laos Garment Industry is in Decline

Why The Laos Garment Industry is in Decline

The Laos garment industry has been on the decline for the past five years. The value of exports increased from US$87 million in 1995 to a peak of $219 million in 2011, before gradually falling to $174 million in 2015. The share of garments in total exports also declined from an average of 36 per […]

Asia’s Growth Leads The World

Asia’s Growth Leads The World

A gloomy outlook is enveloping the world’s economies. There are concerns that countries are failing to sufficiently focus on long-term policy responses to reverse the decline in global growth. Some are even arguing that the global growth slowdown may be permanent. But, for developing Asia, this downbeat view is clearly overstated. While Asia’s growth has […]

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