Association Of Southeast Asian Nations
Thailand slides toward a geopolitical realignment
Thailand, a country notorious for military coups but also a longtime security partner of the United States, has been slowly but inevitably aligning itself with China. The process is driven by political and economic considerations. Washington, obliged by the U.S. Congress to curb military assistance to Bangkok, has limited options to stop it.
Brexit and the sunset of European influence in Asia-Pacific
Though the Asia-Pacific region seems too far away to be affected by Brexit, the UK’s departure from the EU will have a profound impact on the region. While it will reduce the bloc’s significance in the region’s affairs, the UK’s status may suffer as well. Asia-Pacific states will likely look to countries such as Germany to act as a new counterweight to China and the United States.
China is playing for keeps in Southeast Asia
In addition to becoming a prime global economic power, China is striving to become the hegemon in Southeast Asia. Expansionist policies in the China Seas are crucial to this design and Beijing is not going to back off. Neither its neighbors in the region, nor the rules of international law, nor the Western powers appear to be in a position to prevent the Middle Kingdom from fulfilling its ambition.
U.S. trade options in Asia
President Donald Trump’s pledge to crack down on countries that have large trade surpluses with the U.S. has created a lot deal of uncertainty in Asia. Will the new administration enforce current laws and seek bilateral deals, or will it take a more punitive, protectionist stance? Washington’s choice – and how its partners respond – may determine whether the U.S. keeps its leading role in Asia or gets marginalized.
Rift between US and Europe may pose security risk in Asia
The United States and Europe are major stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region. As the centre of global influence continues to shift eastward, both of these powers share compelling interests. These include security for the massive amount of international trade in goods transiting the region and the development of a rules-based regional order. The differences betwee...
Southeast Asia’s tangled web of economic ties may help limit China’s sway
Now that China is Southeast Asia’s top trading partner, many argue that a new alignment of power is emerging. Certainly, increased trade has helped transform perceptions of Chinese influence in the region from negative to relatively positive. But there is little risk of a China-centred trade bloc materialising. The biggest reason for this is the diversity of econom...
Tricky balancing act awaits winner of Philippines presidential election
As it gears up for the sixth presidential election since its 1986 revolution, the Philippines faces a host of challenges on the economy, foreign policy and domestic political reform. The biggest issue is tensions with China, but the incoming president will also have to tackle corruption to unleash this young, populous country’s economic potential. Three candidates ...
Asean split by spectre of Chinese guns and money
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) operates under the motto ‘One Vision, One Identity, One Community.’ Recently, however, the bloc has not been so unified. A schism between its 10 member states is growing over China, their giant neighbour to the north. It is a divide that threatens to derail the bloc’s economic development and integration into a lar...