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Articles
(February 13, 2019) Why Hanoi won Trump-Kim summit - Kavi Chongkittavorn 
Bangkok, Hanoi and Hawaii were three of the possible venues mentioned when the US and North Korea agreed to have a second summit. However, when the final decision was made just days ahead of the announcement by President Donald Trump during the State of the Union address, Hanoi stood alone as the site for the second summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Feb 27-28. 
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(February 11, 2019) Royal command sets a new balance - Thitinan Pongsudhirak 
Thailand's political earthquake last Friday has caught observers at home and abroad off guard. Within half a day, Thai politics went through an unprecedented political roller coaster. It all ended with a press release from the royal palace at night, effectively reversing what had taken place in the morning. 
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(February 8, 2019) Gen Prayut's uncommon dictatorship - Thitinan Pongsudhirak 
When confronted with the contention that Thailand's upcoming election is rigged and manipulated, the insiders and advisers of the Thai government will say otherwise. They argue that this poll is no more rigged than its predecessors and the incumbents and power holders of the day will naturally and understandably arrange for constitutional laws and election rules to be written to suit their interests and boost their poll chances. Some of this rationalisation is true, but most of it is self-interested hogwash. 
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(February 5, 2019) Beyond US-China spat: Asean's options - Kavi Chongkittavorn 
Despite all the pleasantries in Washington, DC surrounding the latest US-China trade talks over the past week, the rivalry between the world's two largest economies will not subside anytime soon. For years, US-China relations have been on top of the agenda in most of the countries in the Southeast Asian region, but never before have those ties stooped to the present level of animosity. 
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(January 29, 2019) Elevating the TAC as a global code of conduct - Kavi Chongkittavorn 
A reference of Asean's most well-known regional code of conduct, known as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), in the Chiang Mai retreat's statement, deserves recognition. It was intriguing, coming at this juncture, as to why it deserved a distinctive paragraph with 90 words. Indeed, the TAC has been the life and soul of Asean since its founding in 1967. 
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(January 25, 2019) Election Commission must assert itself - Thitinan Pongsudhirak 
Thailand is supposed to have an independent Election Commission (EC) that oversees all electoral contests from local polls to national referendums. But as Thailand heads towards a general election on March 24, the seven-member EC has appeared less than eager and enthusiastic and too beholden to government preferences in staging what will be Thailand's first election in nearly nine years. 
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(January 22, 2019) Asean must make EU a strategic partner - Kavi Chongkittavorn 
Asean can be vicious, as relations with the European Union demonstrate. At the Chiang Mai retreat last week, the official status of the EU as a new strategic dialogue partner was one of the prominent issues taken up by Asean foreign ministers. The press statement issued by the chair simply said that the EU's status, which Asean has agreed in principle, is still subject "to further details and time to be worked out". In a nutshell, it is still in limbo. 
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(January 15, 2019) ASEAN can ease US-China tensions - Thitinan Pongsudhirak 
After proving its durability for more than five decades, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is fraying and is at risk of marginalization and irrelevance. 
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(January 15, 2019) The significance of Asean's retreats - Kavi Chongkittavorn 
Asean's foreign ministers will meet for the first time under Thailand's chairmanship in Chiang Mai on Thursday and Friday. 
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(January 11, 2019) Thailand's year of hunting normality - Thitinan Pongsudhirak 
Three related events that will shape Thailand's path this year and beyond are evidently the coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, the much-anticipated election, and the once-a-decade rotational chairmanship of Asean. 
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