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 Events Summary 2019
A "Dream Thailand" Public Forum - “Free and Open Indo-Pacific and ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific: Drivers, Dynamics and Prospects” 
As you know, the Indo-Pacific is fast-becoming the new geographic frame of reference for the geopolitical and geoeconomic dynamics in what was more commonly called the Asia-Pacific. The Indo-Pacific, sometimes formally known as the United States-driven Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), has elicited mixed reactions around the region. Cognizant of the FOIP’s powerful drivers and staying power, ASEAN has responded with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific as a way of reasserting and maintaining ASEAN’s central role and function in regional affairs, navigating the ongoing and intensifying tensions between the US and China. This forum will examine the underpinnings and motivations of FOIP and AOIP, with implications for broader dynamics, such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative and other regional endeavors. The speakers at this forum are drawn from Chulalongkorn University’s scholarly and academic community.
A Public Forum on – “Multilateralism No More? The Future of World Order from Europe to Asia” 
It is common knowledge that the rules-based liberal international order that was set up after the Second World War is now under growing stress and strain. What used to be accepted as rules and norms in the international system is increasing contested and contentious. Multilateral cooperation among states and governments is at a low point, whereas regional, bilateral and even unilateral behavior among states is more common now than we can remember. The world trading system, for example, is at severe risk, as multilateral negotiations have been ineffective. Global financial governance is similarly challenged. This public forum addresses these issues and challenges. It kicks off with a keynote speech from Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, who would then join a panel discussion with two former Thai foreign ministers, H.E. Dr Kantathi Suphamongkhon and H.E. Mr Kasit Piromya. Time will be allotted for audience participation.
A "Dream Thailand" Public Forum - “Anand Panyarachun and the Making of Modern Thailand: Issues and Insights” – A Book Launch and Discussion” 
.” This is a book launch, followed by a discussion. Dominic Faulder’s authorized biography of Khun Anand is rich in detail and instructive in its portrayal of Thailand’s consummate diplomat and two-time prime minister whose tenure in diplomacy, private sector, and government coincided with Thailand’s nation-building decades from the 1950s to the 1990s. After Dominic Faulder’s brief comments, we will be joined by former Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya who will share his own experience from diplomacy and government in reaction to and reflection on the book. Khun Anand himself may offer comments during the discussion. The overall aim of this public forum is not just to talk about an earlier era of government and diplomacy but also to tease out key issues, insights, and lessons from the recent past for what Thailand has been encountering in its political life in the contemporary period.
A Public Forum - “ASEAN and the New World Disorder: Thailand, seeking a new balance” 
Thailand's murky election on March 24 serves as a prelude to a broader power struggle among competing players and institutions that now must operate under a new reign.

A profound reckoning so far in the 21st century between Thailand's monarchy-centred hierarchy and a democratic order based on popular rule will require compromise and mutual accommodation among competing interests to remain peaceful and workable. While the Thai economy has held up on a subpar basis, lagging ASEAN peers such as Vietnam and Indonesia, modest growth prospects could head south unless Thailand can generate new momentum and move forward after 15 years of stop-start progress.
ISIS Co-organized Public Forum on "China on Responsible Global Superpower?" 
Venue is Room 209, Faculty of Economic, Chulalongkorn University
Summary The Mekong Region 2.0: GMS, LMC, MA/MRC/MI, CICPEC/BRI, ACMECS, ETC 
In view of recent developments among Mekong countries, including progress on the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative’s China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, this workshop has taken on an added significance and timeliness. Our countries all have a stake in the Mekong region, and New Zealand is a promoter of Mekong regional cooperation, including its founding of the Mekong Institute, which provides capacity training and human resource development to Mekong societies.
A Public Forum - Thailand's ASEAN Chair: Challenges Ahead 
As is widely known, Thailand is ASEAN’s rotational chair for 2019. Thailand’s foreign policy team has geared up for this task for many months and is poised to carry out its duties in view of ASEAN’s myriad challenges from the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and the South China Sea to the regional navigation of the United States-China trade conflict. Global geopolitical tensions are on the rise, and ASEAN is in the thick of it. This public forum is intended to examine and explore Thailand’s challenges and opportunities as ASEAN Chair with a forward-looking view as how to best perform for the benefit of both ASEAN and its co-founder and birthplace.
A Public Forum - Thirty and Hungry for Change: Meet the New Faces of Thai Politics 
Thailand’s looming election on 24 March has been highly participated, as the last completed poll took place in July 2011. This election will see more than seven million first-time voters among the 51-million electorate. Voices of the young and the new generation will count significantly, perhaps more than in previous polls. This seminar will feature three new politicians who are “young and hungry” for change in Thai politics and who are associated with Oxford Thai Foundation and LSE in Thailand.
A Public Forum - An Uneasy Peace: China Power in A Divided World 
Amidst the ongoing global unravel and power shifts, underpinned by geopolitical tensions and issues such as the “trade war” between the United States and China, the rules-based liberal international order as we know it is under severe stress. It appears that, unless the international order is fundamentally readjusted and reformed, geopolitical tensions and geo-economics contestation are likely to deteriorate to the detriment of all concerned. Central to mitigating, resolving and finding ways forward is the US-China relationship. As US views are well known from the international media and other sources, this public forum takes opportunity from a visit to Bangkok by prominent Chinese think-tank and academic experts to provide Chinese perspectives on geopolitics and geo-economics. The Chinese experts are led by Tsinghua University’s Dr Yan Xuetong, who has been convening China’s premier World Peace Forum. Dr Yan has recently published a widely circulated article on China’s global outlook in Foreign Affairs, which forms the basis of our forum’s title (
(September 20, 2019) Politics of regional trade liberalisation 
As multilateral trade negotiations have become unworkable, regional and bilateral alternatives are on the rise. In Thailand's neighbourhood, the most consequential of these trade vehicles is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). As it missed the boat on the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Thailand as Asean chair this year should finalise the RCEP expeditiously and find a way to accede to the CPTPP in the near future. Although the Thai political situation remains murky and contentious, there is enough domestic policy consensus on low-hanging fruits, such as regional and bilateral trade liberalisation, that should be reaped without further delay.
(September 6, 2019) ASEAN militaries between US, China 
The inaugural Asean-United States Maritime Exercise (AUMX) this week has sent ripples far and wide to the shores of regional states from Beijing and Tokyo to New Delhi. Hosted by Thailand at its Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri province, the first AUMX comes nearly a year after Asean held a similar maritime drill with China off the coast of Guangdong province. At issue is the intensifying rivalry between the US and China on the one hand and Asean's centrality and geopolitical balance between the two superpowers on the other. Several implications are discernible.
(August 30, 2019) Superpower rivalry to put region to test 
More than 18 months in, the trade war between the United States and China is not having its intended effects. Despite a flurry of US-led tariff hikes on Chinese products followed by China's retaliatory tax increases on American-made goods since January last year, the government of President Donald Trump is not perceived to be winning the trade conflict. China has proved more resilient and resourceful than many had anticipated. What this means is that the trade war is going to last much longer than many had expected. It is also likely to spread to other areas beyond trade and degenerate into a full-fledged non-military war.
(September 17, 2019) Thailand's going bananas for Korea 
When South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited Thailand recently, he highlighted two Thai names, Nichkhun of 2PM and Lisa of Blackpink as symbols of the excellent South Korean-Thai friendship. Nichkhun Horvejkul and Lalisa Manoban are young Thai idols who are making a living as K-Pop performers in Seoul. Both of them speak fluent Korean, they are trained to sing in Korean and are well-versed in K-Pop dancing.
(September 3, 2019) 9 reasons for Trump to visit Bangkok 
These days, US President Donald Trump's participation in any summit or international conference is guaranteed to make headlines. It is no longer a given that the world's most powerful country and its leader would automatically attend certain summits as a formality or otherwise to provide an impetus for concerted action and resolve.
(August 27, 2019) Learn from past visa-waiver mishap 
In September 2003, the Thai government undertook the most incredible step by signing a visa-waiver agreement with Russia. No other Asean country had dared to do that before.
 Articles - Ms.GWEN ROBINSON
(May 29, 2019) Southeast Asia gains new leverage as China and US battle for influence 
BANGKOK -- There are two "friendship bridges" spanning the Tonle Sap river in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. One is labeled the Cambodia-Japanese friendship bridge; the other is the Cambodia-China friendship bridge.
(May 29, 2019) A Chinese military base in Southeast Asia? Some say it's inevitable 
BANGKOK -- Big-power rivalry in the Asia-Pacific region has shifted the focus from military firepower toward competition over infrastructure and investment, spurred by China's Belt and Road scheme and the U.S. and Japan-led Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy. Yet traditional security concerns are more vital than ever, in some cases determining the rollout of megaprojects and military activity.