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 Welcome to ISIS Thailand !

  Events View All>> 
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 Events Summary 2019
 

A Public Forum on – “Where Northeast Asia Meets Southeast Asia: The Great Powers, Global Disorder and Asia’s Future” 

That the post-Second World War liberal international order is unravelling is no longer in dispute. Across the globe, interstate relations are in flux, facing mounting risks of tension and conflict, exacerbated by non-state actors, such as terrorist groups. Nowhere are these alarming trends more evident than in Asia. Northeast Asia faces longstanding security concerns revolving around the Korean Peninsula. Tensions also beset the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. China and Japan, and South Korea and Japan, have to grapple with old enmities, while Beijing-Seoul ties remain contentious. Taiwan’s political status and movement towards greater autonomy vis-à-vis China is a perennial security issue. Southeast Asia hardly appears more peaceful and stable. The South China Sea has become an arena for contestation between China and the Philippines and Vietnam on one hand, and China and the United States on the other. In mainland Southeast Asia, China’s construction of upstream dams on the Mekong River have been controversial as they have adversely affected downstream communities in Cambodia and Vietnam. 
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A Public Forum on – “Climate Change Imperatives and Impediments: Regional Responses and Local Reactions” at 09.30 a.m. – 11.30 a.m. Tuesday, 3rd December 2019. 

Climate Change has surged to the forefront among the most pressing challenges of our time. From melting glaciers and rising sea levels to extreme weather patterns, the international community across the globe is in trouble from fast-deteriorating natural conditions around us. Collective global responses, such as the Paris Agreement, or the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, have been unable to keep up with the flow of daily bad news. Popular pressure from below to combat climate change has come from individuals and organisations intent on taking governments to task, resulting in recent demonstrations worldwide. Climate change also has become a non-traditional security threat for many countries, manifesting in more frequent natural disasters, for example.

While ISIS Thailand has focused mostly on domestic and international affairs in the context of geopolitics and geoeconomics, this public forum represents our first to examine climate change issues and challenges as a threat and concern in international relations, with reference to Thailand and its Asean neighbourhood. We are grateful to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco, a country keen on tackling climate issues, for co-hosting and sponsoring this event. We have a diverse line-up of climate experts and practitioners to lead the discussion on this occasion, and will make time available for audience participation. 
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A Public Forum - “Mekong on More Minds: The Geopolitics and Geoeconomics of Mainland Southeast Asia” 

The Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions are amongst the most dynamic in the world as well as centres of economic growth for decades. As a result, these regions continue to experience geopolitical and geostrategic shifts. These shifts present opportunities as well as challenges between powerful major powers and countries in mainland and maritime Southeast Asia. Japan initiated the so-called “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy (FOIP) in 2016 during Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) VI held in Kenya, since then many researchers, journalists and policymakers have discussed what the FOIP Strategy, and its broader concept exactly means and what FOIP Strategy could be clearly spelled out for the functional areas of cooperation between Japan and Southeast Asian countries nowadays. 
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A “Dream Thailand” Public Forum – “Thailand/Southeast Asia Between the United States and China: Dilemmas, Options, Prospects” 

The ongoing geopolitical and geoeconomic rivalry and competition between the United States and China have adversely affected the regional order and balance among Southeast Asian states and governments and ASEAN as their regional cooperative vehicle. No Southeast Asian state appears inclined to choose one superpower over the other. All would rather hedge and leverage between the two superpower giants to cope and navigate their way forward. But as the US-China confrontation intensifies, these two superpowers may eventually compel the regional states to pick a side. How should Southeast Asia respond? More specifically, how should Thailand react in view of its treaty alliance with the US and intimate ties with China? Addressing both Southeast Asia as a whole and Thailand on its own in their interaction and response to superpower competition and conflict, this public forum brings together an established panel of experts and scholars to discuss salient issues and challenges as key developments in the US-China faceoff unfold in the months ahead. 
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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. 
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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. 
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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. 
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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. 
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ISIS Co-organized Public Forum on "China on Responsible Global Superpower?" 

Venue is Room 209, Faculty of Economic, Chulalongkorn University 
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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. 
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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. 
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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. 
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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 (https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2018-12-11/age-uneasy-peace). 
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 Articles - Dr.THITINAN PONGSUDHIRAK

(November 15, 2019) Trump gamesmanship risks Asean ties 

Apart from India's withdrawal from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the other memorable outcome of the recent Asean Summit and 14th East Asia Summit was the second consecutive absence of US President Donald Trump. 
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(November 8, 2019) RCEP without India poses new hurdles 

On the face of it, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is an Indo-Pacific trade pact that would shore up the stalled world trade liberalisation and stem the rising tide of protectionism in the global economy. India's withdrawal from the RCEP -- whose other 15 members comprise the 10 Asean economies along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand -- is a major setback, posing new challenges for the Asean-centred trade bloc. Asean should persuade India to return to the RCEP fold, while preparing for a much less promising RCEP15 as second-best outcome. 
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(November 1, 2019) Thai chairmanship ends on upbeat note 

Just as Thailand's chairmanship of Asean is about to end and a flurry of Asean-related summits are about to transpire, this year has been more eventful for Southeast Asia's 10-member grouping than anticipated. Despite its domestic constraints, Thailand has managed to steer the sometimes unwieldy ship of Asean with limited propulsion and direction. If Vietnam as the next chair can build on momentum from this year, Asean might just be able to regain and reboot its role in the near term as the de facto bridge, broker and buffer for the wider Indo-Pacific region, notwithstanding its usual warts and flaws. 
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 Articles - Mr.KAVI CHONGKITTAVORN

(November 19, 2019) Embedding S Korea in Southeast Asia 

For three days from Nov 25-27 in the port city of Busan, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will have a rare opportunity that eluded his predecessors -- to set in cast iron the future and shape of South Korean-Asean and Mekong riparian country relations amid the ever-changing regional and international environment. 
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(November 12, 2019) Can errant Trump save Asean-US ties? 

The 35th Asean Summit and its related meetings ended last week with stronger Asean solidarity and centrality, thanks to President Donald Trump's absence and high-handed manner in responding to the 52-year Southeast Asian diplomatic process. 
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(November 5, 2019) East Asian leadership rises in Bangkok 

The 35th Asean-related summits, which ended on Monday, saw the region's leaders display their magnanimity through collective leadership and common commitments for a stronger and more prosperous East Asia. The absence of US President Donald Trump was a blessing in disguise, since it meant the global media had to focus on the substance of their talks. These days, East Asian leaders are bolder and more willing to work together despite their domestic constraints and the longstanding bilateral disputes among them. 
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 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. 
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(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. 
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