Panel discussion “Middle Classes in Southeast Asia : Hegemony and Illiberalism” 11 July 2018, At the Chumbhot-Pantip Conference Room, 4th Floor Prajadhipok Building, Chulalongkorn University
A UN rapporteur argues that Southeast Asian countries are undermining their economic potential due to the lack of freedom of expression, adding that social media companies should be more concerned about protecting customers’ privacy. Average annual GDP growth in the Southeast Asian region for 2017 is forecast by the ADB at 5.0%.
Today tourism is a buzzword for a quick and easy development paradigm. Yet, stories of both glory and horror in tourism abound. The glory stories are often related to income and employment generation, the attraction of foreign exchange, the opportunities that tourism could provide for regional, rural and community development, as well as the opportunity to use tourism as a means for education in history, culture, nature and conservation.
On 10 August 2015, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong paid an official visit to Bangkok to boost bilateral ties. Among many issues, ironically, the two countries pledged to promote human rights and to enhance economic cooperation. They also discussed the issue of “nuclear” which might have made some Western nations disturbingly uncomfortable.
A Cambodian academic says the derailment of democracy and coming to power of the junta regime in Thailand sets a bad example for other ASEAN countries.
This week, I spent my time in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, attending a week-long conference under the Asian Public Intellectual project. The conference brought together 25 Asian Public intellectuals from various fields to present their research, to discuss common concerns in the region, and to exchange views on topics that affect the livelihood of their communities.
Kristie Kenney, US Ambassador to Bangkok, gave a farewell to Thailand and is on her way back to Washington DC. She was in this position for much longer than the normal term of 3 years, raising a question if there might be problems within the US internal politics. But Thailand is not the only country where the US diplomatic mission will be without its ambassador. The vacancy in such an important position could be detrimental to the US foreign policy at this critical time in international politics.
China has desperately attempted to reinvent its new image in Southeast Asia, a region long considered as the Chinese sphere of influence. As part of this effort, it recently proposed “the Chinese Dream” policy which stressed on China’s peaceful and civilised way to achieve national prosperity, national rejuvenation and the happiness of people in the region.