CSIS Southeast Asia Sit-Rep – March 24, 2016

CSIS Southeast Asia SIT-REP

This issue includes a survey of Japan’s energized agenda in Southeast Asia, and analyses on Indonesia’s turning point in its South China Sea policy, prospects for Myanmar’s peace process under the new government, and the reemerging debate on reviving a quadrilateral strategic dialogue between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. Links will take you to the full publications, multimedia, or to registration for upcoming programs when available. To jump to a section, select one of the following:


Deep insight into developments that move the dial

Southeast Asia Dances to the Tune of Japan’s Abe Doctrine,” by Phuong Nguyen (@PNguyen_DC)
In Southeast Asia, Japan can be said to enjoy unrivaled popularity. According to the 2015 Pew Global Attitudes survey, an average of about 80 percent of respondents surveyed across four Southeast Asian countries said they hold a favorable view of Japan. While China’s expanding military footprint in the disputed South China Sea has a headline-grabbing impact, Japan’s influence in this critical region is felt more steadfastly, but increasingly so, in recent years… Read more >>

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The CSIS Asia blog features insights on policy around the Asia Pacific

Will Indonesia, Provoked, Now Choose to Lead on the South China Sea?,” by Aaron Connelly (@ConnellyAL)
A confrontation between Indonesian and Chinese law enforcement vessels in the South China Sea over the weekend could mark a turning point in Indonesian foreign policy under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, forcing him to choose between two of his top priorities: attracting foreign investment – particularly Chinese investment – to fund his ambitious infrastructure agenda; and a more assertive defense of Indonesian territorial integrity…. Read more >>

Myanmar’s Peace Process: High Expectations & Difficult Realities,” by Samuel Glickstein
In November 2015, Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League of Democracy (NLD) achieved a massive victory in Myanmar’s general election. In addition to winning in traditional party strongholds, the NLD also dominated in most ethnic-majority states. People in these areas voted for the NLD because they believed that Aung San Suu Kyi had the ability to end decades of internal conflict, revitalize a process of national reconciliation between the government and the country’s armed ethnic groups… Read more >>

China Creates a Second Chance for the ‘Quad’,” by Richard Rossow (@RichardRossow) & Sarah Watson
Interest in reviving the defunct U.S.-India-Japan-Australia quadrilateral strategic dialogue is mounting. Concerns about provoking China were a principal reason behind the “Quad’s” initial failure. But recent events in the South China Sea have underscored the need for increased coordination. In May 2007, officials from the foreign ministries of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States met to discuss the creation of a “quadrilateral strategic dialogue,”… Read more >>

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The Leaderboard

Two-minute read on the real people that are making news

Tito Karnavian, Indonesia’s new counterterrorism chief
Tito has a long and impressive track record in counterterrorism, having investigated numerous high-profile cases such as the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings, the 2004 attack on the Australian Embassy, and the 2009 Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott bombings. Tito has said he will focus on the counter-terrorism agency’s work in prevention and rehabilitation. He also plans to tackle radicalization that occurs in Indonesian prisons…. Read more >>

Jose Rene Almendras, the Philippines’ acting secretary of foreign affairs
Jose Rene Almendras most recently served as Philippines cabinet secretary, a post revived by President Benigno Aquino in November 2012. Prior to that appointment, he was secretary of energy from 2010. Before entering government, Almendras spent 29 years in the private sector, last serving as president and chief operating officer of Manila Water. Born in Cebu City, he was a classmate of Aquino at Ateneo de Manila University…. Read more >>

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For more on the Chair for Southeast Asia Studies, check out our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, visit our blog CogitAsia, and listen to our podcast at CogitAsia and iTunes. Thank you for your interest in U.S. policy in Southeast Asia and CSIS Southeast Asia. Join the conversation!


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