CSIS Southeast Asia Sit-Rep – June 30, 2016

CSIS Southeast Asia SIT-REP

This issue includes a critical look at ASEAN’s leadership void and its implications for the grouping, profiles of key members of new Philippine president Duterte Rodrigo’s cabinet, and much more. 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

ASEAN Learning to Navigate a New Age in Great Power Politics,” by Phuong Nguyen (@PNguyen_DC )
At the end of a recent ASEAN-China summit in Kunming, China, on June 13, Beijing pressured several ASEAN members close to it to withdraw their support for an ASEAN joint press statement expressing “serious concerns” about recent developments in the South China Sea. These events raised fundamental questions about the ability of the grouping to pull together amid challenges posed by the region’s new strategic realities… Read more >>

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

What Brexit Means for ASEAN,” by Rui Hao Puah
What does the United Kingdom (UK) vote to leave the European Union (EU) on June 23 mean for ASEAN, a regional grouping that has been often compared to the EU? How will Brexit reverberate economically and politically in Southeast Asia? The immediate impact of Brexit is a significant weakening of the pound and euro against ASEAN currencies as markets respond to anxiety within the Eurozone. The flight to U.S. dollar-denominated assets has prompted an appreciation of the dollar against ASEAN currencies… Read more >>

The Leaderboard

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

Ramon Lopez, secretary of trade and industry of the Philippines
A long-time supporter of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises, Lopez’s appointment has been well-received by the business community. As executive director of Go Negosyo, his work has helped many Filipinos build their small businesses. He has promised to continue the Department of Trade’s programs and reforms focused on building a business-friendly and innovation-friendly climate… Read more >>

Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir, nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Malaysia
Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir is a U.S. diplomat who served as executive assistant to the under secretary of state for political affairs from 2011 to 2015. She served as the U.S consul general in Belfast from 2009 to 2011. Prior to that posting, she worked in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs as director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia from 2007 to 2009… Read more >>

Delfin Lorenzana, defense secretary of the Philippines
Observers concerned by the Duterte administration’s overtures towards China will be comforted by Lorenzana’s appointment, a signal that the Philippines still values its alliance with the United States. Lorenzana spent over a decade in Washington, and has said that the implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United States will proceed under his watch… Read more >>

Rena Bitter, nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Laos
Rena Bitter is the consul general at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a position that she has held for three years. Prior to this position, she served as the director of the State Department’s Operations Center from 2010 to 2012. She is a career member of the Foreign Service who has served nearly 20 years, with postings in Jordan, the United Kingdom, Colombia, and Mexico… Read more >>

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Upcoming Events

Sixth Annual CSIS South China Sea Conference
The Southeast Asia Program at CSIS on July 12 will host the 6th Annual CSIS South China Sea Conference to examine both longstanding and emerging issues in the South China Sea. The conference will feature speakers from throughout the region, including those from claimant countries. Panelists will review recent developments, engage on legal and military issues, and discuss the wider geostrategic implications. Senator Dan Sullivan, member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, will deliver the keynote address. Register >>

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For more on the Southeast Asia Program, 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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