CSIS – Southeast Asia Sit-Rep – September 22, 2016

CSIS Southeast Asia SIT-REP

This issue brings you insight into the role of diplomacy and security in U.S. policy following the arbitral tribunal ruling on the South China Sea, an overview of Cambodia’s deteriorating political situation, analysis on the challenges in Myanmar’s peace process awaiting Aung San Suu Kyi, discussions with Philippine foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay and Japanese defense minister Tomomi Inada, 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:

Congressional Testimony

Diplomacy and Security in the South China Sea: After the Tribunal,” Subcomittee on Asia and the Pacific, House Foreign Affairs Committee
Dr. Amy E. Searight, CSIS Senior Adviser and Director of the Southeast Asia Program, on September 22 testified before the Subcomittee on Asia and the Pacific of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on how the United States can utilize diplomacy and security in the aftermath of the arbitral tribunal ruling on China’s claims in the South China Sea, and the role ASEAN plays in light of evolving developments in the South China Sea. Read more >>

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Deep insight into developments that move the dial

Cambodia’s Hun Sen Picks Off the Opposition, One by One, Ahead of Elections,” by Conor Cronin (@ConorCroninDC)
Phnom Penh’s municipal court on September 9 convicted Cambodia’s deputy opposition leader. Kem Sokha. for refusing to appear in court for questioning over an affair with his hairdresser. Sokha, the acting head of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was convicted in absentia because he has been holed up in the CNRP headquarters since May 2016, when police tried to storm the building to arrest him in the politically motivated case… Read more >>

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

In His Own Words: Rodrigo Duterte & the United States,” by Conor Cronin (@ConorCroninDC )
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has had a reputation for inflammatory and crude remarks since long before voters in the Philippines elevated him to the presidency on May 10. In recent weeks, however, much of that incendiary language has been directed at the United States, its long-time defense ally and the most prominent supporter of Manila’s efforts to defend maritime claims against growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea… Read more >>

As Aung San Suu Kyi Takes Reins of Peace Process, Many Hurdles Await,” by Paul Vrieze (@Paul_Vrieze )
When Myanmar foreign minister and state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi arrives in Washington on September 14, she is due to focus on gaining U.S. support for her country’s economic development, possibly through adjusting longstanding trade sanctions against the impoverished, former junta state. Attention will no doubt also turn to the country’s democratic transition, ethnic conflict, and inter-communal tensions… Read more >>

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The Leaderboard

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

Busaya Mathelin, permanent secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Busaya on October 1 will become permanent secretary of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first woman ever appointed to this post. She is expected to complete a three-year term before hitting mandatory retirement age. Busaya’s appointment by the Thai cabinet was part of a larger reshuffle of senior government and provincial governor positions. Read more >>

Marciano Paynor, nominee to be the Philippines’ to the United States
Marciano Paynor, Jr. currently serves under Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte as chief protocol officer of Malacañang Palace. He held the same post under former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Fidel Ramos. In 2015, Paynor led the National Organizing Committee of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Philippines. In earlier positions as a diplomat, Paynor was a consul general in Gabon, Hungary, Italy, Israel, and Cyprus, in addition to stints in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Read more >>

Than Htay, chair of Myanmar’s opposition Union Solidarity and Development Party
In his first speech as USDP chairman, Than Htay on August 24 announced that the party has no plans to change its policies ahead of Myanmar’s next general election in 2020, but that he is committed to leading the party to victory. In his new capacity, Than Htay will likely work to reinvigorate the party’s profile and promote the USDP as a party committed to serving the Burmese people. Read more >>

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CogitAsia Podcast

An engaging mix of news, analysis, and predictions from around the region

CogitAsia Podcast: September 22
In this episode, we tackle the topic of overfishing in the South China Sea. Ahead of the 2016 Our Ocean summit in Washington, Rachael Bale, a reporter with National Geographic’s Special Investigations Unit covering wildlife crime, joins to share her insights into the collapsing fishstocks in the South China Sea. Listen >>

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Recent Programs

CSIS programs are designed to expose you to policymakers through open and honest dialogue

Philippines CSIS Forum with Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr., September 15
Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Perfecto Yasay, Jr. discusses his perspectives on Philippine foreign policy under President Rodrigo Duterte and developments in the Asia-Pacific region. Watch/Listen >>

The Evolving Japan-U.S. Alliance–Keeping Asia and the Pacific Peaceful and Prosperous, September 15
Minister of Defense of Japan Tomomi Inada discusses the role of the U.S.-Japan alliance in maintaining the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. Watch/Listen >>

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 CSIS Southeast Asia and U.S. policy in Southeast Asia. Join the conversation!

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