Situated at the heart of the Indo-Pacific, Southeast Asia has, in recent years, become the bellwether for the region, including the future of democratic governance. External powers, including the United States and China, have ramped up engagement with Southeast Asia and now compete for influence in the region. Amid these geopolitical shifts, Southeast Asian perspectives on dynamics that will shape the future of the region more than ever before.
In late 2019, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) conducted a survey of strategic elites in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand as well as Fiji to understand how the region views trends related to power, norms, and institutions. In early 2020, CSIS conducted extensive analysis of the survey data and convened a workshop in Sydney, Australia, to further examine the results with leading experts from the countries surveyed, as well as Australia and the United States. This report presents key findings from the survey and workshop on the strategic landscape in Southeast Asia and the future of power and influence and challenges faced by the region.
This report is made possible by the generous support from the Australian Department of Defence and the Australian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Satellite images have revealed the illegal discharge of waste oil and sludge from ships to be a daily occurrence in Indonesia, while Southeast Asia’s biodiverse waters suffer more from the problem than anywhere. What can be done to stop the destructive practice of bilge dumping?
Indonesia’s environment ministry has terminated its forest conservation partnership with WWF, citing the organization’s violations of their agreement.
But the spat appears to have been inflamed by high-profile social media posts that praised WWF Indonesia’s work to tackle forest fires last year during a period in which government efforts faced widespread criticism.
WWF Indonesia has operated in Indonesia for more than 50 years, and its ongoing programs with other government institutions remain unaffected by the environment ministry’s move.
In this two-part series, Dr. Amy Searight, senior adviser and director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Program, previews five key issues to watch in Southeast Asia in 2020. This installment addresses U.S.-ASEAN relations, climate change and the imperiled Mekong, and domestic politics. The next installment will cover economic trends and developments in the digital space.
Can Trump Reset U.S.-ASEAN Relations?
Disappointingly, 2019 was a pretty bad year for U.S.-ASEAN relations. Trump had a promising start in his first year in office, hosting four Southeast Asian leaders in the White House, traveling to Vietnam and the Philippines to unveil his “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” vision, and holding a U.S.-ASEAN summit. But Trump’s interest in Southeast Asia has since appeared to wane considerably. Although Trump traveled to Vietnam in February for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, he later called Vietnam the “single worst abuser” in trade relations with the United States. In November, President Trump skipped the East Asian Summit (EAS) for the third straight year, sending National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien instead. Trump’s absence in Bangkok and the historically low level of diplomatic representation at the summit ruffled a lot of feathers within ASEAN and led most of the Southeast Asian leaders to snub the U.S.-ASEAN summit held on the sidelines of the EAS (only Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos attended at the leader level). ASEAN’s disenchantment with the level of U.S. engagement came just as China was gaining new traction in the region, with a revamped Belt and Road Initiative that appeared to address regional concerns and progress toward launching the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a trade agreement between ASEAN, China, and four other regional trade partners. Tiếp tục đọc “Southeast Asia in 2020: Issues to Watch, Part 1”→
Abstract: The ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute conducted the “State of Southeast Asia: 2019” online survey between 18 November and 5 December 2018 to seek the views of Southeast Asians onregional affairs. The survey used the purposive sampling method, canvassing views from a total of 1,008 Southeast Asians who are regional experts and stakeholders from the policy, research, business, civil society, and media communities. As such, the results of this survey are not meant to be representative. Rather, it aims to present a general view of prevailing attitudes among those in a position to inform or influence policy on regional political, economic and social issues and concerns.
The survey is divided into five sections.
The first section sketches out the nationality and affiliation of the respondents.
Section II explores the political and economic outlook for 2019, as well as providing views on major developments in the year ahead and security concerns. Some of the issues covered in this section include the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the US-China trade war, denuclearisation in the Korean Peninsula and Rohingya issue.
Section III examines major power relations in the region, with a specific focus on the US and China.
Section IV looks into the region’s perception of the major powers (China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia and the US) and provides some clues as to which major power does the region trust the most (or the least).
The survey concludes with Section V which looks at three aspects of soft power – tertiary education, tourism and foreign language – as proxies of the major powers’ influence in Southeast Asia.
Thai renewables developer Wind Energy Holdings Co. Ltd (WEH) has raised US$1.1 billion to finance five new onshore wind farms in what is billed as Southeast Asia’s biggest wind energy project yet.Located in Thailand’s northeastern provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima and Chaiyaphum, the wind farms will add up to 450 megawatts of energy to the national grid on completion, slated for early 2019.Towering at a height of 157 metres, the wind farms will boast the tallest towers in the region, and will use the latest technology supplied by Vestas and General Electric. Siam Commercial Bank is financing the project. Tiếp tục đọc “Southeast Asia’s largest wind project gets $1.1 billion funding injection”→
An international consortium of energy companies has presented its plans to develop a 6 gigawatt (GW) solar and wind hybrid project in Western Australia, designed to export clean energy to Indonesia through subsea cables.
Western Australia is set to take advantage of its significant solar and wind resources to export renewable energy to Indonesia, contributing significantly to the country’s clean energy future and energy security through reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels.
The proposed project is called Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) and is another mega energy project which underlines the significant opportunities that domestic renewable resources can provide for countries to become the ‘new’ energy exporters.
The hybrid power plant would be spread over 14,000 square km in flat desert land on the north-west coast of Australia.
This article draws on data from a qualitative research study undertaken with the main aim of investigating the issue of the gender dimension of the academic mobility of Southeast Asian women. Our research describes Southeast Asian women’s experiences of mobility, narrating why they choose to be mobile, how the experience of going abroad was responded to and/or rejected by their family, how they experienced life in a different country, and what evaluations they make about these experiences in personal, familial, and professional terms. The article stresses the need to improve the understanding of the factors that are still determining the chances of women to be mobile and obtain fruitful gains from these experiences. For this to be attained, the article follows through an intersectional approach to mobility, considering it is of much use as it allows to comprehend that the disadvantages associated with gender are cumulative, multi-layered, resulting from effects of several variables, including of the emotional, social, economic, and political contexts. Tiếp tục đọc “Unfolding various academic mobility experiences of Southeast Asian women”→
BANGKOK — Thirty million people depend for a living on the Mekong, the great Asian river that runs through Southeast Asia from its origins in the snowfields of Tibet to its end in the delta region of Vietnam, where it fertilizes one of the world’s richest agricultural areas. It’s the greatest freshwater fishery on the planet, second only to the Amazon in its riparian biodiversity. If you control its waters, then you control much of the economy of Southeast Asia. Tiếp tục đọc “China’s Mekong Plans Threaten Disaster for Countries Downstream”→
SP – [Trích] Bill Hayton- BIỂN ĐÔNG – Cuộc chiến quyền lực ở châu Á
Được miếng và tay không
Dầu khí ở Biển Đông
Something and Nothing
Oil and Gas in the South China Sea
Tháng 8 năm 1990, Đông Nam Á đã trở nên rất phấn khởi về việc ‘Trung Quốc trở lại’. Đã một năm kể từ khi vụ thảm sát tại quảng trường Thiên An Môn và nhiều nhân vật có ảnh hưởng nghĩ rằng đã tới lúc quay trở lại với công việc [bang giao]. Phô trương ầm ĩ, Thủ tướng Lí Bằng, một trong những người đằng sau vụ thảm sát, đã bắt tay vào một chuyến thăm khu vực 9 ngày. Tiếp tục đọc “Biển Đông-Cuộc chiến quyền lực ở châu Á – Chương 5: Dầu khí ở Biển Đông”→
A Cambodian Buddhist monk, foreground, holds a portrait of Cambodia prominent political analyst Kem Ley as he takes part in a funeral procession of Kem Ley in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, July 24, 2016. Photo: Heng Sinith/AP-TT
Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to patrol common seas against armed group, carrying out kidnappings and beheadings.
The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia will within months launch joint patrols in piracy-plagued waters, after a wave of attacks that saw armed groups affiliated to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) kidnapping and murdering their victims.