Powers, Norms, and Institutions: The Future of the Indo-Pacific from a Southeast Asia Perspective

Results of a CSIS Survey of Strategic Elites

June 9, 2020

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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.

Southeast Asia is the world’s bilge dumping hotspot—what can be done to stop ships discharging waste oil?

eco-business.com

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?

Piracy. Illegal fishing. Slavery. The issues facing the shipping trade are increasingly well known and a highly traditional industry has at last started to confront them. But one important issue, which is as old as the trade itself, has been largely overlooked: bilge dumping.
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Southeast Asia in 2020: Issues to Watch, Part 1

CSIS.org

January 14, 2020

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”

The State of Southeast Asia 2019

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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.

It’s decision time for Southeast Asia as power demand soars

Still stuck on coal, the region is missing out on massive price cuts in renewables, writes Courtney Weatherby.
Southeast Asia’s energy demand is expected to grow by two-thirds by 2040, requiring massive investment in new energy generation and transmission. Installed capacity will double from 240 gigawatts to 565 gigawatts, which amounts to adding a bit more than Japan’s total electricity capacity. Tiếp tục đọc “It’s decision time for Southeast Asia as power demand soars”

Betel and areca chewing custom in Asia – Tục lệ ăn trầu cau ở Châu Á

> BETEL CHEWING IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA

> Vietnamese people’s betel chewing custom and its existence in today’s modern society

> CNN: Nothing to smile about: Asia’s deadly addiction to betel nuts << The term is incorrect because the areca-nut, not betel-nut, is chewed.

Image result for betel and areca chewing

The ubiquitous red-stained lips and blackened teeth associated with betel chewing are sported by one-tenth of the human race and one-fifth of the global population. The custom pervades Asia, yet it is hardly known outside of the continent. It has no sex barriers and embraces all ages and classes. Even though it has long-established roots in Asian culture, history of the custom relies mainly on oral tradition, probably because it is most prevalent amongst the agrarian population. Since the eleventh century, however, the royal use of betel in South-East Asia is described in written records which provide a rich source of details about the protocol of sharing a quid with a king and the use of betel in royal ceremonies.From the sixteenth century onwards, when Europeans reached the East, accounts include descriptions of the royal use of betel but the custom has consistently been misrepresented by early western travellers who wrote about it, either from their own observations or those of others.

The custom, so alien to foreigners, was viewed from a western perspective. Nearly all of them were repelled by it and called betel chewing an ‘…unhygienic, ugly, vile, and disgusting…’ habit. Even the name given to the custom by Europeans, ‘betel-nut chewing’ is a misnomer. The term is incorrect because an areca-nut, not a betel-nut, is chewed. Tiếp tục đọc “Betel and areca chewing custom in Asia – Tục lệ ăn trầu cau ở Châu Á”

Bringing electricity to all corners of Southeast Asia

IEA

By Ali Al-Saffar
IEA Energy Analyst
19 December 2017

Grid extensions have formed the bulk 

This commentary draws from the Southeast Asia Energy Outlook 2017, a WEO Special Report, published in October.

Providing electricity access for all remains a critical topic in many parts of the developing world. The challenge is especially acute in Southeast Asia, one of the most dynamic regions of the global energy system, but whose rich and varied environment defies one-size-fits-all energy solutions.

Thanks to growing economies and burgeoning and urbanising middle classes, energy demand in Southeast Asia grows at one of the fastest rates in the world. Still, around 65 million people across the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries are without access to electricity. In a recent special report on the region, we looked in detail at how to close this gap.
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Power stacked against Southeast Asia’s poor as China dams Mekong

channelnewsasia

Communities along the mighty Mekong blame China for their shrinking catches. (Photo: AFP/TANG CHHIN SOTHY)

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/power-stacked-against-southeast-asia-s-poor-as-china-dams-mekong-9841686

KANDAL, Cambodia: Cambodian fisherman Sles Hiet lives at the mercy of the Mekong: A massive river that feeds tens of millions but is under threat from the Chinese dams cementing Beijing’s physical – and diplomatic – control over its Southeast Asian neighbours.

The 32-year-old, whose ethnic Cham Muslim community live on rickety house boats that bob along a river bend in Kandal province, says the size of his daily catch has been shrinking by the year. Tiếp tục đọc “Power stacked against Southeast Asia’s poor as China dams Mekong”

Southeast Asia’s largest wind project gets $1.1 billion funding injection

Southeast Asia’s leading nation for solar energy—Thailand—could now be the frontrunner in wind energy after renewables developer WEH secured funding for the region’s biggest wind power project yet.

Eco-business_The Chaiyaphum Wind Farm in Thailand’s Subyai district, Chaiyaphum province. Rising energy use in Southeast Asia is shifting the global energy system’s center of gravity towards Asia. Image: © Asian Development Bank .

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”

Unfolding various academic mobility experiences of Southeast Asian women

Pages 1-19 | Received 19 Dec 2016, Accepted 17 Aug 2017, Published online: 08 Nov 2017

http://www.tandfonline.com/

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”

Biển Đông-Cuộc chiến quyền lực ở châu Á – Chương 5: Dầu khí ở Biển Đông

SP – [Trích] Bill Hayton- BIỂN ĐÔNG – Cuộc chiến quyền lực ở châu Á

Chương 5

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”

Child refugees held in ‘harrowing’ conditions across south-east Asia

Report reveals young people detained in cells 24 hours a day without enough food or proper access to healthcare, often forced to sleep on the floor

A young Rohingya refugee from Myanmar is held at a detention centre in Medan, Indonesia.
A young Rohingya refugee from Myanmar is held at a detention centre in Medan, Indonesia. Photograph: Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of children are languishing in “dangerous and harrowing” conditions in detention centres across south-east Asia, a report has revealed. Children, including babies, are being held in cells 24 hours a day, alongside dozens of unrelated adults, and are frequently separated from family members. Tiếp tục đọc “Child refugees held in ‘harrowing’ conditions across south-east Asia”

Southeast Asia’s war on drugs doesn’t work – here’s what does

theconversation_Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs is just the latest in a region where drug use has usually been met with draconian measures. Thailand embarked 13 years ago on a drug war that strikes eerie parallels with the Philippine situation.

Today, lawmakers in the Philippines are plotting the restoration of the death penalty to bolster the anti-drug campaign. But this, too, is par for the course in the region. Tiếp tục đọc “Southeast Asia’s war on drugs doesn’t work – here’s what does”

Đông Nam Á cần tái thiết lập các thỏa thuận thương mại

English: South-east Asia needs a reset on trade deals

Singapore đã ký Hiệp định Thương mại tự do (FTA) song phương với New Zealand vào năm 2000. Sau đó không lâu, các quốc gia khác như Malaysia và Thái Lan đã bắt đầu vào cuộc.

Năm 2003, ASEAN 10 quyết định biến các hiệp định thương mại của mình về hàng hóa, dịch vụ và đầu tư trong những năm 1990 thành Cộng đồng Kinh tế ASEAN (AEC), một bước tiến lớn trong hội nhập kinh tế khu vực.

Trong khi Singapore tăng số lượng thỏa thuận thương mại song phương qua các năm, những quốc gia kém phát triển hơn trong khu vực, như Lào và Campuchia, trở thành một phần của các Hiệp định Thương mại tự do thông qua các thể chế của khu vực của Asean thực hiện các thỏa thuận thương mại với Trung Quốc, Nhật Bản, Hàn Quốc, Ấn Độ, Australia và New Zealand. Tiếp tục đọc “Đông Nam Á cần tái thiết lập các thỏa thuận thương mại”