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?
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.
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”→
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. Tiếp tục đọc “Bringing electricity to all corners of Southeast Asia”→
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.
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”→
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”→
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
Từ đầu những năm 2000, các quốc gia Đông Nam Á đã chứng kiến một loạt những hiệp định thương mại.
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”→