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ASEAN Identity: Imagined or Real?

Next year, 2020, is the ‘Year of ASEAN Identity’. But 52 years after its creation, ASEAN’s identity markers have been confined to bureaucratic circles instead of seeping into the public, popular sphere. How far can having an ASEAN flag, emblem go? Kavi Chongkittavorn explains in this commentary for the #ReportingASEAN series.

Southeast Asia Puts Local Flavor in News Literacy Efforts

The number of initiatives to push news and media literacy, as well as to counter fake news and disinformation, are growing fast. ASEAN countries are putting their own local flavor into a menu of approaches to ‘treat’ this ‘illness’ in today’s digital spaces, explains Uyen Diep of Vietnam’s Thanh Nien News.

ASEAN’s Role on Rakhine: Big Outside, Little Known in Myanmar

ASEAN has been testing its non-intervention habit in ways never done before, playing what is to date its biggest, most active role in relation to Myanmar’s handling of the Rohingya issue. But ASEAN’s role is little known or cared for inside the country, where the mainstream attitude is usually apathy or hostility to this minority community. Aung Zaw Min looks into why this so, in this feature for the Reporting ASEAN series.

From Laos to Bangladesh: Notes from A Rohingya Refugee Camp

For Lao film producer Vannaphone Sitthirath, a two-hour visit to the Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh leads to reflections about the gift of having options in life, and questions about practices like polygamy. She shares these thoughts in this article for the Reporting ASEAN series.

ASEAN Sets Sail with Its Indo-Pacific Vision

ASEAN looks to carrying out forms of engagement with major powers in its Outlook for the Indo-Pacific, which ASEAN Leaders endorsed earlier in 2019, writes Kavi Chongkittavorn in this Reporting ASEAN analysis. It defines ASEAN’s concept of the Indo-Pacific – wider than the usual Asia-Pacific and linking this to the Indian Ocean region – and its engagement with major and middle powers in this region.

Thinking ASEAN, Studying in ASEAN

Student exchange programs, the challenge of discovering one’s own region and curiosity have combined to encourage more young Vietnamese to pursue university education in ASEAN countries. They are leading the way in deepening Vietnam’s affinity with ASEAN, while widening their own horizons, reports Thanh Nien’s Uyen Diep for the Reporting ASEAN program.

Vietnam, ASEAN and Free Trade Pacts

‘ASEAN integration’ has become something of a mantra since the launch of the ASEAN Community in 2015. But removing the obstacles to deeper trade linkages among the 10 ASEAN member states remains a work in progress. Nguyen Hanh of Tuoi Tre News tells us why in this feature done with the Reporting ASEAN program.

 

How Thailand Sees its Role Driving ASEAN to the 4th Industrial Revolution

Sustainability is the key priority for Thailand during its ASEAN chairmanship for 2019. This, in turn, points to ASEAN’s need to address the impacts and challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or “4IR”, so that  the ASEAN Community can catch up with, and make good use of, global innovations to help sustain long-term development. This commentary by the Department of Information of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains how Thailand aims  to push this issue.

After 20 Years, Cambodia Has Reaped Benefits from ASEAN

In recent years, Cambodia has been criticised for not investing enough in ASEAN. But this analysis by Chheang Vannarith makes the case for Cambodia viewing ASEAN as the catalyst of regional economic integration and economic diversification, a shield to protect its sovereignty and independence, and a platform to promote its national identity and prestige.

Becoming ASEAN, Two Decades Later

In this commentary for Reporting ASEAN, Kavi Chongkittavorn makes a case for why the acronym ‘CLMV’, which sets Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam apart, is increasingly out of place some two decades after they became full members of ASEAN.

Reporting ASEAN’s New Project Kicks Off

The Reporting ASEAN program has a new media skills-building program around reporting fellowships and training with the aim of understanding ASEAN integration and issues better, for stronger storytelling from the perspective of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam, also known as the CLMV countries. Watch out for our stories.

Looking for ‘ASEAN Way’ in the Rohingya Crisis

ASEAN has more credibility with Myanmar than other countries. But what ‘ASEAN way’ can it pull out of its hat to find a relevant, effective role in the humanitarian and political disaster flowing from the Rakhine state and refugee flows of mainly Rohingya people? Johanna Son looks at ASEAN’s options in this article published in the ‘Bangkok Post’.

 

 

Spotlight on Gender, Access to Information in ASEAN

The Reporting ASEAN program is collaborating with the Southeast Asian Press Alliance by publishing the articles produced by its fellows in its Regional Reporting Fellowship program for 2017, the focus of which is on gender and access to information in the ASEAN region.

ASEAN Likes, But Also Fears, China’s Economic Weight

China is not yet an economic behemoth in ASEAN, given that it’s s more of a trade power than a major foreign investor in the region. But the day may not be so far away when ASEAN countries find China’s clout to be much bigger – and a more potent geopolitical tool in areas like the South China Sea disputes – if they do not diversify their economic ties, writes Johanna Son for the Reporting ASEAN series.

On Summit Eve, ASEAN Means Eviction, Heavy Traffic and Holidays

The Philippines as hosted more than 200 ASEAN-related meetings as ASEAN Chair during the organisation’s 50th anniversary this year. But ASEAN remains a mystery of sorts to many Filipinos, who associate with hosting its meetings with holidays, heavy traffic, and evictions of vendors. Daniel Abunales tells us more in this Reporting ASEAN feature.

 

ASEAN’s Anti-Trafficking Weapon Has Teeth, But Jury Out On Effectivity

ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) is two years old, but what concrete difference it has made in curbing trafficking remains unclear. It could have teeth as a legally binding convention – but not all ASEAN countries have ratified it as yet. Analysts say the instrument could also be stronger on prevention, reports Amanda Siddharta for the Reporting ASEAN series.

Vietnam Has Homework to Do on ASEAN

More than 20 years after Vietnam joined ASEAN, ASEAN’s work and impact have not seen much in-depth coverage – or media interest – in the country. Nguyen Ngoc Tran looks into why this is so in this commentary for Reporting ASEAN.

When Young People Take Over ASEAN

What happens when young people from ASEAN countries become senior officials and ministers trying to negotiate contentious issues and reach a consensus, the ASEAN way? Read this feature by Jake Soriano on a Model ASEAN meeting held in Manila in September 2017.

Laos and Cambodia: The China Dance

Laos has been more diplomatically adept than Cambodia at balancing ties with China with those of other countries. But while both are undoubtedly dancing with China, the social, economic and developmental cost of this dance remains to be seen in the coming years, says Johanna Son of Reporting ASEAN in this analysis.

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