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South China Sea Dispute: Asean Voice Drowned Out As Big Powers Pipe Up

The recent joint communique about the South China Sea dispute stopped short of mentioning the tribunal ruling invalidating China’s claims over most of the waterway. Tan Hui Yee of the Straits Times argues that while Asean has survived this test intact, its consensus-based system has muted its voice compared with the world powers weighing in loudly.

Japan Inc. Looks to India, ASEAN For Growth

Japanese companies no longer see China as a top destination for investment, and are overwhelmingly turning to India and ASEAN for growth, according to a joint survey by Nikkei Inc. and the U.S. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ken Moriyasu of the Nikkei Asian review looks at the reasons behind this change.

Expanding People’s Solidarity For A Just and Inclusive Asean Community – ACSS/APF CSO Statement

ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum will be held in Timor-Leste this year instead of Laos, due to concerns over possible restrictions and limited freedom of expression. It is also a show of solidarity to reiterate civil society’s support for the inclusion of Timor-Leste as a full member of ASEAN. Read the full CSO Statement here.

ASEAN, China after the PCA Verdict: We’re Still Friends

A mix of rising tempers, nationalism and politics is swirling in the weeks after the July ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) against China in the South China Sea. But recent communication between ASEAN and China, after the decision, appear to show a mutual desire to get beyond this sensitive issue on the 25th year of ASEAN-China ties, says Kavi Chongkittavorn in this commentary for Reporting ASEAN.

ASEAN Conference on Social Entrepreneurship

What happens when you bring together 50 social enterprises and 30 partners interested in collaboration, in one room? Find out at the ASEAN Conference on Social Entrepreneurship 2016, which aims to provide a regional platform to promote social entrepreneurship and foster collaboration in the region. The conference takes place on July 21-22 in Singapore.

No Brexit Repeat in ASEAN

In the aftermath of the Brexit, Southeast Asia watchers are asking the question: Could it also happen in ASEAN? No, says Termsak Chalermpalanupap, who makes a strong case against why the regional association will not have any such upheaval in this analysis in The Diplomat.

Brexit Won’t Hinder ASEAN Integration, Surin Pitsuwan Says

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union will not discourage the Association of Southeast Asian Nations from pushing ahead with its own economic integration project, the bloc’s former chief said on Friday. In an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review, former ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said the association can learn from the EU’s experience.

Southeast Asian Newspapers’ take on the Special ASEAN-China FM Meeting

The Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting might have concluded a week ago, but its aftershocks continue to rattle ASEAN as it reassesses its strategy in handling the South China Sea (SCS) dispute. Jason Salim takes a look at some of the editorial pieces and reporting in Southeast Asian newspapers regarding the “media statement” fiasco in this commentary.

The Lady Comes Calling

The visit this week by democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will certainly brighten the spirits of the Thai people and could also lift the profile of the Thai junta and Myanmar’s top leader. Yet Achara Ashayagachat of the Bangkok Post argues that we shouldn’t romanticize too much about “The Lady” and her capacity.

Will Timor Leste Finally Join ASEAN in 2017?

For years, Timor Leste has sought entry into ASEAN as its eleventh member state. It finally looks poised to do so under the chairmanship of the Philippines, which is very keen to bring the young democracy into its embrace. Kavi Chongkittavorn looks at its efforts thus far to join the regional grouping in this analysis for the Reporting ASEAN series.

ASEAN Lane Shows ASEAN Spirit – and Lack of It

ASEAN Lanes – special lanes at airports in Southeast Asia for travellers from the organisation’s 10 member countries – remain more a concept than a reality in the region. To date, Malaysia is the only country to properly implement the service. Kavi Chongkittavorn looks at why the other countries have yet to do so in this Reporting ASEAN analysis.

Asean Struggles To Protect Labourers

The ASEAN Community’s interest in unskilled labourers remains poor, despite the fact that this group provides the real workforce that dominates labour flows around the region. Wasamon Audjarint of The Nation looks at the reasons behind the reluctance to protect these migrant workers.

Faith Leaders Find Divine Space in ASEAN Community

Long known for their service in local communities, charity efforts and help during humanitarian disasters, faith-based groups gathered in Bangkok recently to discuss how their work could contribute to deepening socio-cultural and other linkages in the ASEAN Community. Mia Gomez reports on the meeting in this ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ story.

ASEAN May Have 10 Nations But It Should Only Have One Visa

While the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community has been on several counts a success, there’s still a lot to be done on the travel side when it comes to the secure and seamless movement of people. Tiffany Misrahi explains why a common ASEAN visa will boost tourism within the region and ultimately lead to more growth in Southeast Asia.

Russia Injects New Enthusiasm in Ties with ASEAN

Russia’s relations with ASEAN have tended to trail behind those of dialogue partners like the United States, China and Japan. But the Sochi Summit shows how Russia, grappling with unfavourable political and economic environments around it, wants ties with ASEAN to now go full throttle, says Kavi Chongkittavorn in this analysis for the Reporting ASEAN series.

Myanmar’s Deep Fissures Make Explosive Powder Keg

A sense of apprehension and impatience, at times reluctantly expressed but nevertheless real, is fast tempering the heady optimism about Myanmar’s political change nearly two months into the Aung San Suu Kyi-led government. Johanna Son analyses the reasons behind this feeling of discomfort in this piece for the ‘Bangkok Post’.

MYANMAR: Suu Kyi-led Gov’t Has Its Hands Full

Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi led her party to a decisive landslide victory in last year’s elections in Myanmar. Democracy may have won but real struggles regarding governance will be the true test of her leadership. Mia Gomez looks at the challenges the new government faces in this story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond”‘ programme.

South China Sea: Who Occupies What in the Spratlys?

The discourse over the South China Sea disputes never abates as there is still no real clarity about who occupies what in the huge-contested Spratly Islands. Alexander L. Vuving of ‘The Diplomat’ attempts to list what different countries occupy in the South China Sea.

ASEAN Strives to Balance Ties With China, Japan

As a result of souring China-Japan ties, ASEAN finds itself being wooed by its dialogue partners. The deterioration in the two countries’ relations has led to the economic giants increasing their efforts to strengthen ties with the regional grouping. Kavi Chongkittavorn looks at ASEAN’s reaction in this commentary for the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ series.

Burma’s Puppeteers Put On Cross-Asean Performance

ASEAN integration comes in many forms – in this case, it’s with puppets. Puppet artists and musicians from around the region met with their counterparts in Myanmar to learn from each other and exchange ideas. Kyaw Hsu Mon of ‘The Irrawaddy’ looks at the outcome of the workshop in this ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ story.

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