COMMENTARIES

Why was Thailand’s Prime Minister Absent in the Belt and Road Initiative Summit?

Pongphisoot Busbarat

Thailand's perceived marginalisation from China's high-profile Belt and Road Initiative Summit has been attributed to problems in the Sino-Thai high-speed railway project and the Thai Prime Minister's acceptance of the US President's invitation to visit the White House. The diplomatic snub suggests that Southeast Asian states need a more careful hedging strategy to deal with China.

Myanmar’s Elusive Dream of Peace

Ye Htut

Myanmar’s second Union Peace Conference has ended with no agreement on the issues of non-secession and the unified federal army. This is not surprising. There is a lack of a proper framework for political dialogue and the civilian government is perceived to be weak.

President Duterte: The Centralizer

Malcolm Cook

President Duterte's war on illegal drugs has claimed mounting death tolls and widespread human rights abuses. The drug war is used as the blanket reason to delay elections and centralize political power in the person of the president and reduces the checks and balances on this power.