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.

Thailand’s New King

Terence Chong

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will ascend to become King Rama X after accepting the invitation by the Thai parliament. How he reigns will affect the monarchy's relationship with the military-backed parliament and the support of the public.

The Death of a King

Terence Chong

The passing of King Bhumibol's, a figure of stability, is marked by grief and uncertainty over the economic and political state of the country. The newly crowned King Rama X's actions will set the tone for the monarchy to be above the political squalor or be tainted by it.

Bombings in South Thailand

Puangthong R. Pawakapan

While the Thai military government blamed the bomb blasts to the red-shirt conflict, incoming evidence suggests that Muslim separatist movements are involved. The bombings underscore the fact that the military government has failed to address the ethnic-religious conflict and the presence of Asian-based Islamic State (IS) networks in the south.