Sri Lanka’s Next President Will Inherit a Diplomatic Balancing Act

AdvertisingThe November 16 election will mark the end of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s tenure as the island nation’s elected leader. Expected to take his place is member of the opposition and former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. It is widely understood that Sirisena is not re-running for the presidency because of his failure to thwart the deadly 2019 Easter terrorist attacks that left 259 dead and over 500 injured around the..

Sam Rainsy Return Hype Ripples Across ASEAN

AdvertisingThe loudly trumpeted return of opposition leader Sam Rainsy to Cambodia is causing headaches across Southeast Asia, even though his chances of getting across the border and sparking a popular rebellion are quite low. The former banking executive with an aversion for prison and political martyrdom, who spends most of his time at home in Paris, no doubt knows this himself. He is also well aware that the United States and Western countrie..

Pro-Beijing Lawmaker in Hong Kong Stabbed While Campaigning

AdvertisingAn anti-government assailant stabbed and wounded a pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmaker who was election campaigning Wednesday, police said, in another escalation of violence surrounding the protests demanding political reforms in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. Junius Ho has become a hated figure by the protesters over his alleged links to violence against them. After receiving initial medical treatment, Ho told reporters the knife h..

Why South Korea Should Rethink GSOMIA Withdrawal

AdvertisingAmid the downturn in South Korea’s relations with Japan this summer, the Moon Jae-in administration gave three months’ notice on August 22 of its intent to withdraw from the countries’ General Security of Military Intelligence Agreement, or GSOMIA, an arrangement that facilitates direct intelligence-sharing between the two key U.S. allies. In recognition of the threat they both face from North Korea, the two sides agreed in 2016 to sup..

Thailand Defense Industry Ambition in the Headlines With Technology Transfer Prioritization

AdvertisingLast week, the Thai defense ministry suggested that technology transfer would be prioritized in the country’s defense deals and arrangements under the current government, which secured a controversial election win earlier this year. The development reinforced Thailand’s determination to make inroads on a priority for its wider defense modernization. As I have noted before in these pages, Thailand has been trying to further develop its ..

Asian Mega-Trade Deal Pushes Ahead, But India Drops out

AdvertisingA 16-nation trade initiative backed by China is pushing ahead as India, facing fierce domestic opposition to its market-opening requirements, has dropped out. Leaders of countries involved in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) said Monday that they had resolved differences, but India said it was out. Seven years after talks began, the signing of a final deal was pushed back to next year. India has balked at exposing..

Assessing the EU-China-US Triangle

AdvertisingTrans-Pacific View author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Dr. Frans-Paul van der Putten – senior research fellow at Clingendael and co-coordinator of the Clingendael China Center in The Hague – is the 211th in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.” Explain Brussels’ strategic objec..

Annual Meeting Highlights Vietnam-Laos Border Management Cooperation

AdvertisingLate last month, Vietnam and Laos held another iteration of a border management meeting between them. Though the interaction was part of a regular series of meetings both neighboring Southeast Asian countries hold on this front, it nonetheless illustrated the importance of border issues within the broader bilateral relationship. As I have noted previously in these pages, border management has been long been a key issue in the Vietnam-L..

North Korean Residents Want Kim Jong Un to Stop Making Personal Inspection Tours

Residents in North Korea are fed up with being mobilized to prepare for field inspections by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, a tradition started by grandfather and carried on by his father, sources within the country say. The field inspections are happening at more frequent intervals than before and residents say that it is a burden to be mobilized for an upcoming inspection because it hampers their ability to make a living. In addition, the people ..

WTO Authorizes China to Hit US With $3.6 Billion in Sanctions

AdvertisingThe World Trade Organization (WTO) said Friday that China can impose tariffs on up to $3.6 billion worth of U.S. goods over the American government’s failure to abide by anti-dumping rules with regard to Chinese products. The move hands China its first such payout at the trade body at a time when it is engaged in a big dispute with the United States that has bypassed the WTO altogether and resulted in tariffs on hundreds of billions of..

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