Geopolitics

Achieving a ‘high quality RCEP’

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) encompasses 25 percent global GDP, 45 percent of the total population, 30 percent of global income and 30 percent global trade.
14 December 2017
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Indonesia court rejects bid to outlaw extramarital sex

A bid to make all sex outside marriage illegal was thrown out by an Indonesian court Thursday, as concerns grow over rising intolerance in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country. Five out of nine judges on the Constitutional Court in the capital Jakarta narrowly rejected the push to criminalise extramarital relations. The unsuccessful petition would have affected unmarried heterosexuals an
14 December 2017
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Vietnam’s promising future for women in companies

According to a recent report, Vietnam seems to have a bright future for gender diversity in the Southeast Asia region as there is a higher illustration of women serving as board of directors and chief executive officers in comparison to Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reported that some 25 percent of CEOs on board of directors in Vietnam are women.
14 December 2017
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Philippines' Duterte wins extra year of martial law powers

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte won martial law powers across the southern third of the country for one more year on Wednesday to combat Islamic militants and leftist rebels, as Congress brushed aside fears of a looming dictatorship. Duterte's request to extend martial law in the Mindanao region until December 31 next year and detain rebellion suspects there without charge was approved by 2
14 December 2017
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Chinese, S. Korean leaders meet hoping to smooth tensions

South Korean President Moon Jae-In will hold talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Thursday, seeking to repair a relationship strained over Seoul hosting a US missile system.Moon's office has said he hopes to "normalise" ties during the visit, after Beijing was angered by the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), installed earlier this year to protect South Ko
14 December 2017
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Empowering civil society in ASEAN

ASEAN cannot just be a high minded, elitist organisation – whose workings are only within the hallowed hallways of the secretariat in Jakarta.
13 December 2017
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Harsh Singapore laws stifling free speech: HRW

Singapore is increasingly using harsh laws to severely restrict freedom of speech and assembly, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday, urging authorities to let people publicly debate matters of national interest.A report from the New York-based rights group said that while the financial hub was an economic success, it was time to relax tough regulations which are not in line with international human
13 December 2017
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North Korea tells UN envoy it wants to prevent war

A senior UN official returning from Pyongyang said Tuesday that North Korean officials had told him it was important to prevent war but offered no concrete proposal for talks."They agreed that it was important to prevent war," Jeffrey Feltman, the UN's political affairs chief, told reporters after briefing the Security Council on his trip.Feltman met with North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho
13 December 2017
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Challenging times ahead for human rights in ASEAN

In conjunction with Human Rights Day 2017, the ASEAN Parliamentarian for Human Rights (APHR) committee constituting of lawmakers from across the Southeast Asian region have reiterated that “2017 has been a challenging year for human rights advocates in Southeast Asia.”Taking the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and the bloodshed in Philippines’ war on drugs and the crackdown on press freedoms across the
12 December 2017
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Surin Pitsuwan, forever in our hearts

On Thursday, the 30th of November 2017, the most prolific Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) passed away at the age of 68.Surin Pitsuwan who assumed the position from 1 January 2008 until 1 January 2013 died of an acute heart attack. He collapsed moments before he was set to deliver a speech in Bangkok and was promptly rushed to Ramkhamhaeng Hospital.
11 December 2017
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Vietnam’s crackdown on freedom of expression continues

The little space for free expression in the Communist country continues to shrink, with at least 15 activists and dissidents having been arrested this year alone. Just recently, a Vietnamese court jailed a blogger for seven years for propagating anti-state propaganda which included articles that supported protests against a Taiwanese company that was responsible for a toxic spill last year. The
11 December 2017
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