E.Koldunova. Thailand: Pandora’s Box

Thailand is no stranger to protests. There is nothing new in the looming schism in the country that is dividing supporters and opponents of the Pheu Thai Party, a third reincarnation of the political entity that supports Thai ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s henchmen. Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted from power through a coup in 2006 and had to flee the country. These events triggered a whole series of internal political crises in Thailand, each of which helped to contribute further to the deepening schism. An attempt in 2013 by the government to have the parliament adopt a law granting amnesty, which would have given Shinawatra a chance of a comeback, put into question the very future of the country’s political system.

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E.Koldunova. MH370 Challenge for Asia-Pacific Security

Two weeks search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane was an example of both impressive regional cooperation and discouraging limits of such cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

On the one hand it is the largest search operation in the history. On March 20 Malaysian authorities mentioned 29 planes and 6 helicopters, 18 ships, and 21 satellites, involved in the search. During previous days the operations facilities amounted to more than 50 planes and 40 ships of 26 countries. China alone used the data from about 20 satellites. The total area of the operation had reached 7.7 million square kilometers. The search for the missing plane has become a top priority for many countries, including China and the United States.

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E.Koldunova: Paving the road to a brighter future

Despite being so far away from each other geographically, Russia and Thailand have much in common that can be used to build on.

There is a unique tradition of bilateral relations between Russia and Siam established way back in the late 19th century as well as the historical memory of friendly relations between King Rama V and Tsar Nicholas II and numerous personal contacts between the people of the two countries, which today make up the fabric of Russian-Thai cooperation.

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V.Sumsky: Russia and Vietnam taking it to the next level

Vladimir Putin’s visit to Vietnam earlier this month, his third since assuming the Russian presidency, was accompanied by references to the ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’ between both countries. This wording has been adopted since last year, clearly indicating that the two countries are getting closer to each other and intend to cultivate a special bond.

The intensity of  high-profile diplomatic activity seems to confirm this. Since July 2012, the two countries’ presidents have met each other no less than four times, while Prime Ministers Dmitry Medvedev and Nguyen Tan Dung have also exchanged visits.

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P.Rangsimaporn: Some Thoughts and Observations on Russian Studies in South East Asia

The first Russia-ASEAN Youth Summit has provoked a heated discussion concerning the information gap between Russia and ASEAN member states including the sphere of Russian studies in South East Asia and South East Asian studies in Russia. As a follow-up to this discussion ASEAN Centre web-site publishes a comment by Dr. Paradorn Rangsimaporn.

Paradorn Rangsimaporn completed his doctorate degree in International Relations at St.Antony’s College, University of Oxford, UK, specializing in Russian foreign policy. He is the author of Russia as an Aspiring Great Power in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and articles in Asian Survey and Europe-Asia Studies. In October-November 2005 Dr. Rangsimaporn was a visiting researcher at MGIMO-University (Russia). He can be considered one of few researchers from Southeast Asia professionally specializing in the studies of Russia.

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