Posts By John J. Brandon

In The News

Economic Growth in ASEAN Drives Demand for Low-Cost Air Carriers

February 26, 2014

In mid-February, Singapore hosted Asia’s largest aerospace exhibition. Organizers of the week-long Singapore Air Show were hoping that $25 billion in deals would be signed, but by week’s end, expenditures had already surpassed that, reaching $32 billion in deals inked to help meet the demand for inexpensive, short-range travel. In 2010, sales amounted to what now seems a paltry $10 billion.

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In The News

Credible Reform, Not Shutdown, Needed to End Thailand’s Political Standoff

January 15, 2014

For more than two months, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters have gathered at Democracy Monument and other major intersections throughout Bangkok. Initially, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), led by former long-time Democrat politician, Suthep Thaugsuban…

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In The News

ASEAN Chairmanship Offers Opportunity for Myanmar

January 8, 2014

On January 1, Myanmar assumed the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In 1997, when Myanmar joined ASEAN, the country’s membership was met with stiff resistance because of its abhorrent human rights record under an oppressive military dictatorship.

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In The News

Protests Exacerbate Thailand’s Political Divide

November 20, 2013

For the past month, thousands of protestors have gathered at Democracy Monument and other areas in Bangkok to protest a controversial amnesty bill that was crafted to absolve anyone who may have engaged in illegal activities from 2004 through August 2013.

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Notes from the Field

In Thailand and Cambodia, a Culture of Impunity Still Holds

November 13, 2013

In November 1979, I attended a benefit concert in Bangkok given by Joan Baez to help raise funds for the humanitarian relief of Cambodian refugees who fled to the Thai border to escape the heinous rule of the Khmer Rouge. An estimated two million people were murdered by Pol Pot and his henchmen.

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In The News

Obama’s Asia Pivot on Shaky Ground

October 9, 2013

Asia-Pacific leaders gather in Brunei this week for the 8th East Asia Summit (EAS) and the 23rd ASEAN Summit, on the heels of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali on Monday. While a number of critical issues were set to be discussed, President Obama’s last minute cancellation…

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In The News

Two Nations, One Friendship: But is It Still Special?

March 20, 2013

Today, March 20, marks the 180th anniversary of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, making the U.S. bilateral relationship with Thailand the longest uninterrupted diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and any Asian nation. The Thai-American Chamber of Commerce’s theme for 2013 commemorating 180 years of relations…

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In The News

U.S.-ASEAN Relations Mature, but Pitfalls Abound

January 30, 2013

For Southeast Asia, 2012 brought both challenges and opportunities to the region – from Cambodia’s chairmanship of ASEAN and further political opening in Burma (also known as Myanmar) to tensions in the South China Sea and the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights (ADHR).

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In The News

U.S. Administration’s Rebalance Toward Asia, with Emphasis on Southeast Asia

November 14, 2012

Last week, Barack Obama was re-elected to serve a second term as president of the United States. President Obama’s first trip abroad since his re-election will be to Southeast Asia from November 17-20 to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS), the regional grouping of 18 Asian-Pacific nations, including the United States…

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In The News

Obama’s Trip to Burma Makes History

November 14, 2012

On November 19, Barack Obama will visit Burma (also known as Myanmar). History will be made as Mr. Obama will be the first U.S. president to ever visit the country. But he won’t be the first Obama. The president’s grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, reportedly served in Burma during World War II…

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