Posts By John J. Brandon
April 15, 2015
Today is tax day in the United States, a date many Americans dread whether they owe Uncle Sam or think they have paid too much already. April 15th always reminds me of the first time I had to pay income tax in Thailand. It was 1979, and I was employed by the Thai government teaching English in Bangkok.
April 8, 2015
Editor’s note: The 182-year history of U.S.-Thai diplomacy is the oldest uninterrupted bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Asia. It’s a history with many colorful chapters. In 1861, Rama IV, known in English as King Mongkut of Siam, offered to send elephants to U.S. President James Buchannan as transportation and beasts of burden. By the time the letter arrived, Abraham Lincoln was president.
January 7, 2015
Southeast Asia enters 2015 facing a number of critical challenges that will have a bearing on its future: Can economic integration be achieved among all 10 members of ASEAN? How might maritime security disputes unite or splinter ASEAN? Will democracy in Myanmar continue to develop apace? Will democratic development in Thailand be further weakened? Also looming large is the question of whether the U.S. can ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a key economic ingredient in the country’s rebalancing strategy toward Asia. Below are some of my predictions on these issues.
October 22, 2014
Less than one week after midterm elections in the United States, President Obama will travel to Asia to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum from November 10-11 in Beijing, and the East Asia Summit from November 13-14 in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.
May 28, 2014
After declaring martial law for just a couple of days, Thailand’s military decided to launch a full-blown military “takeover” which most people in the rest of the world called a coup. The junta is now called the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC).
May 21, 2014
In the early hours of May 20 in Bangkok, Thailand’s Army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha declared martial law nationwide in order to restore order after seven months of street protests that have left the country without a proper functioning government. General Prayuth said martial law would remain in place…
May 14, 2014
May 5 was the start of a very tumultuous week in Thailand on many fronts. But it initially did not start that way. May 5 is Coronation Day in Thailand, a national holiday, which this year commemorated the 64th anniversary of King Bhumipol Adulyadev’s ascension to the throne.
April 23, 2014
This week President Obama travels to four Asian countries – Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Malaysia. In many respects, the president’s visit is to make up for his absence last October in Brunei and Indonesia to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meeting because of the U.S. government shutdown.
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.
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…