Posts By John J. Brandon
August 10, 2011
Last week, Thailand made history when its parliament elected its first-ever woman Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, one month after her Pheu Thai party swept the July 3 elections. However, Prime Minister Yingluck’s ability to rise to the top of Thailand’s political echelon is not because of her political acumen.
August 10, 2011
Watching the debt-ceiling debate unfold in Washington, D.C., in recent weeks reminded me of another financial crisis, the one in Thailand, which started the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. That crisis had a devastating impact on the Thai people. Economic growth fell from 6.5 percent to negative 10 percent, inflation rose…
June 29, 2011
Between March and May 2010, Thailand experienced its worst href=”http://asiafoundation.org/in-asia/2010/05/19/thailand-black-may-redux/”>political violence in decades. Since then, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has insisted that he and his government are committed to national reconciliation. Shortly afterwards, a truth and reconciliation commission was established to investigate the military crackdown that culminated in May…
June 22, 2011
Asia has fewer fresh water resources than any other continent in the world. The global average of fresh water per capita annually is 6,280 cubic meters. The only countries rich in water resources in all of Asia are Malaysia, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal, and Kyrgyzstan, leaving the rest of Asia water-stressed.
June 15, 2011
Two weeks ago, I attended the 25th Asia-Pacific Roundtable hosted and organized by the ASEAN-Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. More than 350 people from 25 nations attended, including ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Robert F. Willard…
May 11, 2011
On May 10, 2010, a woman named Ms. Thong was doing what she ordinarily does in her remote village in Xieng Khouang province, Laos – cooking rice for she and her 15-year-old daughter. But on this day, the heat from the cooking fire ignited unexploded ordnance…
May 4, 2011
From my hotel in Bangkok, I watched on CNN as President Obama announced to the American people and the world that “justice has been done,” shortly after Osama Bin Laden was killed by an elite group of U.S. forces in Pakistan.
March 30, 2011
In 1947, Winston Churchill said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all others that have been tried.” When Churchill made this remark, Thailand was in the throes of developing a strong dictatorial state headed by the military. But after six decades of impressive economic advancement and social mobility…
February 16, 2011
Coinciding with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s official state visit to Washington last month, The Asia Foundation held a two-day dialogue in Tokyo with the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) and the China Institute for International Studies (CIIS) to examine the state of U.S.-Japan-China relations.
September 22, 2010
On Friday, September 24, President Barack Obama will meet in New York City with 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including eight heads of state, for the second U.S.-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting, also known as the U.S.-ASEAN Summit. For much of the past two decades, critics in Southeast Asia said the United […]