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Blog Masonry

US raps China over ‘destabilising’ acts
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United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel yesterday sharply criticised China for "destabilising, unilateral actions" in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea and warned that Washington would not look the other way when fundamental principles of international order are being challenged. In an hour-long...

Modinomics & Looking East
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With the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) landslide victory in the recent Indian elections, all eyes are now on the new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and how his government will handle India’s struggling economy. Modi, a nationalist hardliner with a strong focus on spurring India’s economic growth,...

Political storm over South China Sea makes landfall
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The political storm over China’s deployment of an oil rig in the contested waters of the South China Sea made landfall last week. Violent anti-China protests erupted in industrial areas in southern Vietnam, disrupting businesses, damaging property and even drawing blood. Vietnam’s Nationalistic Response to China’s...

Reacting to China – and its grand plan
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We now know the reactions in Vietnam to China’s move to begin drilling for oil in the South China Sea that both sides claim. More than 20,000 Vietnamese workers spilled out of control, attacking factories thought to be Chinese-owned, including those at two Singapore-run industrial...

Inaugural Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources
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World’s largest companies gather at inaugural Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources to pledge commitment to end haze by committing to sustainability Sustainability is a shared responsibility, and businesses, governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should do their part to do the right thing. This was among...

Myanmar debuts as ASEAN Chairman
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Last weekend, Myanmar finally made its debut as ASEAN Chairman, hosting the 24th ASEAN Summit in Naypyidaw. In the lead-up to the Summit, the escalation of the tension in the South China Sea put a challenge to Myanmar’s Chairmanship and ASEAN unity. Testing ASEAN Unity under...

Thailand: The Rocky Road Ahead
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Last week, Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and nine cabinet ministers were removed from office by the National Constitutional Court. The third dismissal in less than a decade has further deepened the country's protracted political quagmire. The Pheu Thai Party maintains limited political power through Ms....

ASEAN must learn from the Fukushima disaster
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On the third anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the tragic events of March 11, 2011, continue to cast a shadow over Japan’s environment and politics. Despite efforts by the authorities in the past few years, reports of contamination from the crippled plant continue to...

Asean leaders ride out the South China Sea storms
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When leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gathered this week in Myanmar, the weather forecast was for high temperatures combined with a chance of storms. The political atmosphere proved similar, with lightning-rod issues converging on the regional group's first summit of the year. South...

Abe’s European tour: a success
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s week-long tour of Europe was a sales pitch for Japan, intended to boost his country’s economy and strengthen its security ties. The Japan-EU FTA and Implications for the TPP Last year, Japan and the European Union began talks on a Japan-EU free...