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INSIGHTS

malaysia-airlines
MH17 and Ukraine: Keeping two tragedies separate
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Two weeks after the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, international experts and observers still do not have full access to the crash site to conduct a proper investigation. This is partly due to the intensifying fighting between the Ukrainian army and the pro-Russia rebels...

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Latin America – China and Japan’s new battleground?
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Just two days after Chinese President Xi Jinping finished his nine-day tour of Latin America, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Mexico last week to begin his nine-day visit to the region. The timing seems to suggest that the two Asian powers are vying for...

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Is Southeast Asia softening?
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It appears that Southeast Asia might face slower days ahead. The region’s predicted growth rate has been reduced to 4.7 per cent, according to a report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The revised forecast attributes the downgrade to political and economic road bumps in...

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China removes oil rig, so what’s next?
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China has towed away its oil rig from disputed waters in the South China Sea ahead of schedule, insisting the rig simply completed work earlier than expected. Chinese officials claim an incoming typhoon prompted the departure, while Vietnam has moved its coast guard and patrol...

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‘Modinomics’: A Modest Start
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In the wake of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s optimistic election campaign, investors are taking a close look at India’s new 2014/2015 budget, unveiled last week. Promising “good days” for India, the budget comes ahead of a new trade agreement due to be signed between...

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The ISIL caliphate: Crisis or chimera?
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In the infancy of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, alternately known as ISIS), most would have dismissed its influence on Southeast Asian security as tenuous at best. However, ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s recent declaration of a caliphate on June 27 has...

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Southeast Asia and the Resurgence of Piracy
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Recent months have seen the resurgence of piracy in the region, leading one United Nations agency to call Southeast Asia a “piracy hotspot”. In fact, there were about eight armed piracy-related attacks at the start of 2014 in the Strait of Malacca, according to a...

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Poor human trafficking records and implications for ASEAN
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In June, the US State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which ranks countries based on their efforts to combat modern slavery. The report did not put any countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at Tier 1, the rank...