Core to Donald Trump’s appeal, both at home and abroad, is that he doesn’t seem to care how he’s supposed to behave. He certainly doesn’t fuss over offending Chinese nationalist sensibilities. This perhaps explains, in part, his curious adventure in China-Taiwan diplomacy. [...] And now he’s walking back his moves on Taiwan: On his first phone call with President Xi Jinping, Trump said he would honor the One China policy.
As Russia’s foreign policy has become more assertive over the last few years, views of Russia in the West are becoming increasingly negative. But in Southeast Asia, a region whose history of relations with the USSR and Russia is fundamentally different from that of the West, perceptions of Russia today are markedly different. But can Russia make use of this positive image in its pursuit of soft power and influence?
What happened to me in the first two weeks of 2017? I became a novice K-pop fan. But seriously, what’s so unusual about that? Are there not millions of K-pop fans too? Yes, that would be true, until I tell you my age. K-pop bands target teenagers, not grown-ups and certainly not people who are almost senior citizens like me. But wait, I also became a novice fan of Korean drama shows.
Cities are engines of economic growth. Due to unique social, environmental and physical challenges, ASEAN cities should be able to find their own way in dealing with these issues. Collective lessons will need to be drawn from various city development projects implemented by ASEAN member states with support from international donors. These will hopefully lead ASEAN’s cities to their sustainable and livable future.
Over the past few years, more and more Cambodian communities in the rural areas have become willing to open their homes to visitors, inviting visitors to get a taste of the local culture or to explore the wildlife in the country. Unlike general tourism, these Community-Based Tourism (CBT) and Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET) projects are managed by local communities themselves or with the local communities strongly involved in the decision-making process.
So far, Duterte has toured Laos, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia. [...] the tours are potentially beneficial for Duterte, who lacks experience in national politics and international diplomacy. He intends to gather insights from various ASEAN states to strengthen engagements and build a common action agenda on regional issues. Just how this corresponds to Duterte’s broader foreign and security policies remains to be seen.
India has appreciable soft power from spiritual philosophies to Bollywood movies to food to yoga to cultural imprints in South East Asia. Not to forget India as the clichéd “world’s largest democracy” [...] Or does it? The 2015 “The Soft Power 30” a global ranking of soft power by ComResGlobal doesn’t seem to think so – India isn’t in the top 30 countries with soft power.