The U.S. tilt back into Southeast Asia has made a hesitant start with Bangkok delaying a decision on a request for NASA to use the U-Tapao airstrip in Rayong, a former base used during the Vietnam War, for weather research and atmospheric studies.
The request is a very minor move in the overall scheme of diplomatic relations. But although the U.S. says it’s designed for weather research, critics argue there’s more to it than that – some mutter that the government in Thailand is aiming for some political gains, or else suggest that it’s really some kind of covert U.S. operation for peaking into China.
Neither claims have any credibility, but political head banging in Thailand got a whole lot louder when the opposition Democrat Party – which approved the project when in government – claimed the current government wanted a U.S. visa for the former leader Thaksin Shinawatra in exchange for the base.
Such an allegation was made all the more plausible with hints from Thaksin’s sister Yingluck, the current prime minister, at a possible return someday for her wayward brother, now a famously rich exile who can’t come home because of corruption convictions.
Clear skies over Asia’s new foreign investment landscape?
Compounding the fallout of the US–China trade war, the global pandemic and recession have caused considerable speculation on the future of foreign investment and global value chains (GVCs). But though there is likely to be some permanent change, it will probably not be as great as politicians expect.(more…)
How higher US bond yields will impact Asia Pacific bonds
As financial markets started pricing in stronger US economic growth and inflation because of Joe Biden’s stimulus plan, US bond yields have risen, causing ripple effects across the world, including in APAC.
Following the rise in US bond yields in response to Joe Biden’s stimulus plan and amid higher inflation in some economies, Asia Pacific bond yields have risen significantly as well, especially in Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong, and Australia. However, Northeast Asian bond yields have risen little.(more…)
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Thailand lifts curfew in ‘Blue Zone’ destinations from 31 October 2021
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