As Donald Trump continues to defy the results of the election, the globe is searching for parallels to discern where its biggest economy is headed. Trump continues to dispute the US election results its uncanny how may many similarities of his power relate to Thailand former Prime Minter Thaksin Shinawatra. Vladimir Putin ’s name comes up quite a bit. So does that of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and others who refused to concede defeat. But the best Asia-region corollary may be Thailand’s Thaksin Shinawatra, the man whose long shadow has stretched across his nation—and economy— for much of the 14 years since he left the premiership. In 2006, Thaksin was ousted in a coup that resulted in a period of post-leadership chaos in Bangkok that many in Washington are now seeking to avoid. The easiest way to think of Thaksin is as the Silvio Berlusconi of Southeast Asia. The telecom billionaire harnessed his wealth, national profile and raw charisma to excel in politics. ... » Learn More about Is Trump Taking a Page From Thaksin Shinawatra’s Playbook?
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DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States said on Monday it is committed to defending Saudi Arabia following drone and missile strikes claimed by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement, including on a Saudi facility vital to oil exports. Saudi authorities said there were no casualties or property losses from Sunday's attacks targeting an oil storage yard at Ras Tanura, site of a refinery and the world's biggest offshore oil loading facility, and a residential compound in Dhahran used by state-controlled oil giant Saudi Aramco. [L1N2L502H] The attacks, which drove Brent crude prices above $70 a barrel to their highest since January 2020, come at a time of friction in the decades-old alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States as President Joe Biden puts pressure on Riyadh over its human rights record and the ruinous Yemen war. "The heinous Houthi assaults on civilians and vital infrastructure demonstrate lack of respect for human life and disregard for peace efforts," the U.S. ... » Learn More about U.S. commits to Saudi defence after Houthi attacks on oil heartland
The Chinese government's top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Sunday that Beijing is willing to communicate with the United States on the basis of mutual respect and hopes Washington will remove all "unreasonable" restrictions on cooperation as soon as possible. Last week US President Joe Biden singled out a "growing rivalry with China" as a key challenge facing the United States, with his top diplomat describing the Asian country as "the biggest geopolitical test" of this century. State Councillor Wang, speaking at his annual news conference, said differences between China and the United States must be managed carefully and that the two sides must advocate healthy competition not zero-sum finger-pointing. The United States and China are at odds over influence in the Indo-Pacific region, Beijing's economic practices, Hong Kong, Taiwan and human rights in China's Xinjiang region. The Biden administration has indicated it will broadly continue a tough approach to China taken by former ... » Learn More about China says hopes US will remove ‘unreasonable’ restrictions on cooperation
WASHINGTON, D.C.: As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden promised to make a pariah out of Saudi Arabia over the 2018 killing of dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. But when it came time to actually punish Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Biden’s perception of America’s strategic interests prevailed. The Biden administration made clear on Friday that it would forgo sanctions or any other major penalty against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Khashoggi killing even after a US intelligence report concluded the prince ordered it. The decision highlights how the real-time decisions of diplomacy often collide with the righteousness of the moral high ground. And nowhere is this conundrum more stark than in the United States’ complicated relationship with Saudi Arabia, the world’s oil giant, a US arms customer and a counterbalance to Iran in the Middle East. “It is undeniable that Saudi Arabia is a hugely influential country in the Arab world,” State Department spokesman ... » Learn More about Biden retreats from vow to make pariah of Saudis
WASHINGTON — People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can meet without masks indoors in small groups with others who have been inoculated but should avoid non-essential travel and continue to wear face-coverings in public, the Biden administration said on Monday. In a long-awaited update of its guidance for behaviors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said fully vaccinated people could also meet in small groups with unvaccinated individuals deemed at low-risk for severe COVID-19 from one other household without masks. The slight lifting of restrictions represented a still cautious approach to public health guidance despite the quickly growing number of vaccinated people. President Joe Biden has urged Americans to remain vigilant and continue to follow CDC guidelines to prevent another surge of cases. The CDC said fully vaccinated people should continue to follow many precautions such as avoiding big ... » Learn More about Fully vaccinated people can gather without masks indoors, should still avoid travel — CDC
Hi all, In today's bulletin: Two people were killed and several others injured when Myanmar police fired on protesters in northern Myitkyina town; American and Chinese spacecraft reach Mars in quick succession last month, sparking talk of a space race between the two major powers; Indonesia eases rules to attract foreign investment; and more. Reading this on the web or know someone who might enjoy receiving Asian Insider? Our sign-up page is here . More killed in Myanmar protests as unions call for economic shutdown Two people were killed and several others injured when Myanmar police fired on protesters in the northern town of Myitkyina on Monday (March 8), witnesses said. This was as shops, factories and banks were closed in Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon on Monday (March 8), after major trade unions called for a shutdown of the economy as part of the uprising against the country’s military rulers who had ousted the civilian government in a Feb 1 coup. ... » Learn More about Asian Insider, March 8: More deaths in Myanmar protests; US-China rivalry extending to space