Saturday, December 9, 2017

Opening of the U.S.-Thai Royal Exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand


meridian.org



Image from, with caption: "Thailand threatens to to press charges against Facebook, if the video of King Vajiralongkorn shopping at a mall in Munich, Germany with his friend Goy, is still available at 10:00 am on Tuesday – May, 16. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said: ‘If even a single illicit page remains, we will immediately discuss what […]


Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

The King of Thailand Maha Vajiralongkorn and United States Ambassador to Thailand Glyn T. Davis will open the U.S.-Thai Royal Gifts Exhibition, which chronicles over 200 years of diplomatic gifts and bi-lateral relations between the two nations. The opening at the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles within the Royal Thai Complex will be a spectacular affair, welcoming members of the Thai government, Bureau of the Royal Household, notable cultural and business leaders, together with representatives from the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, National Archives, and Meridian. Additionally, there will be educational events in the days following the opening.

Questions remain over Moon's new Southern Policy


Prashanth Parameswaran, The Straits Times


image (not from entry) from

Excerpt:
Yet South Korean officials are themselves aware that it will take much more to galvanise ties with Asean, particularly if Seoul wants to close the gap with Beijing and Tokyo which are ahead in key areas like infrastructure. Questions remain as to whether South Korea has what it takes in areas like public diplomacy. ...

"Meeting Russia" Public Diplomacy Program for Young Leaders in Moscow


edu-active.com


    


Deadline:  31 December 2017
Open to: citizens of United States, Canada  and European countries between the ages of 25 and 35 years old
Venue: 21–25 March 2018 in Moscow, Russia

Description

Meeting Russia is a unique independently-run public diplomacy program for young leaders. The program brings together young representatives from academia, government institutions, parliaments, think-tanks, media and the private sector from the United States and European countries as well as from Russia.
The three-day program held in Moscow focuses on Russia's foreign policy and its relations with the West. Through meetings with senior Russian officials and top experts and exchange with their peers, participants have ample opportunity to address critical issues related to Russia's role in world affairs and to connect with a diverse professional community. Meeting Russia seeks to facilitate dialogue between rising leaders interested in Russia and contribute to the discussion about Russia–West cooperation. Meeting Russia 2018 will be held on March 21-25, 2018.

Eligibility

In order to be considered eligible to apply, you must fulfill all of the following criteria:
  • Age: 25−35 years; 
  • Citizenship: United States, Canada, Europe;
  • Field of activity: representatives of universities, think-tanks and research organizations, media, NGOs, government institutions, the private sector with professional interest in Russian foreign policy.

Costs

  • Creative Diplomacy covers accommodation, meals and transportation in Moscow. The organizer can also reimburse part of the travel cost.
  • Participants are responsible for covering costs of their travel to Moscow, insurance and visa fees (if required).

Application

1. Fill out the application form;
2. Email to info.picreadi@gmail.com your CV.

The deadline for applications is December 31, 2017. Selection will be made by mid-January.


Email us at info.picreadi@gmail.com if you have any questions.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Deputy national security adviser to leave White House | KIRO-TV


kiro7.com
image (not from entry) from

WASHINGTON (AP) - Deputy national security adviser Dina Powell will be leaving the Trump administration early next year, the White House announced Friday, in the first of what is expected to be a round of departures in the new year.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Powell had always planned to serve for a year before returning home to New York. She's expected to continue working with the administration on Middle East policy issues from outside the White House, Sanders said.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster in a statement called Powell an "invaluable member" of the president's team and praised her as one of "the most talented and effective leaders with whom I have ever served."

"Her sage advice helped provide options to the president and her strong relationships across the U.S. government and internationally helped drive execution of the president's decisions," he said.

Powell was originally hired to work on economic development at the behest of Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. But the Egyptian-American with international experience and fluency in Arabic was quickly tapped for the national security team when McMaster took over after Michael Flynn's dismissal just 24 days into Trump's term.

Powell's foreign policy experience was forged under Condoleezza Rice, who brought her into the State Department when George W. Bush's administration was trying to improve diplomacy in the Middle East.

Born in Cairo, Powell moved to the United States with her family at the age of four and had to learn to speak English. Entering Republican politics at a young age, Powell put herself through the University of Texas by working in the state legislature.

After stints with several GOP congressional members and at the Republican National Committee, she joined the Bush administration. There she became the youngest person to ever run a president's personnel office. She later served Rice as assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs and as deputy undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs.

From the White House, Powell went to Goldman Sachs, where she worked for a decade, becoming a partner, looking after global investment and serving as president of the company foundation, overseeing an effort to invest in female entrepreneurs around the world.

At the Trump White House, Powell allied herself with the president's influential daughter and son-in-law. That alliance, in addition to her Goldman credentials and her time working for Bush, led her to being viewed skeptically by some in Trump's base and by nationalist forces in the White House that had been led by former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Her standing in the White House grew quickly, as Trump often leaned on her counsel even if he didn't always follow her advice. She was the only woman in the room in an April photograph of a makeshift Mar-a-Lago conference room when Trump ordered missile strikes in Syria.

She worked closely with National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, also a former Goldman Sachs executive, and acted as a liaison to the corporate world, though many of the president's business councils disbanded after his inflammatory remarks in the wake of the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. In a White House riven by rivalries, she often teamed with Kushner and offered a more conventional policy perspective than Bannon, whose associates led a campaign against McMaster this summer.

The rare figure in the Trump White House to receive some praise from Democrats, Powell helped steer Trump through his first two major foreign trips, to the Middle East and Europe in the spring and to Asia last month. Powell, like Kushner, occasionally clashed with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson over the direction of Trump's foreign policy; during the summer she had been rumored as a possible ambassador to the United Nations if the current occupant of that post, Nikki Haley, was tapped to replace Tillerson.

Kushner applauded Powell's work, including her efforts to help force a peace deal in the Middle East.

"She will continue to play a key role in our peace efforts and we will share more details on that in the future," he said in a statement.

The Quad and the South China Sea


Mark J. Valencia, ippreview.com

uncaptioned image from article
Excerpt:
The Trump administration has re-raised the decade-old geopolitical concept of the “Indo-Pacific” region and is proposing and pushing a so-called “Quad” — a potential security arrangement among the four large democracies of India, Australia, Japan, and the US. Given the dominant maritime nature of the Indo-Pacific, and that all four prospective members are maritime powers, any security arrangement would likely be initially focused on cooperation in the maritime sphere. ...
Over the past 40 years, China has made a series of assertive moves in the South China Sea, and has been undeterred by protests from other claimants and stern warnings from the US. It has built military-capable facilities and increased its military assets on the features it occupies; it has thrown its weight around when other countries try to unilaterally exploit resources in some areas it claims; and it has rejected an international arbitration decision against its claims there and then carried on as if nothing has happened. More, it has used its increased influence in recent ASEAN meetings to suppress any critical statements against it. China has had many other incremental military and diplomatic advances there that when considered together indicate a trend that has alarmed the region — and the US.

Its latest diplomatic victory was clear from US President Donald J. Trump’s recent visit to the region. He hardly mentioned the South China Sea — at least publicly — let alone confronted China on those issues, as many had hoped. What he said and did not say convinced many seasoned observers that China has gained the diplomatic edge over its rival claimants and the US in the South China Sea, if not the entire region. The results of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and associated summits seemed to confirm this perception. Many analysts agreed that China won this round of the struggle between it and the other claimants for political advantage in the South China Sea disputes. Moreover, the general sense was that this was a clear setback for the US as well — particularly in its public diplomacy contest with China. ...

USC Dornsife senior named 2018 Marshall Scholar


Laura Paisley, news.usc.edu

Kwong image from entry, with caption: Jamie Kwong will use her Marshall Scholarship to pursue a PhD in war studies at King’s College London.

Excerpt:
The Pasadena, Calif., native will use the scholarship to build on her academic studies in nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament with specialized training at King’s College London, where she will pursue a PhD in war studies. She is concurrently pursuing a Master’s in Public Diplomacy from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Kwong envisions a future career with the U.S. Department of State and Department of Energy, think tanks and nongovernmental organizations, where she can use her skills to mobilize efforts toward nuclear disarmament and play a key role in developing public policy to support it. The ultimate goal is something known as “global zero,” the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons systems. ...

From Arunachal’s muddy Siang River to Sikkim’s Doklam - China’s psychological invasion of India


thenortheasttoday.com

image from article

The issue is not only about military preparedness, it is also about psychological readiness- How ready are the masses to face an invasion?


China’s affair with the Indian territory or territories to be precise has always been a bone of contention that hardly makes us not believe in the once very popular phrase, ‘Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai’. Well, at least in this case, the two ‘so-called’ brothers do not seem to agree upon sharing their territories! While considering Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet and claiming to be its own territory, the recent Doklam impasse in Sikkim has also made people believe that the country has its eye on it.

The standoff at Doklam continued for more than two months where Chinese and Indian forces faced each other in an eye-to-eye confrontation since 16 June when Indian troops confronted the Chinese soldiers and stopped them from constructing a road on the deserted plateau. Again, when Ninong Ering, a Lok Sabha member representing Eastern Arunachal constituency recently wrote to Prime Minister Modi stating that the water level of the Siang in Arunachal Pradesh had dramatically receded and there has been a sudden change in the water quality which was unusual in the winter season, the condition was pointed over to China’s activity of Dam construction under the river bed. This allegation invited vehement opposition from China who claimed that there was no way in which it would pollute its own river, leave alone the allegation. It may be mentioned here that China considers Arunachal Pradesh as its territory and refers to it as South Tibet. This incident went on to create a sense of insecurity and suspicion in the minds of people as to what could possibly be the reason for the sudden change in the quality of the Siang river and consequently the river Brahmaputra in Assam as well.

Though political party leaders like Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma went on to blame China for this, Arunachal’s Kiren Rijiju ruled out chances of any big project over the river by the neighbouring country. The masses, as usual are left bewildered. Several analysts feel that India’s public diplomacy needs to be more pro-active and vigorous in informing its people as well as the international community about the strength and credibility of its position.

While certain media houses in China do not falter in spewing venom against India while creating a sense of psychological insecurity in the minds of less informed Indian masses, this is definitely assisting them in invading India psychologically is not geographically in the literal sense of the term. And as if the Arunachal’s Siang incident as well as Sikkim’s Doklam impasse was not enough, Chinese media on December 7 went on to report that an Indian drone ‘invaded’ their airspace and crashed in the Sikkim section of the border where the two countries were locked in a 73-day military stand-off. The Foreign Ministry said China lodged a protest with India over the development and warned New Delhi not to use such devices near the border area any more. The incident comes ahead of Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s India visit to attend the Russia-India-China meet.

Relations with China has and never will be the same as China will try to impede India’s growth and rise at every step. India will need to take cognizance of this and most importantly, make the masses aware of what is happening at the ground level and where does India stand in this regard. The issue is not only about military preparedness, it is also about psychological readiness- How ready are the masses to face an invasion?