Sudarshan Ramabadran of the India Foundation's Center for Soft Power discusses the soft power of Indian support for Ph.D. grants to ASEAN students.
After partnering with Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM) in Japan last year, BAMID collaborates with Big Mountain Music Festival in Thailand this year, under New Southbound Policy, to exchange performances and campaign resources. These efforts aim to establish Taiwan as a regional pop music performing and trading center. [...] Big Mountain Music Festival, a new GMA partner, is the largest outdoor music festival in Southeast Asia, attracting 100,000 visitors a year. The event highlights local country and folk music in Thailand.
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi will seek to strengthen Indonesia's existing strategic partnership with the United States, following heartening signs from the White House regarding its ongoing commitment in the Asia-Pacific. "Indonesia is ready to fortify its [ties] with the US through mutually beneficial cooperation," Retno said in a statement upon her arrival in Washington DC, late on Wednesday local time.
Despite public diplomacy efforts by Pacific Alliance and ASEAN members alike emphasizing the desirability of upscaling their relations, actual progress will face challenges on several fronts. [...] Nonetheless, the current context offers the Pacific Alliance and ASEAN an outstanding opportunity to build up their partnership.
The Trump administration’s real ASEAN test is whether it can preserve the U.S. role as a capable and willing Pacific power seeking to advance greater security, prosperity, and democracy in the Asia-Pacific while working with Southeast Asian states on common challenges in a way that advances U.S. interests but still preserves their autonomy and freedom of action.
As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations celebrates its 50th anniversary, the complexity of the internal and external environment is severely testing its approach to cooperative security that rests, above all, on preserving the sovereignty of each of the 10 member states.