The success of Taiwan's effort to boost its ties with ASEAN nations will depend on the condition of cross-strait relations.
For Simon Tay's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
If Japan can really say sorry for its wartime actions, it will help the entire region.
Few welcome Beijing as the Middle Kingdom, but many must recognize that China is increasingly the region's central economy.
If America's allies — and even the U.S. itself — would join China's initiative for an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Beijing could not dominate it as some fear.
American and Japanese officials should take a look at the clock ticking in their Trans-Pacific Partnership talks. Their failure to compromise thus far on key points is affecting the whole region.
Stronger leaders are finally in place in fragile Asia — leaders who can deliver domestic reform and economic growth. But if these leaders assert their strength against each other or vis-a-vis the U.S. over security matters, regional stability could be upended.
It is not a given that ASEAN won't condemn Thailand's recent military coup. At present, though, most neighbors regard the events as an internal matter while more than two-thirds of Thais surveyed report being happier now than before the intervention.
Recent events suggest that Myanmar's honeymoon with the United States and Europe may be waning over political issues. Even so, China and others remain ready to engage if business conditions permit.
Reversing China's oil-drilling activities in a part of the South China China also claimed by Vietnam may be asking too much. But it will take more than Washington's finger wagging to convince Beijing that there is real cost against taking further steps.
Recent developments in Thailand may put paid to the international media's tendency to make sense of the protests by describing the "red shirts" as representing the poor and the "yellow shirts" as the elite.