US - Southeast Asia
Chronology from May 2022 to Aug 2022
: United States and Vietnam hold 9th Asia-Pacific Dialogue in Washington, DC, co-chaired by State Department Assistant Secretary for East Asia Daniel Krittenbrink and Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu.
: Former Malaysian Prime Minister Razak Najib fails to win appeal in his criminal case and begins 12-year prison sentence for involvement in the 1MDB scandal. Najib announces his intention to seek a royal pardon.
: Opposition parties in the Thai Parliament submit petition to the Constitutional Court of Thailand requesting that the court remove PM Chan-ocha from office because he has exhausted his 8-year term limit. On Aug. 24 the Court accepts the petition and suspends Prayuth from his responsibilities as prime minister until a decision on the petition is reached. Prayuth remains in the Cabinet, however, as defense minister.
: Vietnam issues Decree 53/2022/ND-CP which requires internet companies to store data onshore; open representative offices in-country; and remove data from the internet that the government deems harmful.
: Thailand and China open 10-day Falcon Strike air force exercises based at Udorn Royal Thai Air Base.
: Military regime in Myanmar announces that political parties will not be permitted to have contact with foreigners or international organizations without prior permission from the Union Election Commission (UEC).
: Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, visits Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In Indonesia he attends Super Garuda Shield 22 exercises.
: ASEAN holds 29th ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, which gives rise to the US-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and other bilateral ministerial between ASEAN and its external partners.
: Secretary of State Blinken visits the Philippines following the ASEAN Regional Forum in Cambodia and meets with President Marcos.
: Ministerial Regulation 5 goes into effect in Indonesia, which requires social media platforms and other internet entities to register with the government and to remove user data at the government’s request.
: Military regime in Myanmar executes four pro-democracy activists it had convicted on charges of “terrorism” because of their political activities in secret trials. Regime officials indicate they are prepared to execute as many as 40 more activists in the near future; more than 100 activists under detention have been sentenced to death.
: Thai PM Chan-ocha survives the 4th no-confidence vote against him.
: International Court of Justice determines that it has jurisdiction over a petition brought by The Gambia against Myanmar for genocide against Muslim Rohingya, and that it will try the case.
: State Department releases 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP). Vietnam, Cambodia, and Brunei are placed in Tier-3, the lowest category, joining Malaysia and Myanmar in the tier. In Southeast Asia, only the Philippines and Singapore receive a Tier 1 rating.
: 13-member group of nations in IPEF hold first senior officials meeting in Singapore.
: On the heels of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bali, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visits Thailand and meets Prime Minister Chan-ocha as well as his counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
: Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., is inaugurated as president of the Philippines and Sara Duterte as vice president.
: Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits Ukraine and Russia, the first Asian leader to do so since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
: President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte orders an end to talks with China over joint oil and gas explorations in the South China Sea. Negotiations under a 2018 agreement with Beijing had failed to temper China’s actions in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
: Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court signals that he will reopen the investigation into the killings and other suspected human rights violations connection to Philippines President Duterte’s anti-drug campaign. The court had suspended the investigation in December 2021, responding to a request from the Philippine government, which maintained that its own investigation into the killings would suffice.
: Opposition parties in the Thai Parliament enter a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and several of his Cabinet members. This is the 4th attempt by the opposition to remove Prayuth in the current legislative term.
: Moody’s Investment Service downgrades the Laotian Government’s long-term local and foreign currency issuer ratings from Caa2 to Caa3, changing the outlook from stable to negative. The shift is based on Laos’ high level of debt, nearly half of which is owed to China, and institutional and governmental weaknesses that compound the situation.
: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visits Thailand, his first trip to the country in his current role.
: Shangri-La Dialogue reconvenes in Singapore, after a hiatus of three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
: Cambodia holds communal elections, the first polls in a political cycle that will culminate in national elections in 2023. Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) wins, but by a margin—80%—that was lower than expected.
: Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman travels to the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Philippines, Vietnam and Laos.
: President Biden launches the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in Tokyo, on the heels of the G7.
: Elections in Thailand are held for the governor of Bangkok, the first gubernatorial race since 2013. Chadehart Sittipunt, a former transportation minister in the administration of Yingluck Shinawatra, runs as an independent candidate and wins.
: Indonesian President Joko Widodo, in the United States for the US-ASEAN Special Summit, visits Texas to meet Elon Musk at the SpaceX Launch Center. Indonesia hopes to attract investment from Tesla for its aerospace program. Jokowi invites Musk to visit Indonesia in November.
: US-ASEAN Special Summit is held in Washington, DC., bringing together 9 of the 10 ASEAN states, with Myanmar not invited. It is the first US bilateral summit with ASEAN to be held in the capital.
: General elections are held in the Philippines, with victories for Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos, Jr., as president and Sara Duterte as vice president, both by sizable margins.
: Philippines conducts general elections and Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos, Jr., is elected president with a resounding margin. Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of current president Rodrigo Duterte, is elected vice president.