The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 11 August 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on August 11, 2014

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report



Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at or +1-202-745-4900.

Source: SCMP

Asian diplomats meet at ASEAN Regional Forum in Myanmar


This week’s snapshot focuses on the ASEAN Regional Forum being held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. The forum focused on a wide variety of issues impacting Asian nations, including the South China Sea dispute, economic support, and the Malaysian Airlines Flight M17 crash in Ukraine.



News Summary of events during the week of 04AUG – 10AUG


04AUG14: The Philippines says it won the support from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Brunei for a plan to ease tensions in the South China Sea. (AFP)

04AUG14: US Sec of State Kerry announces he will not meet with N Korean FM Ri Su-yong. (Yonhap)

04AUG14: US announces is will push for voluntary freeze on actions aggravating territorial disputes in S China Sea.  (Reuters)

06AUG14: ASEAN Day, President U Thein Sein opens forum lauding association as a platform of peace, stability and prosperity for the region. (XIN)

09AUG14: China rejects the Philippines’ proposed freeze on provocative acts in contested waters. (WSJ)

10AUG14: US Sec of State Kerry meets with Suu Kyi, discuss Myanmar’s unfinished democratization (NYT)

10AUG14: China downplays tension in South China Sea, claims no threat to navigation. (XIN)

10AUG14: ASEAN Forum concludes, FMs reiterate shared goals (XIN)



Sample of Twitter handles regarding ASEAN Regional Forum:


@justincjimenez – Justin Jimenez, Asian economics editor, BloombergBrief

@TranTruongThuy – Tran Truong Thuy, Institute for East Sea (South China Sea) Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam

@W7VOA – Steve Herman, Voice of America bureau chief and broadcast correspondent in Thailand

@ska_kongshan – S. Kleine-Ahlbrandt, Asia-Pacific Director, US Institute of Peace

@ShibaniMahtani – Shibani Mahtani, Myanmar Correspondent, Wall Street Journal



Sample of Third Party Validators regarding ASEAN Regional Forum:


Carl Thayer, Emeritus Professor, Australian Defense Force Academy

“China’s plan has been to stonewall diplomatically and trap Asean in these endless talks. The Philippines had showed its hand by announcing its triple-action plan ahead of the meeting, and China was prepared.”

–       China Rejects Philippine Proposal on South China Sea Disputes, 09AUG14, Wall Street Journal


Lyle J. Goldstein, Associate Professor, United States Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute

“If anything is changing it is that China has capabilities to enforce and explore more carefully and it has money to field the cutters — that to me is what is driving the situation.”

–       A View From the Sea, as China Flexes Muscle, 09AUG14, New York Times


Bertil Lintner, Analyst, Asia Pacific Media Services

“The present matter annoyed the U.S government but I’m sure they (the U.S) won’t do anything that push Myanmar into China’s influence again.”

–       Which side will Myanmar choose: between China and Asean?, 10AUG14, Eleven (Myanmar)


Malcolm Cook, Senior Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore

“China has consistently stated that a code of conduct will not impinge upon the exercise of its sovereign claims in the South China Sea and Chinese actions before and since the May ASEAN leaders summit are clearly not consistent with the declaration of conduct [agreement].”

–       South China Sea again dominates summit talks, 10AUG14, Myanmar Times


Richard Bitzinger, Senior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore

“For the Chinese, the issue is decided and clear, they have sovereignty over most of South China Sea. They just need to get everyone else to sign off on it. Barring acquiescence from the rest of ASEAN, there will be a standoff.”

–       China Rejects Push at Asean to Curb South China Sea Activity, 09AUG14, Bloomberg



Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to ASEAN Regional Forum:


  1. Asia Leaders Stress Cooperation With Russia at Summit


Media: Wall Street Journal

Byline:  Gaurav Raghuvanshi and Shibani Mahtani

Date: 10 August 2014


NAYPYITAW, Myanmar—Southeast Asian diplomats said Friday that they won’t pressure Russia over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, trying to keep an Asian security summit that includes Moscow focused on dialogue and the need for cooperation in an investigation.


The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations raised the issue in discussions among themselves Friday but will keep the focus during wider talks this weekend on the need for a transparent investigation.


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  1. China Rejects Philippine Proposal on South China Sea Disputes


Media: Wall Street Journal

Byline: N/A

Date: 09 August 2014


NAYPYITAW, Myanmar—China on Saturday rejected the Philippines’ proposed freeze on perceived provocative acts that recently stirred tensions in contested Asian waters, signaling its preference to tackle South China Sea disputes with diplomatic efforts that have made little progress in the last decade.


Analysts say the snub—made after a meeting between foreign ministers from Beijing and Southeast Asia—underscored China’s influence over protracted regional negotiations that have failed to end long-standing discord over territorial claims.


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  1. Kerry seeks to calm South China Sea tensions


Media: Associated Press

Byline: N/A

Date: 09 August 2014


NAYPYITAW, Myanmar — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday urged China and its neighbors to take new steps to ease tensions over maritime disputes that many fear could spark conflict.


Under the proposal he presented, China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that have competing claims to territory in the South China Sea would voluntarily halt provocative actions.


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  1. N. Korea, China FMs set to hold talks in Myanmar


Media: Yonhap (South Korea)

Byline: N/A

Date: 10 August 2014


NAYPYITAW, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s new foreign minister plans to hold a meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Myanmar on Sunday on the sidelines of Asia’s biggest security forum amid Pyongyang’s threats of another nuclear test and missile launches, officials said.


Ri Su-yong, who became the North’s top diplomat in April, is visiting the capital of Myanmar to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), slated for later in the day.


Ri and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks after the ARF’s plenary session ends, according to a copy of the schedule for bilateral meetings released by the forum’s secretariat.


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  1. Japan pledges loan to help Myanmar improve communication network


Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 10 August 2014


NAY PYI TAW, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) — Japan has pledged to provide 10.5 billion yens (105 million U.S. dollars) in loan to Myanmar to help the country improve communication network linking major cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, state media reported Sunday.


The low-interest loan, aimed at meeting the growing demand for mobile phones and internet in the country, was offered by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida during talks with his Myanmar counterpart U Wunna Maung Lwin on the sidelines of ASEAN-related meetings in Nay Pyi Taw Saturday, the report said.


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