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Taking stock of the new Hong Kong government’s achievements one month into office

The new Hong Kong administration led by Chief Executive John Lee has made notable progress in its one month of office, from controlling the spread of malaria to addressing emergencies that have caught the Hong Kong public’s concern. Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing believes that the new government has been responsive, but it remains to be seen how it can implement effective policies to address long-standing issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the housing crisis.

Class struggle and extreme nationalism have become CCP’s ideological weapons

Commentator William He notes the disturbing nature of extreme nationalism in China, citing numerous examples of how perverse Chinese “patriotism” can be. He attributes this phenomenon to long-term brainwashing by the Chinese Communist Party, where Chinese people are taught from a young age what to think and say about other countries and their own.

China’s think tank diplomacy in Southeast Asia: Idea exchange or echo chamber?

China’s intensified efforts to engage with regional think tanks have not produced the results it has hoped for, mainly because Beijing seems to care more about imposing its own views than a true meeting of the minds.

At US$3.2 trillion, Japan's overseas assets is still expanding

Economics professor Zhang Rui believes that Japan’s massive hoard of overseas assets, along with its ultra-loose monetary policy, has allowed its domestic economy to thrive even amid a weakening currency. In addition, the government’s fiscal policies have also made it easy for Japanese investors to venture overseas, adding to Japan’s financial prowess.

The lasting impact of Pelosi's Taiwan visit on Southeast Asia

ISEAS researcher David Arase says that following Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, China has sought to bully the island with a series of import bans and a de facto blockade. China's moves seem to follow the pattern of Russian bluster and military mobilisation preceding its invasion of Ukraine, which might then lead to armed conflict that would destabilise and divide Southeast Asia.

The generation gap in Japanese attitudes toward China

There is a distinct difference in how younger and older Japanese perceive and feel about China — generally, the younger generation feels more positive about China than their seniors. This can be attributed to their different shared experiences and common sentiments among peers. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima points out the various factors leading to this divergence.

China’s plan to break foreign iron ore dependence — mine more at home

China's "Foundation Plan" for iron ore has gained much official support, and is aimed at reducing reliance on foreign sources of iron, including Africa and Australia. The only way to do this effectively is for China to ramp up mining of its own iron resources. However, these resources are scattered and difficult to access, and of lower grade. This means China has its work cut out if it is to succeed.

The stories behind the woodcuts

A gift from a friend prompts former journalist Lim Jen Erh to think about the stories behind the scenes depicted in woodcuts, from simple days in school to the final days of the tongkangs on the Singapore River, and the artform that can be traced back to China, especially the modern woodcut illustration movement led by literary giant Lu Xun in the 1930s.

Blue and white porcelain in Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace Museum

Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai recalls his visit to Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace Museum some years ago where precious pieces of Chinese blue and white porcelain from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties are housed. It was then that he understood why his scholar friends were adamant that a visit there was a pilgrimage to blue and white porcelain mecca.

Has China’s propaganda on the Taiwan situation failed its public?

Amid the tense situation arising from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the Chinese public have made loud cries against China’s seemingly disappointing response. Academic Zhang Chengxin assesses what led to such sentiments and how they can be abated.

Anies Baswedan: Indonesia’s potential president adept at identity politics

ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata gives a profile of Anies Baswedan, former education and culture minister of Indonesia, current Jakarta governor, and potential presidential candidate. Will he run, and if he does, what is his platform likely to be?

Can Chinese capital and technologies jumpstart economic development in Borneo?

Malaysian academics Goh Chun Sheng and Guanie Lim observe China’s strong presence in the upstream and downstream sectors of developing Nusantara, the envisaged new capital of Indonesia in East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo, allowing for potential cooperation between China, Indonesia and Malaysia. Could this be the start of greater China-led cross-border collaborations in the region?

Nationalist sentiment exploding in China over Pelosi's visit

Despite repeated warnings from Beijing, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan. Her act has triggered strong reactions from Chinese netizens, raising Chinese national sentiment to a new high. Beijing has strongly condemned the visit, sent jet fighters over the Taiwan Strait and said that it would conduct live-fire exercises around the island. It has also announced economic sanctions on Taiwan, and warned of more "long-term, resolute and steadily advancing actions”. Zaobao's Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu examines the situation.

Will China's 'Asian way' of building peace for Asia work?

China’s “Asian way” is an all-embracing idea and a coded language to discredit other countries’ actions that are deemed harmful to China’s strategic interests. A simple version is: the West seeks to divide through confrontation and exclusion, while the “Asian way” seeks to unite through dialogue and inclusion. ISEAS academic Hoang Thi Ha examines the validity of that narrative.

Taiwan likely to become biggest loser with Pelosi's visit

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is enroute to Taiwan for a visit that has kept the Biden administration and both sides of the Taiwan Strait on tenterhooks in past weeks. Whatever happens next, the people of Taiwan may be on the losing end. Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang explains the implications.

A happy birthday to China’s national emissions trading scheme

Erik Baark points out some of the peculiarities of China’s emissions trading system (ETS) with Chinese characteristics on its one-year anniversary. Going forward, will the Chinese ETS gradually morph into an ETS in the likes of the EU ETS as it works towards meeting its dual carbon ambitions?

China’s economic crisis is a ticking time bomb

Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang believes that China’s economy is under threat, with the unravelling of intertwining issues in the financial industry, property sector and government finances that cannot be easily resolved. How will China boost its investment-led economy, push down unemployment rates, and regain consumer and investor confidence?