Politics

This file photo taken on May 9, 2014 shows Philippine and US Marines taking positions during a beach assault exercise facing the South China Sea in San Antonio, Zambales province. The Philippines told the US on February 11, 2020 it was quitting a pact key to their historical military alliance, which triggers a six-month countdown to the deal's termination, Manila said. (Ted Aljibe/AFP)

The Philippines' termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement: A win for China and Russia

Manila’s decision to withdraw from the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement with the US will benefit China and Russia. Russia’s attempt to cozy up to the Philippines, however, might not be wholly welcomed by Beijing. ISEAS academic Ian Storey sets out the impact of the decision.
Pedestrians wearing protective masks to help stop the spread of Covid-19, walk on a street in Tokyo's Ginza area on 25 January 2020. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

In sickness and in health: Honeymoon period for China-Japan relations?

China-Japan relations have never been better in recent years. Chinese commentators have praised Japan’s elegant gestures like sending medical supplies signed off with ancient verses such as “山川异域,风月同天” (roughly: different lands, same sky). China-Japan watchers say this bodes well ahead of President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan in April. But whether this goodwill will last, is quite another matter.
Workers in protective suits at a checkpoint for registration and body temperature measurement, at an entrance to a residential compound in Wuhan. Major leadership changes have been announced in an effort to control the epidemic. (Reuters)

Replaced and warned, leadership in Hubei and Wuhan undergoes shakeup

Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu does a roundup of the leadership changes in Hubei and Wuhan due to the Covid-19 epidemic, and finds out that more is yet to come.
Huawei is reshaping US-UK-China relations. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

What is behind the UK’s decisive stance on Huawei?

US President Donald Trump was furious when his friend, British Prime minister Boris Johnson, decided to give Huawei a role in building the UK's 5G infrastructure. German Chancellor Angela Merkel seems to be going a similar direction in a position paper announced yesterday. Chinese academic Zhang Jingwei ponders the UK's move and thinks ahead to implications that it may have on the UK's wider relations with China and the US.
Air China employees wear medical masks for protection against the Covid-19 at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal on 2 February 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The United States was first to announce a travel ban on travellers from China. (David McNew/Getty Images/AFP)

Covid-19: Further split in China-US relationship?

The Covid-19 crisis should have been a chance for the US and China to increase cooperation. Instead, the two countries have lobbed diplomatic volleys against each other in a show of one-upmanship. Now, their competition arena has widened beyond trade or tech, to the escalating coronavirus epidemic.
Chinese President Xi Jinping with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Great Hall of the People, 5 February 2020. (Xinhua)

Hun Sen’s China visit: Love in the time of coronavirus

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visiting China while the latter is knee-deep in efforts to contain the new coronavirus provides some food for thought. ISEAS academic Lye Liang Fook analyses what it means for China-Cambodia relations.
This handout photo taken and released on 10 February 2020 by Taiwan's Defense Ministry shows a Taiwanese F-16 fighter jet flying next to a Chinese H-6 bomber (top) in Taiwan's airspace. (Handout/Taiwan's Defense Ministry/AFP)

Why is Beijing flexing its military muscle over Taiwan airspace amidst the novel coronavirus crisis?

Taiwan is not the only intended audience for mainland China’s most recent spate of fly-bys over Taiwan airspace. In extraordinary coronavirus times when the government’s authority is being questioned, Beijing flexes its military muscle.
Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Harvard University. (Vogel photo: Neoh Kee Leng, Graphic: Jace Yip)

[Video and text] A mountain can have many tigers and every tiger has its own problems

[Video and text] Ezra Vogel, East Asian expert and thinker extraordinaire, shares his views on China, the US, Japan, as well as global trends, in an exclusive interview with Chow Yian Ping, editor of ThinkChina.
Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pose for a group photo during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Nha Trang on January 17, 2020. ASEAN has to find a way to navigate the US-China trade war. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

ASEAN 2020: How to swim in the choppy waters of the US-China conflict

Mie Oba, Professor, Tokyo University of Science, suggests that rather than just being the grass that suffers when elephants fight, ASEAN’s approach and response to moves by the US and China will determine its future.