Politics

People walk along a shopping district during the Labour Day holidays, in Beijing, China, on 3 May 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

New breed of American China experts see China with a colder eye

Chinese academics have long admired the old guard of American sinologists who had a soft spot for China. But they must now discard any left-over sentimentality for these old heroes, says Wu Guo, and welcome the new generation of China hands that they will have to deal with. The post-70s and post-80s generation of China specialists dominate US President Biden’s China policy team, and will be the ones to watch in the analysis of US-China relations.
People watch a pop up event in Times Square on 11 June 2021 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

US-China relations: Can we pin our hopes on future generations?

While views of China remain largely negative in the West, US academic Zhu Zhiqun finds one bright spot — the young who appear more receptive to alternative views of China. Will their openness help to improve the state of US-China relations?
An aerial view of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and its two units in Guangdong, China. (Wikimedia)

Guangdong nuclear power plant incident: Making a mountain out of a molehill?

Following news that the French co-owner of Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong had written to the US Department of Energy regarding an “imminent radiological threat”, and disclaimers by state-owned majority owner China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) that the assertions are false, Chinese social media has been in an uproar and accused Western media of stoking fires. While admitting that “about five” of the uranium fuel rods inside the power plant have been damaged, Chinese authorities maintained that there has been no radiation leak. Zaobao's China Desk puts together the ins and outs of the story.
In this file photo taken on 30 April 2021, a naval officer throws a flower bouquet into the sea during a remembrance ceremony for the crew of the Indonesian navy submarine KRI Nanggala that sank on 21 April during a training exercise, on the deck of the hospital ship KRI Dr. Soeharso off the coast of Bali. (Juni Kriswanto/AFP)

Why Beijing offered to help raise the sunken Indonesian submarine Nanggala

China recently offered assistance to Indonesia in salvaging the sunken Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala 2 in the Bali Sea. The submarine was lost on 21 April with its 53 crew members. ISEAS senior fellow Ian Storey examines Beijing's other intentions besides altruism.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi walk as they attend the ASEAN leaders' summit at the the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretariat building in Jakarta, Indonesia, 24 April 2021. (Muchlis Jr/Indonesian Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters)

Is Indonesia's foreign policy tilting towards Beijing?

Indonesian academic Aristyo Rizka Darmawan looks at Indonesia's engagement with China in recent years and notes that Indonesia has adopted a foreign policy that is driven by economic interest and transactional considerations. Despite its increased engagement with China, Jakarta would need to upkeep its relationships with other regional powers for a good balance.
A Taiwan Navy honour guard looks on in front of a Taiwan flag during the launch ceremony for the Taiwan Navy's domestically built amphibious transport dock "Yushan" in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 13 April 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Will the Taiwan Strait issue be internationalised under Biden?

Mainland China has most recently sent 28 aircraft close to Taiwan, prompting concerns that the situation in the Taiwan Strait might boil over, not least with US-led actions possibly internationalising the issue. What’s the true temperature of the situation? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu reports.
Wind turbines at the San Gorgonio Pass wind farm in Whitewater, California, U.S., 3 June 2021. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg)

US-China competition in climate cooperation a good thing for Southeast Asia

The US is back in the international climate cooperation game, but the influence it will have remains to be seen. Its passing of a new omnibus package which includes major energy provisions to address climate change provides hope that partisan divides are not insurmountable. On China’s part, its 14th Five-Year Plan demonstrates strong impetus to tackle climate change issues. As for ASEAN, the ASEAN-China Strategy on Environmental Cooperation papers has enabled cooperation with China to progress well, but cooperation with the US can be improved with an institutional framework to bring climate cooperation to a higher level.
US President Joe Biden speaks about infrastructure and jobs along the banks of the Calcasieu River near Interstate 10 on 6 May 2021, in Westlake, Louisiana. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

While the US sets new goals for G7, China sets new goals for itself

China was at the centre of discussions in the recently concluded G7 summit in Cornwall. While the US is corralling its allies to take a harder stance on China on various issues, a lot of this is all talk and it will be hard in reality to agree on and implement such plans, says Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan. On its part, China is focusing on increasing its national strength to meet the challenge.
A woman crossing a street passes by a wall art depicting Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi during a government-imposed lockdown to prevent the Covid-19 coronavirus from spreading in Noida, India on 21 May 2021. (Jewel Samad/AFP)

Indian researcher on the pandemic: It's a tragedy but India will continue to do its part

Amrita Jash considers the impact of a devastating second wave of Covid-19 on India’s foreign policy and its relationships with the region and the world. She observes that India will continue to take a collective approach to fighting the pandemic as it guards its flanks vis-à-vis China and Pakistan and builds closer ties with the US and fellow members of the Quad.