Politics

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi bump elbows during the signing ceremony of a 25-year cooperation agreement, in Tehran, Iran, 27 March 2021. (Majid Asgaripour/West Asia News Agency via Reuters)

Chinese academic: China-Iran deal will benefit China, Iran and Middle Eastern countries in the long run

A 25-year cooperation agreement was signed recently between China and Iran. The West and countries in the Middle East are alarmed by what closer China-Iran ties could mean for their interests, while the Iranians and the Chinese have different reactions to the news. Fan Hongda weighs the pros and cons of the agreement and what it means for all its stakeholders.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (second from right) and national security adviser Jake Sullivan (right) speak with Politburo member and director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi (second from left) and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) at the opening session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, US, 18 March 2021. (Frederic J. Brown/Pool via Reuters)

Are two camps forming around China and the US?

As China-US competition continues, economics professor Zhu Ying observes that two camps seem to be emerging. But it is not so straightforward as one camp being pro-US and another pro-China. The trilateral relationships of the US-EU-China and China-US-Russia will create pendulum swings.
Emissions rise from the Kentucky Utilities Co. Ghent generating station in Ghent, Kentucky, U.S., on 6 April 2021. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

If Xi Jinping and Joe Biden meet this week, it won't be just about climate change

US climate envoy John Kerry’s visit to China was aimed at getting China to participate in the upcoming US-hosted virtual climate summit later this week, which in turn could be the first step to further dialogue between the leaders of the two countries. At the same time, China also held discussions with France and Germany on climate trajectories. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan analyses how climate cooperation can be a pivot for relations between China and the West.
US President Joe Biden meets virtually with leaders of the Quad countries of Australia, India, Japan and the US in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on 12 March 2021. (Olivier Douliery/AFP)

Biden’s impressive ‘three-in-one’ policy to deal with China

Biden’s brilliant stroke of sending his close advisors to Taiwan while sending the US climate envoy to Beijing shows that the US is certainly prepared to be “competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be”. How can China create room for manoeuvre within this framework?
People walk past an H&M clothing store in Beijing on 25 March 2021. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Did H&M kowtow to China? The Vietnamese think so and Hanoi is encouraging online nationalism

Vietnam has effectively fanned the flames of online nationalism in its altercation with a Swedish fast-fashion retailer — and by extension, China. It has to be careful not to stoke the flames too far.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is pictured as it enters the port in Da Nang, Vietnam, 5 March 2020. (Kham/Reuters)

Indo-Pacific: Central theatre of America's struggle against its antagonist, China

It is easy to find fault with the recently declassified version of the US’s strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific. The fact remains, however, that the US is making strategic adjustments to steel itself for years, if not decades, of strategic competition with China.
Protestors hold slogans as they take part in a rally against the Japanese government's decision to release treated water from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean, outside of the prime minister's office in Tokyo, Japan, on 13 April 2021. (Yuki Iwamura/AFP)

Fukushima wastewater: Why China is protesting while the US gives the nod

Japan’s neighbours, China the most vociferous among them, have protested against Japan’s decision to dump contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean in two years’ time. On the other hand, Western countries have been accused of making minimal noise on account that it’s Japan. Is this another case of geopolitics politicising the situation? Would the world have reacted differently if it were China doing the dumping?
Malaysia's Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, 1 April 2021. (Hishammuddin Hussein/Facebook)

Malaysia's ‘big brother’ controversy and ASEAN’s dilemma

Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein sparked a reaction when he referred to China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi as “big brother”, as some quarters in Malaysia felt that the term was overly deferential. Chinese academic Zhang Jingwei looks at how ASEAN countries are stuck between a rock and hard place in their relations with China and the US.
The Singapore skyline on 22 March 2021. (SPH)

Do small countries matter in China-US relations?

Japan-based academic Zhang Yun observes that even as big countries take the spotlight in international relations, they can learn a thing or two from the way small countries see the world and conduct their foreign policy.