Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) march in formation past Tiananmen Square during the military parade marking the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing, China, on 1 October 2019. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

Arm wrestling in silence: China-US military scorecard under the shadow of the pandemic

Amid reports of being handicapped due to Covid-19 quarantines, the US military presses on to make its presence felt in the airspace near the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. Chinese military commentator Song Zhongping says that despite these displays, the Chinese PLA has the distinct upper hand, being trained to handle the full scope of military operations including the outbreak of infectious diseases.
A boy rides past a supportive sign posted on a storefront in San Francisco, California on 01 April 2020, during the Covid-19 outbreak. (Josh Edelson/AFP)

Trump's America needs to ditch the blame game

Belgian writers Ng and Nimmegeers point out that the only thing much worse than possibly holding racist views, is to be aware of likely controversy yet politicise race issues anyway to deflect blame for the tardiness of the government. They believe that the Trump administration needs to stop playing the blame game and start on a sincere path of health cooperation with China, to tackle the pandemic today and any other global challenges tomorrow.
Boxes of donated medical supplies from Chongqing to Italy are seen in this photo taken on 19 March 2020. The note written in both Chinese and Italian on the boxes reads: "Italy, you can do it!" (CNS)

Informal diplomacy: The way to solidarity in a global crisis

Away from the bright lights of formal diplomacy where barbs traded between governments are par for the course, the simple yet effective channel of people-to-people diplomacy is helping to thaw the ice around some hardened positions.
The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin, Germany, on 6 September 2019. (Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo/Reuters)

Amid the pandemic, is the China-US tech war firing up again?

The pandemic rages on in the US, but the Trump administration is not letting up on its efforts to keep Huawei in check. Will the China-US tech war come to the fore again as the political stakes are raised on both sides?
A secury guard (center) stands at a closed cherry blossom viewing spot in Tokyo's Ueno park on 28 March 2020. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Japanese academic: Battling Covid-19 is not a global match of going for gold

Shin Kawashima says that China needs to tread carefully in the ways that it is publicising its efforts in helping other nations battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Excessive propaganda tends to backfire and create huge perception gaps between China and the rest of the world, which will not be a good thing if it hopes to increase its soft power in the days and months ahead.
Mr Lee Kuan Yew speaking at the People's Action Party's annual conference at the Victoria Memorial Hall, 26 June 1955. (SPH)

Will China also move into the 'post-LKY era'?

Among all of Singapore’s leaders, one name is most closely associated with Singapore: Lee Kuan Yew, or simply LKY. Five years after his passing, has Singapore moved on from his style of strong leadership and what will other countries who are keen to follow the country’s same developmental trajectory do in shaping their political systems?
In this photo taken on 28 March 2020, a shopper walks past a print shop in Berlin with a sign advising its customers to stay at home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Odd Andersen/AFP)

Globalisation as we know it shall come to an end

Zheng Weibin thinks that strategic rivalry between China and the US will only intensify in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. As the US moves to close off its vulnerabilities in the global supply chain, will Europe do the same and if so, what will the new face of globalisation look like?
Staff members move medical supplies to be sent to Italy, at a logistics center of the international airport in Hangzhou, March 10, 2020. (China Daily via REUTERS)

Is China’s pandemic diplomacy working?

As the Covid-19 coronavirus starts to ease domestically, China is now extending help to other countries that gave it assistance in the initial stages of the outbreak and publicising its efforts domestically and globally. While these efforts are sparking praise from Chinese netizens, it is getting mixed reactions in the global arena. Academics say a quieter and calmer approach may be preferred. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing looks at how China’s pandemic diplomacy is being received.
A jetty in Sabah, Borneo. Malaysia has claims in the South China Sea against China as well as other SEA countries. (iStock)

Amid domestic political change, Malaysia sticks to trusted formula for South China Sea disputes

After decades, claims by various countries in the South China Sea remain unresolved. ISEAS senior fellow Ian Storey focuses on Malaysia, noting that while its leadership has changed, its strategy towards handling China with regard to the South China Sea has remained the same.