Politics

People walk along a street in Beijing on 18 May 2021 past military propaganda which reads: "Courageous —  raise a new generation of spirited, capable, courageous and morally upright revolutionary soldiers." (Noel Celis/AFP)

What if China and Russia join forces?

The US would not like to see China and Russia getting too close, knowing that their combined strengths would be formidable. But history shows that full cooperation between China and Russia is not a straightforward matter at all. US academic Han Dongping discusses the forces pushing these two giants closer together and the possible scenarios that could unfold if they join forces.
US President Joe Biden speaks as Antony Blinken, US secretary of state (left), and Lloyd Austin, US secretary of defense (right), listen during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington DC, US, on 20 July 2021. (Al Drago/Bloomberg)

'Mini' Shangri-La Dialogue: The US needs to provide tangible deliverables in Southeast Asia

When Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, speaks at the 40th Fullerton Lecture in Singapore tonight, he will need to go beyond speaking about esoteric concepts such as the “rules-based international order” and promise that Washington will provide tangible deliverables in the form of pandemic assistance, economic growth and trade.
Children stand at the entrance of the Forbidden City in Beijing on 12 June 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

China to impose strict measures on tuition centres to allay anxiety over education

In recent years, Chinese children have been sacrificing their playtime to shuttle through various tuition centres after school and during the holidays so that they can become more powerful “examination machines”. Now, China has released a set of guidelines that aims at easing such anxiety over education. It details requirements in reducing homework and improving the quality of education and after-class services provided by schools. It will also impose unprecedented strict measures on tuition centres and their activities. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan discusses the impetus behind these measures and the challenges of its implementation.
People look at images showing Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Communist Party of China that was opened ahead of the 100th founding anniversary of the Party in Beijing, China, 25 June 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

'Red peril' or benign power: How different is China's CCP from USSR's CPSU?

Whether the Communist Party of China will escape the fate of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union depends greatly on the extent to which it has rooted out the six major ills that plagued the Soviet system. Only then can it rise smoothly and peacefully to the benefit of the world.
A tuktuk is parked at Camoes square in Lisbon on 14 July 2021. (Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP)

Washington threatening Portugal to choose between China and the US?

Portugal has in the past decade developed very lucrative relations with China. Chinese investment significantly assisted its recovery from the 2008 global economic crisis. However, Lisbon’s increasingly close ties with Beijing have raised serious concerns in Washington.
Members of the Japanese Armed Forces walk past the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, Japan, 18 July 2021 (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Japanese academic: Will Japan send troops to 'protect' Taiwan?

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima analyses Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso's recent comments where he made reference to a possible "Survival Threatening Situation" in Taiwan. How ready is Japan to step in?
People wearing face masks walk past a mural displaying Iran's national flag in Tehran, Iran on 17 June 2021. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

Chinese academic: Can China challenge the US’s standing in the Middle East?

Although China has made inroads into the Middle East as a major investor and economic partner, some are suspicious of its intentions in being all things to all countries in this fractious region. Thus, even if there is much hype about its ability to take over the US’s role in the region, China should remember that it still lacks the power and wherewithal to exert a major influence.
Police officers stand guard outside a Chanel Ltd. store in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong on 1 July 2021. Hong Kong's leader pledged to press ahead with an unprecedented national security crackdown, as the Asian financial center marked a series of fraught anniversaries symbolizing Beijing’s tightening grip over local affairs. (Chan Long Hei/Bloomberg)

Hong Kongers losing their voice as district councillors quit?

Over 200 pan-Democrat district councillors might be removed from office as Beijing tightens its rule over Hong Kong. Tai Hing Shing notes that the complexion of Hong Kong’s district councils has changed drastically after the last two years of political upheavals. Are the district councils fast losing their purpose as a loudhailer for ground sentiment, and would this lead to the Hong Kong government and the people being further estranged?
People watch the annual Fourth of July parade on 4 July 2021 in Saugerties, New York. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

SEA nations may need to pick a side as US-China rivalry intensifies

There is bipartisan support under the Biden administration to compete with and confront China, reflecting the American desire to maintain its dominant position in the international system. However, the US’s ability to act as a reliable security partner is heavily constrained by its domestic political paralysis caused by ideological divisions as well as social and economic upheavals. And while Southeast Asian countries want the US to remain militarily and economically engaged in the region to act as a counterweight to China, they do not want to take sides between the two superpowers. Canadian academic Shaun Narine believes this may be an increasingly difficult balance as US-China rivalry intensifies.