Politics

A man walks past the headquarters building of Chinese ride-hailing service Didi in Beijing, China, 5 July 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Why is Beijing punishing Didi?

China’s online ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing was listed in the US on the eve of the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary, only for the authorities to announce a cybersecurity investigation into Didi just two days later. Along with other actions taken against major companies such as the Ant group, Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu asks: Is there a political message for Didi and other companies?
This file photo shows the People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. flag fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, 18 January 2011. (Hyungwon Kang/Reuters)

How China might just win the China-US competition of governance systems

Academic Tan Kong Yam says that the ongoing China-US competition is not a tussle between two armies or two political systems, but "a competition between the governance systems of two fast-evolving countries, under the influence of rapidly globalising technologies". In that sense, China's system possesses some great advantages. Even so, it has to bide its time and not get arrogant, if it is to navigate itself through dangerous waters and emerge the winner.
A visitor carries a Chinese national flag at Xibaipo Memorial Hall, ahead of the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China in Xibaipo, Hebei province, China, 12 May 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China everything: Where has America’s confidence gone?

While the US frames the China threat as a fight between democracy and autocracy, the Chinese see the competition between them about governance, not ideology. As the US’s internal problems escalate, China feels the former is no longer in a position to lecture it. In the midst of the US distracting itself from real troubles on the one hand and China’s inflated confidence on the other, US-China relations may be troubled for some time yet.
A Didi logo is seen at the headquarters of Didi Chuxing in Beijing, China, 20 November 2020. (Florence Lo/File Photo/Reuters)

Ride-hailing giant Didi slapped with Chinese cybersecurity review days after IPO

Shortly after Chinese ride-hailing app Didi launched its IPO on the NYSE, the Chinese authorities announced that the company would be subjected to a cybersecurity review. Didi had earlier kept a low profile, knowing its listing was a risky move. But few expected the company to take its first hit from China and not the US. Could this be China’s way of discouraging homegrown firms from passing their profits to foreign investors? Yu Zeyuan reports.
This handout photo from the Royal Malaysian Air Force taken on 31 May 2021 and released on 1 June shows a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft that Malaysian authorities said was in the airspace over Malaysia's maritime zone near the coast of Sarawak state on Borneo island. (Handout/Royal Malaysian Air Force/AFP)

PLA overflight near Malaysian airspace: A precarious provocation

Malaysian researchers Abdul Razak Ahmad, Kuik Cheng-Chwee and Lai Yew Meng comment that China’s deployment of People’s Liberation Army Air Force aircraft near Malaysia’s air space last month smacks of hypocrisy and creeping hegemony. They warn that Beijing may not be as benevolent as it wants smaller states to believe.
Anti-coup protesters hold a Chinese flag before burning it down during a demonstration against China in Yangon, Myanmar, 5 April 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

Why Myanmar people are wary of a 'pauk-phaw' (sibling) relationship with China

China and Myanmar are said to have a “pauk-phaw” or sibling relationship. Many people in Myanmar, however, are clear-eyed about the limits of the bond. Who are the true beneficiaries of Chinese investment in Myanmar? Why are the people protesting while the higher-ups eagerly sign huge contracts with China and other countries?
A woman walks past a closed shop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 25 June 2021. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

Is Cambodia overly dependent on China?

Sokvy Rim warns Cambodia against being over-reliant on China. As the saying goes, there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests. As the US did in the past with policies that contributed to the rise of the Pol Pot regime, China could abandon Cambodia or take actions against its interests. What would Cambodia do then?
A student waves during a rehearsal before celebrations in Beijing, China, on 1 July 2021, to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

Young Chinese academic: Imagining a future China as the CCP celebrates its centenary

Huang Zhiping points out the irony that in many democracies, the people elect the government, but they often have little direct influence over the decisions that elected officials make. Conversely, in the Chinese system, officials are very sensitive to public opinion on Weibo, and react at lightning speed to correct wrong or bad impressions. Is this the power of the people in the true sense of the word? Could the “Weibo model” of ruling those in power be the true utopia?
US President Joe Biden holds a meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., 30 June 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Biden has not lived up his promises for Southeast Asia

As it pertains to Washington’s relations with Southeast Asia, the Biden administration is not faring much better than its predecessor. A low-hanging fruit would be the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.