Politics

A Lombardy regional government notice reading "Coronavirus, Let's stop it together," sits on display on a digital billboard in Piazza Gae Aulenti in Milan, Italy, on 12 March 2020. (Alberto Bernasconi/Bloomberg)

Stop squabbling over ideology and fight the virus

Leave ideology out of it, says Hayson Wang, if policymakers truly want to design epidemic management strategies that are fit for purpose.
The East and the West have divergent reactions to the topic of state surveillance. In this photo taken on 15 January 2020, surveillance cameras are seen at Lujiazui financial district of Pudong, Shanghai. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Humanity needs to face the digital age as one family, not disparate warring tribes

Peter Chang says that as China spreads its wings across the world through digital networks and far-reaching projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, it is becoming ever more integrated with the global system. Like it or not, incumbent leaders such as the US would need to accept it into the fold, for the good of the world.
US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands after making joint statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 2017. (Damir Sagolj/REUTERS)

Trading places: A confident China and an insecure America?

Amid adjustments as China and the US size each other up anew and recalibrate their relationship, the international community needs to be prepared for the uncertainties an increasingly insecure America and a more confident China may bring to the world. Professor Zhu Zhiqun of Bucknell University in the US opines that it is entirely possible for America’s declining confidence vis-à-vis China to be based on its exaggerated assessment of China’s influence, while China’s growing confidence is built upon an inflation of China’s real power.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is pictured as it enters the port in Da Nang, Vietnam, on 5 March 2020. (Kham/Reuters)

US aircraft carrier visit and Vietnam's delicate balancing act

This week, the USS Theodore Roosevelt will become the second US aircraft carrier to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War. While it is in Vietnam's interest to maintain a stable relationship with China due to strong economic ties, on matters of strategic interest, Vietnam finds no other power more compatible to work with than the US, to create a counterbalance against China.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (C) speaks during a meeting at the new COVID-19 coronavirus infectious disease control headquarters at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on February 27, 2020. ( Jiji Press/AFP)

Widening perception gap between Japan and China since Covid-19 outbreak

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima says despite the appearance of warmer China-Japan relations after the Covid-19 outbreak, judging from Japanese sentiments at least, the picture is not that rosy. While there does not appear to have been any public opinion survey, the frustration from Japanese people is discernible.
In this photo taken on 23 February 2020, a woman wearing a protective facemask to protect against the Covid-19 coronavirus cycles in front of the Lama Temple that is closed off to the public in Beijing. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Safeguarding Beijing

Three cautionary warnings have been issued in the last six days by the Chinese government, calling on officials to pay special attention to containing Covid-19 in Beijing. Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu observes that the authorities' political survival is at stake if Beijing becomes severely affected by the coronavirus. All hands are on deck to ensure that this does not happen.
Amid tough battling between China and Taiwan in containing the Covid-19 outbreak, China is not changing its stance towards Taiwan. This photo taken on 23 February 2020 shows Taiwan flags hung along a street in the Chinatown district in Yokohama. (Philip Fong/AFP)

Mainland China and Taiwan: Game of push and pull continues amid the Covid-19 epidemic

With “Island encirclement” drills over Taiwan airspace, verbal exchanges and other moves, China reiterates its firm stance against independence for Taiwan. The latter, meanwhile, continues to find wiggle room by growing its international space.
 Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (C) during his visit to a military base in the Natuna islands, which border the South China Sea. (Handout/Presidential Palace/AFP)

Recent Chinese moves in the Natunas rile Indonesia

Indonesia has been caught in a tussle with China over rights to Natuna waters in the South China Sea. It appears that China recognises Indonesian sovereignty over the Natuna Islands and its 12 nautical miles of the territorial waters, but not the Indonesian EEZ which extends to 200 nautical miles. ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata examines the claims and opines that if another encroachment takes place, an open clash could occur, and anti-China and anti-ethnic Chinese sentiments in Indonesia would again be whipped up.
Qing Dynasty, All Nations Come to Pay Tribute (《万国来朝图》), partial, The Palace Museum. (Internet)

The tributary system resurrected in Southeast Asia?

Chinese researcher Peng Nian, from the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in China, considers whether China is really eager to revive a master-subordinate relationship with its former tributary states.