Politics

China’s General Wei Fenghe and his delegates arrive at Dutch Pavilion at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, for a meeting with his counterparts from the US. (SPH Media)

Shangri-La Dialogue 2022: A tougher diplomatic battle for China?

Given the tough stand of Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe at the previous Shangri-La Dialogue in 2019, and the current tense relations between China and the US, this week’s Shangri-La Dialogue is set to offer some sparks. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong examines some points of contention and what previous rhetoric suggests.
US President Joe Biden participates in the US-ASEAN Special Summit at the US State Department in Washington, DC, US, on 13 May 2022. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

Finland and Sweden today, Southeast Asia tomorrow?

With Finland and Sweden applying to join NATO, some in Asia are asking if Southeast Asian countries will follow suit and seek an alliance with “like-minded” powers. Malaysian academics Kuik Cheng-Chwee, Abdul Razak Ahmad and Lai Yew Meng explain why such realignment is unlikely in Asia (for now).
The Texas state flag is flown at half-mast, in honor of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting, outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, on 31 May 2022. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Competition between democracy and autocracy a political fallacy

The US has defined major global events such as the war in Ukraine and its competition with China under the ideological framework of a fight between democracy and autocracy. But is the 21st century world just black and white? Lim Jim Koon, former editor-in-chief of Chinese Media Group, SPH Media, suggests that before we criticise others and demand them to change, maybe we should start by examining ourselves.
US President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attend the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity with other regional leaders via video link at the Izumi Garden Gallery in Tokyo on 23 May 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

‘Doomed to fail’: Chinese media dismisses the US’s ASEAN diplomacy

Various Chinese state media have negatively portrayed Washington’s recent moves to court ASEAN diplomatically and economically, but the one-sided narrative that Beijing trots out belies the region’s careful management of both great powers amidst their growing rivalry.
US President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at a joint news conference after their bilateral meeting at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, 23 May 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The US is winning at building relationships with China's neighbours

Academic Zhu Ying notes that the war in Ukraine has brought the US, Japan and South Korea closer together on issues such as Taiwan and the nuclear threat from North Korea, thus strengthening the US’s strategy of working with alliances. In exchange for the US’s support in forms such as a nuclear umbrella, Japan and South Korea will align with the US in its competition with China.
People walk in the Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China, 1 June 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China's crackdown on stats fraud in local governments. Why now?

The recent removal of high-ranking officials has cast the spotlight on the longstanding issue of local governments fabricating statistics. As officials compete for promotion, they manipulate economic data to show stellar political achievements, but this leads to bad policies, blind optimism and unrealistically high goals. Zaobao's associate editor Han Yong Hong looks into the matter.
Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida welcomes US President Joe Biden at the entrance hall of the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan in Tokyo, Japan, 24 May 2022. (Zhang Xiaoyu/Pool via Reuters)

Biden’s Asia tour: US deepening its commitments to counter China

US President Joe Biden's recent visit to Asia was made with China in mind, as he met with Quad partners South Korea, Japan, Australia and India, and launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). At the very least, says Japanese academic Ryo Sahashi, the visit signals that the US is keen on setting the rules in the region and keeping a firm security presence especially vis-à-vis the Taiwan Strait.
People cross a street during the "golden week" holiday in Tokyo's Shinjuku area on 5 May 2022. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

Why Japan and China have totally different ideas of their foreign ministers' meeting

Following a video conference between the foreign ministers of Japan and China, each side's readout of the meeting seems to differ. While Japan's statement mentioned tough public opinion towards China and issues such as the East China Sea and the war in Ukraine, China's statement emphasised the 50th anniversary of the normalisation of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima explains the differences.
A file photo of Chen Min'er. (SPH Media)

Chongqing party secretary Chen Min’er is the man to watch

After nearly five years, Chongqing party secretary Chen Min’er has delivered a good report card in terms of helping to put political blights to rest and making tangible strides in poverty alleviation. Looking ahead, Chongqing is expected to focus on high-quality economic development, whether or not Chen is parachuted out before the 20th Party Congress. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong examines the issue.