Politics

Air China employees wear medical masks for protection against the Covid-19 at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal on 2 February 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The United States was first to announce a travel ban on travellers from China. (David McNew/Getty Images/AFP)

Covid-19: Further split in China-US relationship?

The Covid-19 crisis should have been a chance for the US and China to increase cooperation. Instead, the two countries have lobbed diplomatic volleys against each other in a show of one-upmanship. Now, their competition arena has widened beyond trade or tech, to the escalating coronavirus epidemic.
Chinese President Xi Jinping with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Great Hall of the People, 5 February 2020. (Xinhua)

Hun Sen’s China visit: Love in the time of coronavirus

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen visiting China while the latter is knee-deep in efforts to contain the new coronavirus provides some food for thought. ISEAS academic Lye Liang Fook analyses what it means for China-Cambodia relations.
This handout photo taken and released on 10 February 2020 by Taiwan's Defense Ministry shows a Taiwanese F-16 fighter jet flying next to a Chinese H-6 bomber (top) in Taiwan's airspace. (Handout/Taiwan's Defense Ministry/AFP)

Why is Beijing flexing its military muscle over Taiwan airspace amidst the novel coronavirus crisis?

Taiwan is not the only intended audience for mainland China’s most recent spate of fly-bys over Taiwan airspace. In extraordinary coronavirus times when the government’s authority is being questioned, Beijing flexes its military muscle.
Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Harvard University. (Vogel photo: Neoh Kee Leng, Graphic: Jace Yip)

[Video and text] A mountain can have many tigers and every tiger has its own problems

[Video and text] Ezra Vogel, East Asian expert and thinker extraordinaire, shares his views on China, the US, Japan, as well as global trends, in an exclusive interview with Chow Yian Ping, editor of ThinkChina.
Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pose for a group photo during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Nha Trang on January 17, 2020. ASEAN has to find a way to navigate the US-China trade war. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

ASEAN 2020: How to swim in the choppy waters of the US-China conflict

Mie Oba, Professor, Tokyo University of Science, suggests that rather than just being the grass that suffers when elephants fight, ASEAN’s approach and response to moves by the US and China will determine its future.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi shake hands at the Presidential Palace in Naypyitaw, Myanmar January 17, 2020. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Xi’s visit to Myanmar and implications for Southeast Asia

Given the US-China competition, China is working to grow its influence in Asia, especially in Southeast Asia. ISEAS senior fellow Lye Liang Fook looks at the recent visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping to Myanmar, and China's other efforts in Southeast Asia.
Are cross-strait relations proving to be too huge a gap to bridge? (Ann Wang/Reuters)

The Taiwan Strait: Hit the brakes now before it is too late

Not even the shared threat of Wuhan coronavirus can bring Taiwan and mainland China closer together. Zhu Zhiqun says recent developments do not bode well for cross-strait relations in the years ahead.
In America, the spat was just an economic and trade issue; it is a very different picture for China. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Why would China agree to such a “one-sided” deal?

US-based expert Wei Da says the recently concluded phase one trade agreement shows that China may have ended up being called to heel by the US. Faced with a list of demands that it needs to fulfil, China should be reminded that its giant market is not everything. It will need to make fundamental improvements before it dares to believe that it is soon catching up to the US.
China is having difficulties in translating its growing hard power into soft power. (David Gray/Reuters)

China has a major soft power problem in Asia

Based on findings from not one, but three recent opinion polls, ISEAS senior fellow Malcolm Cook finds that there is a serious level of distrust of China in Asia.