Politics

China’s rise will not be thwarted by the US. (iStock)

The US will accelerate its own decline by suppressing China

US academic Han Dongping shows that by all intents and purposes, China does not wish to take up the dominant position in the international system. But this does not mean that the US will stop feeling threatened by it and continue trying to thump China down. Like a game of whac-a-mole, China’s rise will not be thwarted and it will keep coming back, he says.
Cambodian soldiers carry aid including medical equipment from China, to be used to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh, 25 April 2020. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

China's aid to Southeast Asia amid adversity — a sign of deeper cooperation ahead? 

Even as China continues to handle the coronavirus, it is extending aid to other countries, not least in Southeast Asia. ISEAS academic Lye Liang Fook traces China's efforts to engage ASEAN in building a "community with a shared future". Does that point to better relations between ASEAN member states and China?
Protesters hold up an upside-down US flag at a demonstration in Edinburgh on June 7, 2020, organised to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. (Andy Buchanan/AFP)

In a world split apart, where do you belong?

With a US that is withdrawing from the world stage, yet not ready to relinquish its dominance so easily, and a China that does not look like it wants to take on the mantle of being a hegemonic power, the international world order seems to be facing a crisis that will not be resolved any time soon. Instead, expect a state of flux where international organisations hobble on and the prospect of “one world, two systems, and two markets” becomes very real. Political analyst Zheng Yongnian explains why.
With the USS-Wasp in the background, U.S. Marines ride an amphibious assault vehicle during the amphibious landing exercises of the U.S.-Philippines war games promoting bilateral ties at a military camp in Zambales province, Philippines, 11 April 2019. (Eloisa Lopez/REUTERS)

Visiting Forces Agreement: Uncle Sam still welcome for another year in the Philippines

The Philippines has suspended the planned termination of the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement with the US. But the alliance is not out of the woods yet.
Cardboard figures of Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) wearing a face mask and US President Donald Trump (L) stand in front of a souvenir shop in downtown Moscow, 3 June 2020. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP

Is China the 'big bad wolf' the US has made it out to be?

In the face of domestic problems, the US is choosing to suppress China as a strategy to distract from issues such as the coronavirus, George Floyd riots, and a declining economy. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu traces the tit-for-tat exchanges between the US and China, with the latest round of salvos being over resuming passenger flights between both countries.
People raise their hands as they protest at the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd, on 4 June 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Chandan Khanna/AFP)

How could democracy yield a leader like Trump?

Han Yong Hong observes that the US, long thought to be a bastion of democracy, is going through a series of hard knocks these days. The way President Trump has conducted himself during the coronavirus crisis and major protests against racism and police brutality have raised some strong caveats about democratic systems. But what is the alternative for the world to hang on to? For now, a firm belief in democracy seems to be keeping the American spirit afloat, even as everything else seems to be falling down like a house of cards.
A protester calling for Taiwan independence waves a flag in front of Democratic Progressive Party in Taipei, Taiwan, on 20 May 2020. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan would once again be abandoned amid China-US competition

Han Dongping says looking back in history, one should not underestimate the tenacity of the CCP in achieving its aims. At the same time, no matter how determined each actor is, whether it is the CCP, Taiwan or the US, outcomes may not go as intended, and Taiwan may unwittingly be steered towards an end that no one wishes to see.
Paramilitary soldiers from the Border Security Force patrol a street during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Ahmedabad, India, on 8 May 2020. (Sam Panthaky/AFP)

China and India say 'no' to Trump's offer to mediate border tensions

Anti-Chinese and anti-Indian sentiment have been stoked by recent escalating incidents along the Line of Actual Control between China and India. While tensions are still simmering, will they boil over into violent clashes if too many cooks spoil the broth?
Anti-government demonstrators scuffle with riot police during a lunch time protest as a second reading of a controversial national anthem law takes place in Hong Kong, 27 May 2020. (Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)

Japanese academic: Japan's call for 'wise action' on Hong Kong's national security law a strong statement

Japan's support of Taiwan's participation in the WHO Assembly, Chinese military operations in the East China Sea, and Japanese thoughts of delinking Japan-China supply chains have been some of the key issues in Japan-China relations during the pandemic. But the Japanese public is most concerned with the national security law in Hong Kong, according to academic Shin Kawashima. What are the implications for Japan-China relations? And will President Xi Jinping become the first state guest to visit Japan “post-corona"?