Politics

Ethnic Uighur demonstrators take part in a protest against China, in Istanbul, Turkey, 1 October 2021. (Dilara Senkaya/Reuters)

The Xinjiang problem: Can Washington be the defender of all?

Amid revived calls for countries to boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing over Xinjiang, academic Peter Chang reflects that the Xinjiang issue has drawn the attention of the West, Muslim populations and others around the world. But the issue, while important, has been further politicised in the wider US-China contest. Moral grandstanding by the West when confronting China does not help the situation either. How much collateral damage will there be in this strategic game?
Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing delivers a major address on 9 November 2021 at Fullerton Hotel as part of the IISS Fullerton Lectures, a prestigious series of events on regional and global security issues organised by IISS–Asia. (SPH)

Chan Chun Sing: Singapore amid great power rivalry

Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing gave the speech titled "Singapore amid Great Power Rivalry" at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Fullerton Lecture on 9 November 2021. He said countries around the world possess some agency even amid great power competition, and Singapore can work together with like-minded partners to help build a better world. And while the US and China might feel their differences sharply, there could be more common interests between them than they would probably want to acknowledge, as both countries share a single global system and biosphere with the rest of the world. Here is the full transcript of his speech.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Raphael Glucksmann, head of the European Parliament's Special Committee on Foreign Interference, attend a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan, 4 November 2021. (Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via Reuters)

How Germany can help ensure peace in the Taiwan Strait

Director of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin, Thorsten Benner, thinks that the new German government should courageously invest in relations with Taiwan out of economic and political self-interest. If it can lead the EU in doing so, then Germany and Europe can actively contribute to non-military deterrence in order to help preserve the status quo in cross-strait relations.
Veterans take part in a flag raising ceremony at a former military post on Kinmen, Taiwan, 15 October 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Why the status quo in the Taiwan Strait is quietly changing

While US President Joe Biden has said that the US is ready to come to Taiwan’s defence, a White House statement made clear that the US’s “one China" policy remains unchanged. Analyst Zheng Weibin examines how everyone speaks of maintaining stability and peace in the Taiwan Strait, but it is the stakeholders themselves who seem to be rocking the boat amid China-US competition. While holding fast to ideology-based rhetoric, it is important to understand the security perceptions of individual actors and to avoid provocations, in order to achieve regional stability and peace.
In this file photo taken on 26 September 2020, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (centre) poses for photographs while visiting a turboprop engine factory at a military base in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

How the 1992 Consensus could save cross-strait relations

Liu Chin-tsai notes that cross-strait relations are getting more volatile, with calls for armed reunification getting louder. He suggests that the crux of the matter lies in the DPP not acknowledging the 1992 Consensus, which is seen by mainland China as the "magic fulcrum" offering a structural framework and stability for cross-straits talks to take place. However, is it too late for the DPP to adjust its rhetoric and get cross-strait relations back on track?
People wave red flags during the filming of a Communist Party of China propaganda video in an upscale shopping district in the Sanlitun area in Beijing, China, 19 October 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Uniting China under Xi Jinping to build a modern socialist country: CPC to pass new 'historical resolution' at sixth plenum

At the sixth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee which begins today, the CPC is expected to consider the “Resolution of the CPC Central Committee on the Major Achievements of the Party’s Centennial Struggle”, the third of its kind in the party’s history. Rather than dwelling on the errors or lessons of history, the resolution is expected to reaffirm the party’s achievements and point the way ahead for the next 30 years.
This file combination of pictures created on 8 June 2021, shows US President Joe Biden (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Mandel Ngan and Anthony Wallace/AFP)

US academic: Since Southeast Asia is undecided, the US will work with willing partners

US President Joe Biden has largely maintained his predecessor's tough approach to China in terms of containment and competition. This includes gathering allies in groupings such as the Quad and AUKUS, and being vocal about China's moves in the South China Sea, Taiwan and other areas such as climate change and trade. However, this strident approach may not be the most effective in gaining support from ASEAN, which is wary of possibly antagonising China. This gives China the advantage, at least in the Southeast Asian region, and the US may in turn rely more heavily on the Quad powers.
People walk in a street at night in Tokyo on 3 November 2021. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

It's complicated: Chinese and Japanese public sentiments towards each other

A Japan-China public opinion poll shows that negative impressions of Japan have risen among the Chinese, while there was little change in sentiment among the Japanese towards China. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima offers some reasons for the increased negativity in China, including the lack of interaction among the people and leaders of both countries, as well as issues of nationalism and skewed domestic propaganda, especially in China.
Tourists wearing face masks walk along Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, on 20 October 2021. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

China’s alliance with Russia is solidifying

Even though several analyses have it that the China-Russia relationship is filled with underlying tensions and can break without warning, Loro Horta believes that the alliance they have can stand the test of time, given a mutual dependency for resources as well as common geopolitical interests and threat perceptions. Instead of warning Russia about China, Washington may want to worry more about the state of its own alliances.