Politics

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"?
A man holds up a sign reading "democracy instead of virology" as he attends a protest against the government's restrictions following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Cannstatter Wasen area in Stuttgart, Germany, May 16, 2020. (Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS)

Western democracy's worst enemy is itself, not China

Zheng Yongnian reminds political watchers of today that fascist regimes of the past grew out of once-democratic systems. What is to say that cannot happen in today’s world, even in mature democracies such as the US? Is the coronavirus crisis putting democratic systems to their greatest test yet? And despite what some think, China, where the pandemic first spread to the world, may not be Western democracy's biggest enemy after all. 
Fighter jets from China's PLA Air Force and the Royal Thai Air Force fly in tactical formation during exercise "Falcon Strike 2019" between the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force and the Royal Thai Air Force, August 2019. (Xie Zhongwu and Zhou Yongheng/Ministry of Defence China website)

Thai military deepens engagement with China amid pandemic

The Thai military has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to Chinese largesse, however, it will be able to secure the military kit it wants and continue its exercises with the People's Liberation Army.
Protesters kneel and raise their arms as they gather peacefully to protest the death of George Floyd at the State Capital building in downtown Columbus, Ohio, 1 June 2020. (Seth Herald/AFP)

Protests in the US and HK: Which is 'a beautiful sight to behold'?

The riots in the US following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white policeman have given the Chinese people a chance to gloat at US “double standards” in the terms it has used on the Hong Kong protests. In contrast, the Chinese authorities have been restrained and measured in its responses. Correspondent Yang Danxu speaks to academics to find out what this might mean.