Politics

This US Navy photo obtained October 7, 2019 shows the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)(L), and the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 6) and ships from the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group underway in formation while conducting security and stability operations in the US 7th Fleet area of operations on October 6, 2019 in the South China Sea. (AFP/US Navy/Erwin Jacob V. Miciano/Handout)

The South China Sea: More dangerous and unstable

Has China won control of the South China Sea? Senior Fellow Daljit Singh of the ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute opines that with the US' toughening stance towards China and an increased danger of a clash from naval and coast guard vessels that often operate at close quarters, China has not won yet.
Officials open a ballot box at a polling station in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong. (Athit Perawongmetha/REUTERS)

Mainland Chinese media fails to influence Hong Kong voters

Riding on a record voter turnout of 71%, the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong has won 17 out of 18 district councils. This is despite mainland China media calling on Hong Kong people to use their votes in the district council elections on 24 November, to end the violence and restore order in Hong Kong. Yu Zeyuan examines the Mainland China media's tactics and what an opposition victory would mean for the future of Hong Kong, on the election day.
Israel's balancing act with China and the US. (iStock)

Israel: Caught between a rock and a hard place with China and the US

China and Israel share a special relationship that goes back in history and is grounded in modern economic and social needs, but the US has both explicit and implicit concerns about growing China-Israel relations. Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun illuminates how Israel walks the tightrope of advancing relations with both China and the US amidst intense rivalry between the two major powers.
Several black swans have come up to complicate the China-US trade war. (iStock)

Four black swans in the China-US trade war

The China-US trade war continues, seemingly with no end in sight. Adding to the unpredictability of trade talks are unexpected black swans, or complicating factors. Professor Zhu Ying of Shanghai Normal University examines these black swans and the way they have affected trade talks.
Sign of the Causeway Bay Books: State media in China believes that Gui Minhai’s books spread rumours that are harmful to society. (iStock)

Detained Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai hits the headlines again

Labelled a “criminal and lie-fabricator” by Chinese officials, detained Causeway Bay bookseller Gui Minhai was awarded Svenska PEN’s Tucholsky Prize last week. The prize presentation renews controversy over freedom and democracy in China and casts a pall on China-Sweden relations.
A protester wears the Guy Fawkes mask during a prayer rally in Tamar Park in Hong Kong on November 9, 2019, in memory of university student Alex Chow. (Philip Fong/AFP)

Darker days lie ahead for Hong Kong

Weekday or weekend, Hong Kong has become a battleground with universities — erstwhile symbols of civility — turning into base camps and refuel stations. What is happening to the Hong Kong as we know it?
A Taiwanese flag is seen as people attend a rally to mark Taiwan's Double Ten Day. (Philip Fong/AFP)

How long more can Tsai Ing-wen avoid the cross-strait issue?

As the Taiwan election approaches, incumbent president Tsai Ing-wen has managed to improve her standing with voters, amid a challenge from Kuomintang candidate Han Kuo-yu. However, one of the issues that Ms Tsai has to address is cross-strait ties with mainland China. How will Ms Tsai show goodwill towards the mainland, while keeping the people of Taiwan happy?
Japan-China relations may face headwinds. (iStock)

Tough times for “improving” Japan-China relations

Despite synergies between Japan and China in the economic and technological spheres, Professor Shin Kawashima, University of Tokyo, argues that the hard line China maintains on security and historical issues will keep ties from warming.
Is every comment and action an indication of support for independence for Hong Kong? (Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS)

OB Marker no more: The problematic "Independence" label (Part II)

Political commentator Leung Man-tao ruminates on the changing definitions of the "independence for Hong Kong" label. He worries that misuse of the term in times of instability will only diminish its significance as a political OB marker and further weaken the authority's power to get things done.