Politics

In a photo taken on 8 February 2021, a Korean People's Army (KPA) soldier walks past a poster displayed on a street in Pyongyang marking the 73rd anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army. (Kim Won Jin/AFP)

Japanese academic: Will Northeast Asia work with Biden on North Korea?

A survey in Japan shows that Japanese foreign policy decision-makers are most concerned with “US-North Korea denuclearisation negotiations and North Korea’s status as a nuclear power” in Northeast Asia. The Biden administration is likely to work with its allies to tackle the issue, but it is enmeshed in a web of complex geopolitical relationships. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima considers the deliberations of the key players involved.
Pro-democracy demonstrators gesture with three-fingered salutes outside West Kowloon Magistrates Courts during a hearing for 47 opposition activists charged with violating the city's national security law in Hong Kong on 4 March 2021. (Lam Yik/Bloomberg)

Overhaul of Hong Kong's electoral system: Is it still 'one country, two systems'?

Hong Kong’s electoral reform is set to be a hot topic at this year’s Two Sessions, the annual meetings of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) currently underway. Changes are being planned to ensure the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong”. Will going from a “Hong Kong run by Hong Kongers” to “Hong Kong run by patriots” mean going against “one country, two systems”?
A Molycorp worker holds a handful of rocks containing rare earth elements during a media tour in Mountain Pass, California, U.S., 13 December 2010. (Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg)

Chinese academic: Will China play the rare earth card against the US?

Despite China’s dominance of the rare earth industry, it will not lightly play this card against the US, simply because it knows it is weaker than the US in various areas and the US can well retaliate. Economics professor Zhu Ying looks at rare earths, the weapon of last resort in China’s defence against the US.
People walk in Qianmen street in Beijing on 17 February 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Respect rules of market economy and human diversity: China needs to align its domestic and foreign policies

Chinese academic Yu Zhi notes that both the US and China need to align their domestic and foreign policies. The US needs to get the coronavirus pandemic under control and prove that a democratic system still works and that the US is still a leader in universal values. China, on the other hand, needs to take a more market-oriented approach to economic and industrial development and show that its respect for global diversity extends domestically as well.
Chao Shao-kang is making a return to the KMT after 25 years. (HKCNA)

Media guru Chao Shao-kang's return to Taiwan politics: Will this unite or divide the Kuomintang?

Chao Shao-kang, chairman of the China Broadcasting Corporation and a former luminary of the Kuomintang (KMT), declared recently that he was returning to politics and would contest the party chairmanship in July and the presidential election in 2024. His high-profile return reminds Taiwan watchers of former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu — another KMT prodigal son who made good before his star fizzled out at the 2020 presidential elections. Will Chao walk in Han’s path and more importantly, can the KMT be rejuvenated with this breath of fresh air?
This handout file photo taken and released by the Indian Navy on 18 November 2020 shows Indian army fighter jets on the deck on an aircraft carrier during the second phase of the 2020 Malabar naval exercise in the Arabian sea involving India, Australia, Japan and the US (the Quad). (Indian Navy/AFP)

South China Sea: The new frontier of Sino-Indian tussle in the Himalayas?

India’s step to send a warship to the South China Sea (SCS) following the clash in the Galwan Valley in the middle of last year proved a point — that it is prepared to link security in the Himalayas to the SCS, which it had erstwhile regarded as a secondary area of interest. Will China bristle at India’s continued quest for leverage and will chances of an accidental escalation in the SCS be raised overall?
A man wearing a protective mask shops for decorations at a shopping mall ahead of the Lunar New Year, in Jakarta, Indonesia, 11 February 2021. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)

Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle's Lunar New Year celebration paid tribute to Megawati

PDI-P, the political party in Indonesia with the most Chinese parliamentarians and heads of local government held a virtual Lunar New Year party to usher in the Year of the Ox. Party members paid tribute to Ibu Megawati Sukarnoputri, general chairperson of the party and former Indonesian president. How did this party put itself forward as the strongest guardian of Chinese interests in Indonesia? Leo Suryadinata listens in.
Protesters hold placards as they take part in a demonstration against the military coup, in front of the Chinese embassy in Yangon on 21 February 2021. (Sai Aung Main/AFP)

Why Myanmar people believe there is Chinese involvement in Myanmar coup

While China has refuted rumours that it was involved in the Myanmar coup, the people of Myanmar are not convinced. Researcher Hein Khaing says instead of blaming the Myanmar people for being gullible and asking them to be more discerning about what they see and hear, the Chinese need to understand why negative rumours about China are so easily presumed true in Myanmar. Not only that, but the coup has also changed the Myanmar Chinese community's sentiments about their relationship with their ancestral land. 
Demonstrators protest against military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, 22 February 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

Why China has everything to lose from Myanmar coup

Contrary to speculation that China may have abetted or has much to gain from the situation in Myanmar, Hong Kong academic Enze Han says that it is actually the party with the most to lose. Moreover, any playing up of a great power tussle between the US and China only hurts Myanmar in the long run.