Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia's prime minister, speaks during an interview in Singapore, on 30 January 2023. (Ore Huiying/Bloomberg)

Anwar's China policy

While it is still unclear if the Anwar Ibrahim administration has a clear China policy in place, the general trajectory is a positive posture towards China. Even so, the relationship can be expanded and strengthened beyond economic numbers to channelling the benefits of cooperation to local SMEs, and broadening cooperation to areas where the prime minister has shown great personal interest, such as inter-civilisational dialogue.
Delegates attend the handover ceremony during the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on 16 November 2022. (Willy Kurniawan/Pool/AFP)

Chinese balloon saga jeopardises 'Asian peace'

For years after the Cold War, given its military dominance, the US saw itself as instrumental to maintaining an “Asian peace”. With that mindset, the more it perceives China as a threat to its Asian primacy, the more it will be on the defensive. In truth, Asian peace was achieved through various efforts, and Asia-Pacific countries all have a stake in seeing it maintained.
Security and military officials arrive for a closed-door briefing for senators about the Chinese spy balloon at the US Capitol, 9 February 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/AFP)

Is the US in hysterics over a Chinese balloon?

Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that amid the US’s strong response to the recent incident of a Chinese balloon intruding into US airspace, there are other more pressing issues at hand, whereby the US and China need to communicate and cooperate. Both sides will need to keep their focus and work out their priorities.
FBI Special Agents ready to process material recovered from the Chinese balloon that was shot down by the US military jet off the coast of South Carolina, in an image released by the FBI in Washington, US, 9 February 2023. (FBI/Handout via Reuters)

The balloon is down: Whither US-China relations now?

US academic Zhu Zhiqun notes that the Chinese balloon incident highlights just how fragile US-China relations are, and the uphill climb it will be to rebuild mutual trust.
Attendees take their positions for a photograph with journalists during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Jakarta on 4 February 2023. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP)

State of Southeast Asia Survey 2023: Separate tangos with China and the US

If ASEAN can’t tango with China or the US, who else? Pragmatic as always, ASEAN’s favourite choices for hedging partners remain the EU and Japan but attention appears to have also fallen on India as its third choice this year.
This photo taken on 31 January 2023 shows people walking under lanterns at a street in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. (AFP)

What is China’s 'new era'? [Part 2]

Lance Gore explains why navigating China’s “new era” requires out-of-the-box thinking on managing the knowledge economy, such as redefining employment and value beyond the capitalist labour market, and managing the uneven distribution of creativity and innovation. Moreover, the country needs to be wary of a reversion to large-scale centralisation of power and rule by the voice of one.
This picture provided by the US Navy shows sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recovering a Chinese balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in the Atlantic ocean on 5 February 2023. (Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Thompson/US Navy/AFP)

Turbulence caused by Chinese balloon set to last

US-China tensions have heightened in the aftermath of the Chinese balloon incident. The Republicans are seizing the opportunity to criticise the Biden administration over the threat to national security, while China accuses the US of overreacting and violating the spirit of international law and international practice. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that if the situation is not managed properly, the strained relations could have an impact on other issues, such as the South China Sea.
This picture shows police in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 6 December 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

China’s corruption crackdown targets officials even after they step down

China’s anti-corruption agency announced on 5 February that three CCP cadres were under investigation for disciplinary issues — specifically, corruption. While the CCP’s anti-corruption efforts have apparently shown results, those under investigation usually come under scrutiny after they leave their posts. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at how effective such crackdowns are.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a press conference in Tokyo on 16 December 2022. (David Mareuil/AFP)

Japan wary of Chinese leadership's shifting policy preferences

Japan's new National Security Strategy states that China's stance and activities are "a matter of serious concern”. Part of the assessment hinges on the fact that China’s leaders are changing their policy preferences, such as by placing emphasis on a holistic approach to national security and moving from collective to personal leadership.