Politics

US President Donald Trump tweets "CHINA!" on his Twitter account. (@realDonaldTrump/Twitter)

China: Sole preoccupation of US foreign policy

Chip Tsao says that US foreign policy has for two decades focused on threats such as the “axis of evil” and global terrorism. With the coronavirus escalating US threat perceptions of China, will the rising dragon now dictate its every move?
A demonstrator holds a sign reading "One Country, Two Systems is a Lie" as he marches through the Causeway Bay district during a protest in Hong Kong, 27 May 2020. (Lam Yik/Bloomberg)

US sanctions on Hong Kong: How far will they go?

With the new national security law for Hong Kong practically a done deal, the US has said it will withdraw Hong Kong’s preferential trade status, as it is no longer autonomous from mainland China. But considering the US’s own interests in Hong Kong, how tough will its sanctions be? Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing speaks to academics to find out.
National People's Congress Chairman Li Zhanshu (bottom C) speaks as Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and other Chinese leaders look on during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 28 May 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Will it be 'one country, one system' for Hong Kong?

As expected, the Chinese government has passed a national security law for Hong Kong, which is likely to be implemented in time for the upcoming LegCo elections in September. Even as Beijing made an unexpectedly strong push for the law, seemingly without allowing room for negotiation, Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that Hong Kong occupies an irreplaceable position to Beijing, and things may not be as bad as they appear.
The Chinese flag flutters on Tiananmen Square before the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing, 21 May 2020. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/REUTERS)

China wants 'co-opetition' with the US, but can that happen?

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima says that China had until recently reined itself in while working to form new power relations in the face of friction with the US. Since the spread of the coronavirus however, it has become more brazen in criticising the US. While it has said several times that it is not out to replace the US and that it seeks to build a “shared future for mankind”, will China stay the path of seeking cooperation amid competition?
Is Xinjiang becoming a new "Palestinian issue"? In this photo taken on 17 May 2020, residents are having tea in a teahouse in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China. (Xinhua)

Xinjiang — the new Palestinian issue?

US academic Ma Haiyun suggests that the US is making greater efforts to get the Muslim world on its side as its competition and even confrontation with China gets more intense. Internationalising the Xinjiang issue may be one of the ways it plans to do this, which will have implications for Southeast Asian countries.
Pro-democracy activists tear a placard of Winnie-the-Pooh that represents Chinese President Xi Jinping during a protest against a proposed new security law outside the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong, 24 May 2020. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

Hong Kong’s Cinderella story ended in 1997

With the Chinese government about to enact a national security law for Hong Kong, the SAR is worried about its future and people are afraid. Hong Kong columnist Chip Tsao, in his usual abrasive way, notes that over the more than 20 years following Deng Xiaoping's passing and Hong Kong's return, Beijing and Hong Kong have been butting heads to the point that everything now seems to be an irreconcilable, destructive mess. Hong Kong has been taken hostage, he says.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen delivers her inaugural address at the Taipei Guest House in Taipei, Taiwan on 20 May 2020. (Wang Yu Ching/Taiwan Presidential Office/Handout via Reuters)

Taiwan's Tsai surprised the world with her achievements, but can her good fortune last another term?

Qi Dongtao reads into signs of change in President Tsai Ing-wen’s second term inauguration speech, sussing out that compared to four years ago, the president is placing greater emphasis on the idea of Taiwan as a national entity on its own. Such fateful steps augur potential clashes in the next four years as Taiwan runs the risk of being an unwitting pawn in US-China competition.
A masked anti-government protester holds a flag supporting Hong Kong independence during a march against Beijing's plans to impose national security legislation in Hong Kong, 24 May 2020. (Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)

Why Beijing is taking the risk to push through the national security law and rein in Hong Kong

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes that this year’s “two sessions” in China includes a contentious national security law for Hong Kong that has been months in the making. The law is unlikely to go down well in Hong Kong, nor with Hong Kong watchers with vested interests such as the US. What gave Beijing the confidence to push through such a law at this point in time?
Pan-democratic legislators scuffle with security as they protest against new security laws during Legislative Council’s House Committee meeting, in Hong Kong, 22 May 2020. (Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)

Hong Kong will move into another period of unrest

Following last year’s protests in Hong Kong, the Beijing central government is all set to roll out new legal measures to plug the gaps in Hong Kong’s national security. The plan for the law was unveiled on 22 May during the opening session of China's annual National People's Congress. The draft proposal said the security law would "guard against, stop and punish any separatism, subversion of the national regime, terrorist group activities and such behaviours that seriously harm national security". Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong opines that worse days await Hong Kong, as neither side seems to be able to make a concession.