Politics

A man walks past a television report showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on 6 October 2022. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

What to make of Kim Jong-un's missile launch spree

The spate of missile launches by North Korea over the past month has shown Kim Jong-un’s unrelenting strategic thinking to hold nuclear weapons and keep growing nuclear power at all costs. With spillover effects on the US, South Korea and Japan, the security situation in the Korean peninsula is spiralling downward amid mutual aggravation. How will the region respond to the increasing nuclear threat?
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida walks on stage during the state funeral for Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe in the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan, on 27 September 2022. (Franck Robichon/Pool/AFP)

Kishida's political agenda in granting state funeral to Abe

Some Japanese believe that despite being the longest-serving Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe is not deserving of a state funeral considering his shortfall in political contribution. Others believe that incumbent Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has a political agenda behind the decision, including uniting the Liberal Democratic Party. Academic Toh Lam Seng examines Kishida's considerations and what it shows about the current and future Japanese political environment.
In this file photo taken on 12 March 2018, a propaganda poster showing China's President Xi Jinping is displayed on a wall in Beijing, China. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

[Party and the man] Ditching presidential term limit an exception not the rule

While some consider Xi Jinping’s departure from the two-term presidential limit a sign of a descent into dictatorship, many fail to see that for China’s particular juncture in history, a deep centralisation of power is necessary, and Xi Jinping is very possibly the resolute leader needed to do it. However, this also means that China’s political future could go either way, either morphing into a new integration of democracy, rule of law and good governance, or being locked in a system that makes absolute power possible. This is the last in a series of four articles on President Xi Jinping and the road ahead.
In this file photo taken on 24 October 2017, a general view shows delegates, including China's President Xi Jinping (centre), attending the closing of the 19th Communist Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

How top decisions are made in the CCP's 'meeting-based' governance model

With the 20th Party Congress approaching, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan takes us through the processes and meetings of Beijing's top leadership and an understanding of how decisions are made in a “meeting-based” governance model of the CCP.
Chinese President Xi Jinping stands near former Chinese presidents Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin and Premier Li Keqiang on Tiananmen Gate during the military parade marking the 70th founding anniversary of People's Republic of China, on its National Day in Beijing, China, 1 October 2019. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

How Xi Jinping consolidated power over the past decade

As the 20th Party Congress approaches, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at the power game in China. He examines evolving rhetorics and terms used by Chinese leaders since Mao, and reflects on the way President Xi Jinping has consolidated and enshrined power in the past decade.
A video featuring Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, China, on 4 October 2022. (Bloomberg)

Xi Jinping emphasises China's ‘great struggle’ ahead of 20th Party Congress

With the CCP’s 20th Party Congress just days away, CCP journal Qiushi released an article under Xi Jinping’s name, signalling his beliefs and intentions for a “great struggle” to realise a “great dream” — the revitalisation of the Chinese people. How effective will this revitalisation be, and how will the upcoming congress contribute?
Ganjar during a site visit to Central Java where an embankment was damaged by high waves. (Ganjar Pranowo/Facebook)

Ganjar Pranowo: Indonesia’s potential presidential candidate stuck between a rock and a hard place

Among the candidates running for Indonesia’s next president, Ganjar Pranowo has emerged as a strong contender. ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata gives a profile of Ganjar, and examines the factors that would make or break his campaign, including his previous political affiliations and current political efforts.
A giant stingray caught in the Mekong, June 2022. (Wonders of the Mekong/Facebook)

Can Mekong stingrays tell the Chinese dam story well?

China is crafting “wonderful stories” about its upstream dams in the Mekong. But the overall thrust of the narrative glosses over the more controversial aspects of dam building. The cure to the dying Mekong must begin with clinical analysis and honest exchange among riparian states. ISEAS researcher Hoang Thi Ha says China’s unilaterally imposed narratives are part of the problem, not the remedy.
Visitors walk down Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China, on 2 October 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Japanese academic: China's superficial 'moderate' diplomacy will not work with developed countries

China has tried to create a stable diplomatic environment ahead of the 20th Party Congress, not least with Foreign Minister Wang Yi's talks with various leaders at the sidelines of the recent UNGA in New York. While it has tried to deflect attention by highlighting divisions in the West while rebuilding bridges in light of economic considerations, it will be a tall order to convince the international community that it practises 'moderate' diplomacy.