Politics

Ferdinand Marcos Jr (left) with Mao Zedong (centre) and Imelda Marcos, on a visit to China in September 1957. (Twitter)

Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, the president-elect who kissed Mao Zedong

With Ferdinand Marcos Jr achieving a landslide win in the Philippine presidential election, how will the Philippines’ China policy change? In particular, given the legacy of the Marcos family’s good relations with China as well as former President Duterte’s pro-China stance, how will the incoming president handle relations with the US?
A screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia via video link, at a media centre in Boao, Hainan province, China, 21 April 2022. (Xinhua)

Why the Global Security Initiative is important for Asia-Pacific security

Zhang Xumin, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Chinese embassy in Singapore, explains why China believes that the Global Security Initiative espoused by President Xi Jinping at this year’s Boao Forum is a framework that can help to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region and find a path for the Asia-Pacific that ensures security for all, by all, and of all.
A newsagent picks up magazines next to a mural by Italian urban artist Salvatore Benintende aka "TV BOY" depicting a girl painting a peace symbol on an Ukraine's flag, reading "Hope" in Barcelona, Spain, on 30 April 2022. (Pau Barrena/AFP)

Russian academic: Whose ideology will rule an emerging 21st century world?

Amid a changing global order, Russian academic Artyom Lukin analyses the different ideologies of the US, China and Russia and explains why it would be hasty to lump Russia and China in one camp or to dismiss the similarities between the US and Russia. In the end, the ideology that rules the emerging new world may not even be that of any of the three countries.
Service members of pro-Russian troops ride an armoured personnel carrier during fighting in Ukraine-Russia conflict near the Azovstal steel plant in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, 5 May 2022. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

The Russia-Ukraine war and its potential impact on Russia’s arms sales to Southeast Asia

Russia has been the largest exporter of arms to Southeast Asia over the past two decades but the value of its defence sales to the region has fallen sharply since its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will only exacerbate this downward trend. Not only that, as the war looks set to drag on for months and possibly years, and sanctions increasingly disrupt Russia’s economy, Moscow’s dependence on Beijing may deepen. China will seek quid quo pros, probably including discounted energy imports, increased access to the Russian defence industrial sector’s most sensitive military technology and greater support for its "core interests" in Asia such as Taiwan and the South China Sea.
US President Joe Biden speaks at the South Court Auditorium of the White House in Washington, DC, on 10 May 2022. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP)

What to expect from the US-ASEAN Summit in Washington

ASEAN leaders will finally meet US President Joe Biden at the long-awaited US-ASEAN summit in Washington. Whether ASEAN and US can find convergence on regional issues, such as Washington’s desire to manage the rise of China, will be a pressing challenge.
Burnt cars are pictured through the glass of a damaged car in Saltivka neighbourhood, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 10 May 2022. (Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

Russia-Ukraine war has triggered another split in China-US relations

Economics professor Zhu Ying observes that since US-China relations reached their high point after former President Trump's visit to Beijing in 2017, China-US relations have seen three splits, each driven by the trade war, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine respectively. Amid tense relations and set identities that have been formed, one can only hope that the US and China do not stumble into a hot war.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets troops who have taken part in the military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), 29 April 2022. (KCNA via Reuters)

Can South Korea’s Yoon and China’s Xi denuclearise North Korea?

North Korea conducted an unprecedented seven missile tests in January and continues to test boundaries as it isolates itself from the world amid the Ukraine war. Yoon Suk-yeol, who becomes South Korea’s president on 10 May, has every reason to work with Chinese President Xi Jinping on denuclearising North Korea. But will joint efforts be a casualty of tectonic shifts in the global landscape?
Pedestrians walk past a screen displaying Russian President Vladimir Putin during a news broadcast about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in the Akihabara district of Tokyo on 4 May 2022. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Japanese academic: Japan views China and Russia as one entity because of Russia-Ukraine war

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been reiterating lately that “unilateral changes to the status quo by force are absolutely unacceptable". Japanese academic Shin Kawashima points out that this stems from Japanese fears that if the global order is not maintained, Japan will face a security crisis, particularly in the East China Sea. Furthermore, in dealing with this perceived threat from China, Japan has come to view China and Russia as one entity. But is this a wise long-term policy?
Theary Seng, a US-Cambodian lawyer and activist who is facing treason and incitement charges, poses in front of Phnom Penh Municipal Court ahead of her hearing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 3 May 2022. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

Why Cambodia is leaning towards China and not the US

Sokvy Rim explains why Cambodia’s foreign policy options have been constrained by the leaders’ concerns of regime survival at various stages of its history. If this trajectory continues, it may be hard for it to conduct a hedging strategy in its relations between China and the US.