China's Premier Li Keqiang (C) with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (R) and South Korean President (L) Moon Jae-in at the 8th trilateral leaders' meeting in Chengdu on 24 December 2019. (Wang Zhao/Pool/AFP)

[Outlook 2020] East Asian security in 2020: New year, old challenges

Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun assesses that the East Asian security outlook for 2020 is not very promising, given that overall security in the region has deteriorated on several fronts over the past year. He gives his take on key hotspots in the region — the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait — and sums up major powers’ priorities in the region.
China-US rivalry is on an increasingly hostile trajectory. (iStock)

[Outlook 2020] US-China geopolitical rivalry in 2020 and beyond

Alex Capri, visiting senior fellow at the NUS Business school, opines that an increasingly hostile rivalry between the US and China spells a tech war that involves greater decoupling of global value chains and entry into a new era of “techno-nationalism”.
China-US relations are set on a rocky path, with some fearing an inevitable Cold War. (iStock)

[Outlook 2020] What lies ahead for China-US relations?

With various traps waiting to ensnare bilateral relations and an increasing anxiety in the US about China’s rise, China-US relations are set on a rocky path, with some fearing an inevitable Cold War. Bleak outlook notwithstanding, Zheng Yongnian rationalises that in a globalised interdependent world, China has resources at its disposal to fend off attempts by US hardliners to goad it into a Cold War or worse.
Supporters of Kuomintang's presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu react to his speech during an election rally in Taichung, Taiwan on December 29, 2019. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Why the 2020 Taiwan presidential election is a battle of the generations

With less than two weeks before Taiwanese head to the polls on 11 January 2020 to elect their next President, generational divides have become more apparent: while the younger generation tend to support Tsai Ing-wen and her progressive reforms on issues such as LGBT rights, the older generation look to Han Kuo-yu for a sense of stability and keeping things as they used to be. Ng Soon Kiat looks at what each generation says about the other, and what the green and blue camps are doing to woo young voters.
Russia and China are getting closer in terms of military ties. (Reuters)

Closer military ties in China-Russia power play

Project Assistant Professor Yu Koizumi of The University of Tokyo observes that as long as their respective relations with the US remain at an impasse, China and Russia’s growing military ties portend greater collaboration between the two powers in the Eurasia great game.
Taiwan is benefiting from the China-US trade war, and the US is supportive of Taiwan. (Athit Perawongmetha/REUTERS)

The biggest winner in the China-US trade war? Taiwan.

Various stakeholders stand to gain from a protracted US-China trade war. So far, one of the biggest — if not the biggest — beneficiaries of the spillover effect is Taiwan. Professor Zhu Ying looks at the financial and political benefits Taiwan is reaping.
China and the US have reached a "phase one" trade deal. Will it be enough to end the trade war? (Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS)

Low-hanging fruit: The “phase one” trade deal

By all accounts, the “phase one” deal concluded between the US and China is a small one. Will this token gesture be enough to change US-China relations drastically in 2020? Prof Sahashi Ryo gives his take from Japan.
Li Rongrong, former Chairman of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. (Internet)

An exemplary leader: A tribute to the late Li Rongrong, former chairman of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission

Lim Hwee Hua pays tribute to Li Rongrong, former Chairman of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, whom she's known since 2003. She speaks fondly about the courage of Li's convictions and the invaluable contributions he has made in his lifetime.
Fireworks at Tiananmen Square during the evening gala of the PRC's 70th anniversary celebrations (Jason Lee/Reuters)

China’s quest for “great nation” status: A view from Japan

Through shows of military, economic and soft power, China seeks to position itself as a great nation. Japanese academic Tomoki Kamo explains why from the view of neighbours such as Japan, China’s actions to achieve its aims are moves to be wary of.