Politics

This aerial photo taken on 19 September 2022 shows an image welcoming the 20th Communist Party Congress, created by growing different varieties of rice in Hangzhou, in China's eastern Zhejiang province. (AFP)

Will the CCP's 20th Party Congress be the dullest in decades?

Set to begin in about a week, the 20th Party Congress is generating much interest both within and outside of China. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu examines the talking points — or lack thereof — of the session, what we can expect, and what direction it might take.
US President Joe Biden meets with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York City, US, on 22 September 2022. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

Can the Philippines stay neutral in a Taiwan Strait military confrontation between the US and China?

Philippine academic Renato Cruz De Castro asserts that the Philippines will have to fall back on the strength of the Philippines-US alliance in the face of a possible US-China armed stand-off in the Taiwan Strait.
US President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks at a reception for the Democratic National Committee in National Harbor, Maryland, US, 8 September 2022. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Why is Biden making it increasingly clear that US forces will defend Taiwan?

The US’s “strategic ambiguity” on the Taiwan Strait issue comes to question as China-US relations deteriorate. Political commentator Jin Jian Guo notes that the US has said on multiple occasions that it is ready to militarily defend Taiwan, while China has spoken against any intervention from the West. Will the US change its “one China” policy and move towards strategic clarity?
China's President Xi Jinping (C) and Premier Li Keqiang (3rd L) arrive for a reception at the Great Hall of the People on the eve of China's National Day in Beijing on 30 September 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

[Party and the man] A third term is just the beginning: Xi Jinping’s main challenges

Hong Kong Baptist University academic Jean-Pierre Cabestan notes that Chinese President Xi Jinping will have his work cut out for him in his anticipated third term. Apart from domestic and international challenges, Xi faces opposing views on the way forward for China’s future. This is the third in a series of four articles on President Xi Jinping and the road ahead.
A view shows the State Historical Museum (C), St Basil's Cathedral (R) and one of the Stalin-era skyscrapers in downtown Moscow on 11 July 2022. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP)

No more Mongol-Russian style empire: Thoughts on the war in Ukraine

Chinese academic Deng Xize notes that the Mongol and Russian empires were very similar in origin and nature, but the conditions that allowed their rise and spread no longer exist today, leading to their inevitable decline. The global reaction to the war in Ukraine in fact shows that such empires will no longer be tolerated.
Local people are seen on their vehicles as they get stuck in traffic while the VIP convoys pass during the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 3 August 2022. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)

China: Needed but not well-loved in Cambodia

Cambodian commentator Sokvy Rim explains why recent Chinese immigrants in Cambodia are viewed with suspicion and even some dislike despite major Chinese investment flows in Cambodia and related economic benefits.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (second from left) and Director of the General Office of the Central Committee Ding Xuexiang attend a wreath laying ceremony on Tiananmen Square to mark Martyrs' Day on the eve of the National Day in Beijing, China, 30 September 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Xi Jinping’s position as ‘the people’s leader’ firm ahead of 20th Party Congress

Chinese President Xi Jinping was not seen in public for over a week after attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Uzbekistan, sparking rumours of a “coup” ahead of the 20th Party Congress. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong looks into the phenomenon, noting that in fact the 20th Party Congress has seen relatively few rumours surrounding it.
A screen showing a video of Chinese President Xi Jinping in an exhibition area at the Siasun Co. facility in the Lingang Special Area in Shanghai, China, on 25 August 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

A new breed of technocratic elites in the Xi era: Countdown to the 20th Party Congress

Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, observes that a new breed of technocratic elites — the “technocrats 2.0” — have rapidly risen to the national leadership in China. What are the major differences between technocrats in the Jiang-Hu eras and the Xi era?
China's President Xi Jinping and Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev pose for a picture during their meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 15 September 2022. (Press service of the President of Uzbekistan/Handout via Reuters)

Can China be both economic and security guarantor in Central Asia?

Central Asia is a linchpin between Eurasia and Southeast Asia and a strategic node in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese President Xi Jinping notably visited Central Asia in his first foreign visit in over two years. But while China’s economic engagement is welcome in the region, it is currently not a confident security provider. Could things change in the near future?