Supporters gathered outside one of the main campaign centres in Jakarta, Indonesia, celebrating Jokowi’s victory by sample votes in 2019. (SPH Media)

The Chinese Indonesian vote in the 2024 presidential election

Coming to the end of his second term, Indonesian President Jokowi is still enjoying influence in Indonesian politics, with analysts believing that whoever he endorses will end up the winner in the presidential election in February 2024. How critical will the Chinese Indonesian vote be? ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata explains.
Visitors stand in front of a giant screen displaying Chinese President Xi Jinping next to a flag of the Communist Party of China, at the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution in Beijing, China, 8 October 2022. (Florence Lo/File Photo/Reuters)

Leadership reshuffle spells trouble within China’s military governance

The sudden reshuffle of senior officers of the People’s Liberation Army has shocked the media and the public. While the reasons for the removal of two generals from the Rocket Force remains unclear, authorities seem to be signalling an anti-corruption wave in China’s military. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu tells us more.
People march as they participate in a May Day rally on 1 May 2023 in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images via AFP)

Can China and Russia reject Western political civilisation and still prosper?

Researcher Wei Da notes that while many things can be learned and embraced from the West, its political civilisation is one that China has rejected. But isn't that rejecting the core while transplanting the branches and leaves? Will that work?
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (centre) attends the UAE-Japan Business Forum in Abu Dhabi on 17 July 2023. (Karim Sahib/AFP)

Asserting Japan's interests in the Middle East

Japanese academic Masaaki Yatsuzuka notes that Japan's Middle East diplomatic initiatives pit it against China, which is also attempting to increase its influence among the Arab nations. How will developments pan out, and what does the future hold for Japan-Middle East relations?
Chinese Communist Party's foreign policy chief Wang Yi speaks as Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and South Korea's Foreign Minister Park Jin look on during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, 13 July 2023. (Mast Irham/Pool via Reuters)

Japanese academic: China imposing its ‘Asian values’ on its neighbours

Comments by Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi recently to Japanese and South Korean guests at a forum that they could never be a Westerner, and encouraging greater China-Japan-South Korean cooperation have ignited some backlash in Japan. Academic Shin Kawashima says that it would be almost unthinkable for Japan and South Korea to respond to such a call from China.
A supporter holds a picture of Niger General Abdourahamane Tiani, the chief of the powerful presidential guard, as with others rally in support of Niger's junta in Niamey on 30 July 2023. (AFP)

Domino effect in West Africa: Niger coup destabilises China's expanding economic footprint

The recent Niger coup and conflicts from Mali to Burkina Faso, Chad and Sudan have cast uncertainty on the future of Chinese economic diplomacy in the Sahel and other parts of Africa. Academic Alessandro Arduino explains.
Yoon Suk-yeol, President of South Korea, attends a meeting of the North Atlantic Council during a NATO leaders summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 12 July 2023. (Ints Kalnins/Reuters)

China needs to change its understanding of South Korea’s stand

With South Korea working on bilateral and multilateral international relations, especially with the US and Japan, it is perhaps unsurprising that China is not quite at ease with South Korea’s stand. Recent comments by Chinese ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming implying that South Korea’s pro-US stance will not lead to a good outcome has raised hackles in South Korea. Academic Kang Jun-young tells us more.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol shake hands during their bilateral meeting as part of the G7 Leaders' Summit in Hiroshima on 21 May 2023. (Hiro Komae/AFP)

Seoul-Tokyo rapprochement: Stop-gap measure or long-term goal?

Japan and South Korea’s recent closeness may not just be a product of wariness of China, but US interests too, says Jin Kai, a visiting scholar at the Yonsei Institute for Sinology at Yonsei University, Seoul. But is closer Japan-South Korea-US trilateral cooperation sustainable amid tense dynamics in East Asia and the Korean peninsula?
Staff wait for the arrival of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ahead of his meeting with China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on 18 June 2023. (Leah MillisAFP)

Qin Gang’s dismissal: Reflections on the Chinese system

Qin Gang’s removal as Chinese foreign minister seems to confirm the rumours about his month-long absence from the public eye, especially since the authorities do not seem to have entirely refuted them. Questions swirl in people’s minds, with some asking: is the Chinese system’s quality of decision-making in selecting and appointing talents in question?