Philippine soldiers look at Philippine Coast Guard vessels near Thitu Island in the disputed South China Sea on 1 December 2023. (Jam Sta Rosa/AFP)

No China backlash, so far: The Philippines’ new 'assertive transparency' policy in the South China Sea

The Philippines’ "assertive transparency" in the South China Sea has so far not generated negative economic repercussions for the country. Does this demonstrate the limits of China’s grey zone coercion?
A Philippines coast guard personnel looks at the Chinese Coast Guard vessel as they come close during a mission to deliver provisions at Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea on 10 November 2023. (Jam Sta Rosa/AFP)

It's not about fear: What drives the Philippines’ response in the South China Sea

Philippine academic Robert Joseph P. Medillo says that rather than looking at the Philippines’ reactions to China’s actions in the South China Sea from the prism of fear, one can understand it as standing up to a major power, through building a collective of like-minded states that can rally together to press for transparency and accountability from China.
Former US President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media at New York State Supreme Court in New York, US, on 7 December 2023. (Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg)

Trump will be more dangerous than the Taiwan Strait in 2024?

Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that there is a real possibility of Donald Trump getting elected for a second time as US President. If Trump takes office and the US alliance system loosens, China will gain some diplomatic respite. But having engaged with the Trump administration before, China is unlikely to have high expectations for Trump’s China policy.
US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger addresses members of the United Nations Security Council at the UN headquarters, on 24 September 1973 in New York. (AFP)

Decline of Kissinger-style diplomacy and the future of China-US relations

US researcher Wei Da says that while the Chinese fondly remember the late US diplomat and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as a friend of China, he was described as "outdated" by the Americans even in the early 1990s. Why was that so and how did Kissinger see China in the later years of his life? Wei Da explains how the Reagan doctrine came to triumph over Kissinger-style diplomacy in the US and why such rhetoric continues till this day.
Argentina's President-elect Javier Milei gestures during a session at the Argentine Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 29 November 2023. (Juan Mabromata/AFP)

Will Argentina’s President-elect Javier Milei side the 'free world' and avoid China?

Academic Antonio C. Hsiang notes that Argentina’s President-elect Javier Milei will be facing several challenges once he assumes office. From carrying out transitional justice to managing economic ties with the Mercosur countries and China, Milei will have his work cut out for him.
Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong pictured in Singapore on 7 October 2022. (SPH Media)

DPM Lawrence Wong: Singapore-China cooperation in a turbulent world

Ahead of the 19th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) held in Tianjin, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong shares his thoughts on Singapore-China relations, highlighting the need to renew and expand economic links, reimagine industries and reinforce close ties between the two countries.
People walk along a street in the Dongcheng district of Beijing on 3 December 2023. (Pedro Pardo/AFP)

Three 'traps' that China could fall for

Researcher Wei Da looks at three lessons that China needs to learn, from the Lushan Conference and breakup of the USSR, to the war in Ukraine. China cannot afford to make the same mistakes of the past and present, if it is to make itself a major power.
North Korea and Russia are drawing increasing international attention as they grow closer. (Illustration: Teo Chin Puay)

[Big read] North Korea and Russia’s growing military cooperation is unsettling

As North Korea continues with its efforts in developing its military weapons — the latest being the launch of a reconnaissance satellite — attention is on Russia’s involvement and assistance, much to the protest of some countries. What are the implications of such cooperation and close relations? Lianhe Zaobao executive translator Mak Cor Sin speaks with academics and experts to find out more.
From left to right, President of the Marshall Islands David Kabua, Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown, US President Joe Biden, Kiribati President Taneti Maamau, Tuvaluan Prime Minister Kausea Natano, and Premier of Niue Dalton Tagelagi stand for a group photo following the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) summit, at the South Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, on 25 September 2023. (Jim Watson/AFP)

Geopolitical tug of war an opportunity for Pacific Island nations

Concerns about a stronger Chinese engagement — following the unexpected security pact between China and the Solomon Islands in 2022 — rattled the US and its regional allies, Australia and New Zealand, into stepping up their engagements with the Pacific Island countries. Not unexpectedly, these island countries now find themselves beneficiaries of the competition for geopolitical influence even as they try to avoid being drawn into it.