Politics

People walk past closed stores on the Nakamise shopping street leading to the Sensoji temple in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, Japan, on 25 April 2020. (Soichiro Koriyama/Bloomberg)

Warming up of China-Japan ties hijacked by the pandemic

A severely disrupted supply chain, an inevitable blame game, a collision in the East China Sea... Dr Amrita Jash says that like many things this year, the warming up of China-Japan ties has been hijacked by the spread of Covid-19 and its aftermath.
An Indonesian woman walks past a mural created by Indonesian artist Bayu Rahardian amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Depok on 16 April 2020. (Adek Berry/AFP)

Covid-19: Is deglobalisation on the cards?

The pandemic has exposed the flaws of a globalised world characterised by interconnectedness. Dr Yu Hong asks: "If there are no safeguards in place for risk control and management, would it still be in the interest of each country to pursue globalisation? Do the economic and trade benefits of globalisation outweigh the impact of its potential systemic risks? How should each country safeguard domestic public health while driving economic globalisation forward?"
US President Donald Trump (L) and US Vice President Mike Pence return to the Oval Office after a press conference on the coronavirus at the White House in Washington, DC, April 27, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

Covid-19: A leaderless age is fast approaching

Like scales falling from their eyes, the international community is seeing how a dearth of global leadership has left countries flailing for themselves since the onset of the pandemic. Who or what will step forward and take up the leadership mantle? Not the US, and not China either.
A man wears a protective face mask amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as he walks past the Jingshan park overlooking the Forbidden City in Beijing on 25 January 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Will Covid-19 be the catastrophe that ends China's good fortune?

China has faced reversals of fortune numerous times in history, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. After enjoying decades of upward ascent since its economic reform and opening up, some says China’s fate is about to be reversed again with the coronavirus pandemic, a mammoth disruption that kicked off the 2020s. Lance Gore argues that such massive shock to its political and economic system exposes chinks in its armour but does not necessarily unravel a big country with the world’s most comprehensive industrial structure.
A person carries groceries in a neighbourhood in Wuhan, April 20, 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

China faces avalanche of calls for coronavirus compensation

The US is leading a drive to seek accountability and compensation from China for losses and damages sustained due to the coronavirus. Economics professor Zhu Ying looks at whether these efforts will bear any fruit.
Will the global pandemic push humanity to reflect, make progress, and arrive at better global governance? In this photo taken on 27 April 2020 (rotated 180 degrees), a man is reflected on a puddle of water in a public square during the coronavirus outbreak in Valparaiso, Chile. (Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters)

The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the chasms of the world, but can humanity reflect and make progress?

Chinese academic Deng Xize is mostly pessimistic as he traces lessons from history to conclude that international cooperation is only tenable with the combination of well-functioning international institutions and concert among the major powers. In light of further tensions between China and the US arising from the pandemic, he sees little room for cooperation on a global scale, and instead, only greater signs of animosity of the sort seen during the Cold War.
As the US pulls out of certain international organisations, China stands ready to take its place. (iStock)

New battleground for China-US competition: International organisations

From bilateral and multilateral diplomatic situations, to international economic organisations and non-economic organisations, the competition between China and the US has intensified in a different way during the pandemic, as new battlegrounds for influence are created. Chinese researcher Peng Nian presents the possible areas that the US and China might continue to clash, even after the pandemic eases.
Staff members keeping watch at a checkpoint in the border city of Suifenhe, in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province, April 21, 2020. (STR/AFP)

Did China win the fight against the virus but lose the world?

With the US state of Missouri suing China over the coronavirus, and Western leaders coming together to demand greater transparency and accountability from China, Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong examines what went wrong with China's communications with the West during the pandemic. Is there anything China can do to improve its international image and diplomatic position?
Barrier tape cordons off parts of benches to enforce safe distancing measures along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in Hong Kong, on 21 April 2020. (Roy Liu/Bloomberg)

Beijing tightens control over Hong Kong amid political reshuffle and arrests

Seeing that stalwarts have kept their positions while new blood comes in the form of those who have law enforcement or political experience, pundits wager that Beijing may take a more hardline approach in the days to come.