A group of naval vessels from China and Russia sails during joint military drills in the Sea of Japan, in this still image taken from video released on 18 October 2021. Video released 18 October 2021. (Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters)

Would cross-strait reunification threaten Japan's maritime oil routes?

Researcher Chen Hongbin says that Japan's reason for opposing cross-strait reunification, that China could sever Japanese maritime oil routes by firing from eastern Taiwan, is unfounded. China already has the capability to attack Japan's oil tankers anyway, even without reunification; but most importantly, any maritime security issue in the vicinity would pose a greater threat to China.
People in a busy street in Mumbai, India, 12 April 2022. (Niharika Kulkarni/Reuters)

Why India's neutral stance in the Russia-Ukraine war works

Indian academic Amrita Jash is of the view that unlike China, India has managed to stay on the right side of international opinion despite abstaining from the UN resolution condemning Russia. This is because it is valued as an important piece of the puzzle in the reshaping of the 21st century world order. Moreover, it has stuck to a non-reactionary position and stayed clear of an obvious tilt towards Russia or the US and its allies. By the same token though, will India’s usefulness in the power game be diminished by its inability to move any further to either side?
A woman walks past graffiti in Borovsk, some 100 km south-west of Moscow, 14 April 2022. (AFP)

The Russia-Ukraine war has accentuated the democratic-autocratic divide

The Russia-Ukraine war has galvanised NATO and the West to action, and it seems that two main camps are taking shape along the East-West divide, and between democratic and autocratic systems. Academic Zhu Ying examines how China and other countries have responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the implications of the splits.
Former Hong Kong chief secretary for administration John Lee, speaks to media after Central People's Government approves his resignation, in Hong Kong, China, 8 April 2022. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Can John Lee be that all-round leader that Hong Kong needs?

Former police officer John Lee has stepped down as chief secretary for administration to run for Hong Kong chief executive after Carrie Lam announced that she will not be running for a second term. As the only candidate approved by Beijing, can Lee live up to the central government's expectations, as well as those of the Hong Kong people? Commentator Chip Tsao ponders Hong Kong's future.
John Lee, Hong Kong's former chief secretary, poses for the media ahead of submitting his application for the upcoming Chief Executive election in Hong Kong, China, on 13 April 2022. (Lam Yik/Bloomberg)

Why John Lee is Beijing's top pick for Hong Kong's next chief executive

Former Chief Secretary for Administration John Lee is running for Hong Kong's top job as chief executive and is the only candidate who has Beijing's approval. Hong Kong businessman and political figure, Lew Mon-hung, takes a look at why Lee is Beijing's preferred choice, taking into account Beijing's view of the current global situation and China's priorities.
A pro-Ukraine demonstrator holds a sign with Putin depicted as Hitler during a protest against Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 9 April 2022. (Carla Carniel/Reuters)

Lessons from Russia-Ukraine war: The UN of 1945 must be reformed

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has disrupted global geopolitics and geoeconomics. By supporting Ukraine, the US-led NATO is trying to clip the powerful military wings of its strategic rival, Russia. Furthermore, US President Joe Biden’s massive sanctions on Russia have produced cascading adverse consequences for many economies. Amid greater uncertainty, might the G20 under UN auspices be a good avenue of negotiating the new global order?
Ukrainian servicemen run at the front line east of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on 31 March 2022. (Fadel Senna/AFP)

China must reflect on its third-party position in the Russia-Ukraine war

Despite being a third party to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China has been hit with heavy criticism from the Western powers, especially the US, about its position in the war. Chinese academic Fan Hongda believes that while the West does have a powerful media machine behind it that paints China in an unfavourable light, the latter also needs to reflect on its responses to external conflicts, and its lack of domestic channels for the Chinese to voice their diverse views.
A resident stands with her belongings on a street near a building burnt in the course of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, 10 April 2022. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

How will the Ukraine war affect China’s foreign policy?

Previously, promoting peace and development and defending the multipolar international system with the United Nations at its core were the main tenets of Chinese foreign policy. But with its adherence to long-held principles and its stance on the Ukraine war questioned, China will have to conduct multidirectional diplomacy with aplomb to counter the West's deepening sense of distrust.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives for an event in the East Room at the White House in Washington, US, 5 April 2022. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

The Pelosi visit that wasn’t: How should China respond to provocations from US politicians?

A trip to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was postponed as she tested positive for Covid-19. Nonetheless, Beijing made the expected protests and the issue is still not over as the visit might be revived in the future. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan analyses US motives for the proposed visit and how China should appropriately respond to US politicians stirring the pot.