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A woman cycles in Hanoi on 21 September 2020. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

How Vietnam is leveraging anti-China sentiments online

In this era of blossoming social media, anti-China sentiments have morphed and manifested online, compelling Vietnamese authorities to keep close tabs on it. ISEAS academic Dien Nguyen An Luong examines how the Vietnamese authorities have increasingly looked to social media to gauge anti-China sentiments and to calibrate their responses accordingly.
US President Donald Trump is seen behind US flags as he speaks to supporters at a "Great American Comeback" event at Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee, Wisconsin, on 17 September 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

Trump or Biden, the US is on a path of decline

US academic Han Dongping says that electoral politics in the US seems to have deviated from its original intent, which was to elect a leader that represents public opinion. The quest for power is now a game of thrust and parry by the elites and the wealthy, and is rarely in line with what the man on the street needs or wants. Is the “Trump or Biden” toss-up then just a false choice?
Demonstrators, holding signs with Mongolian script, protest against China's changes to school curriculums that remove Mongolian language from core subjects, outside the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 31 August 2020. (Anand Tumurtogoo/Reuters)

Inner Mongolia's new language policy: Will it endanger Mongolian culture and language?

Inner Mongolian students were told that they will be taught in Mandarin instead of the Mongolian language using national textbooks. This policy seems to be for the greater good of fostering national unity in China, but the implementation methods can certainly be better refined. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong examines the issue. 
A man wearing a protective mask is reflected on a window in Chinatown during the Covid-19 outbreak in New York City, New York, US, on 17 May 2020. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

Why do Chinese and Indian Americans stay silent during the US anti-racism protests?

Nothing is black and white when it comes to race debates, says Yu Shiyu. What if you’re not black but ‘brown’ as some term it, that is, a minority nonetheless. Some Asian Americans of Chinese and Indian descent have been labelled model minorities for largely rising through the ranks though they face some forms of discrimination. Question is, if they don't see the current protests as their fight and stay out of the fray, are they equally culpable?
Demonstrators raise their fists as they gather on 2 June 2020 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to protest the death of George Floyd while in police custody. (Chandan Khanna/AFP)

A 'left-wing cultural revolution' has come to America?

There is little doubt that the US is in disarray at the moment. Hong Kong political commentator Chip Tsao does not hold back in giving his views on the current situation in the US, claiming that America’s move to the left after eight years under the Democratic Party have worsened the culture of political correctness and left little room for policies that motivate disadvantaged groups to keep their feet on the ground and contribute to society. The middle class is also made to shoulder growing societal and financial burdens. In that light, would the prospect of a change in the US government in five months time be a boon or bane?
In this file photo taken on 1 June 2020, NYPD police officers watch demonstrators in Times Square during a "Black Lives Matter" protest. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP)

Between the US and China, which is the police state?

While some in China admire certain values the US upholds such as the rule of law, Han Dongping observes the irony that in many ways, China’s age-old practice of community policing at the grassroots level may have produced a more humane way of rehabilitating rather than incarcerating offenders. If the George Floyd case that sparked angry protests is anything to go by, the US seems overrun with law enforcement woes rather than ruled by the law.
People raise their hands as they protest at the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd, on 4 June 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Chandan Khanna/AFP)

How could democracy yield a leader like Trump?

Han Yong Hong observes that the US, long thought to be a bastion of democracy, is going through a series of hard knocks these days. The way President Trump has conducted himself during the coronavirus crisis and major protests against racism and police brutality have raised some strong caveats about democratic systems. But what is the alternative for the world to hang on to? For now, a firm belief in democracy seems to be keeping the American spirit afloat, even as everything else seems to be falling down like a house of cards.
A man holds up a sign reading "democracy instead of virology" as he attends a protest against the government's restrictions following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Cannstatter Wasen area in Stuttgart, Germany, May 16, 2020. (Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS)

Western democracy's worst enemy is itself, not China

Zheng Yongnian reminds political watchers of today that fascist regimes of the past grew out of once-democratic systems. What is to say that cannot happen in today’s world, even in mature democracies such as the US? Is the coronavirus crisis putting democratic systems to their greatest test yet? And despite what some think, China, where the pandemic first spread to the world, may not be Western democracy's biggest enemy after all. 
Protesters kneel and raise their arms as they gather peacefully to protest the death of George Floyd at the State Capital building in downtown Columbus, Ohio, 1 June 2020. (Seth Herald/AFP)

Protests in the US and HK: Which is 'a beautiful sight to behold'?

The riots in the US following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white policeman have given the Chinese people a chance to gloat at US “double standards” in the terms it has used on the Hong Kong protests. In contrast, the Chinese authorities have been restrained and measured in its responses. Correspondent Yang Danxu speaks to academics to find out what this might mean.