Military

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen (second from right) gestures as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (centre, left) looks on as they attend a handover ceremony of the Morodok Techo National Stadium, funded by China's grant aid under its Belt and Road Initiative, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 12 September 2021. (Tang Chhin Sothy/Pool/AFP)

How China became Cambodia's important ally and largest donor

While Cambodia is aware that its close relations with China may leave it vulnerable in many ways, it seems to think that this is still the better bet in light of shaky relations with the US and a historical distrust of Vietnam.
US Vice President Kamala Harris (L) talks to Vietnam's Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on 25 August 2021. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP)

Deepening US-Vietnam ties: Less geopolitics, more human security

Discussions about the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the US typically centre on the geopolitical aspects. A more meaningful way of developing the relationship is actually in the field of human security.
People queue to board a tourist bus before a display showing a US flag in Times Square in New York City, US on 30 July 2021. (Ed Jones/AFP)

Chinese academic: It’s time to make the US safe for the world

The US has said that withdrawing from Afghanistan will give it more bandwidth to deal with Russia and its “serious competitor” China. The latter in particular, has become a key target. Chinese academic Wang Zhengxu asserts that the US should learn from its Afghanistan experience that the military option should only be used in self-defence. If it gets involved in China’s core concerns and insists on building an anti-China alliance, China will bristle and regional instability can only increase.
People carry umbrellas as they visit Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, Japan, 15 August 2021. (Issei Kato/Reuters)

Yasukuni Shrine visits: A mirror reflecting Sino-Japanese relations

Some Japanese politicians have the practice of marking the anniversary of the end of WWII for Japan by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine to pay tribute to the war dead. Even after more than 75 years, emotions run deep especially in China, which has registered its unhappiness at these visits. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima examines how Yasukuni Shrine visits can be used to gauge the state of Japan-China relations.
A US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III carrying US Senators Tammy Duckworth, Dan Sullivan and Chris Coons arrives at Taipei Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan, 6 June 2021. (Central News Agency/Pool via Reuters)

More mainland Chinese elites supporting armed unification with Taiwan: A cause for concern?

Findings of a 2019 survey covering nine major Chinese cities show that mainland Chinese supporting armed unification with Taiwan tend to be male, highly educated urbanites who are often Communist Party members. While this group makes up just about 50% of the respondents and includes those who see armed unification as a last resort as well as those who think it should be an immediate recourse, Qi Dongtao cautions that the rise of radical nationalism should not be ignored.
Afghans walk along fences as they arrive in Pakistan through the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on 24 August 2021 following Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan. (AFP)

Afghanistan in the calculations of India, Pakistan and China: Is there common ground among rivals and allies?

A triumphant Taliban presents unique and unprecedented challenges for Afghanistan’s neighbours. As the international spotlight continues to shine on the Taliban, it remains difficult to discern between reality and ruse in the Taliban’s rhetoric. The future of Afghanistan appears uncertain, and most countries remain watchful. India has refrained from advancing a clear diplomatic position while China and Pakistan have shown a cautious willingness to engage with the Taliban. While all three countries view Afghanistan with diverging agendas, a stable, inclusive Afghanistan remains in their mutual interest.
A screen grab from the video by CCTV, showing the launch of the new missile. (Screen grab/CCTV)

Did PLA fire new missiles over Biden's statement on Taiwan?

The People’s Liberation Army launched two new missiles over the weekend while conducting joint live-fire assault drills in multiple locations near Taiwan. Analysts say that these may be flashes of their trump card to ward off the US and other opponents against conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan has the details.
A handout picture made available by the Iranian Red Crescent on 19 August 2021, shows a young Afghan refugee at the Iran-Afghanistan border between Afghanistan and the southeastern Iranian Sistan and Baluchestan province, as people fleeing AFghanistan try to enter the Islamic republic following the takeover of their country by the Taliban earlier this week. (Mohammad Javadzadeh/Iranian Red Crescent/AFP)

What China wants to see under a Taliban-led Afghanistan

Chinese academic Fan Hongda says that following the US troop pullout of Afghanistan, the Taliban have much to do to convince the international community that they can lead the country, and that they can rebuild Afghanistan. Will Taliban rule be any different this time round as compared to 20 years ago? How would China react to the new ruling power in Afghanistan?
Taiwanese soldiers fire an 8 inch (203 mm) M110 self-propelled howitzer during the live fire Han Kuang military exercise, which simulates China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) invading the island, in Pingtung, Taiwan, 30 May 2019. (Tyrone Siu/File Photo/Reuters)

30,000 US troops in Taiwan?

US senator John Cornyn tweeted that 30,000 US troops are currently stationed in Taiwan, before deleting it after it caused an uproar in China. Following the US troop pullout of Afghanistan, China has played up the idea of "Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow", saying that the US would abandon Taiwan in a crisis. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong takes a look at how the US and China are playing their cards in the Taiwan Strait.