Military

Models of military equipment and a giant screen displaying Chinese President Xi Jinping are seen at an exhibition at the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution in Beijing, China 8 October 2022.  (Florence Lo/Reuters)

China deepens purging of the military to prepare for battle

China’s upper echelons are seemingly on shaky ground as two of its five state councillors have disappeared from the public eye. However, the purging of the military could be seen as a necessary step to ensure the reliability of the military and that China is ready for modern-day warfare, says Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong.
A Turkish national flag (left) and a banner bearing the portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish republic, hang from the exterior of a building in the Sisli district of Istanbul, Turkey, on 29 August 2022. (Nicole Tung/Bloomberg)

Why Turkey's national hero was honoured in Taiwan

Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai muses on how heroes of the past are honoured after their time, recalling that in his youth in Taiwan, the founder of the Turkish republic was lauded as an honourable founding father, next to Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek. However, given the similarities in ideals and values, could it be that the high praise for Ataturk was in fact meant to boost the controversial image of Chiang?
A shot of the USS America (LHA-6) taken on 15 September 2023. (Chung Sung-Jun/Reuters)

US, China militaries flex muscles in Yellow Sea

Amid the ongoing US-China rivalry, both powers have been sending their navies on exercises in the Yellow Sea, as a signal to each side, stopping just short of actual engagement. This mirrors earlier near-confrontations. Is this all just military posturing ahead of a possible Xi Jinping-Joe Biden summit before the end of the year?
This pool image distributed by Sputnik agency shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shaking hands during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia on 13 September 2023. (Vladimir Smirnov/Pool/AFP)

US's 'axis of evil' narrative could escalate tensions on Korean peninsula

With North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Russia recently, observers worry that North Korea and Russia, together with China, are drawing closer, forming a greater “axis” of nuclear threat. But academic Jin Kai sees the sense of a greater “alliance” forming as all part of the US and its allies’ “geopolitical imagination”, which could see them taking steps that escalate the situation in the Korean peninsula.
A screen broadcasts news footage of an Air Force aircraft taking part in military drills by the Eastern Theatre Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) around Taiwan, in a shopping area in Beijing, China, on 19 August 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Three trends in the PLA’s military activities around Taiwan

Japanese academic Sugiura Yasuyuki notes that Beijing has been normalising military activities around Taiwan, and these activities seem to be heading towards actual combat, while being used for propaganda. One clear example is the recent Exercise "Joint Sword" in April 2023. There are increasing concerns that such activities will cause issues between China and the US, or China and Taiwan.
In this pool photo distributed by Sputnik agency, Russia's President Vladimir Putin (left) shakes hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia on 13 September 2023. (Vladimir Smirnov/Pool/AFP)

Why Kim Jong-un’s first trip after the pandemic was not to China, but Russia

The solidarity between North Korea and Russia based on an “anti-imperialist” or anti-American mindset can be said to be a strategic and simple construct: “An enemy’s friend is an enemy.” 
On 26 April 1947, the chief perpetrator of the Nanjing Massacre, Hisao Tani, was escorted to the execution ground at Yuhuatai by military police, where a large crowd of onlookers gathered. The next day, China’s Central Daily News (中央日报) reported: “At 11:30 am on 26 April, the defendant Hisao Tani was identified and taken to the Yuhuatai execution ground by the court, and executed by firing squad according to the law.”

[Photo story] The long road to justice against Japanese war criminals and collaborators

Following Japan’s surrender at the end of the Second World War, the horrific military atrocities were brought to light as war criminals were put on trial. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao provides descriptions and images of that period. This article may contain some visually disturbing images.
Former Foreign Minister George Yeo spoke at a forum in Taipei on 13 September 2023. (SPH Media)

George Yeo: Cross-strait relations from a Singaporean’s viewpoint

Singapore's former Foreign Minister George Yeo gave a keynote speech at the Asia-Pacific Forward Forum in Taipei, where he spoke on cross-strait relations, the "one China" policy, and the future of mainland China and Taiwan, as well as his personal experiences interacting with individuals from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Manet poses for pictures, as he attends an event to meet with garment workers on his first public appearance since taking office, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 29 August 2023. (Cindy Liu/Reuters)

Cambodia’s foreign policy under new Prime Minister Hun Manet

Hun Manet, son of Hun Sen, has been named Cambodia’s new prime minister in August. While Cambodia has maintained a close relationship with China during Hun Sen’s rule, how will its new leader negotiate the nation’s foreign relations amid great power rivalry? Cambodian commentator Rim Sokvy says even if the new leadership wants to align more with the West, and improve the transparency and accountability of the nation's bureaucratic system, the current state of domestic politics could hold it back from doing so.