Diplomacy

This handout picture taken on 15 July 2020 and released by Taiwan's Defense Ministry shows a warship launching a US-made Harpoon missile during the annual Han Kuang military drill from an unlocated place in the sea near Taiwan. (Handout/Taiwan Defense Ministry/AFP)

The median line of the Taiwan Strait: No longer a boundary for mainland China

Both Taiwan and mainland China have indicated that they would not fire the first shot and would only do so if provoked. Yet signs are increasing that both sides could be stumbling into war. Most recently, the PLA sent its jets over the median line of the Taiwan Strait over three days. Seth Cropsey, director of the Center for American Seapower at Hudson Institute, even offered a date for mainland China to strike. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan takes a closer look at this quagmire.
A man reads a newspaper on a street in Tokyo, 29 August 2020. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

How Japan will deal with China-US conflict and the Taiwan issue under the new Suga administration

Business cooperation will likely be a key theme of the China-Japan relationship under the new Suga administration, says Japanese academic Shin Kawashima. However, various challenges will continue to beset bilateral relations. All eyes are also on Nobuo Kishi, the new Defence Minister and Shinzō Abe’s younger brother, who has strong ties to Taiwan.
Yoshihide Suga gestures as he is elected as new head of the ruling party at the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) leadership election paving the way for him to replace Shinzō Abe, in Tokyo, 14 September 2020. (Kyodo via REUTERS)

Japan's foreign policy under Yoshihide Suga: Countering chaos with pragmatism

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has been confirmed as Japan’s incoming prime minister, following a vote in parliament today. What would his foreign policy priorities be as prime minister?
Residents dine at a 500-metre-long table spanning across the length of the medieval Charles Bridge as restrictions ease following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Prague, Czech Republic, 30 June 2020. (David W Cerny/REUTERS)

Are the Czechs alarmed by China's buying power?

From media companies to hotels and football clubs, the Chinese have gone on a shopping spree in the Czech Republic over the past few years. Hong Kong commentator Chip Tsao notes that the Czech Republic was the first European country to fall in love with China, allowing the latter to acquire large stakes in Czech entities. But now, it seems that the love affair is not so rosy any more. The recent visit of Senate Speaker Miloš Vystrčil to Taiwan is just one chink in the relationship’s armour.
This aerial photo taken on 1 September 2020 shows elementary school students attending a flag-raising ceremony on the first day of the new semester in Shenyang, Liaoning, China. (STR/AFP)

America's ideological crusades against China highlight conflict of values

Chinese academic Zhu Ying says the US is reviving its rhetoric of ideological crusades against China that harks back to the time of the Truman doctrine. Such tactics will only get worse with post-pandemic tensions and greater strategic competition between the two countries.
In this photo taken on 4 September 2020, a man walks with the Chinese national flag in a park next to the Yangtze River in Wuhan. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Mixed signals to the US? China has revealed its bottom line

After a brief softening of its stance towards the US, China seems to be hardening its rhetoric again. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu says this has much to do with President Xi Jinping’s clear message not to trifle with the Chinese Communist Party’s bottom line — relations between the party and the people are sacrosanct.
A woman uses her mobile phone to take pictures at the Forbidden City in Beijing on 1 September 2020. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China is waiting for the American bundle of nerves to calm down 

Sun Peisong believes that China actually understands the plot and knows why it is being vilified in American politics. Its strategy is to tough it out, particularly during the US elections season, and wait for the US to come back to the table.
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left, with mic) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 2019 ASEAN summit. (SPH)

Post-Abe: Japan-ASEAN partnership crucial in navigating great power rivalry

With Shinzō Abe's imminent departure from office, Japanese academic Mie Oba looks back at Japan-ASEAN diplomacy under his charge, and at the expansion of defence cooperation between Japan and certain Southeast Asian countries. She says Japanese partnership with ASEAN has become more important, as Japan and ASEAN continue to navigate the escalating rivalry between China and the US in the Indo-Pacific region.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend the first working session of the G20 Summit. (G20 OSAKA)

Four turning points: How Abe got China-Japan relations out of negative territory

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima examines the evolution of Japan-China relations in the eight years under the Abe administration, and concludes that though Abe helped to normalise Japan-China relations, the future development of bilateral relations remains unpredictable and more precarious.