Diplomacy

Cartoon: Heng Kim Song

ThinkCartoon

Heng Kim Song has been the freelance editorial cartoonist

China's President Xi Jinping and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on 16 November 2022. (Willy Kurniawan/AFP)

China's 'international united front' diplomacy: When staying neutral means a win for China

Taiwanese academic Chiung-Chiu Huang explains the concept of China’s “international united front” strategy which remains a guiding principle today. By using this softly-softly approach that seeks common ground and low-hanging fruit, China has managed its relations with countries it deems not outrightly hostile. In doing so, it may not win friends, but it may at least make fewer enemies.
People and traffic pass near a marketplace in Taipei, Taiwan, 4 August 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Why Taiwan's New Southbound Policy has failed to achieve its goals

Taiwanese academic Hung-Jeng Tsai analyses decades of Taiwan’s Southbound Policy, now embodied in the latest iteration of the New Southbound Policy under President Tsai Ing-wen. He finds that despite the fanfare, few benefits have been won for Taiwan.
ASEAN leaders at the opening ceremony of the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits in Phnom Penh on 11 November 2022. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

APEC, G20 and ASEAN summits: SEA nations play hosts in global diplomacy

ASEAN is set to play host to world leaders, with three major events coming up over the next two weeks in Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand. The highlight is the G20 summit in Bali, where US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet face-to-face for the first time. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong analyses what we can expect from these meetings.
Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese walk together to their one-on-one meeting at Fraser's Restaurant on 22 October 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Stefan Gosatti/Pool via Reuters)

Japan-Australia relations moves up a notch with China in mind

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima assesses the joint statement and joint declaration issued by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese recently, observing a strengthening of relations amid common interests.
People walk in Kimironko Market in Kigali, Rwanda on 26 June 2022. (SPH Media)

Small nations' survival strategy for a world in flux: Lessons from Rwanda and Timor-Leste

Lim Jim Koon, former editor-in-chief of Chinese Media Group, SPH Media, looks at the current world in flux and its focus on great power rivalry. He reminds us that small nations have their place in this world too and their survival and growth must not be lightly brushed aside. Rwanda and Timor-Leste may not be countries in the spotlight, but these are small nations with tenacity, sharing common interests and goals with Singapore.
Chinese President Xi Jinping awarded the Friendship Medal to Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in a grand award ceremony in the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, on 31 October 2022. (Xinhua)

China’s diplomacy in full swing after 20th Party Congress

Diplomatic activities appear to be back at full swing after the 20th Party Congress. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that the visits by heads of states to China are driven by Beijing’s objectives of bringing its neighbours close, stabilising relations with Europe, and strengthening relations with developing countries. Will this help improve China’s relations and international image, especially amid the tense geopolitical background?
A newspaper with a cover picture of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by Iranian morality police is seen in Tehran, Iran, 18 September 2022. (Majid Asgaripour/West Asia News Agency via Reuters)

Can China stay silent about mass protests in Iran?

Even as the protests in Iran continue after more than a month with no sign of abating, all efforts seem futile as external support is not forthcoming. There looks to be little hope of permanent change as the current regime remains firmly in control. Meanwhile, as China expands its global influence, can it stay silent in dealing with the internal affairs of Iran and other countries? Or remove reports of protests from their state media?
This photo taken on 16 October 2022 shows subway staff watching the opening session of the 20th Party Congress in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (AFP)

China and the West continue sparring during party congress

China’s American and European partners do not seem keen on granting China a “stable external environment” during the 20th Party Congress. With diplomatic sparring ratcheting up, Xi’s new team will have its work cut out when the congress ends in a few days’ time.