South China Sea

US President Joe Biden heads to a trilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) and Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (left) at the White House in Washington, DC, on 11 April 2024. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)

US’s 'Typhon' missile system deployed in the Philippines: A dangerous move?

Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that the deployment of the US’s "Typhon" missile launcher system in the Philippines might lead to heightened tensions with China, as well as the risk of disunity within ASEAN, as alignments may shift.
Philippine Coast Guard personnel prepare rubber fenders after Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked their way to a resupply mission at the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, on 5 March 2024. (Adrian Portugal/Reuters)

Would Marcos’s dialogue promises bring peace and stability to the South China Sea?

The joint military exercises that the Philippines has conducted with the US and its allies have not only failed to decrease China’s “offensives” but also incited its “aggressiveness”, says Chinese academic Peng Nian.
Anti-landing barricades are seen on the beach with China's Xiamen in the background in Kinmen, Taiwan, on 18 December 2023. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

From Kinmen to the South China Sea: Weaponising narratives

In cases like the Kinmen capsizing incident and in its dealings with the Philippines, China uses its own interpretation of history and international law to launch a narrative where it is the aggrieved party, says Philippine academic Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby. She cautions that crafting a narrative requires anchoring it in strategy instead of being knee-jerk reactions that can lead nations down paths best avoided.
Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right) shakes hands with Philippines' President Ferdinand Marcos Jr ahead of the family photo during the 50th ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne on 5 March 2024. (William West/AFP)

Philippines-Australia strategic partnership in an era of geopolitical realignment

The recent visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to Australia demonstrates the resolve of the Philippines to solidify its strategic partnerships with like-minded states in the Indo-Pacific region.
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto reacts while dancing as he claims victory after unofficial vote counts during an event to watch the results of the general election in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 14 February 2024. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

What Prabowo’s victory could mean for Indonesia-China relations

Based on current vote counts, Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto is set to clinch the Indonesian presidency after two previous losses against incumbent President Jokowi. Observers believe that Prabowo is riding on the popularity of Jokowi and could continue on the diplomatic path of non-alignment set out by the latter. Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong takes a look at what Prabowo’s victory could mean for Indonesia-China relations.
A Philippine supply boat sails near a Chinese Coast Guard ship during a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed at a grounded warship in the South China Sea, on 4 October 2023. (Adrian Portugal/Reuters)

[Big read] Protracted turbulence ahead in the South China Sea

With the recent statement by ASEAN foreign ministers on maintaining and promoting stability in the maritime sphere in Southeast Asia, unease caused by rising tensions in the South China Sea is once again coming to the fore. How is the situation in the South China Sea set to develop in the coming months? Would the upcoming US presidential election have a major impact?
People wearing face masks wait at an intersection in Beijing's central business district in China, on 1 November 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

The China factor behind several Indo-Pacific hotspots

US researcher Wei Da gives a threat assessment of potential hotspots in 2024, from the South China Sea to the Taiwan Strait, the Korean peninsula and the Ukraine war, with the China factor in mind.
Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (centre right) bids farewell to China's President Xi Jinping (centre left) after their meeting at the Government Office in Hanoi on 13 December 2023. China and Vietnam pledged on 12 December to deepen ties during President Xi Jinping's first visit in six years. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Xi Jinping in Hanoi: Courting Vietnam for a common destiny?

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Hanoi presented an opportunity for Beijing to draw Vietnam closer into its sphere of influence, especially since Vietnam has recently upgraded ties with the US and Japan. However, Vietnam’s foreign policy will continue to strike a delicate balance between China and the West.
Chinese President Xi Jinping waves as he meets with US President Joe Biden at the Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, US, on 15 November 2023. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

It's all about power: US-China relations set to remain rocky in 2024

Despite an amicable summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in San Francisco recently, the essence of the US-China conflict of interest does not change, says US academic Robert Ross. This means that the outlook for US-China relations in the new year remains paved with difficulties, as both powers continue to joust in a battle to win.