Security

A screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia via video link, at a media centre in Boao, Hainan province, China, 21 April 2022. (Xinhua)

Why the Global Security Initiative is important for Asia-Pacific security

Zhang Xumin, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Chinese embassy in Singapore, explains why China believes that the Global Security Initiative espoused by President Xi Jinping at this year’s Boao Forum is a framework that can help to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region and find a path for the Asia-Pacific that ensures security for all, by all, and of all.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma in Paris, France, 15 May 2019. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

How Jack Ma’s surname sent shockwaves through China’s capital market

News of the arrest of an individual surnamed Ma in the technology industry in Hangzhou on suspicion of endangering national security led to a sharp drop in the stock market, as people associated the name with Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba. Zaobao’s Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu notes that perhaps this is not so surprising, given Jack Ma’s previous trouble with the Chinese government, especially during the crackdown on the “disorderly expansion of capital”.
A photo taken on 22 April 2022 shows China's ambassador to the Solomon Islands Li Ming (right), and Solomons Prime Pinister Manasseh Sogavare (left) attending the opening ceremony of a China-funded national stadium complex in Honiara, Solomon Islands. (Mavis Podokolo/AFP)

Solomon Islands: Will China pick up the gun to defend its interests in the developing world?

Loro Horta notes that the US, Australia and New Zealand have been overly fixated on China possibly building a military base in the Solomon Islands. If anything, the security pact signals China's greater willingness to be more interventionist in its approach to other countries. If so, this is the true shift in policy that the West should be worried about.
A group of naval vessels from China and Russia sails during joint military drills in the Sea of Japan, in this still image taken from video released on 18 October 2021. Video released 18 October 2021. (Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters)

Would cross-strait reunification threaten Japan's maritime oil routes?

Researcher Chen Hongbin says that Japan's reason for opposing cross-strait reunification, that China could sever Japanese maritime oil routes by firing from eastern Taiwan, is unfounded. China already has the capability to attack Japan's oil tankers anyway, even without reunification; but most importantly, any maritime security issue in the vicinity would pose a greater threat to China.
John Lee, Hong Kong's former chief secretary, poses for the media ahead of submitting his application for the upcoming Chief Executive election in Hong Kong, China, on 13 April 2022. (Lam Yik/Bloomberg)

Why John Lee is Beijing's top pick for Hong Kong's next chief executive

Former Chief Secretary for Administration John Lee is running for Hong Kong's top job as chief executive and is the only candidate who has Beijing's approval. Hong Kong businessman and political figure, Lew Mon-hung, takes a look at why Lee is Beijing's preferred choice, taking into account Beijing's view of the current global situation and China's priorities.
A train on the China-Europe Railway Express, commemorating more than 10,000 trips made, March 2022. (Internet)

Russia-Ukraine war impacting China-Europe rail transportation and trade

With the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, logistics providers have been hard put to keep goods moving between China and Europe. One route is the China Railway Express (CRE) that cuts through Russia and Ukraine, which gives sellers and suppliers cause for concern, leading to a sharp drop in the volume of goods being transported via that route. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong takes a look at the impact of the war and how the CRE can get through the challenging period that is coming.
A gas station burns after Russian attacks in the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on 30 March 2022. (Fadel Senna/AFP)

An ostracised Russia's descent into war and lessons for China

We should not underestimate the role of political psychology in international relations, says Lance Gore. Often, human nature and emotions play a large part in decision-making, and factors such as wounded pride, a need to assert one’s identity or a sense of insecurity can bring about major consequences. Moreover, when feelings are stoked and public opinion drawn on the side of the “good guys”, it is not so much the high ideals of liberalism but a realist game at work. Russia and China have not learnt finesse in playing the two-tier game of international politics; neither have they realised they are not strong enough yet to change the rules of the game.
An undated handout photo released on 29 March 2022 by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) shows a China Police Liason Team officer (centre) training local RSIPF officers. (Handout/RSIPF/AFP)

China-Solomon Islands security pact: Alarm bells ringing for Australia and New Zealand?

Dr Anne-Marie Schleich, a former German ambassador to New Zealand, explains why Australia and New Zealand are worried about a new security deal inked between China and Solomon Islands. Have they not been paying enough attention to their own backyard?
An undated handout photo released on 29 March 2022 by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) shows China Police Liason Team officers training local RSIPF officers. (Handout/RSIPF/AFP)

Will China-Solomon Islands security cooperation bring new tensions to the South Pacific?

The new policing and security agreements between China and the Solomon Islands have neighbouring countries such as Australia and New Zealand anxious about the potential militarisation of the region. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong warns that small island nations in the South Pacific must be careful about choosing sides so as not to become pawns in great power competition.