China-Russia ties

A member of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces looks at destructions following a shelling in Ukraine's second biggest city of Kharkiv on 8 March 2022. (Sergey Bobok/AFP)

From real war to online war: Small states need smarter skills to survive a multipolar internet age

Former journalist Goh Choon Kang says that despite having international law and organisations to improve global governance, the law of the jungle still applies in the 21st century. And small states such as Singapore will invariably be caught between powers such as the US, China and Russia to varying degrees. And in the multipolar internet age, even if one is not embroiled in a real physical war, an online war of opinions could also impact societies across the world.
People file across a makeshift river crossing below a destroyed bridge as they flee from advancing Russian troops whose attack on Ukraine continues in the town of Irpin outside Kyiv, Ukraine, 8 March 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Ukraine war: Southeast Asian responses and why the conflict matters to the region

Southeast Asia’s initial responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine varied considerably, with Singapore taking the strongest stance and Myanmar supporting the Kremlin’s actions. As the conflict intensified, regional responses strengthened somewhat: eight ASEAN members voted for a United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning Moscow’s invasion; Vietnam and Laos, Russia’s two closest partners in the region, abstained. The Russia-Ukraine war is likely to have varying degrees of economic, political and security impacts on the region. A key concern is if China takes a leaf from Russia's playbook in terms of using manufactured histories and grey zone/hybrid warfare tactics, and disregarding international law.
A man leaves an apartment building damaged after shelling the day before in Ukraine's second biggest city of Kharkiv on 8 March 2022. (Sergey Bobok/AFP)

Claim of US bioweapons operation in Ukraine pushes China closer towards Russia

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine just about two weeks old, a war of words has broken out between the US and China over the alleged presence of US biowarfare research facilities in Ukraine. China seems to be throwing in its lot in with Russia, calling for the US to come clean and to allow multilateral inspections. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong analyses the recent developments, which is reminiscent of the bickering that ensued when Wuhan lab-leak accusations were heaped on China two years ago.
A person holds a banner with the joined faces of a portrait of Vladimir Putin and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler during an anti-war protest, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Barcelona, Spain, 24 February 2022. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

Will China be emboldened by Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

President Vladimir Putin had set the stage for Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine by couching the country’s relations with Ukraine in ethnocentric terms. Would military action taken in the name of reuniting “one people” give a psychological boost to Beijing in terms of a possible armed reunification with Taiwan?
People walk along a street in Beijing on 18 May 2021 past military propaganda which reads: "Courageous —  raise a new generation of spirited, capable, courageous and morally upright revolutionary soldiers." (Noel Celis/AFP)

What if China and Russia join forces?

The US would not like to see China and Russia getting too close, knowing that their combined strengths would be formidable. But history shows that full cooperation between China and Russia is not a straightforward matter at all. US academic Han Dongping discusses the forces pushing these two giants closer together and the possible scenarios that could unfold if they join forces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a meeting via video conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping (not seen) at the Kremlin in Moscow on 28 June 2021. (Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP)

Extension of China-Russia friendship treaty does not mean ties are solid

Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing notes that even as China and Russia extend their friendship treaty, their relationship could still fluctuate in the face of US-China tensions and the uneasy China-US-Russia strategic triangle.
Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, left, and U.S. President Joe Biden, right, react at the start of the U.S. Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, on 16 June 2021. (Peter Klaunzer/Swiss Federal Office of Foreign Affairs/Bloomberg)

Can Biden 'set up' the US and Russia against China?

Chinese academic Zhang Jingwei notes that the recent meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin was a step towards easing US-Russia relations. But fundamental tensions remain, not least due to NATO’s wariness of Russia and the US-China-Russia triangle.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (second from right) and national security adviser Jake Sullivan (right) speak with Politburo member and director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi (second from left) and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) at the opening session of US-China talks at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, US, 18 March 2021. (Frederic J. Brown/Pool via Reuters)

Are two camps forming around China and the US?

As China-US competition continues, economics professor Zhu Ying observes that two camps seem to be emerging. But it is not so straightforward as one camp being pro-US and another pro-China. The trilateral relationships of the US-EU-China and China-US-Russia will create pendulum swings.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, 8 October 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP)

Will Beijing hinder Moscow's operations in the South China Sea?

The South China Sea poses a stress test in Russia-China relations, pitting China’s claims against Russian energy interests.