China-Russia military

In this handout picture taken and released by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on 15 March 2022, firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a housing block hit by shelling in the Sviatoshynsky district in western Kyiv. (AFP)

Lessons from Ukraine: Russia might fall into decline by going against global sentiment

As the Russia-Ukraine war rages on, Huang Yuan notes that the US response to Russia may well be an indication of its approach if a conflict were to break out in the Taiwan Strait between mainland China and Taiwan. He also cautions that any military action that disregards global sentiment may well lead to the invading state coming apart and its leader falling from grace.
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 Russian service member jumps off a T-72B3 main battle tank during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia, 3 February 2022. (Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters)

Does Beijing benefit from US-Russia confrontation over Ukraine?

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met face to face ahead of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on 4 February against the background of Russia-Ukraine tensions. According to Chinese state media, they discussed Sino-Russian relations and a series of major issues concerning international strategic security and stability. It appears that a new deal for more Russian gas to be supplied to China was also a highlight of the discussions. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong explains why it is not China's aim to goad Russia on or get involved in the Ukraine crisis, and any suggestion of "Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrrow" may be overstated.
The commissioning ceremony of the UMS Minye Kyaw Htin, a Chinese-made Type 035 (NATO code-class Ming) submarine. (@KushalSinha001/Twitter)

Myanmar’s submarines: The race is on between China and Russia

Last month, Myanmar became the first Southeast Asian country to take delivery of a made-in-China submarine, the UMS Minye Kyaw Htin. Given that the EU will not sell arms to Myanmar, that leaves China and Russia as possible arms suppliers. The latest sale gives China an advantage over Russia to supply Myanmar with a new fleet of submarines, as both countries ignore US calls to ban arms sales to Myanmar. This means that price and geopolitics will decide which country wins.
Tourists wearing face masks walk along Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, on 20 October 2021. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

China’s alliance with Russia is solidifying

Even though several analyses have it that the China-Russia relationship is filled with underlying tensions and can break without warning, Loro Horta believes that the alliance they have can stand the test of time, given a mutual dependency for resources as well as common geopolitical interests and threat perceptions. Instead of warning Russia about China, Washington may want to worry more about the state of its own alliances.
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a video conference call with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 28 June 2021. (Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via Reuters)

Russia and China in Southeast Asia: Pragmatic cooperation against US primacy

Russia-China relations are at a historic high due to mutual concerns over US primacy, economic synergies and strong interpersonal ties between their national leaders. However, despite deepening military cooperation and closer diplomatic coordination, a formal alliance between Russia and China is not likely as this would constrain their strategic autonomy and undercut key foreign policy narratives. The South China Sea dispute is the most complex issue and a potential fault line in Russia-China relations in Southeast Asia. While Moscow has been broadly supportive of China’s position, Beijing’s jurisdictional claims threaten Russia’s lucrative energy interests in Southeast Asia.
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.
The cheers from the civilian Russians show that to Russia, there was no doubt of victory in the war. They called the Japanese “yellow monkeys”, and believed that Japan was too weak to dare to attack. They thought the Russian army had the absolute advantage and winning was just a matter of time.

[Photo story] Russo-Japanese War: A war fought on Chinese soil and its hard lessons

The Russo-Japanese War was in fact not fought in either Russia or Japan, but in China. It was the culmination of a fierce rivalry between a Eurasian power and an Asian country that showed it could hold its own against a much bigger opponent. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao takes us through a painful period in history that saw many Chinese lives taken.
In 1951, the volunteer army surrounded and attacked the US army's 1st and 7th infantry divisions. As it was barely one year since the CCP established the PRC, it did not yet have its own defence weapons industry. The troops were using mainly Soviet-made weapons, arms left behind by the Japanese, and US weapons seized from the KMT army. The volunteers in the photo are using Czech-made ZB-26 light machine guns, which were relatively rare among the volunteers due to the lack of matching bullets.

[Photo story] The Korean War: The first large-scale war between China and the US

China and the US fought their first major war against each other during the Korean War. China's ill-equipped volunteer troops suffered huge losses, sacrificing eight lives for every one lost on the US side. Nonetheless, China showed great determination and resilience during the war. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao delves deep into the images and facts of the Korean War, and reflects on how it has shaped modern international geopolitics.