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.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Japan in March was postponed, but next on his list of possible destinations for an official visit might be South Korea. Following Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit in December 2019, Politburo member Yang Jiechi visited South Korea in late August, possibly paving the way for a visit by Xi. What does that mean for China's relations with South Korea and with Japan as tensions between China and the US continue to escalate?
In recent years, the Mekong subregion has seen a renewed engagement of external powers, particularly the US, Japan, and South Korea, mainly due to the China factor. This re-enmeshment signifies an intense power competition in Southeast Asia, in light of China’s increasing economic and political clout. Thai academic Pongphisoot Busbarat cautions that Southeast Asian states need to send a clear signal to external powers that increasing cooperation with them does not equate to choosing sides.
Hawaii-based academic Denny Roy notes the growing tension between North and South Korea, as well as US relations with China and the rest of the world, and explores how these might affect the situation in Southeast Asia.
Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun assesses that the East Asian security outlook for 2020 is not very promising, given that overall security in the region has deteriorated on several fronts over the past year. He gives his take on key hotspots in the region — the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait — and sums up major powers’ priorities in the region.