The former Trump administration launched the China Initiative in 2018, ostensibly to protect US national security interests. However, a recent open letter by US academics calling for an end to the initiative seems to suggest that the programme is not what it set out to be. Zaobao’s China Desk examines the China Initiative and what it has achieved — or not.
A bizarre case involving a generous donation from a Chinese Indonesian family that never materialised has brought the spotlight on identity politics in Indonesia. When the fraud was revealed, praise for the Chinese Indonesian community quickly turned into a means for the anti-government (and anti-China and anti-Chinese) social media channels to attack the Indonesian government and ethnic Chinese in Indonesia.
Due to the US's historical and political heritage, Americans assume that they are one up on other countries when it comes to human rights. Chinese academic Sun Peisong notes that the US's human rights record has actually been less than perfect. But how is it that they can be in denial about their own faults while accusing others of human rights violations?
Little interaction with Chinese people and double standards in US news reports have led to Americans having a jaundiced view of China. Immersed in stories on foreign policy, politics or human rights, they rarely have the chance to realise that the Chinese are made up of individuals and families who are living their lives the best way they can, just like the average American. Better education through the media and universities is greatly needed.
Vietnam has effectively fanned the flames of online nationalism in its altercation with a Swedish fast-fashion retailer — and by extension, China. It has to be careful not to stoke the flames too far.
US academic Zhu Zhiqun says that factors such as history, education and divisiveness within the Asian community have led to the persistence of anti-Asian racism in the US. This trend looks to continue unless Americans realise that every American has an immigrant past, and protecting the rights of Asian Americans is doing so for all Americans.
Stereotypically, Chinese Americans and Indian Americans are often compared in terms of their cultural traits with some drawing the conclusion that these traits have led the Chinese to fall behind in the business and political fields. Are the Chinese Americans really at a disadvantage in these areas? What are their strengths then?
Given the current highlight on issues of racism in the US and patriotism in China, it seems that Chinese Americans serving in the US army are in a unique situation. Hong Kong commentator Chip Tsao wonders: if a conflict breaks out between China and the US over Taiwan or the South China Sea, how would these military persons be viewed?
Hong Kong commentator David Ng says that despite the accusations by the West against China of human rights violations in Xinjiang such as forced labour, the region’s economic trajectory and reliance on mechanisation seem to show a quite different truth.