Wei Da says to avoid making erroneous judgements in taking certain actions, both the US and China need to calmly evaluate and recalibrate their strategic assessments of each other. If cool heads are kept, events such as the upcoming presidential election are not to be feared but welcomed as a harbinger of change.
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.
In Wei Da’s view, diplomacy is not rocket science. Diplomacy is conducted to smooth the creases and pave the way for countries to promote peace and cooperation. The devil is in the details on how countries seek to achieve that. In China’s case, Deng Xiaoping had laid out the broad strokes of an overarching strategy more than 30 years ago. While China finds itself in a much more challenging environment today, many of his approaches are still very relevant.
For a long time, North Korea has maintained that it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, despite some reports suggesting otherwise. Whatever the truth of the matter, a closer look at how North Korea’s medical system is structured and run will give us an idea of its capacity to withstand crises such as epidemic outbreaks. Chinese academic Shang Yongmei delves into the details.
Lockdown state, zero Chinese tourists, zero infected case... Keio University’s Atsuhito Isozaki notes that for health and political reasons, North Korea is treating the possible outbreak of Covid-19 as a matter of “national survival”. In the immediate, however, rising prices brought on by disruptions in supply are a key threat.