United Nations

This photo taken on 6 October 2022 shows a cargo ship loaded with vehicles berthing at Yantai Port in China's eastern Shandong province. (AFP)

From rule taker to rule shaper: The importance of UNCLOS to China

China’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) not only helped Beijing to adapt to contemporary global ocean governance, but also reinforced the importance for China to develop a maritime strategy to safeguard its maritime rights and interests. For instance despite China’s rejection of the 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling of the Philippines’ case against China in the case of the South China Sea, it still refers to UNCLOS (rather than simply dismisses it) to explain its decision. It can be expected that UNCLOS can be a tool of political contestation in the great power competition between Beijing and Washington.
People walk in Kimironko Market in Kigali, Rwanda on 26 June 2022. (SPH Media)

Small nations' survival strategy for a world in flux: Lessons from Rwanda and Timor-Leste

Lim Jim Koon, former editor-in-chief of Chinese Media Group, SPH Media, looks at the current world in flux and its focus on great power rivalry. He reminds us that small nations have their place in this world too and their survival and growth must not be lightly brushed aside. Rwanda and Timor-Leste may not be countries in the spotlight, but these are small nations with tenacity, sharing common interests and goals with Singapore.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York City, US, 24 September 2022. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

China's FM Wang Yi paves way for Xi with diplomatic blitz

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been busy meeting with key political figures while attending the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. Will this help to smooth relations between China and the world, especially the US? Or will it be seen as just another PR effort before the upcoming 20th Party Congress? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan tells us more.
A vintage doll is pictured near a damaged kindergarten following recent Russian shelling in the city of Slovyansk, Ukraine, as Russia's attack in Ukraine continues, on 2 September 2022 (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

In the China-US-Russia confrontation, it is military power that counts in the end

The Russia-Ukraine war has turned into a stage for the US and Russian militaries to flex their muscles, and so too in the case of the Taiwan Strait for the People’s Liberation Army and the US military. Against this backdrop, says political commentator Jin Jian Guo, the arms race in East Asia is quickening its pace, with Japan seeking to revise its constitution, Taiwan aiming to raise military spending next year, and North Korea holding firm to its nuclear programme. How will these developments affect geopolitics and security in the region?
People ride on scooters across a street during morning rush hour, in Beijing, China, 2 August 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

[State of our world] The world will be very different from the one we're used to

In a changed world post-pandemic and against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, Asia will face pressure from competing minilateral coalitions amid the breakdown of multilateralism and the weakening global and regional institutions. This time, it may not be so easy not to take sides, says Professor C. Raja Mohan. This is the second in a series of four articles contemplating a changing world order.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen participates in the US-ASEAN Special Summit at the US State Department in Washington, DC, on 13 May 2022. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

Cambodia’s surprisingly hardline stance on the Ukraine war

Cambodia’s hearty relations with Russia means that it should have taken a less strident view of the latter’s invasion of Ukraine. Intriguingly, Phnom Penh’s position has tacked closer to Western critics of the Kremlin. Not only did Cambodia support the UNGA's resolution to condemn Russia, but it also co-sponsored it. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has also said he is not afraid to anger Moscow.
A screen shows Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia via video link, at a media centre in Boao, Hainan province, China, 21 April 2022. (Xinhua)

Why the Global Security Initiative is important for Asia-Pacific security

Zhang Xumin, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Chinese embassy in Singapore, explains why China believes that the Global Security Initiative espoused by President Xi Jinping at this year’s Boao Forum is a framework that can help to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region and find a path for the Asia-Pacific that ensures security for all, by all, and of all.
A boy stands next to a wrecked vehicle in front of an apartment building damaged during the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, 24 April 2022. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Neither will submit: Why the Russia-Ukraine war will be the cruellest since World War II

As much as the world wants an end to the Russia-Ukraine war, Chinese professor Zhu Ying notes that in the current situation, given Russian nationalism and Ukrainian grit, it is very unlikely that peace terms can be negotiated at this point. Russian President Vladimir Putin has a point to prove, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also determined not to give in.
People in a busy street in Mumbai, India, 12 April 2022. (Niharika Kulkarni/Reuters)

Why India's neutral stance in the Russia-Ukraine war works

Indian academic Amrita Jash is of the view that unlike China, India has managed to stay on the right side of international opinion despite abstaining from the UN resolution condemning Russia. This is because it is valued as an important piece of the puzzle in the reshaping of the 21st century world order. Moreover, it has stuck to a non-reactionary position and stayed clear of an obvious tilt towards Russia or the US and its allies. By the same token though, will India’s usefulness in the power game be diminished by its inability to move any further to either side?