United Nations

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?
A woman walks past graffiti in Borovsk, some 100 km south-west of Moscow, 14 April 2022. (AFP)

The Russia-Ukraine war has accentuated the democratic-autocratic divide

The Russia-Ukraine war has galvanised NATO and the West to action, and it seems that two main camps are taking shape along the East-West divide, and between democratic and autocratic systems. Academic Zhu Ying examines how China and other countries have responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the implications of the splits.
A pro-Ukraine demonstrator holds a sign with Putin depicted as Hitler during a protest against Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 9 April 2022. (Carla Carniel/Reuters)

Lessons from Russia-Ukraine war: The UN of 1945 must be reformed

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has disrupted global geopolitics and geoeconomics. By supporting Ukraine, the US-led NATO is trying to clip the powerful military wings of its strategic rival, Russia. Furthermore, US President Joe Biden’s massive sanctions on Russia have produced cascading adverse consequences for many economies. Amid greater uncertainty, might the G20 under UN auspices be a good avenue of negotiating the new global order?
Ukrainian servicemen run at the front line east of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on 31 March 2022. (Fadel Senna/AFP)

China must reflect on its third-party position in the Russia-Ukraine war

Despite being a third party to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China has been hit with heavy criticism from the Western powers, especially the US, about its position in the war. Chinese academic Fan Hongda believes that while the West does have a powerful media machine behind it that paints China in an unfavourable light, the latter also needs to reflect on its responses to external conflicts, and its lack of domestic channels for the Chinese to voice their diverse views.
12 May 1945, San Francisco — During the meeting of the UN Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), delegates of four countries who would serve and sit on the UN Security Council look over a document: (from left) British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Robert Anthony Eden, US Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr, Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Vycheslav M. Molotov and Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Soong Tzu-wen.

[Photo story] The establishment of the United Nations and its significance to China

The establishment of the United Nations was a major step towards forging a new world order after the chaos of World War II. For China, it was a chance to recover from the humiliation of the two Opium Wars, the First Sino-Japanese War and World War II, where it was forced to cede territory and submit to Western powers. Not only was China able to sign equal treaties to take back its land, it became a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and took its place on the world stage.
Ukrainian soldiers stand next to the grave of a civilian, who according to residents was killed by Russian soldiers, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine, 6 April 2022. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Will China condemn Russia over reports of war crimes in Ukraine?

In the Ukraine conflict, China has stuck to its awkward stance of condemning the war but not the aggressor. As Europe loses patience and draws closer to the US, and international vitriol mounts hard and fast, will China be forced to change tack?