International organisations

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Leaders Retreat during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco, California, US, on 17 November 2023. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

APEC: No longer an 'economic cooperation' forum

Commentator Jin Jian Guo notes that the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was of less interest than the sideline meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden. 'Open regionalism', previously synonymous with APEC, seems a thing of the past.
Passengers wait for trains at Hongqiao Railway Station in Shanghai on 29 September 2023. (Rebecca Bailey/AFP)

Will China's economy 'collapse' again?

Despite speculations about the decline of China’s economy, Chinese academic Han Heyuan says that history has shown that such contrarian sentiments have been proven wrong time and again, for example in the case of the US, Japan and even China during the turn of the century.
A child visits the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China, on 6 July 2023. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

Breaking ground: China’s strides in AI regulation

While countries the world over are grappling with ways of regulating emergent AI technology, China has issued a raft of regulations, including a set of “Measures” released in August, which made explicit provisions for the research and development and services of generative AI. What insights can other countries glean? Academic James Pang examines the issue.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits International Media Center, on the second day of the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, 10 September 2023. (Amit Dave/Reuters)

G20 summit 2023: India-China win-win moment?

China and India have surprisingly cooperated in facing a polarised geopolitical ambience during the G20 summit in Delhi on 9-10 September 2023, says Indian academic P. S. Suryanarayana. China supported India’s leadership in reaching a G20 consensus on the Ukraine crisis and the development priorities of the global south. The nuances of acquiescence by the US-led West may be key to the future of world affairs, because the G20 reflects today’s realities.
Local Kenya musicians entertain delegates at the Africa Climate Summit held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya on 6 September 2023. (Simon Maina/AFP)

Young Chinese are making their presence felt in Africa's Kenya

Young Chinese Wang Hao shares his personal experience of working in Africa's Kenya. He says a growing number of young Chinese are venturing into Africa for exchanges, internships and full-time work. In this era of globalisation, it is important that young Chinese communicate with the outside world to develop a broader worldview and seek opportunities for growth.
Lion statues decorate the entrance of China's Yellow River scientific station in Ny-Aalesund, Svalbard, Norway, on 6 April 2023. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

China’s polar great power dreams may be put on hold

With climate change and Arctic marine navigation expected to be extended from four months to more than half a year by 2030, Arctic states and self-declared “Near-Arctic State” China are looking to increase their influence in the region. China recently announced it would soon deploy a “polar subglacial shallow surface acoustic monitoring buoy system” and also embarked on its 13th expedition to the Arctic. But several obstacles may stand in the way. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk looks at the issue.
Leaders of states and officials of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are seen on a screen during a summit via a video conference at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 4 July 2023. (Sputnik/Alexander Kazakov/Kremlin via Reuters)

SCO summit showcases India’s rise as a major power

India has hosted the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) virtual summit for the first time, bringing together Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other heads of state in the grouping. This shows India’s growing influence and deft political navigation between China and the US, but the verdict is still out on whether it can play a larger role in easing global conflicts.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi attends the 23rd Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Heads of State (SCO) Summit via video link at the Office of the President of Iran, in Tehran, Iran, 4 July 2023. (Iran's Presidency/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via Reuters)

SCO: This year's virtual summit may not have solved real concerns

Mere dissatisfaction with the West is an insufficient adhesive to solidify membership within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which just welcomed Iran as a full member. While India tried to assert a greater role during the virtual SCO summit it hosted, conflicts of interest among members, and now between Iran and dialogue partners like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will be challenging to manage.
(Left-right) Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, East Timor’s Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai gather prior to a retreat session during the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo on 11 May 2023. (Mast Irham/AFP)

A divided ASEAN: Will disunity derail the regional organisation?

Co-coordinator of the ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS Joanne Lin examines the challenges to ASEAN’s unity ahead of the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ and related meetings, and highlights why ASEAN needs to move towards a more flexible modus operandi.