World order

Chinese President Xi Jinping waves as he meets with US President Joe Biden at the Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, US, on 15 November 2023. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

It's all about power: US-China relations set to remain rocky in 2024

Despite an amicable summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping in San Francisco recently, the essence of the US-China conflict of interest does not change, says US academic Robert Ross. This means that the outlook for US-China relations in the new year remains paved with difficulties, as both powers continue to joust in a battle to win.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at San Francisco International Airport to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week in San Francisco, California, US, on 14 November 2023. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP)

Chinese academic: Can California sunshine warm Sino-US relations?

As the leaders of two largest world economies meet in San Francisco this week, Fan Hongda, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, explains why there are good reasons for the US and China to cooperate, both in the interests of international relations and bilateral ties.
People queue to enter the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on 19 October 2023. (Edgar Su/Reuters)

China is not ready for a showdown with the US

To build the “community of shared destiny for mankind”, it is necessary to hold hands with liberalism, for it is still the international mainstream. However, finding points of agreement does not entail complete Westernisation, says East Asian Institute senior research fellow Lance Gore. What it means is to do better than the Western countries in actualising a system of human values that is identical or similar. Before China gets the world's approval in soft power, it's not ready for a showdown.
US President Joe Biden and China's President Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on 14 November 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Can Biden and Xi seize the day and create breakthroughs in international relations?

Former journalist Goh Choon Kang looks at the global situation, from central Asia and the Caucasus to China-US relations, and how tensions might be de-escalated and countries can work together rather than against one another.
Students wave the national flag of China during an opening ceremony for undergraduates at the Wuhan University in Wuhan on 12 September 2023.  (AFP)

Is Asia ready for a stronger China?

China is exerting its growing strength and influence in various areas including trade, technology, politics and the military, which undoubtedly has an impact on other countries. Larger countries such as India, Japan, South Korea and of course the US are banding together in order to not be caught up in this wave; but how are other countries such as the ASEAN member states navigating the geopolitics in the region?
Minister in charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing (left) meeting with Minister of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Organisation Department Li Ganjie ahead of the 9th Singapore-China Forum on Leadership at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing, China, on 12 September 2023. (SPH Media)

Minister Chan Chun Sing on Singapore-China relations: Mutual trust is vital to navigate a changing world

Singapore Minister for Education and Minister-in-charge of the Public Service Chan Chun Sing gave the keynote address during the 9th Singapore-China Forum on Leadership in Beijing on 12 September 2023. Minister Chan noted the importance of taking stock and exchanging notes on how countries’ approaches to governance must evolve as both the internal and external environment change, and stressed that facing the new challenges of the modern world requires cohesive leaders who work well together, not only within the government and with the people, but also with businesses and globally with international partners. Here is the edited transcript of his speech.
Cartoon: Heng Kim Song

ThinkCartoon (31 August)

Heng Kim Song has been the freelance editorial cartoonist

From left: Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, China's President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov raise their arms as they pose for a group photograph, at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on 23 August 2023. (Alet Pretorius/Pool/AFP)

BRICS expansion ups ante but can the momentum be sustained?

It would be a mistake to think that the soon-to-be 11-member BRICS would unite to become a formidable coordinating force at the international level, says Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong.
A woman shelters from the sun with an umbrella during a hot summer day in Chennai, India, on 16 May 2023. (R. Satish Babu/AFP)

Expanding the BRICS: New challenges for the embattled world order

Voices discussing the expansion of the BRICS are getting louder, leading up to the meeting of BRICS foreign ministers to be held this week in Cape Town. While China sees possible expansion of the BRICS as a useful development in growing its influence, other members of BRICS like India may view it with mixed feelings. ISAS academic Amitendu Palit explains.