Global governance

In this file photo taken on 14 November 2020, people take part in a rally in Washington, DC, claiming that the US presidential election on 3 November 2020 was fraudulent. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)

Invite list for Summit for Democracy shows true calculations in American foreign policy

Former journalist and MP Goh Choon Kang asserts that out of the 110 invitees for this week’s Summit for Democracy, more than a few countries probably chose to go along out of courtesy. In the main, the international community subscribes to inclusiveness and win-win multilateralism. Efforts to delineate countries based on ideology or values will not go down very well. If anything, the invite and non-invite lists speak of the US’s own geopolitical calculations, not least its search for an added means to contain China.
This handout photo released by the host broadcast, ASEAN Summit 2021, on 27 October 2021 shows Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah (centre), Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (top L), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (top 2nd L) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (top 2nd R) taking part in the ASEAN-Plus Three Summit on the sidelines of the 2021 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, held online on a live video conference in Bandar Seri Begawan. (Handout/ASEAN Summit 2021/AFP)

ASEAN’s deft diplomacy with its dialogue partners

Kong Tuan Yuen notes that this year’s virtual 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits achieved several deliverables, including commitments from dialogue partners such as China, Japan and the US for increased Covid-19 assistance and other cooperation. The grouping also agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with China and Australia respectively. ASEAN’s desire to maintain its centrality is clear from the way it has timed the two comprehensive strategic partnerships and the stance it adopted on ASEAN member state Myanmar's representation.
US President Joe Biden participates virtually during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, US, on 26 October 2021. Biden plans to provide Southeast Asia with more than $100 million in funding to fight the pandemic and tackle the climate crisis as his administration seeks to bolster ties with a region seeking to balance its growing economic reliance on China. (Tom Brenner/Bloomberg)

The EU and ASEAN should join hands in cajoling China and the US towards peace

The EU and ASEAN are supporters of a rules-based global system, says Joergen Oerstroem Moeller. As such, they can use their collective weight to persuade Washington and Beijing to focus less on their bilateral tensions and more on solving contemporary problems.
People queue to board a tourist bus before a display showing a US flag in Times Square in New York City, US on 30 July 2021. (Ed Jones/AFP)

Chinese academic: It’s time to make the US safe for the world

The US has said that withdrawing from Afghanistan will give it more bandwidth to deal with Russia and its “serious competitor” China. The latter in particular, has become a key target. Chinese academic Wang Zhengxu asserts that the US should learn from its Afghanistan experience that the military option should only be used in self-defence. If it gets involved in China’s core concerns and insists on building an anti-China alliance, China will bristle and regional instability can only increase.
People visit the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu River, 1 May 2021, Shanghai, China. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Why the world will face a global leadership vacuum

Chen Kang explains why global governance is hard to achieve, not least due to the limited effectiveness of multilateral organisations, the waning willingness of the US to lead in global governance, and the conflicts between global governance and national sovereignty.
US President Joe Biden speaks about infrastructure and jobs along the banks of the Calcasieu River near Interstate 10 on 6 May 2021, in Westlake, Louisiana. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

While the US sets new goals for G7, China sets new goals for itself

China was at the centre of discussions in the recently concluded G7 summit in Cornwall. While the US is corralling its allies to take a harder stance on China on various issues, a lot of this is all talk and it will be hard in reality to agree on and implement such plans, says Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan. On its part, China is focusing on increasing its national strength to meet the challenge.
Employees work on a production line manufacturing camera lenses for mobile phones at a factory in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China, 30 April 2019. (China Daily via Reuters)

Suspension of China-EU investment deal: A hiccup in the short run but a major loss if prolonged

Negotiations on the investment agreement between the EU and China were concluded at the end of last year but the European Parliament recently passed a resolution to freeze any consideration or discussion of the agreement. This was following retaliatory sanctions from China after the EU's round of Xinjiang-related sanctions. NUS academic Cai Daolu sees the suspension as a economic and trade relationship hiccup in the short run. But if prolonged, it would turn into a missed opportunity, not just for EU and China, but for the global economy as well.
Customers drink on reopened cafe terraces on Saint Germain in Paris, France, on 19 May 2021. (Nathan Laine/Bloomberg)

Is the China-EU investment deal doomed?

The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) was effectively frozen by the European Parliament last week, in consideration of China’s human rights issues in Xinjiang and its sanctions on individuals and organisations from the EU. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong asks: will this be the end of the deal, or is there still hope of a revival?
US President Joe Biden speaks about jobs and the economy at the White House in Washington, US, 7 April 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Biden's China strategy only looks impressive on the surface

Hong Kong commentator Chip Tsao says that while the US wants China to do more to reduce global carbon emissions, surely it can expect China to prioritise its own development trajectory or to seek leverage in other areas. They should not forget that two can play at that game.