Climate

This photo taken on 22 September 2021 shows fishermen on their boat as smoke rises from chimneys at the Suralaya coal power plant in Cilegon. (Ronald Siagian/AFP)

In Indonesia, Chinese financing for coal-fired power plants grows faster than that for renewables

On the one hand, China’s potential in helping Indonesia make the clean energy transition has been spoken about, but on the other, China continues to be a big player in perpetuating non-renewable energy use such as in coal-fired power plants. Looking ahead, can they be a larger contributor in Indonesia’s efforts to derive 23% of Indonesia’s primary energy needs from renewable sources by 2025? Malaysian academics Guanie Lim and Goh Chun Seng tell us more.
A Chinese flag flutters near people lining up to get tested at a makeshift nucleic acid testing site, amid Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing, China, 18 May 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Why Xi Jinping's bold experiments with socialism are commendable

While China’s market-based socialism with Chinese characteristics has lifted many out of poverty, creating the Chinese miracle, the ills of abiding by the “laws of the market” should be tackled and reined in. In the ever-evolving model of new socialism, a mechanism needs to be established that can raise and maintain a good standard of living in the absence of economic growth. This is so that people can transcend the pursuit of the material and live their lives with meaning and purpose.
A farmer seeds rice with a seeding machine in a field in Wuyi, in Zhejiang province, China, on 12 April 2022. (AFP)

Does China have a food security problem?

After its major reforms in late 2013, China adopted a dual approach to safeguard its food security. But it has faced several challenges along the way. To cope with the situation, Beijing is diving deep into agricultural science and technology, exploring future foods, mining the potential of “blue territories” and getting local governments and citizens on board. But the proof of the pudding will very much be in tackling extreme weather and other external events.
Locals sit on a wall situated on the foreshore of the harbour in the Fiji capital of Suva, 24 August 2014. (Lincoln Feast/File Photo/Reuters)

The South Pacific Ocean: Another battleground for China-US competition?

While the South Pacific is looking to be an emerging arena of greater competition with China on one side and the US and its allies on the other, US-based academic Hong Nong also sees that areas of common interest could still drive cooperation between them, depending on which direction the pendulum swings.
An employee works on solar photovoltaic modules at a factory in Hai'an in China's eastern Jiangsu province on 15 November 2021. (AFP)

China's push towards green energy accelerated by security concerns

China’s coal and electricity shortage last year and the current impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on global energy supply have highlighted China’s energy security concerns and the risks to fulfilling its climate goals. Nevertheless, while EAI academic Chen Gang believes that China is unlikely to significantly reduce its consumption of fossil fuels in the short term, he notes that there remain several drivers that will accelerate China's clean energy transition.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gesticulates during a joint press conference with Danish Prime Minister following talks at the Chancellery on 9 February 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Michele Tantussi/Pool/AFP)

Will Germany's new government be tougher on China?

After 16 years in office, Angela Merkel handed over the German chancellery to Olaf Scholz in December. How should we evaluate her legacy regarding China and, with the new German government almost two months in, what can be said about the future of Germany’s China policy?
A man wearing a face mask walks past an advertising board featuring Bing Dwen Dwen, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Mascot and Shuey Rhon Rhon, the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympic Games Mascot, in Beijing, China, 24 January 2022. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Beijing gears up for Winter Olympics amid Omicron threat

Beijing is about to make history by becoming the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Despite being a country that had a late start to winter sports and being hit by the Omicron variant lately, how will China push through and deliver a “safe, streamlined and splendid” event as promised?
Chinese President Xi Jinping inspects an honour guard at a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 22 September 2013. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo/Reuters)

China's regulatory clampdowns: Masterful moves or persistent mistakes?

China has implemented regulatory clampdowns at lightning speed across various industries. Reactions to these new policies and directives have been mixed. Some people approve of the Chinese central government's decisive actions to address societal ills and problems, hailing them as part of a grand master plan. Others are sceptical, thinking China is repeating the same old mistakes of using Chinese-style mobilisation methods and creating a grand illusion that the top leadership has the future mapped out and everything under control. Comparing China's counter-pandemic and carbon reduction efforts, economist Chen Kang examines the problems of the Chinese bureaucratic system and the issues that may go wrong when the government runs grand campaigns.
Indian Army soldiers stand next to a M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer positioned at Penga Teng Tso ahead of Tawang, near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), neighbouring China, in India's Arunachal Pradesh state on 20 October 2021. (Money Sharma/AFP)

Overcoming power imbalances and policy clashes: The quest for a peaceful China-India future

Mind games among the US, China, Russia and India may influence Sino-Indian engagement in the new year and beyond. China could move even closer to Russia in dealing with India, and the US could further call on India as a “major defence partner” in its intense competition with China. External factors aside, a peaceful and cooperative China-India future requires synchronised political will in their bilateral and global diplomacy. Key is unequal power and core interests as China and India each employ the diplomacy of smart power. Will an uneasy status quo be maintained in their long-unresolved boundary dispute, and will they find the impetus for collaboration in a post-Covid-19 order?