The recent elections in Fiji resulted in the first democratic transition since 2014 after three opposition parties narrowly voted for a pro–Western coalition government with Sitiveni Rabuka as the new prime minister. The election outcome also has geopolitical implications considering the growing US-China confrontation in the Pacific and the renewed US re-engagement in the South Pacific with a focus on Fiji.
While smiles at the recent Xi-Biden in-person meeting in Bali might have painted a rosy picture of US-China relations, the reality is that domestic politics, especially in the US, may stir and stoke tensions in bilateral relations in the new year.
Extreme weather and declining water levels at hydropower reservoirs in Sichuan are sparking worries of a power crunch across China. This has forced electricity cuts to businesses and households in the province of 84 million people, along with loud calls for a rethink of coal in the nation’s energy mix, putting a spanner in the works of its goal to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030.
While China has yet to emerge from the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic and its ailing real estate sector, power shortages caused by severe weather conditions are adding to its woes. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu tells us more about the severity of the power crunch, and its far-reaching impact across regions and industries.
Amid a world shaken by global events, President Jokowi has done his fair share of shuttle diplomacy in the lead-up to the G20 Summit in Bali later this year. While Indonesia has the potential to play an intermediary role among global powers, it remains circumspect and looks to push forward the G20 agenda in incremental and achievable steps.
The Group of Seven’s new infrastructure and investment drive seeks to provide what Southeast Asia needs, such as financing for hard infrastructure. However, ISEAS academic Chanrith Ngin believes that the need for multiple stakeholders and financing issues might not garner much buy-in from the region, and some countries may opt out to avoid being caught in the geopolitical competition between China and the US.
Economics professor Zhang Rui identifies the main crises faced by global economies today, their various effects, and how they are interrelated. How will governments handle these challenges and work together to ease the impact of what seems to be a perfect storm of negative factors?
Beijing-based Singaporean Jessie Tan recounts her experience in keeping her residential compound safe from potentially harmful mosquitoes. While mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent in some countries such as Singapore, the local Chinese would find it rather unusual in their part of the world, leaving one to reflect how different environments breed different concerns.
Erik Baark points out some of the peculiarities of China’s emissions trading system (ETS) with Chinese characteristics on its one-year anniversary. Going forward, will the Chinese ETS gradually morph into an ETS in the likes of the EU ETS as it works towards meeting its dual carbon ambitions?