Singapore’s ambassador-at-large and former ambassador to the US Chan Heng Chee. (SPH Media)

Chan Heng Chee: Amid chaos, our national interest is the only constant

The future world will neither be unipolar nor bipolar but multipolar; the structure will be fragmented, and the heights of the poles will be asymmetrical. Amid the tensions and pitfalls, how does Singapore cope in an increasingly complex world? Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong speaks with Singapore’s ambassador-at-large and former ambassador to the US Chan Heng Chee about the challenges the world faces.
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (back right) and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (back left) attend a document exchange ceremony with Japan Coast Guard Commandant Shohei Ishii (front right) and Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Ronnie Gil Gavan (front left) at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, 17 December 2023. Both countries leaders met on the sidelines of the Commemorative Summit for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. (Franck Robichon/Reuters)

Japan’s arms transfers to Southeast Asia: Upping the ante?

Japan's new Official Security Assistance (OSA) scheme would help arm regional countries in the face of growing Chinese assertiveness. A lesser-known aspect of OSA might actually bring some serious military capabilities to the region in the future.
This handout picture provided by the Russian defence corporation Rostec on 24 November 2023 shows a Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jet at the grounds of an aviation firm in the far eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. (Handout/Russian defence corporation Rostec/AFP)

Will Vietnam turn to Russia or America for its new jet fighter?

Vietnam needs to upgrade its ageing fighter fleet. But it faces a list of less than optimal options. Will it go for Russian-made or US-made planes, in consideration of its current diplomatic ties with each?
This handout photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines taken on 4 January 2024 shows a pilot executing a final check in a Philippine Navy AW109 helicopter on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson during the second iteration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the US Indo-Pacific Command Military Cooperative Activity in the South China Sea. (Handout/Armed Forces of the Philippines/AFP)

China’s naval defence gains priority amid US’s aggressive Indo-Pacific strategy

Academic Chen Gang notes that China’s appointment of its first defence minister with a naval background highlights the priority it has set for its military development. Given the US’s aggressive Indo-Pacific maritime strategy, China is responding in kind, leading to "grey rhino" that could spark a war.
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.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese walks into the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on 16 October 2023. (David Gray/AFP)

Australia-China relations have stabilised, thanks to efforts from both sides

As Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese heads to China this weekend, Australia-China relations appear to have improved from their fractious state just a year and a half ago. But it’s too soon to bring out the champagne, says University of Sydney academic Yuan Jingdong.
The Royal Thai Navy holds a press briefing at the force’s headquarters in Bangkok in 2020 to defend the purchase of two more submarines worth 22.5 billion baht from China. (Photo: Bangkok Post)

Thailand’s marooned submarine deal: Some questions need answers

Thailand’s long-drawn saga to acquire Chinese-built submarines is dead in the water. The kingdom’s newly-appointed defence minister Sutin Klungsang should be asking the Royal Thai Navy some serious questions.
A soldier stands guard at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on 18 October 2023. (Xiaoyu Yin/Reuters)

China remains without a defence minister: Who can Xi Jinping trust?

In one fell swoop, China has removed two of its five state councilors. While anti-corruption efforts in China have been ongoing for a decade, corruption within the system remains widespread. Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong highlights what to expect for the currently vacant post of defence minister and how anti-corruption efforts will come into play in appointing the next minister.
Members of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) march outside the Great Hall of the People on 18 October 2023. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Which Chinese military leader will lead the Xiangshan Forum?

The Xiangshan Forum is scheduled to open at the end of this week in Beijing, after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, and in that time several complex geopolitical and security issues have cropped up that are likely to be discussed. Furthermore, the sudden change in China’s military leadership and continued freezing of China-US military interactions adds another layer worth observing. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu tells us more.