Defence

People attend a media tour ahead of Airshow China 2022 in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China, 6 November 2022. (CNS)

China’s latest military drones on display at Zhuhai Airshow

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force is showcasing its air combat capabilities during the 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, with static displays and aerial demonstrations for its advanced military drones, fighter jets and other military weapons and equipment. From boasting of a fully China-made fighter jet, to its home-designed drones, the developments in China’s air combat power shows the impact of the geopolitical situation on the military industry.
A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking during his first Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons in London on 26 October 2022. (Jessica Taylor/AFP)

The UK's 'tilt' towards the Indo-Pacific may not be sustainable

The UK has launched a robust “tilt” towards the Indo-Pacific. To its credit, it has executed a series of high-profile diplomatic engagements and military deployments to the region. The question, however, is not about London’s desire to engage with the dynamic region but whether this tilt can be sustained.
People attend a rally and a concert marking the annexation of four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy — Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, at Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, on 30 September 2022. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

How closely aligned are China and Russia, really?

University of New South Wales academic Alexander Korolev takes stock of the China-Russia relationship from the angles of consistency, growing military-technical cooperation, and structural shifts in great power politics.
A man walks past a television report showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on 6 October 2022. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

What to make of Kim Jong-un's missile launch spree

The spate of missile launches by North Korea over the past month has shown Kim Jong-un’s unrelenting strategic thinking to hold nuclear weapons and keep growing nuclear power at all costs. With spillover effects on the US, South Korea and Japan, the security situation in the Korean peninsula is spiralling downward amid mutual aggravation. How will the region respond to the increasing nuclear threat?
US President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks at a reception for the Democratic National Committee in National Harbor, Maryland, US, 8 September 2022. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Why is Biden making it increasingly clear that US forces will defend Taiwan?

The US’s “strategic ambiguity” on the Taiwan Strait issue comes to question as China-US relations deteriorate. Political commentator Jin Jian Guo notes that the US has said on multiple occasions that it is ready to militarily defend Taiwan, while China has spoken against any intervention from the West. Will the US change its “one China” policy and move towards strategic clarity?
Indonesia's Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto gestures while attending the Gerindra Party leaders national meeting, in Bogor, Indonesia, 12 August 2022. (Willy Kurniawan/Reuters)

Prabowo Subianto: Indonesia’s controversial presidential candidate

Prabowo has been in Indonesia’s political scene for decades and his chequered past has not deterred him from multiple runs for vice-president and president. Given his support from the conservative and radical Muslims, with a potential running mate that can boost his standing, will Prabowo finally make his mark as Indonesia’s president in the 2024 elections? ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata gives a profile of this controversial figure.
This handout photo taken and released by Taiwan’s Presidential Office on 8 September 2022 shows Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (7th left) posing for a photo with a US congressional delegation led by US Representative Stephanie Murphy (6th from left) and other officials at the Presidential Office in Taipei. (Handout/Taiwan Presidential Office/AFP)

Effect of US politicians' frequent visits to Taiwan cannot be underestimated

Following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, visits by other US politicians have come fast and furious, with the latest a delegation led by Democrat Stephanie Murphy. But while these visits show US support for Taiwan, they also sometimes come with an agenda. How will Taiwan navigate such a situation amid pressure from Beijing?
A Russian soldiers stands with a national flag at the Red Square during the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival at the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on 26 August 2022. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

Will China and Russia join hands to push for an alternative world order?

Out of the ashes of a changing global order could rise a growing China-Russia alliance, says East Asian Institute senior researcher Lance Gore. Such a prospect is made possible by the common ground they share, including having a victim complex, harbouring resentment towards the West and aspiring to regain their past grandeur. However, the two civilisations are very different and there could still be a misalignment of objectives. In light of the obstacles, will their relationship stay a strategic partnership that goes no further?
Air Force soldiers prepare to load US-made Harpoon AGM-84 anti-ship missiles in front of an F-16V fighter jet during a drill at Hualien Air Force Base in Taiwan on 17 August 2022. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Three big changes in China-US competition after Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

In the wake of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taiwan and the mainland’s retaliatory actions in the Taiwan Strait, researcher Wei Da believes that China-US rivalry has transformed in three ways: political confrontation is becoming more ideological and acute; military confrontation is becoming more symbolic; and further decoupling of major economic and trade initiatives may reach a critical point.