Soft power

People watch a pop up event in Times Square on 11 June 2021 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

US-China relations: Can we pin our hopes on future generations?

While views of China remain largely negative in the West, US academic Zhu Zhiqun finds one bright spot — the young who appear more receptive to alternative views of China. Will their openness help to improve the state of US-China relations?
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi walk as they attend the ASEAN leaders' summit at the the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretariat building in Jakarta, Indonesia, 24 April 2021. (Muchlis Jr/Indonesian Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters)

Is Indonesia's foreign policy tilting towards Beijing?

Indonesian academic Aristyo Rizka Darmawan looks at Indonesia's engagement with China in recent years and notes that Indonesia has adopted a foreign policy that is driven by economic interest and transactional considerations. Despite its increased engagement with China, Jakarta would need to upkeep its relationships with other regional powers for a good balance.
A man poses for a photo on the Red Steps in Times Square as an image of the Statue of Liberty wearing a mask is projected on a billboard amid the Covid-19 pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, US on 20 April 2021. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong: If America and China clash, everything will be lost

The US Chamber of Commerce held its inaugural Global Forum on Economic Recovery on 18-19 May 2021. In a fireside chat with US Chamber of Commerce executive vice-president Myron Brilliant, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared his views on getting the US-China relationship on a stable path, among other topics. At heart is the need to forge common ground and work together, not just on climate change but a host of issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, public health and pandemics. To do so, both countries need to reconcile their international stances with their domestic political opinions, and see each other as partners sharing one planet.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting at the Great Hall of People in Beijing, China on 25 April 2019. (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool via Reuters)

China's CPC deepens ties with Philippine political parties

Under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, party-to-party (P2P) relations have been forged and deepened between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and various Philippine political parties. Such P2P diplomacy offers China a new diplomatic channel to promote bilateral relations and complement confidence-building measures. It also enables Beijing to hedge at the sub-national level given the plurality of political bases in the Philippines. Philippine researcher Aaron Jed Rabena looks at the engagements thus far and examines how these may affect Philippine domestic politics.
Patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 are seen inside a centre of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) village which has been temporarily converted into a Covid care facility in New Delhi on 2 May 2021. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP)

Chinese authorities' Weibo post lambasted for mocking India's coronavirus crisis

A recent post from an official social media account of the Chinese authorities mocking India’s coronavirus situation has been removed following intense debate. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu speaks to Chinese academics, who note that such crass comparisons do no favours for China’s image in the international arena.
Joggers run along the Bund as the Lujiazui Financial District stands in the background in Shanghai, China, 10 April 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Chinese researcher: No one can reverse the shrinking economic gap between China and the US

Researcher Chen Hongbin notes that the economic gap between China and the US is closing. But the crux is not when China will overtake the US, but how the US will cope with the change. Its previous high-pressure tactics may have worked against the Soviet Union and Japan, but China will be a different kettle of fish.
In this file photo taken on 19 January 2021, Taiwan’s tank troops line up for photographs after a drill in Hsinchu military base. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Taiwan: Why China-US relations are a zero-sum game

Chinese academic Ni Lexiong says that so long as a country's territorial sovereignty is in conflict with the hegemonic system governing the world, the likelihood of escalation to war is there. That is why despite any of the posturing at the recent Alaska talks, the situation between China and the US remains deadlocked in a zero-sum game.
Protesters take cover behind homemade shields as they confront the police during a crackdown on demonstrations against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on 16 March 2021. (STR/AFP)

Why anti-China sentiments are growing in Myanmar and China is set to lose

As the Myanmar coup continues, researcher Hein Khaing traces the steady but relentless progression of how the situation has resulted in increasing hatred towards China and both tangible and intangible losses suffered.
People walk in the Montorgueil street in Paris, France, 25 February 2021. (Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters)

French cultural and academic institutions alarmed by China's influence

Recent incidents in France’s academic and cultural arenas are making the French take notice of what they perceive as China’s attempts to exert its influence, and there are growing calls for institutions and individuals to maintain independence. France-based journalist Justin Zhang explores the issue.