Cambodian commentator Sokvy Rim explains why recent Chinese immigrants in Cambodia are viewed with suspicion and even some dislike despite major Chinese investment flows in Cambodia and related economic benefits.
Because of China’s soft power, some Yunnanese Chinese in Northern Thailand — known as KMT Chinese and who are descendants of KMT supporters who left Yunnan and eventually settled in Northern Thailand — have gradually shifted from being pro-Taipei to being pro-Beijing. Out of the 110 private tutoring Yunnanese schools in Northern Thailand for instance, more than 40 have begun to accept Beijing’s support and modelled their school structure in accordance with PRC’s guidance. How many more converts can China's soft power yield?
Abe’s major accomplishments are in his diplomacy and security policies, and these are the areas that will be highlighted when history passes judgement on him. PM Fumio Kishida has every reason to pick up where Abe left off, seeking to expand this grand vision of the Indo-Pacific and keep the unreliable US in check, but the biggest obstacle will be establishing a consensus within the ruling party.
China’s general isolation is impacting its economy and international image, with most other countries having unfavourable views of and little trust in China and its leadership. Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang looks at the factors leading to the current situation and how China can address it.
Despite Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent speech reaffirming Hong Kong’s future as well as the “one country, two systems” policy, many are worried that Hong Kong’s unique advantages are weakening fast amid a tightening of political space. Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing tells us more.
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.
China has been engaging in a soft power campaign overseas, and one group that it counts on as a resource is the Chinese overseas. Major institutions involving Chinese overseas include the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, various associations established among Chinese overseas, as well as numerous Confucius Institutes all over the world. China will need to be sensitive to the feelings of both the ethnic Chinese and the non-Chinese population of other countries. At the same time, China has to deal with negative allegations from various sources, which may also have a negative impact on how local Chinese are viewed.
China's faith diplomacy towards Muslim organisations in Indonesia appears to have silenced critics of its policy towards the Uighurs in Xinjiang. Among its efforts, Beijing has portrayed itself as an ally of moderate Muslims against extremism, and invited Indonesian clerics several times to Xinjiang to give them a firsthand look into conditions there. In return, major religious figures in Indonesia have called on Indonesians not to criticise China over the Uighur issue. This is likely to continue as long as the Indonesian government sees benefits in its links with China.
Huawei’s digital talent programme in Indonesia is contributing to China’s soft power as the latter seeks to engage Indonesia as an important node of its Belt and Road Initiative. Indonesia stands to gain from the exchange but also needs to be wary of possible cybersecurity concerns.