New Cold War

This handout photo taken and released by the Indian Navy on 18 November 2020 shows ships taking part in the second phase of the Malabar naval exercise in the Arabian sea. India, Australia, Japan and the US started the second phase of a strategic navy drill on 17 November in the Northern Arabian sea. (Indian Navy/AFP)

The Indo-Pacific strategy could turn into an empty shell under Biden

The Indo-Pacific strategy, with the China threat at the back of its mind, was a vital plank of the Trump administration’s foreign policy. Professor Xiang Lanxin considers the flaws of the concept when put into practice, and wonders if the policy will become something of a white elephant under the Biden administration.
Paramilitary police officers wearing face masks patrol on a street in Beijing on 13 October 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

China's wolf-warrior tactics confusing, misleading and unprofessional

When it would have been advantageous to watch and wait while the US leadership transition is carried out, China has decided to up the ante with a high-profile show of wolf-warrior diplomacy. Is it setting itself up for a boomerang effect?
In this file photo taken on 28 November 2008, US Army soliders from 1-506 Infantry Division set out on a patrol in Paktika province, situated along the Afghan-Pakistan border. (David Furst/AFP)

Biden may need China’s help in Afghanistan

One solution that ended the Vietnam war may provide some lessons for bringing the Afghan war to an end during Biden’s presidency. Forty years ago, the Nixon administration played the China card, enabling Washington to leave the Vietnam war. In the present, a replica of a Vietnam-inspired exodus — one moderated by China and its ally Pakistan — is worth pursuing. China has built relations with all of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries and has the capacity to build a regional infrastructure and economic network. US academic Ma Haiyun explores the possibilities.
This photo taken on 21 October 2020 shows a mural painted on a wall on Taiwan's Kinmen Island. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

China-US relations: ‘Strategic clarity’ on Taiwan may lead to hot war

The three communiques in US-China relations gave both the US and China a certain cloak of strategic ambiguity, but with senior members of the US government appearing to go against the tenets and China stubbornly holding the US to its clauses, what is left seems to be stark, opposing positions that make drifting into hot war all the more likely.
This photo taken on 24 September 2020 shows workers setting up national flags along a street ahead of the upcoming National Day in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. (STR/AFP)

China's next Five-Year Plan focuses on security, stability and quality of development; adopts a more subdued tone

Amid the pandemic, US elections and intensifying geopolitical tensions around the globe, China’s recently-released communique of the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) drew much attention. What does this 14th Five-Year Plan say about China’s development trajectory and its focus for the next five years? How has it changed given the new global situation? EAI academic Qi Dongtao dissects the document.
A man walks past a mural by artist Eric Junker which reads ‘Vote- Remember Them In November’ on 2 October 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The mural features images of deceased Black shooting victims George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. (Mario Tama/AFP)

A win for Biden is a win for China?

Economics professor Zhu Ying is well aware that US-China relations would be hard to set right whether the Democrats or Republicans win the US presidential election. But Biden at least has indicated that he does not want a new Cold War with China, and that makes all the difference.
This photo taken on 26 September 2020 shows first-year students holding a Chinese flag during a commencement ceremony at Wuhan University in Wuhan, Hubei, China. (STR/AFP)

Geopolitics is the biggest threat to China-US relations, not trade or tech wars

Contrary to doomsday predictions, the US-China trade and tech relationship is actually rather sturdy. After all, it was their economic and trade complementarity that brought them finally to agree on a phase one trade deal, and against all odds, US direct investments into China grew by 6% (from a year earlier) in the first half of the year. Geopolitics and volatile brinkmanship in the name of power relations could instead be the greater threat. But between Trump and Biden, which is the lesser evil?
Delivery workers wearing face masks ride scooters in front of Lujiazui financial district, in Shanghai, China, 10 July 2020. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

Socialism and universal basic income: Creating happy societies in the age of the knowledge economy

Lance Gore analyses that the knowledge economy offers great potential for bettering the lives of people. But capitalism may not be the best route to take. Power in the hands of a few, income gaps, job losses and wage cuts in the digital age bear this out. Can China offer a third way as it seeks to marry socialism with a market economy? The West is already considering some proposals with a socialist bent such as the Universal Basic Income (UBI). Surely, proponents of socialism can think of even more revolutionary ideas?
A woman uses her mobile phone to take pictures at the Forbidden City in Beijing on 1 September 2020. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China is waiting for the American bundle of nerves to calm down 

Sun Peisong believes that China actually understands the plot and knows why it is being vilified in American politics. Its strategy is to tough it out, particularly during the US elections season, and wait for the US to come back to the table.