Nuclear power

This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 27 November 2022 shows North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (centre right) and his daughter (centre left) posing with soldiers who contributed to the test-firing of the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at an unknown location in North Korea. (KCNA via KNS/AFP)

Can China avert North Korea's seventh nuclear test?

With North Korea’s seventh testing of a nuclear weapon looking imminent, Chinese academic Jin Kai notes that the ROK’s hardened stance and the US’s inconsistent policies are not helping to calm rising tensions in the Korean peninsula. And while it is perceived to hold sway over North Korea, China’s influence over its neighbour may be overrated in truth.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an exhibition marking the anniversary of a historical parade in 1941, when Soviet soldiers marched towards the front lines during World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, 8 November 2022. (Aleksey Nikolskyi/Kremlin/Sputnik via Reuters)

The world is no longer safe from a nuclear war

Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Peter Ong remarks that the likelihood of a nuclear war has suddenly increased manyfold since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. Besides Russia, the US has also become the main actor that could initiate the use of nuclear weapons. He shares his thoughts on these major powers’ historic and present-day views of nuclear weapons. Are they willing to risk it all?
This screen grab made from video released by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV shows the launch ceremony of the Fujian, a People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft carrier, at a shipyard in Shanghai on 17 June 2022. (CCTV/AFP)

With the Fujian, is China catching up to the US in aircraft carrier manufacturing technology?

The Fujian, China’s third aircraft carrier, was launched on 17 June. The highlight is the electromagnetic catapult system for launching aircraft, which could put it on par with much of the US’s cutting-edge technology in the field. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan takes a closer look at the implications of this development.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets troops who have taken part in the military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), 29 April 2022. (KCNA via Reuters)

Can South Korea’s Yoon and China’s Xi denuclearise North Korea?

North Korea conducted an unprecedented seven missile tests in January and continues to test boundaries as it isolates itself from the world amid the Ukraine war. Yoon Suk-yeol, who becomes South Korea’s president on 10 May, has every reason to work with Chinese President Xi Jinping on denuclearising North Korea. But will joint efforts be a casualty of tectonic shifts in the global landscape?
Soldiers of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) fire a mortar during a live-fire military exercise in Anhui province, China, 22 May 2021. (CNS photo via Reuters)

Will China abandon its 'no first use' nuclear policy?

Li Nan notes the seeming contradiction of China expanding its nuclear force while vowing not to fight a nuclear war. He explains that China seeks to ensure that it has nuclear counterattack capabilities that can survive the first nuclear attack and launch retaliatory strikes. At the moment, its “no first use” policy is intact, but the debate around it suggests that China’s nuclear strategists have begun to explore the possibility of limited nuclear war that can be winnable against enemy targets.
People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on 25 January 2022, after North Korea fired two suspected cruise missiles according to the South's military. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP)

The world needs to pay attention to renewed Korean peninsula confrontation

With its latest “final test-fire” of a hypersonic missile, the DPRK has shown that its nuclear capabilities have increased significantly since the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi in 2019. In fact, US-DPRK relations have regressed to pre-Pyeongchang Winter Olympics levels with the US imposing new sanctions. It may seem like just another trough in the instability of the Korean Peninsula, but if the world looks away, the situation may just reach boiling point before anyone realises it.
A view shows a burning police car during a protest against LPG cost rise following the Kazakh authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 5 January 2022. (Pavel Mikheyev/Reuters)

US, Russia and China using Kazakhstan unrest as a proxy

China and Russia have been quick to point to external hands, namely the US’s, in stoking recent unrest in Kazakhstan. But the main issue is not so much what precipitated the unrest, but how it has been expedient for major players US, Russia and China to capitalise on it for geopolitical gain. Zhang Chi analyses the situation.
Soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) take part in combat training in the Gobi desert in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, 18 May 2018. (Reuters/Stringer/File Photo)

5 nuclear-weapon states vow no arms race: A more peaceful world?

China has made no bones about its role in shepherding a first-ever P5 joint statement on preventing nuclear war and avoiding an arms race. While the release of the statement shows some rational thought and mutual respect among the five nuclear powers, is it of any significance in moderating conflicts between nation-states and preventing possible fights in hotspots such as the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait?
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) greets Russian President Vladimir Putin before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, on 6 December 2021. (Money Sharma/AFP)

India and Russia remain on opposite sides of the Indo-Pacific’s balance of power

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to New Delhi should be seen as one of correcting the downward slide in India-Russia relations rather than a celebration of an age-old strategic partnership, says Yogesh Joshi. Against the backdrop of a rising China, India feels the threat of strengthening Russia-China relations and the latter’s engagement of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, India-US relations have taken on greater strategic significance, and Russia may be wary of India’s involvement in the Quad. With divergent national interests and threat perceptions likely to continue, will it be harder for both powers to find themselves on the same side?