International image

A general view of the city skyline in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2 February 2021. (Lim Huey Teng/File Photo/Reuters)

China’s divided image in Malaysia

In a recent poll conducted by Malaysia’s Merdeka Center and the Institute of China Studies at the University of Malaya, public perception of China seems to have improved slightly from the last time a similar survey was done in 2016. That said, opinions are divided among ethnic groups and hinge on a few deciding factors.
A Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner taxis past the Final Assembly Building at Boeing South Carolina in North Charleston, South Carolina, US, 31 March 2017. (Randall Hill/Reuters)

Boeing losing out amid strained China-US trade relations

Three of China’s major airlines have announced plans to purchase about 300 aircrafts from Europe’s Airbus, much to the chagrin of the US’s Boeing. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan discusses the reasons behind the move and what this might portend.
A Long March 7Y4 rocket carrying the Tianzhou 3 cargo ship launches from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in China's southern Hainan province, on a mission to deliver supplies to China's Tiangong space station on 20 September 2021. (STR/AFP)

The complex impact of China’s military-civil fusion in space

With China's accelerated efforts to become a great space power, including opening up its space sector to private firms, Western developed countries worry that China's military-civil fusion (MCF) strategy may see technology developed in the commercial sector being used to boost China's military space power in the future. Are these fears justified? Japanese academic Masaaki Yatsuzuka looks into the issue.
US President Joe Biden speaks with members of the media before boarding Marine One for a weekend in Rehoboth, Delaware, at the White House in Washington, US, 17 June 2022. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

US sets up strategic obstacles against 'autocratic' China

Political commentator William He notes that the Biden administration is clear and sharp with its China policy and strategy. It is setting up strategic obstacles to contain "autocratic" China, addressing long-term fundamental issues such as the right to speak on global values and order, and maintaining the lead in military powers and forming alliances.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a giant screen as he delivers a speech at the event marking the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, 1 July 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

China’s pragmatic party diplomacy in Southeast Asia

The Chinese Communist Party’s outreach to political parties in Southeast Asia, regardless of ideology, underscores the pragmatism in President Xi Jinping’s plan for regional influence. From issues of the economy to human rights, the CCP is clearly seeking to counter the Western narrative and improve its image in Southeast Asia.
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks along with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) launch event at Izumi Garden Gallery in Tokyo, Japan, 23 May 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

No new market access, but IPEF could be a promising start

The newly launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity has arguably low or no ambition around market access, but perhaps because of its non-contentious nature, could be a promising start. Countries in the region welcome options amid fears of Chinese economic coercion and may just provide the momentum needed when the time is ripe.
Quad summit leaders US President Joe Biden and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kantei Palace in Tokyo, Japan, 24 May 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

India in Quad: Black sheep or dark horse

The joint statement issued following the Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo on 24 May neither condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nor committed the quartet to imposing economic sanctions on Russia. The twin failure or reluctance was largely attributed to India’s unwillingness to jeopardise its deep ties to Russia. But even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict, analysts have been describing India as an “outlier” in the group. Is India really the weakest link, or will it eventually emerge as the keystone in the quartet?
US President Joe Biden, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida listen to other leaders joining the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) launch event virtually, at Izumi Garden Gallery in Tokyo, Japan, 23 May 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

IPEF: How committed are the US and ASEAN countries?

Recent moves by the US, not least President Biden's recent launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), are meant to woo Asian countries. Several ASEAN countries are receptive to the IPEF and the US naturally considers those who join as "friends". But will this count for much? Japanese academic Seiya Sukegawa examines the many unanswered questions with regard to the new framework.
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.