Singapore’s ambassador-at-large and former ambassador to the US Chan Heng Chee. (SPH Media)

Chan Heng Chee: Amid chaos, our national interest is the only constant

The future world will neither be unipolar nor bipolar but multipolar; the structure will be fragmented, and the heights of the poles will be asymmetrical. Amid the tensions and pitfalls, how does Singapore cope in an increasingly complex world? Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong speaks with Singapore’s ambassador-at-large and former ambassador to the US Chan Heng Chee about the challenges the world faces.
This handout picture provided by the Russian defence corporation Rostec on 24 November 2023 shows a Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jet at the grounds of an aviation firm in the far eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. (Handout/Russian defence corporation Rostec/AFP)

Will Vietnam turn to Russia or America for its new jet fighter?

Vietnam needs to upgrade its ageing fighter fleet. But it faces a list of less than optimal options. Will it go for Russian-made or US-made planes, in consideration of its current diplomatic ties with each?
A Houthi policeman takes part in a protest against recent US-led strikes on Houthi targets, near Sanaa, Yemen, on 14 January 2024. (Khaled Abdullah/Reuters)

Red Sea shipping chaos puts strain on Chinese exports

Academic Jasper Verschuur points out that the trade route disruptions caused by the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait are having a devastating impact on major shipping countries, not least China.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks on as a rocket carrying a spy satellite Malligyong-1 is launched, as North Korean government claims, in a location given as North Gyeongsang province, North Korea in this handout picture obtained by Reuters on 21 November 2023. (KCNA via Reuters)

The world will see a more provocative North Korea

Academic Kang Jun-young examines the recent rhetoric by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, especially comments relating to the prospect of nuclear war. How likely is that, and how will continuing US-China tensions and upheavals in this year of elections around the world affect the stability of the Korean peninsula?
People wearing face masks wait at an intersection in Beijing's central business district in China, on 1 November 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

The China factor behind several Indo-Pacific hotspots

US researcher Wei Da gives a threat assessment of potential hotspots in 2024, from the South China Sea to the Taiwan Strait, the Korean peninsula and the Ukraine war, with the China factor in mind.
North Korea and Russia are drawing increasing international attention as they grow closer. (Illustration: Teo Chin Puay)

[Big read] North Korea and Russia’s growing military cooperation is unsettling

As North Korea continues with its efforts in developing its military weapons — the latest being the launch of a reconnaissance satellite — attention is on Russia’s involvement and assistance, much to the protest of some countries. What are the implications of such cooperation and close relations? Lianhe Zaobao executive translator Mak Cor Sin speaks with academics and experts to find out more.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergei Lavrov pays respects to President Ho Chi Minh at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi on 6 July 2022. (Thông Tấn Xã Việt Nam (TTXVN)/Facebook)

Russia’s memory diplomacy is paying dividends in Southeast Asia

Russia is employing the selective use of history to further its goals in Southeast Asia. But amid the various reminders of Soviet or Russian involvement in Southeast Asia, there is the constant awareness that history can be written in a certain way by certain parties.
An anti-war demonstrator stages a die-in as others mark the 78th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima with a march and protest at Times Square in New York, US, on 6 August 2023. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

Chinese academic: Humanity could destroy itself with nuclear weapons

Commentator Zhang Tiankan explores the themes of the movie Oppenheimer, and examines how nuclear weapons may not destroy the earth, but definitely might wipe out humanity and all life.
US President Joe Biden and China's President Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on 14 November 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Can Biden and Xi seize the day and create breakthroughs in international relations?

Former journalist Goh Choon Kang looks at the global situation, from central Asia and the Caucasus to China-US relations, and how tensions might be de-escalated and countries can work together rather than against one another.