Soviet Union

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?
US President Joe Biden gestures to the media as he walks towards Marine One for departure to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, US, 7 August 2022. (Ken Cedeno/Reuters)

The US's new National Security Strategy: An action plan to defeat China

The US’s recent release of its new National Security Strategy (NSS) represents its vow to outcompete its rivals, especially China, on the international stage. Political commentator Jin Jian Guo says that the ideological tussle between China and the US is becoming a new Cold War and for the NSS to be released during the period of China’s 20th Party Congress, the starter’s pistol has been fired in a strategic competition where there can only be one winner.
This photo taken on 31 August 2022 shows an emblem of the USSR, which was removed from Leninsky Avenue after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, displayed at the Modern History Sculpture Museon park in Moscow. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

What China can learn from the missteps of Mikhail Gorbachev

The collapse of the Soviet Union was sudden and shocking, not least for China, with which it once shared a similar ideology. Commentator Zhou Nongjian explores what China can learn from the missteps of the Soviet Union’s last leader Mikhail Gorbachev that ultimately led to the country’s downfall.
People pass by portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping and late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong, in Shanghai, China, 31 August 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

[State of our world] From Three Worlds to Four: Mao’s revised theory of an emerging global order?

Russian academic Artyom Lukin revisits Mao’s Three Worlds Theory to explain that while the world looks to be on the cusp of great change, the paradigms of the past can still inform the future. Much will depend on the “fourth world” of Russia and other perceived US adversaries who are drawing closer to China. This is the third in a series of four articles contemplating a changing world order.
Hungary-born US investor and philanthropist George Soros answers to questions after delivering a speech on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on 24 May 2022. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)

Why George Soros is obsessed with defeating Xi Jinping’s China

Chinese academic Sun Peisong notes that renowned financier George Soros has always been critical of China’s social system. While "the man who broke the Bank of England" has a keen eye for finance, Sun feels that Soros’s criticism of China’s “closed society” sheds light on his penchant for globalisation and dated means of making the wealthy wealthier.
This photo taken on 13 April 2022 shows a worker producing industrial robots at a factory in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (AFP)

Why China has too many graduates and not enough skilled workers

Despite a record number of graduates entering the job market this year, China is seeing a shortage of skilled tradesmen, especially for the manufacturing industry. Chinese economics professor Li Jingkui believes that the main reason for the talent demand gap is China’s education system, which is driven by remnants of the backward ideology of the ancient feudal society.
A boy stands next to a wrecked vehicle in front of an apartment building damaged during the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, 24 April 2022. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Neither will submit: Why the Russia-Ukraine war will be the cruellest since World War II

As much as the world wants an end to the Russia-Ukraine war, Chinese professor Zhu Ying notes that in the current situation, given Russian nationalism and Ukrainian grit, it is very unlikely that peace terms can be negotiated at this point. Russian President Vladimir Putin has a point to prove, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also determined not to give in.
A gas station burns after Russian attacks in the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on 30 March 2022. (Fadel Senna/AFP)

An ostracised Russia's descent into war and lessons for China

We should not underestimate the role of political psychology in international relations, says Lance Gore. Often, human nature and emotions play a large part in decision-making, and factors such as wounded pride, a need to assert one’s identity or a sense of insecurity can bring about major consequences. Moreover, when feelings are stoked and public opinion drawn on the side of the “good guys”, it is not so much the high ideals of liberalism but a realist game at work. Russia and China have not learnt finesse in playing the two-tier game of international politics; neither have they realised they are not strong enough yet to change the rules of the game.
Police block Red Square ahead of a planned unsanctioned protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in central Moscow, Russia, on 24 February 2022. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

The importance of Russia in China's foreign relations

Russian academic Andrey Vinogradov surveys Russia-China relations from a historical perspective, concluding that despite past divergences in ideology, their relationship is a longstanding one built on pragmatism and strategic utility. Most significantly, in furthering its own interests, Russia is inadvertently acting as a foil for China amid increasingly tense US-China relations. In the current international milieu, it can even be said that an existential inseparability of Russian and Chinese security is being formed.