Soviet Union

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.
Protestors take part in a demonstration against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, on 27 February 2022 at the Wenceslas Square in Prague, Czech Republic. (Michal Cizek/AFP)

Fifty years after Nixon's visit, is China tilting back towards Russia?

Fifty years after Nixon's visit to China, some Western analysts have opined that China is tilting back towards Russia, and the new Cold War has begun. However, Chinese analyst Zheng Weibin believes that the current Ukraine crisis actually marks the true end of the Cold War. Not only would Russia be less effective with exerting its influence over its former republics, but the West has demonstrated stronger unity. He cautions that while the West likes to liken China to Russia, the two are totally different kinds of nations with very different mindsets. To move forward and achieve mutual growth, both China and the West need to put aside the Cold War mentality and embrace the current world for what it is.
Chinese paramilitary policemen keep watch while people visit Yu Garden in Shanghai, China, on 15 February 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

China needs to work towards a new socialism

China is tottering between capitalism and old socialism in its pursuit of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”, says Lance Gore. Instead of further entrenching a system that feeds nationalism in the name of socialism, it would do well to update to a new socialism in which the concept of employment, wealth and happiness are redefined to better take advantage of the new technological revolution. But is China ready?
A person holds a banner with the joined faces of a portrait of Vladimir Putin and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler during an anti-war protest, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Barcelona, Spain, 24 February 2022. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

Will China be emboldened by Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

President Vladimir Putin had set the stage for Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine by couching the country’s relations with Ukraine in ethnocentric terms. Would military action taken in the name of reuniting “one people” give a psychological boost to Beijing in terms of a possible armed reunification with Taiwan?
Pro-Ukraine demonstrators hold a placard during a demonstration in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Germany, on 22 February 2022. (John Macdougall/AFP)

Russia-Ukraine crisis: Can Russian aggression bring back the former glory of the Soviet Union?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that he considers Russia, Ukraine and Belarus one people, and its recent actions concerning Ukraine are unsettling. Some in China support the strong and aggressive style of Putin and are glad that Russia has created a buffer to divert the West’s attention away from China. Nevertheless, Russia’s aggressive stance has resulted in 40 years of suffering and failure. US-based academic Zhou Nongjian looks into Russia's intentions with Ukraine and why it is adamant on restoring the former glory of the Soviet Union.