Election

A girl takes a photograph beneath the flags of Hong Kong and mainland China, in Hong Kong, in this file photo. (CNS)

25 years after the handover: The ‘end for Hong Kong’ or just the beginning?

After the political and societal changes that have taken place in Hong Kong in the 25 years since the handover, what’s left in the aftermath? Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing ponders the nostalgic, the bittersweet and the hard realities of Hong Kong’s present and future.
Pedestrians carry shopping bags on Geary street in San Francisco, California, US, on 18 May 2022. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Can high inflation in the US bring an end to the China-US trade war?

With inflation reaching historic highs, the Biden administration is facing a challenging road ahead of the midterm elections in November. The lifting of some tariffs on China could ease inflation in the US and appease voters, bringing an end to the China-US trade war. However, views in the White House are mixed. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong speaks with academics to find out more.
Visitors walk by images of Chinese President Xi Jinping displayed at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China, 11 November 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Autumn succession: The main plot line of the 20th Party Congress

Vienna-based academic Li Ling gives a primer on four principles regulating the nominations of membership of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), the highest decision-making body of the Chinese Communist Party. Nothing is for certain until the curtain rises on the 20th Party Congress this autumn, but a closer look at these principles could help to narrow the field.
Theary Seng, a US-Cambodian lawyer and activist who is facing treason and incitement charges, poses in front of Phnom Penh Municipal Court ahead of her hearing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 3 May 2022. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

Why Cambodia is leaning towards China and not the US

Sokvy Rim explains why Cambodia’s foreign policy options have been constrained by the leaders’ concerns of regime survival at various stages of its history. If this trajectory continues, it may be hard for it to conduct a hedging strategy in its relations between China and the US.
Traffic in front of a Chinese restaurant in Boracay, Aklan, the Philippines, on 23 March 2022. (Veejay Villafranca/Bloomberg)

The Belt and Road Initiative and the Philippines’ post-Duterte China challenge

Even under China-friendly President Duterte, Chinese BRI projects in the Philippines still encountered strong political opposition and faced several challenges in their roll-out. Ultimately, a positive domestic response to the BRI hinges on whether Manila can negotiate mutually beneficial and fair deals that allow China to contribute to the Philippines' economic agenda.
South Korea's president-elect Yoon Seok-youl speaks during a news conference at his transition team office, in Seoul, South Korea, 20 March 2022. (Jung Yeon-je/Pool via Reuters)

South Korea’s new president needs to avoid predecessor’s mistakes and reframe foreign policy priorities

South Korean academic Kang Jun-young notes that the incoming Yoon Seok-youl administration in South Korea will have to rectify several diplomatic missteps of the previous administration, including by restoring ties with Japan and adjusting its policies towards China and the US, while dealing with the nuclear issue with North Korea. Will Yoon’s administration be able to juggle all this while maintaining its national dignity and not giving in to external pressure?
South Korea's new president-elect Yoon Seok-youl (centre) of the main opposition People Power Party gestures to his supporters as he is congratulated outside the party headquarters in Seoul on 10 March 2022. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP)

Will South Korea's new president take an anti-China stance?

South Korea’s conservative president-elect Yoon Seok-youl may have taken a pro-US, anti-China stance during the presidential campaign, but history shows that progressive and conservative presidents alike have had to implement a well-balanced foreign policy once in office. Given that China is South Korea’s biggest trading partner and a key player in the stability of the Korean peninsula, it would be of national interest to maintain friendly relations with China without leaning too far towards either the US or China. Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun discusses Yoon's likely preoccupations going into the presidency.
Philippine presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr, son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and vice-presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, on the campaign trail for the 2022 presidential election, at the Philippine Arena, in Bulacan province, Philippines, 8 February 2022. (Lisa Marie David/Reuters)

2022 elections may bring change to the Philippines' China policy

Foreign policy does not usually feature prominently in the Philippine presidential elections, but it should in May this year as candidates will be expected to raise the country’s China policy in policy debates given the accommodating approach adopted by the Duterte administration and its residual effects on the country’s body politic and strategic posture. Apart from territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea, China’s impact on issues such as food security and access to natural resources, migration, business regulation, and transnational crime would also come to the fore.
Supporters of Yoon Seok-youl, presidential candidate from the main opposition People Power Party, attend a campaign rally in Seoul, South Korea, on 15 February 2022. (SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg)

How will anti-China sentiment impact South Korea’s presidential election?

South Korean angst directed towards China during the Winter Olympics suggests that anti-China sentiment in South Korea has not completely subsided from the time of China's reprisals against South Korea for the THAAD missile system deployment some years ago. In such a climate, bilateral relations could get rockier if Yoon Seok-youl of the conservative People Power Party makes it to the finish line in South Korea's March presidential election.