Foreign policy

People and traffic pass near a marketplace in Taipei, Taiwan, 4 August 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Why Taiwan's New Southbound Policy has failed to achieve its goals

Taiwanese academic Hung-Jeng Tsai analyses decades of Taiwan’s Southbound Policy, now embodied in the latest iteration of the New Southbound Policy under President Tsai Ing-wen. He finds that despite the fanfare, few benefits have been won for Taiwan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) welcomes German Chancelor Olaf Scholz at the Grand Hall in Beijing, China, on 4 November 2022. (Kay Nietfeld/Pool/AFP)

Scholz's Asia month: Preparing Germany for a non-Western-centric world

Thorsten Benner of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin points out that unlike former Chancellor Merkel, current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has invested a lot of time into building closer connections with Asian partners. This fits in with his worldview of multiple emerging global powers, and the need to foster resilience, diversification and “de-risking” in achieving economic security vis-a-vis China.
A newspaper with a cover picture of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by Iranian morality police is seen in Tehran, Iran, 18 September 2022. (Majid Asgaripour/West Asia News Agency via Reuters)

Can China stay silent about mass protests in Iran?

Even as the protests in Iran continue after more than a month with no sign of abating, all efforts seem futile as external support is not forthcoming. There looks to be little hope of permanent change as the current regime remains firmly in control. Meanwhile, as China expands its global influence, can it stay silent in dealing with the internal affairs of Iran and other countries? Or remove reports of protests from their state media?
People attend a rally and a concert marking the annexation of four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy — Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, at Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, on 30 September 2022. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

How closely aligned are China and Russia, really?

University of New South Wales academic Alexander Korolev takes stock of the China-Russia relationship from the angles of consistency, growing military-technical cooperation, and structural shifts in great power politics.
Visitors walk down Nanjing Road in Shanghai, China, on 2 October 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Japanese academic: China's superficial 'moderate' diplomacy will not work with developed countries

China has tried to create a stable diplomatic environment ahead of the 20th Party Congress, not least with Foreign Minister Wang Yi's talks with various leaders at the sidelines of the recent UNGA in New York. While it has tried to deflect attention by highlighting divisions in the West while rebuilding bridges in light of economic considerations, it will be a tall order to convince the international community that it practises 'moderate' diplomacy.
US President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks at a reception for the Democratic National Committee in National Harbor, Maryland, US, 8 September 2022. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Why is Biden making it increasingly clear that US forces will defend Taiwan?

The US’s “strategic ambiguity” on the Taiwan Strait issue comes to question as China-US relations deteriorate. Political commentator Jin Jian Guo notes that the US has said on multiple occasions that it is ready to militarily defend Taiwan, while China has spoken against any intervention from the West. Will the US change its “one China” policy and move towards strategic clarity?
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York City, US, 24 September 2022. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

China's FM Wang Yi paves way for Xi with diplomatic blitz

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been busy meeting with key political figures while attending the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York. Will this help to smooth relations between China and the world, especially the US? Or will it be seen as just another PR effort before the upcoming 20th Party Congress? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan tells us more.
Visitors near a screen displaying an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China, 3 September 2022. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

[Future of China] Xi Jinping and the world: Retrospect and prospect

As the 20th Party Congress approaches, US academic Robert S. Ross assesses China’s foreign policy record over the last ten years and weighs up China’s foreign policy priorities in the likely third term of President Xi Jinping’s leadership. This is the last in a five-part series of articles on the future of China.
An Electric Multiple Unit high-speed train for a rail link project, which is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, arrives at Tanjung Priok port during load in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2 September 2022. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)

[Future of China] China's ten-year-old BRI needs a revamp

The BRI’s implementation will be slowing down as a result of multiple factors ranging from the global Covid-19 pandemic, the shift in the global geostrategic environment and the Chinese economic slowdown. As it changes its model to suit change, it could focus more on sustainable financing for BRI countries and lower the long-term financial impacts of loans for infrastructure projects. It could also pursue “third-party market cooperation” as a flexible approach in its pursuit of cooperation with other countries under the BRI umbrella. This is the second in a five-part series of articles on the future of China.