Members of Border Angels and migrants demonstrate at the US-Mexico border as part of International Migrants Day in Playas de Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, on 18 December 2023. (Guillermo Arias/AFP)

Populism and anti-immigration fervour surges in the West

Taiwanese commentator Chen Kuohsiang notes that populist fervour and anti-immigration sentiments in the US and Europe embolden each other and form a vicious circle, dominating major political issues. This has led to the potential political comeback of former US President Donald Trump and the rise of opposition parties in Europe.
In this photograph taken on 21 July 2023, a yellow-painted building is pictured at the commercial hub of Pettah in Colombo. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP)

India, France and Japan join hands to counter China’s influence in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s recent high-level diplomatic engagements with India, France and Japan highlighted the island nation’s importance in the ongoing great power rivalry in the Indo-Pacific region. After obtaining an IMF bailout with the assistance of these nations and dealing with the fallout of the pro-China Rajapaksa family, is the new Sri Lankan administration adopting a more Western and India-oriented vision?
French President Emmanuel Macron gestures during the North Sea summit in Ostend, Belgium, on 24 April 2023. (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

EU strategic autonomy: Easier said than done

Academic Ye Shengzhou explains why French President Emmanuel Macron has been aggressively pushing for EU strategic autonomy, more so after his visit to China. But even if France puts its weight behind the concept, the path of achieving strategic autonomy is paved with obstacles.
French President Emmanuel Macron reviews an honour guard with Chinese President Xi Jinping (not pictured) during the official welcoming ceremony in Beijing, China, on 6 April 2023. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)

EU's China policy staying on track despite intensifying debate

While French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to China is viewed by some to be an exercise in stirring the pot, this does not mean that the European boat has veered off course. The EU is used to robust debate among and within member states, and can take this as another opportunity to affirm their stance on China.
Cartoon: Heng Kim Song


Heng Kim Song has been the freelance editorial cartoonist

This combination of pictures created on 26 April 2023 shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Genya Savilov and Vladimir Astapkovich/various sources/AFP)

Mediating the Russia-Ukraine war: China enters the ring

After more than a year since the war in Ukraine broke out, Chinese and Ukrainian presidents have finally spoken for the first time, and the outcome appears promising. Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that while sceptics believe that China could still be leaning towards the side of Russia, China has shown that it is taking its role as a mediator seriously and is prepared for it.
A screen grab from a video featuring Lu Shaye (left) engaging with Darius Rochebin (right) on French television. (Internet)

Are Chinese diplomats lacking in media sparring skills?

Chinese ambassador to France and wolf warrior diplomat Lu Shaye recently sparked a furor with his claim that post-Soviet countries have no effective status as sovereign nations, putting both French President Emmanuel Macron as well as Beijing in difficult positions. How can China repair the damage?
French President Emmanuel Macron meets students at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou on 7 April 2023. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)

Chinese commentator: Macron wants to be different, but does he understand China and the world?

French President Emmanuel Macron has integrated de Gaulle’s anti-US sentiments and Mao’s spirit of daring to fight against a major power into his comments during his recent China trip, says Chinese commentator Jin Jian Guo. However, a deeper analysis shows that Macron does not truly understand these various actors on the global stage, including China.
Ukrainian artillerymen prepare a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher to fire towards Russian positions on the frontline, in Donetsk region on 17 April 2023. (Anatolii Stepanov/AFP)

Arms dealers cannot be peacemakers: Europe is a lesson for Asia

Even as Asia-Pacific countries want to focus on trade and economic cooperation, geopolitical tussling — especially between the US and China — has got in the way of such efforts. Former journalist and MP Goh Choon Kang says that at a time when arms dealers have apparently become peacemakers, countries of this region must stay focused and not be sidetracked and dictated by the powers.