Political spectrum

In this file photo from 6 January 2021, supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol, in Washington, DC. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

America's flawed democracy: When power and cognitive abilities of the people fail to match

Academic Deng Xize notes that the 2020 US election demonstrates what he terms the Socratic Trap, referring to the gap between people’s cognitive abilities and the power they hold. How will this affect the democratic process, and what are the shortcomings of democracy?
A sign welcoming US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is placed near the US Capitol days after supporters of US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in Washington, US, 10 January 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Can America find its way under Biden?

His divisive ways had earned President Donald Trump the moniker “Trump who builds our nation” amongst Chinese netizens. When President-elect Biden assumes power, will he be straitjacketed by the radical left in his party and be turned unwittingly into another “Biden who builds our nation” to the Chinese? Will America's troubles translate to opportunities for China?
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather at the west entrance of the Capitol during a "Stop the Steal" protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C., 6 January 2021. (Stephanie Keith/REUTERS)

Capitol siege: Is American democracy doomed?

US academic Zhu Zhiqun gives his take on the future of US leadership and the state of its democracy, making the sad observation that from now on, no one in the world is likely to see, respect, or depend on the US in the same way again. But is American democracy truly doomed?
A supporter of President-elect Joe Biden celebrate his victory in Wilmington, Delaware on 7 November 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP)

Chinese liberal intellectuals divided over Trump and the US elections

Liberal intellectuals in China are not a monolithic group. While the elites within the community once served to moderate divergent views, disagreements laid bare by the recent US elections shows that deeper schisms run deep, especially between those espousing conservative and liberal views.
A man holds up a sign reading "democracy instead of virology" as he attends a protest against the government's restrictions following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Cannstatter Wasen area in Stuttgart, Germany, May 16, 2020. (Kai Pfaffenbach/REUTERS)

Western democracy's worst enemy is itself, not China

Zheng Yongnian reminds political watchers of today that fascist regimes of the past grew out of once-democratic systems. What is to say that cannot happen in today’s world, even in mature democracies such as the US? Is the coronavirus crisis putting democratic systems to their greatest test yet? And despite what some think, China, where the pandemic first spread to the world, may not be Western democracy's biggest enemy after all. 
Mr Lee Kuan Yew speaking at the People's Action Party's annual conference at the Victoria Memorial Hall, 26 June 1955. (SPH)

Will China also move into the 'post-LKY era'?

Among all of Singapore’s leaders, one name is most closely associated with Singapore: Lee Kuan Yew, or simply LKY. Five years after his passing, has Singapore moved on from his style of strong leadership and what will other countries who are keen to follow the country’s same developmental trajectory do in shaping their political systems?
For most people, after posting an update of their patriotism, everything goes back to normal immediately. (iStock)

Patriotic on WeChat, narcissist in real life

We live in an increasingly globalized world, and yet nationalism is on the rise. How is the country related to the individual in our times? Many proclaim patriotism on social media, but how does that translate into actions in real life? Deng Xize from Sichuan University gives his take from China.
The right-left confrontation in China is growing more polarised. (Image: Jace Yip)

Is China’s public discourse becoming polarised?

The current political spectrum in China, explained in one diagram - scroll down for more.
 Xi Jinping during a meeting with Lee Kuan Yew: “Mr Deng Xiaoping repeatedly mentioned the need to learn from Singapore when he was alive. This was necessary in the past, and remains so in the present and future.” (Graphic: Jace Yip)

The construction of the Singapore Model in Mainland China

What did the Middle Kingdom with 5000 years of civilisation learn from a country that is 13,344 times smaller and celebrated its 54th National Day in 2019?