Wang Yi travelled to Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia in his first foreign visit after his re-appointment as foreign minister, underscoring Beijing’s strong commitment to Southeast Asia. The visit was also possibly meant to highlight continuity and absence of disruption to China’s foreign relations and its Southeast Asia policy following Qin Gang’s removal as foreign minister. ISEAS researcher Lye Liang Fook says that while China may be attempting to dictate how Southeast Asia should act, it should recognise that the region has the "capability and wisdom" to do what is right while keeping positive ties with all of its significant partners.
China’s new map depicting its claims to the South China Sea has provoked some fierce reactions from its neighbours. The fact is that the “new” map is anything but.
The diplomatic focus on third world countries during Mao Zedong’s era has taken a renewed form in Xi Jinping’s era with the focus on the global south, notes EAI academic Chen Gang. International circumstances could propel the Chinese to further elevate the importance of the global south, not least with the recent expansion of BRICS to include several global south countries.
Hong Kong’s stock market has taken a beating recently, with the number of IPOs and trade volumes in a slump. Amid the different factors causing the poor performance, including the economic situation in mainland China, analysts believe that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s long-running focus on the West and oversight of Southeast Asia needs to be addressed. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Liu Sha finds out more.
While international tourism and study can be a bridge towards cross-strait understanding and reconciliation, it can sometimes be deployed as a geopolitical gambit. Taiwanese academic Ho Ming-sho shares more.
TikTok is set to pour US$12.2 million over the next three years into supporting more than 120,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia, as it pushes into the e-commerce business in the region. However, it will not be smooth sailing as TikTok will need to contend with regional e-commerce titans GoTo, Shopee and Lazada.
Chinese venture capital funds are flocking to Southeast Asia in search of the next Alibaba and ByteDance. However, given the market’s nascent stage, along with the Chinese funds’ preference for Chinese-affiliated enterprises, options are limited. Liu Sha looks into the challenges these Chinese funds face in finding success in Southeast Asia.
Chinese restaurant chains from China have been making their presence felt in Singapore, satisfying fickle tastebuds with street food favourites and regional specialities. Will the increasing number of these restaurant chains affect the local food culture? Jiang Yuxuan shares the findings of a Zaobao study of 12 Chinese restaurant chains from China.
ISEAS senior fellow Ian Storey examines the factors driving defence modernisation in Southeast Asia and how the region may draw lessons from the Russia-Ukraine war.