Japan is considering the deployment of non-nuclear counter-strike capabilities in the face of growing threats from North Korea and China. Japanese academic Yoichiro Sato believes that for Southeast Asian countries, this might be a win-win situation in terms of maintaining the region’s non-nuclear stance, yet retaining the option of bringing US-Japanese allied capabilities to bear in contingencies.
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.
ASEAN is set to play host to world leaders, with three major events coming up over the next two weeks in Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand. The highlight is the G20 summit in Bali, where US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet face-to-face for the first time. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong analyses what we can expect from these meetings.
The Joko Widodo administration recently announced plans to establish the International State University of Confucianism in Bangka Belitung province. This plan has however been strongly opposed by the local Aliansi Ulama Islam (Islamic Ulama Alliance, or AUI). The success of the plan to establish the university is probably contingent on whether Joko Widodo remains in power. Should a conservative Muslim politician be elected as the next president, it is unlikely that this university will be built.
Washington’s new National Security Strategy has been carefully crafted, but the document hosts a number of inherent tensions. Foremost among them is the fact that putting democracy at the center of a strategy that is increasingly Asia-focused is ill-advised.
Ahead of the 18th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meetings between Singapore and China — the first to be held in person since the outbreak of the pandemic — Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat sets out a few priorities in taking Singapore-China relations to new heights.
Philippine academic Renato Cruz De Castro asserts that the Philippines will have to fall back on the strength of the Philippines-US alliance in the face of a possible US-China armed stand-off in the Taiwan Strait.
Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao showcases photographs of Singapore at the cusp of great change, from a more rural environment with many kelongs and farms to a bustling trade, finance and tourism hub. Through it all, the Singapore River has witnessed many of these changes, as seen in this collection.
Central Asia is a linchpin between Eurasia and Southeast Asia and a strategic node in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese President Xi Jinping notably visited Central Asia in his first foreign visit in over two years. But while China’s economic engagement is welcome in the region, it is currently not a confident security provider. Could things change in the near future?