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US sets up strategic obstacles against 'autocratic' China

Political commentator William He notes that the Biden administration is clear and sharp with its China policy and strategy. It is setting up strategic obstacles to contain "autocratic" China, addressing long-term fundamental issues such as the right to speak on global values and order, and maintaining the lead in military powers and forming alliances.

China’s pragmatic party diplomacy in Southeast Asia

The Chinese Communist Party’s outreach to political parties in Southeast Asia, regardless of ideology, underscores the pragmatism in President Xi Jinping’s plan for regional influence. From issues of the economy to human rights, the CCP is clearly seeking to counter the Western narrative and improve its image in Southeast Asia.

Xi-Biden meeting unlikely as China-US relations stay locked in stalemate

While virtual meetings between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden have usually followed in-person meetings between the countries’ top diplomats, there is no sign of a virtual summit taking place any time soon after China's Yang Jiechi and US national security adviser Jake Sullivan met in Luxembourg. For the US, internal disagreement over trade tariff issues could be causing the pause. And in the case of China, it has already let go of any false hope for better ties.

Song dynasty emperor's brewing secrets in a cup of HK milk tea

As far as a passion for tea goes, cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai meets his match in a tea shop owner in Sham Tseng. The tea connoisseur is an alchemist almost as he varies the ingredients and brewing methods to concoct the most memorable teas.

From US to India: China's shifting tech investments shows overriding influence of politics

Over the past several years, Chinese private firms have ferociously invested in India’s tech start-ups. Initially welcomed, China’s diversion of interest from erstwhile US investment has been viewed with some measure of suspicion since the Galwan Valley conflict. Are we living in a world where investment patterns are determined by statecraft? ISAS academic Karthik Nachiappan examines the issue.

Post-00s youths want to rewrite workplace norms in China

In pursuit of better working conditions, China's post-00s generation has gained a reputation for being newbies who are difficult to manage and who show their superiors little respect. While those who go to extremes may be in the minority and some admire their brave fight for workplace rights, ultimately, they may be putting their job prospects in jeopardy.

No new market access, but IPEF could be a promising start

The newly launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity has arguably low or no ambition around market access, but perhaps because of its non-contentious nature, could be a promising start. Countries in the region welcome options amid fears of Chinese economic coercion and may just provide the momentum needed when the time is ripe.

India in Quad: Black sheep or dark horse

The joint statement issued following the Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo on 24 May neither condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nor committed the quartet to imposing economic sanctions on Russia. The twin failure or reluctance was largely attributed to India’s unwillingness to jeopardise its deep ties to Russia. But even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict, analysts have been describing India as an “outlier” in the group. Is India really the weakest link, or will it eventually emerge as the keystone in the quartet?

A personal account of Tangshan's dreadful societal culture

The Tangshan assault case unearths deeper societal issues such as an insidious guanxi culture that has condoned the practice of turning a blind eye. Worse, ordinary folk no longer even bat an eyelid at such “norms” anymore. When that happens, is the recent violence enough to jolt society and the authorities to do things differently?

Biden has good strategies, but can he implement them?

Chinese academic Zhang Jingwei notes that while US President Joe Biden has cast a wider net in building alliances compared with his predecessors, much of these frameworks are lacking in substance. Will the US be able to benefit from them and use them against its strategic rival China?

IPEF: How committed are the US and ASEAN countries?

Recent moves by the US, not least President Biden's recent launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), are meant to woo Asian countries. Several ASEAN countries are receptive to the IPEF and the US naturally considers those who join as "friends". But will this count for much? Japanese academic Seiya Sukegawa examines the many unanswered questions with regard to the new framework.

With the Fujian, is China catching up to the US in aircraft carrier manufacturing technology?

The Fujian, China’s third aircraft carrier, was launched on 17 June. The highlight is the electromagnetic catapult system for launching aircraft, which could put it on par with much of the US’s cutting-edge technology in the field. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan takes a closer look at the implications of this development.

Chinese netizens questioning Eileen Gu's identity and loyalty

Skiing star Eileen Gu has announced that she will be an ambassador for Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics, sparking online debate in China. In today's increasingly polarised world, can a "globalised" person gain acceptance and recognition from conflicting parties and be that communicator of goodwill?

Wealthy Chinese setting up family offices in Singapore see it as springboard to ASEAN

In the first of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, Zaobao business correspondent Lai Oi Lai gives an update on the trend of high-net-worth Chinese investors coming to Singapore to set up family offices and invest in start-ups.

Southeast Asia should confront the threat of economic espionage from China and elsewhere

China is known for using cyber weapons to pursue geostrategic goals. In recent years, entities linked to the Chinese state have carried out alleged economic espionage of commercial firms in Southeast Asia. The region is increasingly vulnerable as it is home to some of the most rapidly growing knowledge-intensive sectors in the world. To help themselves, Southeast Asian governments should be more proactive in discussing the threat of economic espionage with foreign states and committing to norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.

Large steamed meat buns: A flavourful memory of old Singapore

Former journalist Lim Jen Erh remembers the delicious da rou bao or large steamed meat buns he used to scarf down as a kid. They don’t make them like they used to, but the memory of its luscious taste is intact, triggered instantly by old photographs of bustling teahouses of old Singapore.