US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he prepares to depart Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport en route to Beijing, on 25 April 2024. (Mark Schiefelbein/AFP)

The US’s financial sanctions weapon against China

Will the US resort to using the “financial nuclear bomb” of kicking China out of the global financial system to force China to compromise? Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong ponders the question.
This picture taken during a media tour shows navy personnel demonstrating their training at the People's Liberation Army Navy Submarine Academy during an open day to mark the navy's 75th anniversary in Qingdao, China's Shandong province on 21 April 2024. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China steps up focus on modern warfare with military reform

Recent changes to China’s military structure marks the country’s renewed focus on modern warfare. With the dissolution of the Strategic Support Force, and the setting up of the Information Support Force, Aerospace Force and Cyberspace Force in its place, the new arms will become critical pillars supporting the four services. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan takes a look at the recent changes.
A man installs a water pump in a field in Vietnam's southern Ben Tre province in Vietnam's Mekong Delta on 19 March 2024. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Vietnam’s geopolitical anxiety over Cambodia’s Funan Techo Canal

Vietnam’s concerns about a China-backed canal project in Cambodia are making some waves. Cambodia’s new leader has a chance to calm the waters.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addresses a joint meeting of Congress, as US Vice-President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) listen, at the US Capitol in Washington, US, on 11 April 2024. (Michael A. McCoy/Reuters)

Japan and China navigate frosty relations following Kishida’s US visit

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima notes that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s recent visit to the US has ruffled China’s feathers, but that does not necessarily mean that Japan will shift its diplomatic approach.
US President Joe Biden applauds as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a State Dinner in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on 10 April 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

An Asian NATO led by the US-Japan alliance?

Academic Chen Gang believes that while there does not exist a multilateral security mechanism among the US’s allies in the Asia-Pacific region, decision makers in the US want to strengthen its strategic alliances in the East Asia region, and to push for the forming of a multilateral security mechanism akin to NATO in order to more effectively contain China. In such a case, Japan could see its role in regional and global affairs increase, but at the risk of deteriorating relations with China.
A crowd in Kuala Lumpur, on 16 April 2023. (SPH Media)

Malaysia–China economic relations: Riding the dragon’s tail for structural transformation

Strengthening the economic relationship between Malaysia and China can potentially contribute towards Malaysia’s structural transformation in terms of re-industrialisation and greening of its economy.
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim (left) with Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China, on 31 March 2023. (Sadiq Asyraf/Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia)

Why Malaysia has no problems with China

Malaysian academic Bunn Nagara explains how Malaysian foreign policy and the psyche of Southeast Asian countries remain very much tied to the principles of the non-aligned movement established more than 50 years ago. It is this spirit that helps Malaysia stay above the fray amid the US-China tussle.
US President Joe Biden heads to a trilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) and Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (left) at the White House in Washington, DC, on 11 April 2024. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)

US’s 'Typhon' missile system deployed in the Philippines: A dangerous move?

Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that the deployment of the US’s "Typhon" missile launcher system in the Philippines might lead to heightened tensions with China, as well as the risk of disunity within ASEAN, as alignments may shift.
Iranians celebrate following Iran's missiles and drones attack on Israel, on 15 April 2024, at Palestine square in central Tehran, Iran. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

Iran's decision to escalate shadow war risks even greater miscalculations

Academic Alessandro Arduino notes the significant escalation and risk of conflict expansion brought about by Iran’s latest attack on Israel. If it was hard for China to do more than urge restraint in the past, it would be harder now to do so with Iran’s decision to escalate the shadow war.