How region views growing US-China power play, Asia News & Top Stories

As the coronavirus outbreak in China worsened early in the year, many countries in South-east Asia sent medical supplies to their giant neighbour as a gesture of goodwill and solidarity. Malaysia sent 18 million gloves in January. The Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore donated medical equipment such as masks, hazmat suits, goggles and test kits in February, some dropping off the supplies before picking up their citizens from the epicentre of the outbreak in Wuhan. A Thai artist composed a song, Wuhan Press On, while similar words of encouragement…

Commentary: How Singapore will remain a top trading hub in a post-pandemic world

SINGAPORE: Global commerce has been the lifeblood of Singapore. Singapore’s success has been tied to an open, connected and functional global economy. But now, the coronavirus pandemic has battered world commerce, which is facing its greatest challenge in a century. Advertisement Advertisement The World Trade Organization is predicting that global trade could contract by as much as 30 per cent from the previous year. For Singapore, the prognosis is even starker: More than a 40 per cent contraction. The COVID-19 lockdown has dealt an equally painful blow to Singapore’s services…

Experts see delay in drafting of ASEAN-China Code of Conduct for S. China Sea

MANILA – Negotiations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China for a code of conduct (COC) on the disputed South China Sea have been delayed, and experts say the original target date for its conclusion is now “off the rails” because of the current situation at sea, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nguyen Hung Son, Director General and Head of the Institute for the South China Sea of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, said negotiations for the COC have already been delayed for half a year now, with no…

US ‘would lose a war with China fought in the Pacific’, Pentagon sources warn

The US would lose a war with China fought in the Pacific, is unable to defend Taiwan from an invasion and fears the Guam military base is at risk now, US defense sources have warned.  ‘Eye-opening’ Pentagon war games have revealed growing fears the US is vulnerable to threats from China and that any attack would lead to the US ‘suffering capital losses’, the sources said. The worrying analysis is expected to come to light in the Pentagon’s 2020 China military power report this summer.  The stark warning comes as…

China’s growing counter-space capabilities | ORF

The risks posed by China’s military space programme is primarily to other more capable powers such as the US using space as a force multiplier. The growth of China’s space capabilities in the last decade has been impressive, corresponding to the growth of overall Chinese power. Even though outer space had remained relatively peaceful and de-linked from the geopolitics for most of the last three decades, it is once again at the heart of the great power competition, a manifestation of the conflicts on Earth. While China is developing these…

From ‘respect’ to ‘sick and twisted’: How coronavirus hit US-China ties

By Chris Buckley and Steven Lee Myers “Evil.” “Lunacy.” “Shameless.” “Sick and twisted.” China has hit back at U.S. criticism over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic with an outpouring of vitriol as acrid as anything seen in decades. The bitter recriminations have plunged relations between China and the United States to a nadir, with warnings in both countries that the bad blood threatens to draw them into a new kind of Cold War. A cycle of statements and actions is solidifying long-standing suspicions in Beijing that the United States…

Commentary: China’s two-pronged games against Philippines

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing deaths in more than 180 countries around the world.  Amid this backdrop, China is vigorously implementing two-pronged games aimed at achieving its foreign policy goals. On the one hand, it is conducting medical diplomacy with several countries preoccupied with addressing the spread of the COVID-19 global contagion, which began in China in December 2019.  On the other hand, China is taking advantage of the world’s preoccupation with the COVID-19 pandemic to pursue its maritime expansion in the South China Sea.  In these disputed waters, China’s…

Vietnam’s success in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic

On May 8, Daren Tang, Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) was officially appointed as the next Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). WIPO is a specialized United Nations (UN) agency based in Geneva, Switzerland, with 193 member states and an annual revenue in excess of $600 million. Tang will take over the helm of WIPO on 1 October 2020 for a term of six years. This marks the first time a Singaporean will lead a UN agency, and WIPO’s first Director General…

China would be shooting itself in the foot if it bans Australian iron ore

If China banned imports of Australian iron ore, its steel makers would potentially be paying in excess of US$100/t. Chances are China won’t act on the indirect threats made in recent days to take Australia’s iron exporters as hostages. There are two prime reasons for this reckoning: First, it would set off alarm bells around the world, angering major Western powers (who are already deeply annoyed with the COVID-19 disruptions) and concern the developing nations of South East Asia and Central Asia that are vital to China’s Belt and Road…