Asian Insider: China’s Ukraine peace plan | Flashy officials, beware

Dear ST reader, 

This week, we consider why China may now be shifting its stance on the Ukraine war after a year of sitting on the fence. In India, the country’s population boom may prove to be both a boon and a bane; while in Indonesia, the government  has gone on the warpath against showy public servants.

China’s Ukraine peace plan


Since Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, China’s leaders have kept themselves out of the limelight. Until now. Beijing last week released what it calls a 12-point peace plan to end the war in Ukraine. China isn’t likely to sit on the fence over the conflict for much longer. Global affairs correspondent Jonathan Eyal tells us why. 

Read more: 

Intended soothing effect of China’s ‘peace plan’ for Ukraine didn’t last a day 

India’s population boom

India will displace China as the world’s most populated country come April, with its population set to keep growing for another four decades. Is that a dividend, or a crisis? The Straits Times’ India bureau explores what India’s rising population means geopolitically, economically and socially for the country and the rest of the world. 

The Two Sessions

China’s biggest political event of the year kicks off this weekend, with economic recovery high on the agenda. Outgoing Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday delivers the government’s work report, setting national targets. Other topics to be brought up include a government reshuffle, Sino-US ties, and plans to boost birth rates. 

Also read: 

China warns ‘hedonistic’ bankers to toe party line 

US cranks up momentum to confront China

Flashy officials, beware

A recent assault allegedly perpetrated by an Indonesian tax official’s showy son has renewed debate over the country’s wealthy civil servants. Facing flak, Indonesia is now cracking down on lavish displays of wealth by tax officials. Indonesia bureau chief Arlina Arshad considers the broader implications of the move.

Beloved daughter or more?

Next to 10-year-old Kim Ju Ae, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks every bit a ddal babo - the Korean term to describe a father who loves his daughter so much that he would do anything for her, like a fool. South Korea correspondent Chang May Choon explores speculation that the girl has been picked to succeed Mr Kim. 

Read also: 

Kim Jong Un’s ‘most beloved child’ seen as his likely successor

Taking to the skies

Air India is going full thrust ahead after placing a record order for 470 planes, as it eyes long-haul routes to the United States. As Indian aviation prepares for strong growth from 2024, however, a shortage of pilots could stall the industry’s rise. India bureau chief Nirmala Ganapathy and India correspondent Rohini Mohan report.


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