ASEAN member states have been pursuing a strategy based largely on soft balancing and diplomatic engagement towards China for over three decades. The soft balancing makes use of institutional mechanisms such as the Asean Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit, and the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus. These platforms as well as negotiations to craft a Code of Conduct all play a part in efforts to restrain Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea.
Today —May 15 — 12.4 million Palestinians around the globe commemorate Nakba, an Arabic term that means catasrophe. And catastrophe it has been for 70 years, with 700,000 Palestinians being driven out from their homeland, some maimed and murdered on that fateful day. Israel was born on May 14 1948 with Arab blood in its hands, and seven decades on it continues to draw Palestinian blood. Wanting to create a Jewish-majority state, the Zionist regime did everything it could to drive the Palestinians to death or desertion. According to Al Jazeera, “Zionist forces had taken more than 78 per cent of historic Palestine, ethnically cleansed and destroyed about 530 villages and cities, and killed about 15,000 Palestinians in a series of mass atrocities, including more than 70 massacres.”