ThinkChina — Gold award for Best News Website or Mobile Service WAN-IFRA Asian Digital Media Awards 2020.

China has conducted an enthusiastic vaccine outreach in Malaysia. Can the US buck up?

While the Pfizer shot is the vaccine of choice in Malaysia and anchors the national immunisation programme, China’s Sinovac vaccine is readily available. Though perceived to be of lower efficacy, China's vaccine remains crucial in curbing the global spread of Covid-19, especially in poorer countries. Malaysian academic Peter Chang examines how American and Chinese vaccines have been distributed and administered in Malaysia and around the world, and looks forward to greater involvement from the US.

Universal Studios Beijing: With 5,000 years of culture, can China create its own theme park?

Universal Studios Beijing opened to much publicity, with tickets being snapped up in just one minute. But some detractors question if this is exactly the sort of imperialism that China has grown out of and it should be developing its own mega attractions with Chinese elements. Would doing so simply entail rejecting Western influences? How can it develop a concept that truly reflects a flavour of China or its popular culture?

Canada the biggest loser in Meng Wanzhou saga?

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou returned to China over the weekend to much fanfare. The swift end to this incident after almost three years and the release of two Canadians who had been detained in China point to political machinations behind the scenes. Is this ending just a stalemate running its course or does it signify a restart of China-US and China-Canada relations?

How increased wealth affects Chinese foreign buyers' housing consumption in Singapore

In 2005, the People’s Bank of China unpegged the RMB from the US dollar, transiting it to a floating exchange rate regime based on market supply and demand with reference to a basket of currencies. The policy shift resulted in an appreciation of the RMB relative to the US dollar and Singapore dollar. With stronger purchasing power, how did Chinese foreign buyers' housing consumption patterns in Singapore change? How has that affected Singapore's property market? Academics Fan Ying and Sing Tien Foo analyse data over the last two decades for the answer.

Indonesian academic: China’s recent foray into the North Natuna Sea is problematic

A Chinese survey ship was reported to be operating in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone in the North Natuna Sea recently. This is not new, but this time the survey ship was reportedly accompanied by at least six Chinese naval vessels. Jakarta should consider a firm response to Beijing.

Covid-19 pandemic: Supply chain disruptions in Southeast Asia affecting Japan and the world

In 2020, Japan was ASEAN’s largest export partner of auto parts, making up 17.8% of ASEAN's exports, followed by the US (15.4%) and China (10.2%). However, with the onslaught of the Delta variant of Covid-19 this year, many Southeast Asian countries have imposed factory operation restrictions that have disrupted the supply chain, with Japanese firm Toyota Motor suffering the greatest impact. Japanese academic Sukegawa Seiya examines the issue.

How will the Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election affect Japan's China policy?

With Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stepping down, whoever wins the Liberal Democratic Party leadership race is practically assured of becoming the next prime minister. But with four experienced politicians on the cards, including two women, who will it be? And how will the choice of the next prime minister affect Japan's policy towards China? Japanese academic Shin Kawashima examines the possibilities.

Mainland China and Taiwan: The political hot potato of their CPTPP bids

Soon after mainland China put in its official application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Taiwan followed suit. The CPTPP is an agreement forged between 11 members sans the US when the latter withdrew from the then Transnational Pacific Partnership (TPP). Joining it would require tough internal changes from both mainland China or Taiwan. Who is more committed to the needed reforms? But does that even matter when it will be the political signature that counts from here on? Incoming CPTPP chair Singapore will have its work cut out.

Rape accusations in China: When wives protect their errant husbands

The alleged rape case involving a former Alibaba manager kept netizens riveted as charges were dropped as quickly as arrests were made. Unlike the #MeToo movement in the West where many of the victims rally around each other to seek justice against their oppressors, in China, the female victims — those preyed upon and the wives of the alleged perpetrators — seem to be fighting each other in the aftermath of tragedies. Why aren’t the males involved manning up and owning up?

Memories of South China: The enchanting garden that Whampoa built in Singapore

It is commonly thought that Singapore’s horticultural history dates back to the beginnings of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Actually, a little earlier in the mid-19th century, Singapore pioneer Hoo Ah Kay, known as “Whampoa” after his hometown in Canton, China, had built a Chinese garden in Serangoon Road. It was resplendent with flora and fauna, and even unusual animals and birds. This is the story of Whampoa Garden.

[Photo story] Failure of the Double Tenth Agreement and the beginning of the Chinese civil war

Just when China thought it would see peace after World War II, a civil war between the Kuomintang and Chinese Communist Party soon broke out. While the Double Tenth Agreement led to an peaceful interregnum of sorts, this was short-lived, and not even US intervention resulted in a lasting peace.

The US has AUKUS. Where are China's alliances?

The formation of the AUKUS security pact involving Australia, the US and the UK will likely give the US and its allies greater strategic depth in the Indo-Pacific, says Wei Da. He believes that the containment of China has moved up a notch and China has to recalibrate its thinking accordingly. One way is to shore up its own alliances, which have traditionally neither been strong nor constant. What can China do about it?

Pakistan stands to gain from Afghanistan turmoil?

The recent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban has strong implications for Pakistan which faces various new challenges such as the influx of Afghan refugees, terror threats from Afghan-based militants and an increased insurgency by Balochistan rebels. China is also getting impatient with the Pakistan security situation as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects have come under threat. But Pakistan also has the opportunity to use its leverage with the Taliban to play a more significant role in regional diplomacy and decision-making, thereby advancing its regional standing.

Beijing bans Taiwan fruit imports: Impoverishing Taiwan to achieve reunification?

Following a block of pineapple imports from Taiwan in February, mainland China has followed up with a halt on sugar apples and wax apples. While the blocks were seemingly due to pests found on the fruits, could there be a political reason behind the moves? And could the moves help achieve China's aim?

Chinese academic: China will pay the price for underestimating the US

The US’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was ugly and messy, but certainly not anywhere catastrophic enough to say that this marks the end of US hegemony. China should not underestimate the US’s strength. In fact, while the US flexes its muscles in conventional warfare and pledges a “no first use” nuclear stance, China should beef up its nuclear deterrence quotient for greater insurance against the US.

China-US competition: Who will set the rules in a digital world?

Analyst Zheng Weibin says that while the China-US competition is a tussle for power that some would compare to the Cold War of the 20th century, digital technology is making all the difference in the 21st century. Today's competition is taking place amid changing definitions of national strength and economic power, and China needs to catch up in terms of growing its digital economy and meeting the challenges that come with it.

New Beijing Stock Exchange will narrow economic gap between northern and southern China

A new Beijing Stock Exchange is good news for technology-focused small- and medium-sized enterprises, especially those with innovation potential but may not fit the listing requirements of traditional exchanges. Not only that, it will likely give a boost to SMEs in the north, helping to balance regional economic imbalances.