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‘Leftover men’ in the Chinese countryside and ‘leftover women’ in Chinese cities

Perhaps the theory of the survival of the fittest can help to explain the opposite gender imbalance in rural-urban China. Aspirant males and females head to cities in search of better prospects; the latter, with the added aim of better marriage prospects, invariably outnumber the men. Of the males that stay or return, there is the heavy bride price to pay to win the hand of a lady among the smaller pool of women left in the rural areas. This modern malaise is something no provincial policy can easily solve, says economist Li Jingkui.

[Photo story] The fate of Japanese POWs and civilians in China after World War II

During the Japanese occupation of China in World War II, the Japanese government encouraged the people of Japan to migrate to China, where they were accorded many privileges as first-grade citizens. But when Japan eventually lost the war, these people found themselves cut adrift in an instant, neither belonging to China nor tied to Japan, especially the children born during the war. Many suffered and even lost their lives as the Soviet army put them into concentration camps and took retaliatory action. Some Japanese still remember the magnanimous policies of the Chiang Kai-Shek government, which arranged at the time for Japanese POWs and other Japanese to be repatriated back to Japan. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao presents photos of the period.

Preservation of Chongqing’s oldest central business district: Success or failure?

Reviews have been mixed after Shibati, Chongqing’s oldest central business district, reopened to great fanfare recently. Some were glad that the former messy, dilapidated quarter has been refreshed, while others feel that it has been turned into another “ancient street”, devoid of a sense of its rich history and heritage. Where should the fine balance be, in the preservation of tangible heritage, when multiple stakeholders and business interests are involved?

Will the new Kishida administration be more friendly towards China?

As the Kishida administration takes shape with adjustments in various appointments, one key change is Toshimitsu Motegi shifting from foreign minister to become LDP Secretary-General, and Yoshimasa Hayashi taking over as foreign minister. In particular, Hayashi is a self-professed "pro-Chinese", and will probably play a significant role in Japan's policies toward China. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima looks at how Japan-China relations might develop.

If Chinese video producers and gamers can become metaverse creators

In this second article in a series on the metaverse, technology expert Yin Ruizhi says that video creation platforms like Douyin and Kuaishou, as well as sandbox games such as Mini World, might give an idea of how users can help create the virtual world in the metaverse if the financial and creative bar is lowered such that participating is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Macau's 'junket mogul' and his unnerving name list of Chinese gamblers

Macau's police have arrested Alvin Chau, the chairman of the city's biggest casino junket operator, on allegations of illegally operating casinos and money laundering. Given that there are 80,000 customers of Chau’s network within mainland China, the bigger implication is that this group might include civil servants and employees of state-owned enterprises, who might end up being traced, given China’s crackdown on vice activities.

Marine science collaborations can help defuse tensions in the South China Sea

With environmental security shaping a new South China Sea conversation about ecological challenges, science cooperation represents a litmus test to link the impact of environmental change to both national and international security, and can offer a means to defuse tensions, says James Borton. His new book, Dispatches from the South China Sea: Navigating to Common Ground, will be released soon.

Second Thomas ShoaI: Is China bullying its smaller neighbours in the South China Sea?

ISEAS academic Ian Storey thinks that despite what China has said about wanting to uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea, in mid November, China Coast Guard vessels prevented two Philippine Navy ships from delivering supplies to a group of Marines on Second Thomas Shoal. This can be seen as another of China's attempts to assert its claims in the South China Sea, which an arbitral tribunal ruled in 2016 were incompatible with UNCLOS for which China is a signatory. Is China not abiding by its promise?

Indonesia’s maritime challenges are increasing. Can its new army chief rise to the occasion?

The newly-appointed commander of the Indonesian military, General Andika Perkasa, has an army background. However, his appointment comes at a time when Indonesia’s defence challenges fall largely in the maritime domain, including the presence of vessels from various countries in the waters around Indonesia, necessitating maritime enforcement. Indonesian academic Aristyo Rizka Darmawan notes that if the Indonesian military can shift focus towards the sea, it may be able to play a key role in Asia's maritime landscape.

Chinese ambassador Hong Xiaoyong on China’s future: Forging ahead on a century of achievements

Chinese ambassador to Singapore Hong Xiaoyong says with the latest resolution on historical issues passed by the Communist Party of China (CPC), the party is consolidating its historical experience so as to advance under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as it leads the people towards a great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. As China builds a modern socialist country, it is open to exchanges with different civilisations on issues such as democracy. Its own experience is that of “whole-process people’s democracy”, a way of consultative policymaking that it will consolidate in the next phase of its journey.

What’s real (and not) about China’s hypersonic weapons tests

China’s recent tests of hypersonic weapons has attracted the attention of the West, which is wary about what this rapid progress might mean. On its part, China is downplaying these tests as “routine”, and emphasising that they are helpful to eventually reduce the costs of space technology. Is the US overreacting and playing the “victim”, while having its own agenda?

Will the Summit for Democracy unite or divide the world?

Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that while its objectives remain vague, the upcoming US-led Summit for Democracy is likely to reinforce “us versus them” divisions along “democracy versus autocracy” lines. Is this helpful? One thing for certain is that it has got countries, not least China, bolstering their narratives on democracy. How will the summit pan out?

My name was Red

Change takes awakening, courage and love. And it is painful. The sacrifices of the nameless will not be missed by those around them, and may even seem foolish. In the end, the nameless fall silent. But others will step up in their turn.

Copying is a virtue in Chinese ink painting

Temporary orders to halt the KAWS public art installation exhibition led Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre CEO Low Sze Wee to ponder the copyright issues of Chinese ink paintings. He notes that many of Singapore’s first-generation artists like Chen Wen Hsi and Fan Chang Tien were educated in Shanghai in the 1920s and were deeply influenced by the Shanghai School. Copying was a common mode of learning, and students like Henri Chen Kezhan and Chua Ek Kay did their best to copy the works of their teachers. While they eventually developed their own styles over time, Low says it could be argued that their achievements were made possible by their formative years spent on copying.

Metaverse: A bubble that could soon burst?

One of the hottest buzzwords recently is the metaverse. In this first article in a series on the topic, technology expert Yin Ruizhi explains what the metaverse is, what would make it viable and why creating the metaverse is still very much a pipe dream.

Metaverse: A chance to build a better world

Academic Pei Sai Fan says that one should dream big with the metaverse and not only see it as a new avenue of making money. By creating a new virtual universe from scratch, we can make good use of the blockchain-based metaverse to promote an equitable, more transparent and more inclusive rules-based international digital currency and financial system and enhance the global governance system to deal with issues facing all countries. This would require a global approach and China is well placed technologically to actively participate and lead the effort with like-minded nations in creating such a metaverse. It would be a pity if countries squandered such an opportunity to truly build a better world for all mankind.

Will overregulation kill Chinese firms' metaverse ambitions?

The metaverse is the latest tech industry buzzword that has generated great interest among Chinese tech companies and China's capital market. Not everyone is equally enthusiastic, however, as Chinese authorities appear to be taking a cautious approach, attempting to strike a balance between regulatory control and the risk of stifling innovation. Caixin explores what's in store for the metaverse.