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

Is South Korea’s economy in trouble?

Often referred to as the world’s economic “canary in the coal mine”, South Korea has seen its economy tumble over the past year, impacted by external factors such as US interest rate hikes and signs of recession in key trade partners. The accumulation of domestic factors — currency crisis, tumbling stock market and rising inflation — is also hitting the South Korean economy hard. However, this industrial powerhouse has the domestic means to climb out of the doldrums.

China's young and old have opposing views on zero-Covid

China’s resurgence of Covid-19 infections has widened the gap between the young workers opposed to the tightening of controls, and the older generation that feel safer with strict measures in place. Given that the elderly make up a high proportion of the Chinese population, Chinese authorities seem to be holding fast to the dynamic-zero policy. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong tells us more.

China’s rich are getting richer

In 2021, more Chinese families became either rich or richer, with Guangdong overtaking Beijing as the region with the most high-net-worth families in the country. These high-net-worth households largely made up of entrepreneurs, real estate investors and professional financial investors, are expected to transfer an estimated 18 trillion RMB of wealth to the next generation over the next decade.

Singaporean Mandarin Database: Recognising the uniqueness of the Singaporean Chinese identity

Associate Professor Tan Chee Lay, principal investigator of the Singaporean Mandarin Database, shares some interesting Singaporean Mandarin phrases and says it is time that we recognise our Chinese linguistic features as part of the Singaporean Chinese identity formed in a multicultural social setting.

Of butt lumps, stomachs and heads: Chinese language of the common folk

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai regales us with anecdotes of various uses of the Chinese language among the general population in Malaysia and Singapore. While grammar and usage might not be the most accurate or logical, somehow one still manages to figure out the meaning, and bonds between people are formed.

Taiwan’s mayoral race will impact 2024 presidential election

With Taiwan’s “nine-in-one” local elections just days away, political parties are ramping up their campaign rallies, with the mayoral race tightening in key battlegrounds of Taoyuan, Taipei and Hsinchu, and implications for the presidential race at stake.

Taiwan’s local elections: Voter fatigue over thesis plagiarism tussle

Zaobao journalist Miao Zong-Han takes a closer look at voter fatigue in Taiwan in the upcoming “nine-in-one” elections, caused mostly by the arguing over plagiarism allegations, which might interest the highly educated but bore the average voter. Another question is whether the atmosphere at these elections will be a good indicator of things to come in the 2024 general election.

Can China save its property market and economy amid fastest-spreading outbreak to date?

Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu takes a look at China’s ailing property market and the various measures taken by property companies and the authorities to boost sales and ensure that homes are completed and handed over to buyers. While the intention is good, will they work under the current Covid-19 situation?

Not everything has to be run by the state: Thoughts on communal canteens in China

US academic Wu Guo looks at the recent online furore over the mushrooming of state-run communal canteens in China and offers his views from the US. While providing food for the needy should be part of the state's responsibility, there should also be space for civil society, private enterprises and the public to play a role to create kind and healthy communities.

China's richest man Zhong Shanshan sells pure spring water, but can Nongfu Spring stay clean and green?

Nongfu Spring, China’s largest packaged drinks company, prides itself on its clean and green natural water source and low production costs. However, Chinese academic Zhang Tiankan stresses that despite its financial success, the company will need to do more for the environment if it wants to keep its future growth intact.

An imagined China and feeling Chinese in Thailand

Thai academic Sittithep Eaksittipong explains how the Thai rulers of the past used emotion as a political tool to assimilate the Chinese overseas in Thailand. Fast forward to today and the Thai Chinese are more confident of their identity, and feeling Chinese has less to do with developments in China. If anything, the latter is used as a means to chastise the Thai government.

Unlike Taiwan, mainland China lacks top women leaders

Taiwanese academic Chang-Ling Huang explains the importance of gender quota laws in pushing forward women’s representation in politics, observing that while China and Japan have had poor women political representation, Taiwan has managed to be a bright spot in East Asia.

Chinese local governments struggle to find perfect way to ease pandemic rules

Various areas in China have responded to the new “20 measures” for Covid-19 controls, as announced by the Chinese central government on 11 November. Zaobao’s China Desk takes a look at how various local authorities have — or have not — adjusted their measures and the public’s reaction.

Two steps forward, three steps back: Lockdowns in China still prevalent

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at how Covid controls have changed — or not — in various places in China following the announcement of the new 20 measures to ease Covid controls. Going by the measures implemented, it seems that lockdowns and testing seem to still be the default in curbing Covid in China.

Why Xi thinks Canada's conduct was 'not appropriate'

After details of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s informal discussion during the G20 meeting was reported in Western media, Xi followed up with Trudeau to express his displeasure. However, the interaction sent Western media into a frenzy, reporting that Xi “confronted” or “scolded” Trudeau. In light of the sensationalisation of the incident, China may need to be more familiar with how the media in Western democracies work.

A Xi-Biden handshake does not bridge the Sino-US schism, but it's a start

The handshakes and smiles in Bali have triggered some optimism about Sino-US relations going forward. Yet the slight uptick in Sino-US relations post-Bali might well be short-lived, given the superpowers’ underlying structural competition and deep mutual distrust.