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

It takes a mountain of effort to tell the truth about China's economy

Chinese economist David Li Daokui has been mocked by netizens for comments he made at a recent economics forum, where he said that China’s life expectancy has increased by an average of ten days due to pandemic efforts, and suggested setting up quarantine facilities next to factories in order to maintain productivity. But is this derision deserved? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu analyses the issue.

China's unified national market has its drawbacks and challenges

The Chinese government has recently announced plans to establish a unified national market that is highly efficient, standardised, open and competitive. It would break down walls, raise the standards of the business environment within China and act as a buffer against external pressures. While the intention is good, NUS academic Lu Xi points to possible drawbacks and challenges.

US-ASEAN summit: Washington still has an uphill climb

The US hit all the right notes when it hosted ASEAN leaders in Washington last week. The fact remains, however, that Washington has an uphill climb if it wants to catch up with Beijing’s economic momentum in Southeast Asia. Not only that, Southeast Asian countries understand that in the end, it would be every man for himself.

Tough Covid measures in China may drag on for another year

The swift way that districts and communities were shut down in Shanghai and Beijing is a reminder that the authorities will not hesitate to take drastic steps to stamp out Covid-19, whatever the human cost. Not only that, the end may not be in sight even by the summer of next year.

Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, the president-elect who kissed Mao Zedong

With Ferdinand Marcos Jr achieving a landslide win in the Philippine presidential election, how will the Philippines’ China policy change? In particular, given the legacy of the Marcos family’s good relations with China as well as former President Duterte’s pro-China stance, how will the incoming president handle relations with the US?

Escape from Shanghai: The sorry state this megacity finds itself in

Despite the decline in daily new Covid-19 cases over the past week, Shanghai has seen stricter anti-epidemic controls implemented to the point of absurdity. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu highlights the stranger-than-fiction happenings in Shanghai that have sparked public outrage and shaken people’s confidence in China’s zero-Covid policy.

China’s powerful export engine losing steam amid Covid-19?

Waves of Covid-19 outbreaks have dealt a big blow to China's economy, with strict anti-epidemic measures affecting businesses, exports and trade. Lockdown uncertainties have also sparked fears of increased competition with foreign manufacturers and a global supply chain restructuring away from China. Caixin surveys the challenges ahead.

Taiwanese art historian: Reflecting on the indigenous culture of Orchid Island

Catching sight of a rare native flower in bloom, art historian Chiang Hsun ponders beauty in diversity and the unique heritage of the indigenous people of Taiwan’s Orchid Island.

True gems: Singapore’s pioneers of the arts deserve more credit

Teo Han Wue laments that we are not doing enough to remember the remarkable contributions that Singapore’s pioneers of the arts have made. Singapore’s early artists and theatre practitioners were the avant-garde who went beyond the tried and tested in China or elsewhere. If we don’t remember our past achievements, how can we be inspired to produce greater things in the future?

[Photo story] The secret pre-World War II diplomacy between China and Germany

Before World War II, an unlikely alliance and friendship sprang up between China and Germany. As diplomatic ties warmed, Germany provided China with arms and equipment against the Japanese invasion. However, because China and the Soviet Union were military allies, Hitler drew closer to Japan, resulting in the subsequent deterioration of China-Germany relations, and the division of camps in WWII.

Why the Global Security Initiative is important for Asia-Pacific security

Zhang Xumin, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Chinese embassy in Singapore, explains why China believes that the Global Security Initiative espoused by President Xi Jinping at this year’s Boao Forum is a framework that can help to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region and find a path for the Asia-Pacific that ensures security for all, by all, and of all.

The Russia-Ukraine war and its potential impact on Russia’s arms sales to Southeast Asia

Russia has been the largest exporter of arms to Southeast Asia over the past two decades but the value of its defence sales to the region has fallen sharply since its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will only exacerbate this downward trend. Not only that, as the war looks set to drag on for months and possibly years, and sanctions increasingly disrupt Russia’s economy, Moscow’s dependence on Beijing may deepen. China will seek quid quo pros, probably including discounted energy imports, increased access to the Russian defence industrial sector’s most sensitive military technology and greater support for its "core interests" in Asia such as Taiwan and the South China Sea.

What to expect from the US-ASEAN Summit in Washington

ASEAN leaders will finally meet US President Joe Biden at the long-awaited US-ASEAN summit in Washington. Whether ASEAN and US can find convergence on regional issues, such as Washington’s desire to manage the rise of China, will be a pressing challenge.

Russia-Ukraine war has triggered another split in China-US relations

Economics professor Zhu Ying observes that since US-China relations reached their high point after former President Trump's visit to Beijing in 2017, China-US relations have seen three splits, each driven by the trade war, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine respectively. Amid tense relations and set identities that have been formed, one can only hope that the US and China do not stumble into a hot war.

Do Gen Z Americans hold the key to improving China-US relations?

American youths today are dealing with more issues and turmoil than their previous generations. US academic Wu Guo believes that the culmination of terrorist attacks, financial crises, social injustice and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have led to a generation that is more politically, socially and environmentally aware. These challenges and experiences could be a path for Americans to connect with the world outside of the US, in particular with China.

Can South Korea’s Yoon and China’s Xi denuclearise North Korea?

North Korea conducted an unprecedented seven missile tests in January and continues to test boundaries as it isolates itself from the world amid the Ukraine war. Yoon Suk-Yeol, who becomes South Korea’s president on 10 May, has every reason to work with Chinese President Xi Jinping on denuclearising North Korea. But will joint efforts be a casualty of tectonic shifts in the global landscape?

Japanese academic: Japan views China and Russia as one entity because of Russia-Ukraine war

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been reiterating lately that “unilateral changes to the status quo by force are absolutely unacceptable". Japanese academic Shin Kawashima points out that this stems from Japanese fears that if the global order is not maintained, Japan will face a security crisis, particularly in the East China Sea. Furthermore, in dealing with this perceived threat from China, Japan has come to view China and Russia as one entity. But is this a wise long-term policy?