People ride bicycles on a street in Beijing, China, on 9 February 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

China local governments’ fiscal stress may roll over to 2023, think tank warns

Data from the Chinese Ministry of Finance shows that revenue in the local general public budget dropped 2.1% to 10.9 trillion RMB in 2022. As massive tax relief, “zero-Covid” outlays, and a property market meltdown drained their coffers, China’s local governments struggled to balance revenue and spending last year. One state-backed think tank warns that the fiscal strain could continue to plague localities in 2023.
People cross a street near office towers in the Lujiazui financial district, ahead of the National People's Congress, in Shanghai, China, 28 February 2023. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Shanghai's new leader Chen Jining's all-out effort to boost economy: Will it work?

After three years of stringent Covid-19 measures, Shanghai is on its road to economic recovery. While the impact of the pandemic was severe, Shanghai officials are making efforts to bring back and reassure foreign enterprises of a conducive business environment. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing looks at the steps taken by the officials and how effective they are.
People pose for photographs under lanterns in Hong'en Temple Forest Park, Chongqing, China, 3 February 2023. (CNS)

How Chongqing’s GDP surpassed Guangzhou’s to become China’s fourth largest city

In 2022, Chongqing became China’s fourth largest city in terms of GDP, surpassing Guangzhou, which it had lagged behind despite boasting a bigger population and land mass. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong notes that Chongqing has leveraged its booming industrial sector to boost its economic growth over the past few years, but is this enough to sustain its stellar performance?
Congolese cheer ahead of Pope Francis's arrival at Martyrs' Stadium in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), on 2 February 2023. The competition between China and the US in the DRC is intensifying. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP)

Is the US subverting China's influence in the DRC?

In the battle for resources in the clean energy race, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) stands as a critical piece of the puzzle, holding access to key metals such as cobalt, lithium, copper and coltan. While China has been an early dominant investor, the US is upping the stakes and seeking to throw the competition wide open.
Employees react amid the chaos as Chinese and Indonesian workers clash at a nickel smelter in Morowali, Sulawesi, Indonesia in this undated social media video released 16 January 2023. (Revi Limbong via Reuters)

Workers' riot in a Chinese nickel company in Indonesia: Could it have been prevented?

A recent conflict between Indonesian workers and Chinese workers at a nickel smelter in Indonesia's North Morowali regency brings into focus several issues concerning Chinese investments in Indonesia, poor working environments, and bad treatment of local workers. Authorities must carefully manage the issue of migrant workers and balance national policy goals with local communities' interests.
Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Malaysia’s minister of international trade and industry. (SPH Media)

Q&A: Malaysia’s new trade minister explains why China matters to Southeast Asia

Caixin sat down for an exclusive interview with Malaysia’s new Minister of International Trade and Industry Tengku Zafrul Aziz on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, in January. He spoke about Malaysia's and ASEAN's relations with China, and his thoughts on regional and global trade.
Boys run past a mural by Senzart911, of children wearing facemasks amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, at Soweto's Kliptown, South Africa, 27 October 2021. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

Chinese investments in Africa moving into new areas amid return of the West

After 20 years of rapid growth fuelled by Chinese investments, Africa-China ties stand at an inflection point, with some African countries wary of the pitfalls of collaboration and other challengers seeking to dominate the region. Will China’s Africa-China relations reach new highs after this fork in the road?
A general view of the Chinese mining company COMMUS (Musonoïe Mining Company Global SAS), downtown Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on 13 October 2022. (Junior Kannah/AFP)

China’s hunt for strategic new energy minerals

China lacks sufficient reserves of strategic minerals. The country's strategic mineral reserves, including iron, copper, aluminum, nickel and lithium, equals less than 20% of the world’s total, while the country accounts for more than half of global consumption of cobalt, aluminum and copper. What are China's options?
Pedestrians reflected in a store window in the Wangfujing shopping area in Beijing, China, on 10 February 2023. (Bloomberg)

External challenges could hinder China’s economic recovery

After three years of Covid-19 disruption, China’s economy and society are starting to get back on track. However, it is facing stiff external pressure, as shown by the further China-US fallout from the recent “balloon incident". Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at the challenges China’s economic recovery faces from the outside world.