Edwin Ong

Chongqing Correspondent, Lianhe Zaobao

Edwin has been with Zaobao China Desk since 2015, and has assumed the role as Chongqing Correspondent since April 2019. Based in the operating hub of the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, he monitors the political, economic and social development of China's emerging western region, simultaneously keeping an eye on technological trends and developments in China's rural hinterland.

A medical worker in protective suit collects a swab from a resident at a free nucleic acid testing site following new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lanzhou's Chengguan district, Gansu province, China, 20 October 2021. (cnsphoto via Reuters)

Chinese Covid testing firms come under fire for pandemic profiteering

An incident involving errors with Covid test results at a test facility in Lanzhou has opened the doors to deeper digging by netizens, indicating a pattern of outbreaks wherever there are facilities established under the Shenzhen Nucleus Gene Technology Co. Coincidence, or something else?
Medical workers take swap samples from residents for Covid-19 at a testing site in Chongqing, China, 3 November 2022. (China Daily via Reuters)

Lockdowns or not: China's officials face new dilemma implementing anti-Covid measures

Chongqing is seeing its worst outbreak in three years, and although residential communities have been put under restrictions similar to 2020, the local authorities have not called it a citywide lockdown, leading to confusion. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong looks at how Chongqing is handling the latest wave, including a new regional coordination strategy proposed by party secretary Chen Min’er.
A health worker takes a swab sample from a man to test for the Covid-19 coronavirus in the Huangpu district in Shanghai on 24 October 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

No end to China’s zero-Covid in the short term

China’s stock markets rose following an unverified tweet on 1 November claiming China might ease its zero-Covid policy. However, signals from state media and various local governments suggest otherwise and the market rally has died down as well. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong examines the clues and analyses what might happen next.
This photo taken on 16 October 2022 shows subway staff watching the opening session of the 20th Party Congress in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (AFP)

China and the West continue sparring during party congress

China’s American and European partners do not seem keen on granting China a “stable external environment” during the 20th Party Congress. With diplomatic sparring ratcheting up, Xi’s new team will have its work cut out when the congress ends in a few days’ time.
In this handout image courtesy of the US Navy taken on 27 August 2021, the AI Arleigh-burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) transits the Taiwan Strait during a routine transit. (US Navy/AFP)

China and the US showing restraint over Taiwan issue

Recent developments over the Taiwan Strait have strained the already-tense China-US relations, with Biden repeating the commitment to support Taiwan militarily while claiming no change to the "one China" policy, and China showing comparatively measured responses. How will both sides continue to tread the line? Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong tells us more.
A visitor holds his mobile phone near a screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan Parlor Convention Center in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 31 December 2020. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China's softening stance on its ‘no limits’ relations with Russia

The lateral move of “Russia expert” Le Yucheng from the Chinese foreign ministry to the National Radio and Television Administration is undoubtedly a career setback for the man once tipped to be the next foreign minister. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong explores possible reasons for the move and opines that it could indicate Beijing's changing attitude towards Russia and the war in Ukraine.
A file photo of Chen Min'er. (SPH Media)

Chongqing party secretary Chen Min’er is the man to watch

After nearly five years, Chongqing party secretary Chen Min’er has delivered a good report card in terms of helping to put political blights to rest and making tangible strides in poverty alleviation. Looking ahead, Chongqing is expected to focus on high-quality economic development, whether or not Chen is parachuted out before the 20th Party Congress. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong examines the issue.
Pedestrians carry shopping bags on Geary street in San Francisco, California, US, on 18 May 2022. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Can high inflation in the US bring an end to the China-US trade war?

With inflation reaching historic highs, the Biden administration is facing a challenging road ahead of the midterm elections in November. The lifting of some tariffs on China could ease inflation in the US and appease voters, bringing an end to the China-US trade war. However, views in the White House are mixed. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong speaks with academics to find out more.
Ukrainian soldiers stand next to the grave of a civilian, who according to residents was killed by Russian soldiers, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine, 6 April 2022. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Will China condemn Russia over reports of war crimes in Ukraine?

In the Ukraine conflict, China has stuck to its awkward stance of condemning the war but not the aggressor. As Europe loses patience and draws closer to the US, and international vitriol mounts hard and fast, will China be forced to change tack?