Edwin Ong

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.

People take photographs outside the Hongyancun Station. (Photo: Edwin Ong)

[Video] Chongqing's Hongyancun now the deepest metro station in China

Hongyancun metro station in Chongqing has the distinction of being the deepest metro station in China. However, it takes about ten minutes to go all the way down — to the depth of 39 storeys — which raises safety concerns, alongside the convenience to nearby residents.
A Palestinian youth reacts as he sits on the rubble of a destroyed home following an Israeli military strike on the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip on 15 October 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas. (Mohammed Abed/AFP)

China shifts stance on Israel-Hamas conflict?

A week after the war between Israel and Hamas broke out, China has openly criticised Israel, saying that its actions “have gone beyond self-defence”. China may be worried about the larger implications of war breaking out in the Middle East, says an academic that Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong spoke to.
A shot of the USS America (LHA-6) taken on 15 September 2023. (Chung Sung-Jun/Reuters)

US, China militaries flex muscles in Yellow Sea

Amid the ongoing US-China rivalry, both powers have been sending their navies on exercises in the Yellow Sea, as a signal to each side, stopping just short of actual engagement. This mirrors earlier near-confrontations. Is this all just military posturing ahead of a possible Xi Jinping-Joe Biden summit before the end of the year?
An advertisement for the Huawei Technologies Co. Mate 60 series smartphone in Shanghai, China, on 17 September 2023. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

[Big read] What is the US’s next move as China breaks through the chip blockade?

China’s Huawei suddenly launched a new smartphone, equipped with a 7-nm chip said to be made in China and with network speeds reaching 5G levels, shocking the US political circles. What far-reaching impacts will China's breakthrough in chip technology have? How will Washington respond? Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong takes us through the recent developments and what it means for the US’s strategy against China’s tech advancements.
People are seen below a giant screen showing news footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking virtually to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting, which was being held in India, at a shopping mall in Beijing, China, on 4 July 2023. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Politics takes precedence over economy in Xi’s Chinese-style modernisation

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech in February criticising the West was recently quoted in a Chinese Communist Party publication, and Lianhe Zaobao journalist Edwin Ong notes that the renewed attention could be intended to strengthen the political consensus among officials and citizens. Meanwhile, Xi’s emphasis on treading a different path from Western modernisation could come at the expense of its economy.
Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee Wang Yi (left) attends a Friends of BRICS (a grouping of the world economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) meeting in Johannesburg on 24 July 2023. (Elmond Jiyane/GCIS/AFP)

Will China’s measured stance continue under reappointed Foreign Minister Wang Yi?

Former Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who had a meteoric rise and just as swift a fall, was thought to have adopted a more measured tone in China’s foreign policy. Are fears of a return to wolf warrior diplomacy under Wang Yi unfounded? Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong assesses the situation.
This photo taken on 14 June 2023 shows university graduates and youths attending a job fair in Yibin, in China's southwestern Sichuan province. (CNS/AFP)

Xi Jinping calls on young Chinese to embrace hardship

Even as young people are struggling to find jobs amid high unemployment and a tough economy, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on them to “actively seek hardship”. Such messaging is made in the spirit of self-motivation and self-improvement, but is it a long-term solution to address the confusion and anxiety among young Chinese people? Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong finds out.
The matchmaking corner at Chongqing People's Park, China. (SPH/Edwin Ong)

Desperate parents gather in China's latest matchmaking park for the sake of their kids

Since the start of this year, hordes of parents have descended on the Chongqing People’s Park matchmaking corner every weekend to find a potential mate for their children. Many parents there lament that the matchmaking corner is like a “hypermarket” where parents try to “outmanoeuvre” each other. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong believes that it is also a microcosm of the socioeconomic divide in China.
Elderly people chat outside a restaurant along a street in Beijing, China, on 16 March 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Why both old and young are against raising the retirement age in China

With pension funds slowly depleting, Chinese officials are looking to increase the statutory retirement age to alleviate the pressure on government coffers, increase pension contributions and resolve labour shortages. However, Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong notes that the policy is facing resistance from those nearing retirement as well as the younger generation.