Han Yong Hong

Associate Editor, Zaobao; Editor, Zaobao.com

Yong Hong is associate editor of Zaobao and editor of Zaobao.com. She joined Lianhe Zaobao as a journalist in 2000, covering theatre, music and visual arts. In 2005, she was appointed Correspondent for the Zaobao Beijing Bureau and later become Beijing Chief Correspondent in 2009. She received the Business China Young Achiever Award in 2011, making her the second recipient of this award, and the first journalist to receive this recognition.

A paramilitary policeman gestures under a pole with security cameras, U.S. and China's flags, near the Forbidden City, ahead of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing, 8 November 2017. (Damir Sagolj/REUTERS)

An eye for an eye: Souring China-US relations at point of no return?

With the abrupt order by the US Department of State for China to close its consulate in Houston, and China's retaliation for the US to close its consulate in Chengdu, US-China relations looks set to continue in its downward spiral. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong says, rather than a tug-of-war of espionage, the current situation suggests that the US is countering and striking at China in a battle of scientific research, taking strong action to block Chinese military researchers from entering the US. She wonders how this latest salvo directed at China will end. Will China and the US sever diplomatic relations?
A member of a local community group holds Chinese and Hong Kong flags as she disembarks from a boat in Victoria Harbour on the 23rd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain in Hong Kong on 1 July 2020. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

The fight over Hong Kong: Does it belong to China or the world?

From the speed and single-mindedness with which Beijing has passed the national security law for Hong Kong, it is evident that it is highly suspicious of foreign intervention and threats to national sovereignty. With the enactment of this law, it may have reaffirmed its authority and returned Hong Kong firmly under its wings, but has it achieved the return of the hearts and minds of the Hong Kong people? And while Beijing believes that it owns Hong Kong, some Hong Kongers and the Western world think otherwise.
Gou Jing and her friends, taken a day before she took the gaokao in 1997. (Weibo)

Stolen identities: Imposters rob poor Chinese youths of their university dreams

For years, poor Chinese peasants, especially girls, were led to believe that they had failed their college entrance exams. Little did they know that schemers had misappropriated their identities. With a greater number of cases coming to light, some justice is being done. But many more steps still need to be taken, says Han Yong Hong, to show that the rights of vulnerable groups in Chinese society cannot be trampled on.
A person holds a sign that reads "Keep America Great!" outside of the BOK Center ahead of a rally for US President Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, US, on 17 June 2020. (Christopher Creese/Bloomberg)

China's preferred choice: Trump or Biden?

Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong explains why for all of President Trump’s perceived flaws, China may not necessarily prefer a change to the US leadership.
Passengers use their mobile phones on the subway in Beijing, 12 May 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Weibo punished: Should public opinion be controlled by money or the state?

It is no secret that China’s social media and public opinion is not what it seems: clicks, top searches, and hot topics can all be bought with money. But this points to a bigger problem of whether the Chinese authorities are prepared to allow money, rather than the power of the state, drive public opinion. Zaobao assistant editor Han Yong Hong lays out the implications.
People raise their hands as they protest at the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd, on 4 June 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Chandan Khanna/AFP)

How could democracy yield a leader like Trump?

Han Yong Hong observes that the US, long thought to be a bastion of democracy, is going through a series of hard knocks these days. The way President Trump has conducted himself during the coronavirus crisis and major protests against racism and police brutality have raised some strong caveats about democratic systems. But what is the alternative for the world to hang on to? For now, a firm belief in democracy seems to be keeping the American spirit afloat, even as everything else seems to be falling down like a house of cards.
National People's Congress Chairman Li Zhanshu (bottom C) speaks as Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and other Chinese leaders look on during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 28 May 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Will it be 'one country, one system' for Hong Kong?

As expected, the Chinese government has passed a national security law for Hong Kong, which is likely to be implemented in time for the upcoming LegCo elections in September. Even as Beijing made an unexpectedly strong push for the law, seemingly without allowing room for negotiation, Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that Hong Kong occupies an irreplaceable position to Beijing, and things may not be as bad as they appear.
Pan-democratic legislators scuffle with security as they protest against new security laws during Legislative Council’s House Committee meeting, in Hong Kong, 22 May 2020. (Tyrone Siu/REUTERS)

Hong Kong will move into another period of unrest

Following last year’s protests in Hong Kong, the Beijing central government is all set to roll out new legal measures to plug the gaps in Hong Kong’s national security. The plan for the law was unveiled on 22 May during the opening session of China's annual National People's Congress. The draft proposal said the security law would "guard against, stop and punish any separatism, subversion of the national regime, terrorist group activities and such behaviours that seriously harm national security". Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong opines that worse days await Hong Kong, as neither side seems to be able to make a concession.
Flower installations to mark the Labour Day holiday are seen on Tiananmen Square in front of the Great Hall of the People, Beijing 1 May 2020. (Tingshu Wang/REUTERS)

Friends to foes: Matthew Pottinger's Mandarin speech to China and US-China relations

US Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger’s speech on the anniversary of the May Fourth Movement touched on China’s political system, the spirit of the May Fourth Movement, and hopes for the Chinese people. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong sheds light on Pottinger, a hawkish China hand, and looks at how China-US relations have deteriorated since China's reform and opening up.