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.

US President Joe Biden during a news conference following the final day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit at the IFEMA congress center in Madrid, Spain, on 30 June 2022. (Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg)

What a ‘resurrected’ NATO means for China and the world

The recent NATO summit in Madrid seems to indicate that NATO is making a comeback in full force. For China, painted as presenting “systemic challenges” to NATO, this should sound a warning that when the time is ripe for the US to contain China, key countries in the Asia-Pacific and the EU will not be on its side.
Yang Jiechi (first from right) and Jake Sullivan (first from left) at their meeting in Luxembourg, 13 June 2022. (Xinhua)

Xi-Biden meeting unlikely as China-US relations stay locked in stalemate

While virtual meetings between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden have usually followed in-person meetings between the countries’ top diplomats, there is no sign of a virtual summit taking place any time soon after China's Yang Jiechi and US national security adviser Jake Sullivan met in Luxembourg. For the US, internal disagreement over trade tariff issues could be causing the pause. And in the case of China, it has already let go of any false hope for better ties.
This aerial photo taken on 30 May 2022 shows the local fishing village of Neian in Xiyu Township on the Penghu islands. In the sleepy fishing towns on the Penghu islands, many locals are sanguine despite the frequent - and noisy - reminders of the military threat by neighbouring China. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

China-US war of words: Is Taiwan Strait international waters?

China has recently begun a campaign to say that the Taiwan Strait cannot be considered “international waters” based on the UNCLOS. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong sees this as Beijing's way to assert its jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait and that it is ready to boost and expand its scope of military actions over the area.
China’s General Wei Fenghe and his delegates arrive at Dutch Pavilion at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, for a meeting with his counterparts from the US. (SPH Media)

Shangri-La Dialogue 2022: A tougher diplomatic battle for China?

Given the tough stand of Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe at the previous Shangri-La Dialogue in 2019, and the current tense relations between China and the US, this week’s Shangri-La Dialogue is set to offer some sparks. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong examines some points of contention and what previous rhetoric suggests.
People walk in the Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China, 1 June 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China's crackdown on stats fraud in local governments. Why now?

The recent removal of high-ranking officials has cast the spotlight on the longstanding issue of local governments fabricating statistics. As officials compete for promotion, they manipulate economic data to show stellar political achievements, but this leads to bad policies, blind optimism and unrealistically high goals. Zaobao's associate editor Han Yong Hong looks into the matter.
A screengrab from a video showing the national teleconference on the economy chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, 25 May 2022. (Internet)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s meeting of 100,000 attendees conveys sense of urgency on the economy

On 25 May, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang chaired a teleconference on China’s economy with 100,000 attendees. The sheer scale of the meeting and rhetoric used indicates a sense of urgency. The government is keen to convey that it is well aware that the Chinese economy is faring worse than in 2020 when the pandemic first hit and that it has all hands on deck.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr (left) with Mao Zedong (centre) and Imelda Marcos, on a visit to China in September 1957. (Twitter)

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?
A burning building is pictured after shelling by Russian forces in Ukraine's second-biggest city of Kharkiv on 3 March 2022. (Sergey Bobok/AFP)

Did China miscalculate the Ukraine war?

It is likely that China got more than it bargained for in the Ukraine conflict that is looking to be more protracted than either Russia or China expected. In this scenario, it finds itself in the awkward situation of professing to stand by its principles yet showing tacit support for Russia. It still has options, but the unity that Europe and the UN has shown in condemning Russia should also put China on notice.
A person holds a banner with the joined faces of a portrait of Vladimir Putin and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler during an anti-war protest, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Barcelona, Spain, 24 February 2022. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

Will China be emboldened by Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

President Vladimir Putin had set the stage for Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine by couching the country’s relations with Ukraine in ethnocentric terms. Would military action taken in the name of reuniting “one people” give a psychological boost to Beijing in terms of a possible armed reunification with Taiwan?