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.

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?
People queue at a mobile specimen collection station for Covid-19 testing in Hong Kong’s Mongkok district on 10 February 2022 as authorities scrambled to ramp up testing capacity following a record high number of new infections. (Peter Parks/AFP)

Has Hong Kong been half-hearted about its 'zero-Covid' policy?

As Covid-19 cases rise in Hong Kong, pandemic efforts are being elevated to a tussle of Asian and Western ideologies. Han Yong Yong suggests that the crux of the issue may not be so much pledging allegiance to one school of thought or the other, but Hong Kong being given the latitude to make adjustments to their Covid-19 policies. In the end, the mainland may benefit more from letting Hong Kong conduct pilot tests at will than to be cruising along on autopilot.
A Russian service member jumps off a T-72B3 main battle tank during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia, 3 February 2022. (Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters)

Does Beijing benefit from US-Russia confrontation over Ukraine?

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met face to face ahead of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on 4 February against the background of Russia-Ukraine tensions. According to Chinese state media, they discussed Sino-Russian relations and a series of major issues concerning international strategic security and stability. It appears that a new deal for more Russian gas to be supplied to China was also a highlight of the discussions. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong explains why it is not China's aim to goad Russia on or get involved in the Ukraine crisis, and any suggestion of "Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrrow" may be overstated.
The Taiwanese Representative Office sign in Vilnius, Lithuania, 20 January 2022. (Janis Laizans/Reuters)

Lithuania's 'name battle': Can the US end it in a dignified manner?

The row continues between China and Lithuania over the naming convention “Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania” as China continues to exert pressure via export blocks on Lithuania. The Lithuanian president has also chimed in, calling for the name of the office to be changed. However, this reeks of being a proxy war between the US and China over Taiwan. Han Yong Hong explains.
A woman walks on a sidewalk in the central business district in Beijing on 16 December 2021. (Greg BakerAFP)

China to prioritise economic stability ahead of CCP 20th Party Congress

While China’s economy grew about 8% in 2021, the GDP growth target for this year is expected to be a more modest “above 5%”, taking into consideration various easing measures by the central bank and political considerations heading into the 20th Party Congress in autumn this year. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong gives her assessment.