Han Yong Hong

Associate Editor, Zaobao; Editor, Zaobao.com

Yong Hong is an associate editor of Zaobao and the editor of Zaobao.com. She joined Lianhe Zaobao as a journalist in 2000, covering theatre, music and visual arts. In 2005, she was assigned to the Beijing bureau as a correspondent, and became the 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 Navy Force helicopter under the Eastern Theater Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) takes part in military exercises in the waters around Taiwan, at an undisclosed location 8 August 2022 in this handout picture released on 9 August 2022. (Eastern Theater Command/Handout via Reuters)

Is there still hope for peaceful reunification in the Taiwan Strait?

Following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the PLA launched a series of military exercises surrounding Taiwan, in a show of “locking in” the island. When the exercises ended, Beijing released a white paper stating that “peaceful reunification” is the “first choice” for the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government. But what are the other “choices”? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong tells us more.
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi waves with other members of the delegation as they board a plane before leaving Taipei Songshan Airport, in Taipei, Taiwan, 3 August 2022. (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Handout via Reuters)

Did Beijing just score a victory without battle with Pelosi's Taiwan visit?

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited and left Taiwan safely. While she spent 19 hours in Taiwan with seemingly little consequences to herself and the US for now, it is Taiwan that has to bear the brunt of Beijing’s wrath. Did Pelosi's visit accomplish anything? In the case of mainland China, its people are expectedly mad about Beijing's mild actions towards the US, but the current situation could be to Beijing's advantage.
This combination of file pictures created on 8 June 2021 shows US President Joe Biden (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Mandel Ngan and Anthony Wallace/AFP)

China and the US not ready for showdown over Taiwan

During their phone call on 28 July, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping made their positions clear on Taiwan and asked their staff to explore an in-person meeting. The verdict is still out, but it is unlikely that either of them will let US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s surprise move checkmate US-China relations into a direct military conflict they both do not want.
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly press conference at the US Capitol on 21 July 2022 in Washington, DC. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images/AFP)

Will Pelosi visit Taiwan this time?

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has again announced plans to visit Taiwan, this time in August. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has also said that he will very likely speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping in the next ten days. Are these incidents related and what action is mainland China likely to take? Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong examines the issue.
People gather to offer flowers at Zojoji Temple, where the funeral of late former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election, will be held, in Tokyo, Japan, 12 July 2022. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Are Chinese fears of a rise in Japanese militarism post-Abe valid?

Following former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s death, the pro-constitutional amendment camp retained a majority during the upper house election, marking a step forward for the revision of Japan’s post-war constitution. Nevertheless, Japan will still need to approach the matter with caution to avoid damaging the already delicate relations with the US and China. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong shares more on the issue.
Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee attends question and answer session at Legislative Council, in Hong Kong, China, 6 July 2022. (Lam Yik/Reuters)

The Hong Kong story according to John Lee amid criticisms from the West

At his first Legislative Council meeting on 6 July, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee laid out his work plan and likened Hong Kong to a “gentleman” that has to respond robustly to attacks from “nasty people” bent on smearing the city. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong examines how he plans to tell the Hong Kong story well.
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.