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 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 adviser 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.
Staff members keeping watch at a checkpoint in the border city of Suifenhe, in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province, April 21, 2020. (STR/AFP)

Did China win the fight against the virus but lose the world?

With the US state of Missouri suing China over the coronavirus, and Western leaders coming together to demand greater transparency and accountability from China, Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong examines what went wrong with China's communications with the West during the pandemic. Is there anything China can do to improve its international image and diplomatic position?
A face mask is attached to the sculpture at the Carlo Alberto Square, in Turin, Italy. (Massimo Pinca/REUTERS)

Does China owe the world an apology?

It may not be said, but some people feel that China owes the world an apology for being the source of the Covid-19 epidemic. How valid is this claim? Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong examines both sides of the debate.
In this photo taken on 19 February 2020, a medical staff onboard a bus bids farewell to his daughter before leaving to fight the virus at the front line. (CNS)

A better, stronger China after the epidemic? But at what cost?

Han Yong Hong opines that viewed through the lens of the coronavirus outbreak, two views come into focus about China’s prospects of emerging weaker or stronger from the crisis. But whether it is one or the other, it is the innocent members of the public who are hurt, and especially the 2000 over people who have paid the price of this calamity with their lives. No amount of economic progress will be able to compensate for the pain they have endured.
People wearing masks at VivoCity near HarbourFront MRT station in Singapore on 24 Jan 2020. (SPH)

Chinese netizens: Is Singapore 'zen' or has it given up?

Chinese social media has been rife with commentaries asking if Singapore is being too lax and defeatist in its approach to tackling the coronavirus outbreak. Han Yong Hong says beneath the veneer of calm lies characteristics that are peculiar to Singapore society.
The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak: A price too high to pay for the Chinese people. (CNS)

Wuhan coronavirus: China has paid a high price

Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired a meeting with the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China to discuss the coronavirus and its preventive measures on 3 Feb. However, no actual footage of the meeting was broadcast on state TV. This highly unusual presentation drew speculations. Veteran China affairs journalist Han Yong Hong observes that although the authorities have stepped up its efforts to stem the tide of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the last few days, China has paid a high price.