Peter T.C. Chang

Deputy Director, Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya

Dr Peter T. C. Chang is the deputy director of the Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya. Trained in comparative philosophy, he is currently researching China’s rise from the perspective of the Chinese soft power’s impact upon Malaysia and the wider world.

A woman gets a shot of Sinovac coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine at home, administered by a healthcare worker in Sabak Bernam, Malaysia, 1 July 2021. (Lim Huey Teng/Reuters)

China has conducted an enthusiastic vaccine outreach in Malaysia. Can the US buck up?

While the Pfizer shot is the vaccine of choice in Malaysia and anchors the national immunisation programme, China’s Sinovac vaccine is readily available. Though perceived to be of lower efficacy, China's vaccine remains crucial in curbing the global spread of Covid-19, especially in poorer countries. Malaysian academic Peter Chang examines how American and Chinese vaccines have been distributed and administered in Malaysia and around the world, and looks forward to greater involvement from the US.
The flags of China, the United States and Chinese Communist Party are displayed in a flag stall at the Yiwu Wholesale Market in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, China, 10 May 2019. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

Chinese dissidents and their role amid worsening China-US relations

US-China relations are strained enough, especially with China and the US standing on opposite ends of the spectrum — America’s unbridled liberty driving it to anarchy and China backsliding into an increasingly autocratic state. Chinese dissidents in the US walking into the embrace of the American far right only makes things worse.
US President Donald Trump turns away and departs as reporters try to ask questions after the president made an announcement about US trade relations with China and Hong Kong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, US, on 29 May 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

A divided America is losing its footing in the Cold War with China

Dr Peter Chang says the US is fighting a Cold War with China as well as a culture war with itself, marked by deep polarisation and vindictiveness. Some US media seem less vigilant about telling China's side of the story, fuelling a narrative that reinforces a fear of China. Chang opines that this disturbing silence could make American journalism complicit in worsening the domestic and global situation. While the US battles to maintain global dominance, he feels it is best that smaller countries and powers stay centred to help the world achieve its much-needed balance.
The East and the West have divergent reactions to the topic of state surveillance. In this photo taken on 15 January 2020, surveillance cameras are seen at Lujiazui financial district of Pudong, Shanghai. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Humanity needs to face the digital age as one family, not disparate warring tribes

Peter Chang says that as China spreads its wings across the world through digital networks and far-reaching projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, it is becoming ever more integrated with the global system. Like it or not, incumbent leaders such as the US would need to accept it into the fold, for the good of the world.