Society

People in Tokyo's Gotanda area, April 7, 2020. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency in parts of the country, including Tokyo, over a spike in coronavirus infections. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

Covid-19: East Asia must play a greater role

East Asian countries are showing early signs of getting the pandemic under control and must channel their relative stability towards spearheading the economic recovery of the region if they wish to play a larger role in shaping the international order post-Covid 19.
The Statue of Liberty in Paris, during a winter flood. Humans have always struggled to master nature. (iStock)

From humility to arrogance: A fight with nature is a fight with ourselves

Zoonotic viruses will continue to plague humankind if man continues recklessly destroying the environment and natural habitats in the name of development. If there is any lesson to be learnt from the Covid-19 outbreak, Zheng Yongnian says, it is that humans, both in the East and West, need to learn how to be at one with nature, rather than seek to subdue or triumph over nature for their own ends.
Police officers at a street crossing in Beijing, April 7, 2020. Control measures in Beijing have not been relaxed yet. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Stability above all else: Beijing's control measures could stay for rest of year

Beijing’s control measures against the coronavirus outbreak look set to be in place for some time, perhaps for the rest of the year. With stricter rules for people moving in and out of China’s capital, residents and visitors will need to adjust to the new normal. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing finds out how ordinary people are affected.
An adult helps to put a face mask on a child in Taipei, March 31, 2020. (Ann Wang/REUTERS)

Stay well, my beautiful Taipei

The Taiwanese are looking increasingly lost and powerless as they face rising China-US competition and now, the pandemic. Zaobao correspondent Ng Soon Kiat reflects on the years he has spent in Taipei, and wishes the best for the beautiful island he has called home for more than three years.
Residents burn paper offerings during the annual Qingming Festival in Wuhan, April 4, 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Families in Wuhan want accountability from those who covered up outbreak

With the lockdown on Wuhan about to be lifted on 8 April and the annual Qingming Festival just over, families in Wuhan are coming to terms with their losses. They want accountability from those who covered up the initial outbreak, even as they deal with the psychological impact of the coronavirus and lockdown.
The Chinese national flag flies at half mast at a ceremony mourning those who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus as China holds a nationwide mourning on the Qingming Festival, in Wuhan, China, on 4 April 2020. (China Daily via Reuters)

Was China's three-minute silence enough to comfort its people?

On 4 April, the Chinese people observed a three-minute silence for the thousands of lives lost to the pandemic. However, Beijing correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes that accountability checks triggered by the Li Wenliang incident have not fully subsided and may possibly create a new political hoo-ha within and outside of China.
A person crosses the street on 27 March 2020 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

The lies of globalisation

Seeing what was going on in China and how this would affect global supply chains, the West should have predicted the pandemonium they are facing now, says Chip Tsao. One radical thought he proposes is to impose a forced lockdown of the world, letting the virus die a natural death. But even that is but an impossible dream. Ultimately, the pandemic's greatest gift to mankind is forcing one and all to confront the hard truths of globalisation.
The last flight we took from Chengdu to San Francisco. The banner reads: "Chengdu, you can do it! We will be back".

Till the day we reunite: Escape from Chengdu to Washington DC, and then what?

Food writer Chuang Tzu-i, wife of the US Consul General in Chengdu, shares her experience leaving Chengdu in haste with her two sons over two months ago, and coping with her life in limbo back in Washington DC.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are seen reflected in a cafe window during ongoing renovations to the Tower and the Houses of Parliament, in central London on 17 January 2020. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP)

When the narcissists of London and New York meet the coronavirus

Chip Tsao doesn’t mince his words when he points out the hypocrisy of Western metropolis urbanites who feel that nothing can touch them, not least a virus that originated from Asia.