Society

A vendor sells newspapers along a highway in Jakarta, Indonesia, 10 June 2020. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/REUTERS)

Rising China: Indonesia's Chinese-language newspapers avoid taking sides

All six Chinese-language newspapers in Indonesia support closer economic co-operation with Beijing, and all are pro-Beijing when reporting on Taiwan and Hong Kong issues, except for one. Chinese-language newspapers also face other issues such as insufficient readership and advertisement revenue, and a dearth of journalists. ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata takes a closer look at the papers' predicaments with a rising China on one hand, and a diminishing pool of local readers on the other.
Fishermen pull in their fishing nets as the sun rises over the Mekong river in Phnom Penh on 9 June 2020. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

Major powers react to rising Chinese influence in Mekong

In recent years, the Mekong subregion has seen a renewed engagement of external powers, particularly the US, Japan, and South Korea, mainly due to the China factor. This re-enmeshment signifies an intense power competition in Southeast Asia, in light of China’s increasing economic and political clout. Thai academic Pongphisoot Busbarat cautions that Southeast Asian states need to send a clear signal to external powers that increasing cooperation with them does not equate to choosing sides.
Steve Bannon and Guo Wengui (also known as Miles Kwok) appear at a news conference in New York, New York, 20 November 2018. (Carlo Allegri/REUTERS)

The ‘business’ between Steve Bannon and Guo Wengui

What exactly is the relationship between former Trump right-hand man Steve Bannon, and fugitive China businessman Guo Wengui? What do their dealings show about the scaremongering tactics and half-truths that can be used in any society? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong examines Bannon’s recent arrest and how Guo fits in.
TV series Nothing but Thirty (《三十而已》) revolves around the lives of three females living in Shanghai. (Internet)

Portrayal of women in Chinese dramas getting more westernised?

Hit Chinese television series Nothing but Thirty has struck a chord with scores of working women in China, says young academic Lorna Wei. Unlike one-dimensional portrayals of women in previous dramas, this one seeks to give women in China a voice as she copes with trials in work and in love. If this is art imitating life, it seems that Chinese society is becoming more like any other modern, in fact, westernised, society we see today. Only entrenched attitudes about their roles in society can keep women back as they seek a better future for themselves.
This file photo taken on 5 March 2020 shows farmers harvesting cabbages at Huarong county in Hunan province, on the border of Hubei. A national campaign to curb mounting food waste in China is feeding speculation that the supply outlook is worse than the government admits and fuelling warnings food could become another front in the worsening US-China rivalry. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Food scraps and empty new apartments: China’s fight against wastage

China has a problem of wastage, and two areas where this is clearly seen are food and property development. Hong Kong commentator David Ng reviews the impact on China’s economy.
People wait in line at a food bank at St. Bartholomew Church in the Elmhurst section of Queens, New York City, New York, US, on 15 May 2020. (Brendan McDermid/File Photo/Reuters)

America has itself to blame for its decline

US-based academic Han Dongping makes the observation that drug use is on the rise in American colleges, as is a widening wealth gap and problems in the public education system. These inadequacies are way more damaging to the Americans of tomorrow than anything China can do to America.
Children learn skating in Beijing on 11 August 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Can China reverse its population decline?

A study shows that the global population will peak before the end of the century and populations in most countries will be on a downward trajectory. China is no exception. Its birth rate continues to fall each year and its population size is expected to be as low as 730 million by 2100. How can China prevent this problem from becoming its Achilles heel?
Workers use a fire hose to wash away mud left by receded floodwaters off the Chaotianmen docks in Chongqing, 28 July 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Chongqing residents on worst floods in 40 years: This has not been a good year

This year, Chongqing has seen its worst floods in 40 years, with torrential rains swelling the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong speaks to residents and shares his personal experiences.
This file photo taken on 7 July 2020 shows students arriving at a school to take the gaokao, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. (STR/AFP)

Clamp down on Chinese students and academics? America’s loss is China’s gain

Amid US-China tension, Chinese students and academics in the US are often viewed with suspicion. US academic Han Dongping reminds us that in the past, it was the US who encouraged Chinese students to stay on after their studies and the country had benefited greatly from their contributions in diverse fields. China was at a disadvantage then, in terms of holding on to their top talent, but now with the US closing its doors, it is more than happy to welcome a return to the flock.