Society

An aerial shot of the collapsed "self-built" building in Changsha, Hunan province, China, on 29 April 2022. (CNS)

Building collapses in China call for more stringent checks on structural safety

An eight-storey building adjacent to the Changsha Medical University collapsed on 29 April, killing 54 people, mainly students. It turned out that the building was a "self-build" that had been modified by the owners rather than constructed by developers. Authorities are now clamping down on safety inspections of building structures, but is it a case of too little, too late?
Primary school students work with flour during a cooking lesson in school, in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, China, on 13 May 2022. (Xinhua)

Chinese kids to undergo nine years of culinary training: Parents are worried 

China’s education ministry recently introduced a new curriculum for primary and secondary students with the aim of teaching life skills. From cooking to technology applications, young children will be better equipped to face society. However, parents have voiced their concerns about the added burden on both children and parents.
A worker in a protective suit disinfects at a closed residential area during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 17 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

It takes a mountain of effort to tell the truth about China's economy

Chinese economist David Li Daokui has been mocked by netizens for comments he made at a recent economics forum, where he said that China’s life expectancy has increased by an average of ten days due to pandemic efforts, and suggested setting up quarantine facilities next to factories in order to maintain productivity. But is this derision deserved? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu analyses the issue.
People wearing face masks walk out of a subway station during morning rush hour in Beijing, China, 26 April 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Patriotism has become a commodity on Chinese social media

Chinese internet celebrities have landed in hot water since social media platforms began displaying the IP addresses of posts by verified accounts. Netizens are crying foul as the locations of these individuals have potentially exposed the deception and falsehoods in their content and “patriotic” personae. Is this the end for the “patriotic Big Vs”?
A resident and a child look out through gaps in the barriers at a closed residential area during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 10 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Escape from Shanghai: The sorry state this megacity finds itself in

Despite the decline in daily new Covid-19 cases over the past week, Shanghai has seen stricter anti-epidemic controls implemented to the point of absurdity. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu highlights the stranger-than-fiction happenings in Shanghai that have sparked public outrage and shaken people’s confidence in China’s zero-Covid policy.
Demonstrators during a national walk out in support of abortion rights at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, US, on 5 May 2022. (Sergio Flores/Bloomberg)

Do Gen Z Americans hold the key to improving China-US relations?

American youths today are dealing with more issues and turmoil than their previous generations. US academic Wu Guo believes that the culmination of terrorist attacks, financial crises, social injustice and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have led to a generation that is more politically, socially and environmentally aware. These challenges and experiences could be a path for Americans to connect with the world outside of the US, in particular with China.
A resident looks out through a gap in the barrier at a residential area during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 6 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Best of both worlds: China wants both zero-Covid and economic growth

China’s dynamic zero-Covid policy has come at a heavy toll on the economy and people’s livelihoods. However, the Chinese authorities believe that economic growth is still possible amid the strict anti-epidemic measures. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks into the Chinese government’s strategy to have the best of both worlds.
People walk at a shopping mall complex in Beijing, China, on 16 April 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Why swear words derogating women have proliferated on the Chinese internet

The use of “national swear” (国骂) in the Chinese language has been a topic of discussion for the past century, with its derogatory nature towards women long known. From seemingly harmless insults to women’s intelligence to malicious debasing of female ancestors, why is the use of such language still prevalent on the internet today?
A health worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is seen at a makeshift testing site outside a museum along a street in Beijing, China, on 4 May 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP)

A Singaporean in China: How Covid brings out the worst in people

A spate of news of pet “cullings” and cruel acts against people amid Covid-19 lockdowns in China have captured widespread public attention. While it may be easy to classify the instigators of such acts as heartless, former journalist Jessie Tan believes that those actions may not be borne out of an individual’s ill nature or will, but a reaction to the complex forces amid the Covid-19 lockdown.