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Customers buy bananas at a market in Shenyang, in China's northeastern Liaoning province on 10 August 2020. (STR/AFP)

China's growing appetite poses environmental challenges for Southeast Asian countries

While farmers in Southeast Asia have benefited from China's growing consumer market, malpractices in the agribusiness sector often result in devastating environmental issues. Hong Kong academic Enze Han examines the situation at corn plantations in Myanmar and banana plantations in Laos to see what can be done to better monitor and regulate foreign entry and practices in these countries.
Former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Lai Xiaomin being tried in court for accepting bribes worth over 1.78 billion RMB. (Weibo)

Will the ‘most corrupt official in China’ be sentenced to death?

Lai Xiaomin, former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management, was recently charged with taking bribes worth over 1.78 billion RMB. Corruption cases have been dealt with harshly in the past, but not in the case of a deputy minister-level official taking bribes of such a large magnitude. Will Lai be made an example of as a signal to other "pests” who are waiting to crawl out of the woodwork?
The logo for Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat app is arranged for a photograph on smartphones in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting U.S. residents from doing business with the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps beginning 45 days from now, citing the national security risk of leaving Americans' personal data exposed. (Ivan Abreu/Bloomberg)

Apple or WeChat — which would the Chinese choose?

With Trump's executive order prohibiting US "transactions" with China apps TikTok and WeChat, it may be harder for the Chinese to use WeChat on iPhones. But when it comes to making a choice between using WeChat for daily life or sticking with iPhones, which would the Chinese choose?
A cheerful Lee Teng-hui in this photo taken outside a dining hall at Iowa State University.

[Photo story] Lee Teng-hui: Controversial figure or icon of Asian democracy?

Taiwan's former President Lee Teng-hui, a controversial figure in the eyes of many, presided over Taiwan at a time when it was undergoing political and economic reforms. Whatever the controversy he courted for being pro-Japan or pro-independence, there is little doubt that he left his mark on Taiwan’s politics. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shows us Lee's various sides through this pictorial journey of his life.
The yellow line marking the boundaries of correspondent Chen Jing's quarantine area.

Quarantined in Shanghai: Can I find peace in solitude?

Food delivered to the door every day, temperature taking twice a day, and not a single sound from the outside world... Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing documents 14 days in a hotel room, quarantined behind a yellow line. Did she find peace in solitude?
Attendees browse as a humanoid robot stands in the exhibition display area at the World AI Conference in Shanghai, 9 July 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

'Kiasu' Singapore, 'yao mianzi' China, and 'leela' India: How does culture influence innovation?

In a study conducted by academics from the NUS Business School surveying the China, India, and Singapore landscape, respondents often described the Chinese as disciplined and focused, Singaporeans as structured, fearing failure and sticking to the plan, and Indians as creative, flexible and frugal. While it is not the only or most pertinent factor, cultural traits matter when it comes to managing teams and maximising their potential to innovate.
A man wearing a protective mask is reflected on a window in Chinatown during the Covid-19 outbreak in New York City, New York, US, on 17 May 2020. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

Why do Chinese and Indian Americans stay silent during the US anti-racism protests?

Nothing is black and white when it comes to race debates, says Yu Shiyu. What if you’re not black but ‘brown’ as some term it, that is, a minority nonetheless. Some Asian Americans of Chinese and Indian descent have been labelled model minorities for largely rising through the ranks though they face some forms of discrimination. Question is, if they don't see the current protests as their fight and stay out of the fray, are they equally culpable?
In this file photo, passengers wearing face masks are seen in Pudong International Airport in Shanghai on 11 June 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

What it's like to travel to Shanghai during the pandemic

Wearing PPE to the airport, going through a blood test and nasal and throat swabs, surviving a 14-day centralised quarantine… The pandemic has indeed changed the way we travel. With airtight preventive measures in place, Lianhe Zaobao Shanghai correspondent Chen Jing doubts her friends and family in Singapore will be coming to visit her in Shanghai anytime soon.
Demonstrators gesture the "Five demands, not one less" protest motto during a protest in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, 1 July 2020. Hong Kong woke up to a new reality on Wednesday, after China began enforcing a sweeping security law that could reshape the financial hub’s character 23 years after it took control of the former British colony. (Roy Liu/Bloomberg)

Why Carrie Lam will never understand Hong Kong's youths

Hong Kong political columnist Chip Tsao makes his observations on an emerging group of people who lack sufficient job security and face a sense of uncertainty and precariousness — the precariat. This group is plugged in to social media, which means they have quick access to information, but are also able to make comparisons that might lead to dissatisfaction. Will the civil servants running Hong Kong be able to empathise with this increasingly marginalised group in society?