Society

Schools in Lincang city, Yunnan province made it mandatory for all staff and students to drink “大锅药” before they could enter schools. (Weibo)

‘Big pot medicine’ and ‘divine doctors’ a recipe for disaster

Despite an uptick in China’s Covid-19 recovery efforts, people are still taking turns playing doctor. This speaks to the societal issue of opportunists preying on superstitions for their own ends, with no regard for the consequences, says Edwin Ong, Lianhe Zaobao’s Chongqing correspondent.
A Battle Against Epidemic: China Combating Covid-19 in 2020, China Intercontinental Press, People's Publishing House. (Internet)

Government-endorsed ‘epidemic textbook’ taken off the shelves: A celebration too soon?

Amid rising negative feedback, the plug was pulled from launching a government-endorsed publication on China’s experience battling Covid-19. Rightly so, says Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu, as now is not the time to celebrate success when the battle to overcome the epidemic has not been won.
Students in a Chinese language class in Indonesia.

Is Chinese language alive or dying in Indonesia?

In 1966, Indonesia banned the use of the Chinese language. The ban lasted 32 years, and led to up to two generations of Chinese Indonesians becoming completely assimilated. However, when the ban was lifted in 1998, there was an immediate rush to learn the Chinese language. But is that enthusiasm still there? Zaobao reporter Sim Tze Wei visits schools in Indonesia to find out more about the changes in Indonesia’s Chinese language education over the past 20 years.
In this picture taken on 29 February 2020, people wearing face masks as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus walk past residential buildings in Hong Kong. (Dale De La Rey/AFP)

Hong Kong and Covid-19: Resilience amid adversity

Norman Yik finds a silver lining in the Covid-19 chaos coursing through Hong Kong. A group of self-reliant individuals are showing that the fighting spirit that Hong Kong is known for is alive and well. And Tai Hing Shing charts the beginning of a busy week as Hong Kong civil servants return to office.
Medical staff treating a critical patient infected by the Covid-19 coronavirus at the Red Cross hospital in Wuhan. (AFP)

China's public healthcare system needs a revamp

The investment is low, the focus is flawed, the mindset needs changing... For Chinese economics professor Zhang Rui, it is evident that China's public healthcare system is not robust enough. He says that long-term public health capacity building, particularly in disease prevention and emergency preparedness, should be at the top of the Chinese agenda.
Grilled snakes at a street market in China. (iStock)

Love for wild game: The history and the controversies

The Chinese people's love for consuming game meat goes back a long way, and is deeply rooted in history and culture. But doing so comes with risks, not least the risk of being infected by parasites, viruses, and bacteria. ThinkChina takes a look at how and why the Chinese eat various wild animals, as well as various other cultures that also have a penchant for game meat.
A man (L) holds a Taiwan flag as passengers disembark from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. (Philip Fong/AFP)

Taiwanese stranded in Wuhan: When can they return?

Intransigence from the governments in Beijing and Taipei has kept a number of Taiwanese stranded in Wuhan, the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak. While views in Taiwan are split, academics have launched a petition calling for politics to take a backseat in the face of a humanitarian crisis.
Commuters wearing face masks ride a tramcar in Pyongyang on February 26, 2020. (Kim Won-Jin/AFP)

North Korea demonstrating superiority of regime through epidemic control

Lockdown state, zero Chinese tourists, zero infected case... Keio University’s Atsuhito Isozaki notes that for health and political reasons, North Korea is treating the possible outbreak of Covid-19 as a matter of “national survival”. In the immediate, however, rising prices brought on by disruptions in supply are a key threat.
Rongji signature dish, "Ginger Oil Snake". (Photo provided by Joyce Lee)

Snake soup, softshell turtle stew... The end of traditional Cantonese cuisine?

With Shenzhen’s tough, new regulations proposed for the sale and consumption of exotic meats ⁠— from animals wild, bred or reared as pets — restaurateurs fear they will have to close their speciality restaurants offering unusual delicacies. Others worry that the heritage of Cantonese cuisine will be lost. Guangzhou-based Lianhe Zaobao reporter Zeng Shi takes a closer look at the issue.