Society

A couple wearing face masks cuddles along a park at the Yangtze river in Wuhan, Hubei, on 12 April 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Death of a Peking University girl: Virginity matters in modern China

Baoli, a student at Peking University, committed suicide because of her boyfriend and died this early April. Young academic Lorna Wei examines the case and bemoans the sad situation of both men and women holding parochial attitudes in China towards a woman’s virginity. In extreme cases, the vulnerable may fall prey to grave self-harm, even death.
Young people wearing face masks amid concerns over the Covid-19 coronavirus walk dressed in Tang Dynasty costumes at Century Park in Shanghai on 22 March 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Is China’s younger generation having it better?

When a video depicting the rosy lives of youth in China went viral on China’s Youth Day (4 May), young and old Chinese alike stopped to ponder what kind of society the youth have inherited. Is it paved with gold, or just as rough around the edges as before? Amid new problems that a rising China faces today, the post-90s generation will just have to make this era their own, with all its foibles, just as their parents and earlier generations have done before them.
Traditional agricultural markets in China, like the Longdong Market pictured in the photo, are coming under the spotlight amid efforts to stamp out illegal wildlife trading.

The end of wet markets in Guangzhou?

The first few cases of Covid-19 were believed to have been linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, where some live wild animals were available for sale. As the virus comes under control in China, traditional agricultural markets in China are coming under the spotlight amid efforts to stamp out illegal wildlife trading. While these markets in the main never had exotic wildlife for sale, the overhaul taking place is threatening the old way of life for many shopkeepers and market-goers. Zeng Shi takes a look at a microcosm of that phenomenon in Guangzhou.
Students wearing face masks arrive at the Huayu Middle School in Shanghai, April 27, 2020. Students returned to class for the first time since schools were closed in January as part of efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

'Mother hens' in China: A phenomenon of East Asian attitudes to education?

Schools in China have been gradually re-opening in the last few weeks. “Mother hens” or parents who fuss over their children's education, had their work cut out during the months of lockdown and their trials with home based e-learning. But most of them have taken it in their stride as they are used to coping with major anxiety amid growing pressure in their children’s education that begins even before kindergarten. And the same goes for the "tiger mums" of South Korea, Singapore and elsewhere. Zaobao reporter Zeng Shi takes a closer look at the "mother hen" phenomenon in China.
A man wearing a face mask walks past a mural along a street in Wuhan, China, on 2 April 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Anti-American poem sparks fierce debates in China

The publication of an offensive poem suggesting American origins of Covid-19 while lavishing praise on the Chinese government has ratcheted China-US tensions up a notch. Although the paper claims that the poem was not their idea but a prank played by cheeky hackers, the incident highlights a serious raising of the stakes simply through careless hatred.
In this photo taken on 3 April, a poster encouraging people to use serving chopsticks and sit apart is seen as two diners wait for their food to be served in a restaurant in Saybag District, Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China. (CNS)

No more sharing of communal dishes: A revolution of Chinese dining habits?

From serving meals in individual portions, to using serving spoons and advocating BYO (bring your own) — not booze but cutlery — experts in Beijing are setting new dining conventions that will upend the convivial culture of Chinese dining as we know it.
China can easily face a passive disadvantage in handling its external relations if callow nationalists gain control of the Internet. In this photo taken on 14 April 2020, people wearing face masks are seen at a main shopping area after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, China. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Chinese nationalist internet warriors creating diplomatic disputes for China

China is finding out that overzealous nationalist internet warriors can do its foreign relations more harm than good. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu learns that China's neighbouring countries are taking these internet voices seriously because of China's unique political system.     
A case of sexual abuse has recently swept the Chinese internet community. (iStock)

Chinese netizens stand firm behind sexually abused 'adopted daughter'

The case of a former high-calibre law consultant who allegedly sexually abused a teenage girl has been making the rounds among China’s internet community. While the man argued that theirs was a consensual relationship, netizens are not buying it. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu asks: "What does it mean when justice has to be upheld by public opinion?"
A woman wears a face mask as she burns incense and prays at the Wong Tai Sin Temple to mark the Lunar New Year of the Rat in Hong Kong on 24 January 2020. (Philip Fong/AFP)

Chinese spirituality [Part two]: The sacred is in the mundane

Spirituality helps individuals cope with severe trauma and aids their growth and psychological well-being in the aftermath of a crisis. Such ballast is something humanity badly needs in the face of a pandemic. Dr Chang Weining, visiting psychologist of the Institute of Mental Health, ponders China’s search for spirituality in times of distress. In part two of her article, she toggles between past and present as she takes a look at how the Chinese quest for solace has evolved.