Society

The ponds left by rare earth mining in Longnan city in Ganzhou, China, in March 2022. (Ding Gang/Caixin)

China's rare earth mining could cause irreversible environmental harm

Despite its economic benefits for locals, rare earth extraction has become quite a headache for the people of Ganzhou, Jiangxi province. They have been left with toxic water and contaminated soil which has an impact on the livelihoods of farmers nearby. With a lack of funding and technology, how can local governments clean up the mines?
A worker in a protective suit shows a QR code to residents lining up for nucleic acid testing, as the second stage of a two-stage lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) begins in Shanghai, China, 1 April 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

How China's health code app permeates daily life and may still play a role post-Covid

China’s use of the health code for pandemic control has illustrated the potential of digital technologies in the 21st century. However, there are concerns about the blurring of the lines between digital surveillance and public service provision, and fears that tech giants and local governments will take advantage of the greater access to personal data they have been given.
Lion dance heads are displayed at a temple in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 21 January 2022. (Cindy Liu/Reuters)

Cambodians welcome yet are wary of the new Chinese

The new Chinese of Cambodia, namely Chinese migrants who arrived in the country after the 1990s, have reinfornced the dominance of the ethnic Chinese in Cambodia's politico-economic order. The findings of a preliminary online survey of 100 respondents conducted in February 2022 show that Cambodians generally perceive the new Chinese positively but social tensions between Cambodians and the new Chinese are high as well.
This photo taken on 13 April 2022 shows a worker producing industrial robots at a factory in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. (AFP)

Why China has too many graduates and not enough skilled workers

Despite a record number of graduates entering the job market this year, China is seeing a shortage of skilled tradesmen, especially for the manufacturing industry. Chinese economics professor Li Jingkui believes that the main reason for the talent demand gap is China’s education system, which is driven by remnants of the backward ideology of the ancient feudal society.
A farmer walks next to a harvester operating at a wheat field in Wei county of Handan, Hebei province, China, 11 June 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Chinese farmers struggling with excessive anti-epidemic measures

With China seeing virus outbreaks in various areas, local governments have been ramping up anti-epidemic measures. The farming sector has been hit hard, especially considering the spring planting season that needs all hands on deck. But despite recent notices from the authorities calling for smooth movement of agricultural supplies and labour, the implementation on the ground may not be easy.
Customers buy instant noodles, following the Covid-19 outbreak, at a supermarket in Beijing, China, 25 April 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Pandemic in China: Will Beijing repeat Shanghai's mistakes?

Fears and anxiety from Shanghai’s dire Covid-19 situation is spreading to other cities. In particular, Beijing is now seeing panic buying and residents preparing for the worst. People are getting ready for a lockdown that may not even happen, but given their ordeal in the early outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, their fears are not unfounded. Zaobao's Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu reveals the situation on the ground.
Quarantine workers in personal protective equipment (PPE) at a residential building during a lockdown due to Covid-19 in Shanghai, China, on 20 April 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Singaporeans in Shanghai: How to cope when a city shuts down during the pandemic

Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing speaks with Singaporeans who are based in Shanghai to find out how the resurgence of Covid-19 cases has impacted them. While some have gone through great pains to escape the locked down city, others have stayed behind, sharing the hardship — and joys — with the local community.
Graduates attend a graduation ceremony at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 13 June 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

Record 10.76 million Chinese university graduates face bleak job market and struggling economy

With over ten million Chinese university students set to graduate this year, the competition for jobs will be more intense than ever, and it does not help that certain sectors are scaling back recruitments for various reasons. Can the potential mismatch of jobs and skills be rectified? And will the impact of youth employment difficulties spill over to other areas?
Workers use planters to plant corn seeds on the fields in a village on the outskirts of Wuwei, Gansu province, China, 14 April 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

It is debatable whether China has truly alleviated poverty

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in February 2021 China’s complete victory in its fight against poverty. While China’s poverty alleviation efforts spanned 40 years since its reform and opening up in 1978, its definition of its poverty standards has been ill-defined. Taiwan academic Liu Chin-tsai believes that there is more to be scrutinised before China becomes a global model for poverty alleviation.