Society

This file photo taken on 5 March 2020 shows farmers harvesting cabbages at Huarong county in Hunan province, on the border of Hubei. A national campaign to curb mounting food waste in China is feeding speculation that the supply outlook is worse than the government admits and fuelling warnings food could become another front in the worsening US-China rivalry. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Food scraps and empty new apartments: China’s fight against wastage

China has a problem of wastage, and two areas where this is clearly seen are food and property development. Hong Kong commentator David Ng reviews the impact on China’s economy.
People wait in line at a food bank at St. Bartholomew Church in the Elmhurst section of Queens, New York City, New York, US, on 15 May 2020. (Brendan McDermid/File Photo/Reuters)

America has itself to blame for its decline

US-based academic Han Dongping makes the observation that drug use is on the rise in American colleges, as is a widening wealth gap and problems in the public education system. These inadequacies are way more damaging to the Americans of tomorrow than anything China can do to America.
Children learn skating in Beijing on 11 August 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Can China reverse its population decline?

A study shows that the global population will peak before the end of the century and populations in most countries will be on a downward trajectory. China is no exception. Its birth rate continues to fall each year and its population size is expected to be as low as 730 million by 2100. How can China prevent this problem from becoming its Achilles heel?
Workers use a fire hose to wash away mud left by receded floodwaters off the Chaotianmen docks in Chongqing, 28 July 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Chongqing residents on worst floods in 40 years: This has not been a good year

This year, Chongqing has seen its worst floods in 40 years, with torrential rains swelling the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong speaks to residents and shares his personal experiences.
This file photo taken on 7 July 2020 shows students arriving at a school to take the gaokao, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. (STR/AFP)

Clamp down on Chinese students and academics? America’s loss is China’s gain

Amid US-China tension, Chinese students and academics in the US are often viewed with suspicion. US academic Han Dongping reminds us that in the past, it was the US who encouraged Chinese students to stay on after their studies and the country had benefited greatly from their contributions in diverse fields. China was at a disadvantage then, in terms of holding on to their top talent, but now with the US closing its doors, it is more than happy to welcome a return to the flock.
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.