Society

China's goal is to eradicate poverty within 2020, including rural areas. (Tingshu Wang/REUTERS)

Only 17 people left in poverty

China’s efforts in alleviating poverty have worked well in Jiangsu, where there are apparently only 17 people left living in poverty. However, there is scepticism on the figures, as well as examples of how poverty alleviation efforts have not worked. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong looks at how China can do better.
Crime boss Sun Xiaoguo in court. Sun was sentenced to death for multiple crimes, from rape to organised crime. (Xinhua)

Crime boss's death sentence and lessons for China’s economic development

The retrial and reinstatement of a death sentence meted out to crime boss Sun Xiaoguo is not only a win for those championing legal reform, but also those looking to strengthen China’s business environment. This landmark case exposes corruption ills and eradicates bad hats in one fell swoop.
Women wearing masks in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong authorities have stepped up vigilance against the mystery pneumonia in Wuhan. (CNS)

China’s mystery pneumonia

The recent outbreak of a mystery pneumonia in Wuhan brings back memories of the 2003 SARS epidemic. How are the Chinese authorities responding differently this time, and are people sufficiently reassured?
Medical corruption in the form of hongbaos from patients is common in China. (iStock)

Medical corruption: A tough ailment to treat

Despite China’s anti-corruption efforts, one grey area that has been very difficult to clean up is the common practice of patients giving doctors hongbaos (monetary gifts in red packets), to ensure better care and treatment. Yu Zeyuan comments on the phenomenon.
Queues that last for hours on end are characteristic of first stores. Pictured here is a long queue outside Taotaoju Restaurant.

"First stores" and "China cool": A new era in Chinese consumerism

Shanghai correspondent Yang Danxu observes that domestic consumption in China is getting a second wind from “first store” openings and a “China cool” wave led by time-honoured brands that have found the sweet spot between the old and new.
Macao has done well since its handover to mainland China in 1999. (Jason Lee/REUTERS)

Taking a long hard look at Macao's stellar performance

Since its return to mainland China in 1999, Macao has seen rapid progress and growth. But despite the impressive figures, issues with governance and bread-and-butter issues such as housing remain. On the 20th anniversary of Macao’s return to China, Zaobao reporter Tai Hing Shing looks at the challenges facing the Macao SAR government.
One Child Nation documentary poster. (One Child Nation/Facebook)

A Chinese woman's status and the one-child policy

Wei Shuang notes that gender-skewed policies such as the one-child policy have far-reaching consequences and often produce unexpected outcomes. Social issues will persist if we continue to ignore the warning signs given by those who bear the brunt of such policies.
China today faces a lack of social trust. (iStock)

How to build a society of trust in China

Zheng Yongnian says a severe lack of social trust in China is fostered by a loss of traditional rules and norms, as well as a lack of modern universal laws. This explains why, when in trouble, most Chinese people avoid seeking legal remedy, preferring to turn to their social connections (关系 guanxi) instead. He argues that focusing on people, giving autonomy to social groups and improving the rule of law are key to rebuilding that trust.
In academia, covert corruption is more pronounced than overt acts of corruption that are explicitly prohibited by law. (iStock)

Eradicating academic warlords and bandits in Chinese academia

Deng Xize asserts that the oligopolistic system in Chinese academia facilitates a covert form of corruption. Specifically, academics double hat as government officials, thereby gaining advantages such as greater access to academic resources. For him, a clear separation between academics and politics is the most urgent reform needed in Chinese academia.