Society

In this photo taken on 19 February 2020, a medical staff onboard a bus bids farewell to his daughter before leaving to fight the virus at the front line. (CNS)

A better, stronger China after the epidemic? But at what cost?

Han Yong Hong opines that viewed through the lens of the coronavirus outbreak, two views come into focus about China’s prospects of emerging weaker or stronger from the crisis. But whether it is one or the other, it is the innocent members of the public who are hurt, and especially the 2000 over people who have paid the price of this calamity with their lives. No amount of economic progress will be able to compensate for the pain they have endured.
A Japanese calligrapher writes his prayers and blessings (难病退散,万病平愈, roughly, viruses retreat, and illnesses cured) for Wuhan on 9 February 2020, in the streets of Tokyo. (CNS)

[Photo story] We share the same sky and moon: China touched by Japan's friendship

ThinkChina takes you on a pictorial journey tracing the heartwarming deeds by the Japanese people amid the Covid-19 epidemic. These actions have won praise from Chinese society. However, with the Chinese's panic-buying of masks in Japan, and Japan's increasing number of confirmed cases, it is uncertain how long these gestures will last.
A man wearing a protective facemask stands in front of a movie poster in Shanghai. - China on February 19, 2020 ordered three reporters from American newspaper the Wall Street Journal to leave the country over what Beijing deemed a racist headline, in one of the harshest moves against foreign media in years. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Where multiple 'gods' co-exist: Countering the racism complex in Western diplomacy

Political analyst Zheng Yongnian says that in the current panic of the Covid-19 outbreak and against the backdrop of already fractured US-China relations, the US and the West’s racism complex is bubbling to the surface and could taint their foreign policy approaches to China even more. He looks forward to a future where multiple “gods” co-exist.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been caught up in controversy since the outbreak of Covid-19. (WIV website)

Embroiled in controversies: Did Covid-19 come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology?

Amid uncertainty, netizens are indulging in speculation about the origin of the Covid-19 virus. Their conjectures lead to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
A woman wearing a protective mask walks in an empty shopping mall in the Sanlitun area in Beijing on 28 January 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Let us be worried, even when we overcome this virus

Viruses know no borders, more so in a globalised world. Even after the epidemic is arrested, it will take time for an interconnected world to recover. Chen Nahui opines from Beijing that this marks the beginning of more challenges to come.
Medical staff of The Central Hospital of Wuhan work tirelessly at the front line. (The Central Hospital of Wuhan official Weibo)

Wuhan doctor Cai Yi: 'We are the Little Folk — we!'

In a heartfelt Weibo post, Dr Cai Yi, head of the Department of Pain Management at The Central Hospital of Wuhan, remembers Lin Jun, a shopkeeper at the hospital who passed away from Covid-19.
People wearing protective face masks walk along a street in Shanghai on 17 February 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Viruses, sinophobia and conspiracy theories

The possibility of Covid-19 being a US-related biological weapon has been swirling around in the press and on social media. While little weight is given to the conjectures, just like in the case of sinophobia, a climate of fear could continue to cause panic and cloud China’s interactions with the world.
Is there life after death? In this photo, people walk past a picture of Mao Zedong in Beijing on 14 December 2019. (Noel Celis/AFP)

A matter of life and death in the US, China and Japan

Views on the afterlife interestingly shed light on one’s approach to life, says Gordon Mathews of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He and his team find out what American, Chinese and Japanese views on death say about their lives. As the Covid-19 epidemic rages across the world, an understanding of different countries' philosophies on mortality may even be more apt.
People wearing masks at VivoCity near HarbourFront MRT station in Singapore on 24 Jan 2020. (SPH)

Chinese netizens: Is Singapore 'zen' or has it given up?

Chinese social media has been rife with commentaries asking if Singapore is being too lax and defeatist in its approach to tackling the coronavirus outbreak. Han Yong Hong says beneath the veneer of calm lies characteristics that are peculiar to Singapore society.