Society

A person crosses the street on 27 March 2020 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

The lies of globalisation

Seeing what was going on in China and how this would affect global supply chains, the West should have predicted the pandemonium they are facing now, says Chip Tsao. One radical thought he proposes is to impose a forced lockdown of the world, letting the virus die a natural death. But even that is but an impossible dream. Ultimately, the pandemic's greatest gift to mankind is forcing one and all to confront the hard truths of globalisation.
The last flight we took from Chengdu to San Francisco. The banner reads: "Chengdu, you can do it! We will be back".

Till the day we reunite: Escape from Chengdu to Washington DC, and then what?

Food writer Chuang Tzu-i, wife of the US Consul General in Chengdu, shares her experience leaving Chengdu in haste with her two sons over two months ago, and coping with her life in limbo back in Washington DC.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are seen reflected in a cafe window during ongoing renovations to the Tower and the Houses of Parliament, in central London on 17 January 2020. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP)

When the narcissists of London and New York meet the coronavirus

Chip Tsao doesn’t mince his words when he points out the hypocrisy of Western metropolis urbanites who feel that nothing can touch them, not least a virus that originated from Asia.
A woman wears a face mask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus as she looks at her mobile phone near the entrance of the Peking University People's Hospital in Beijing on 21 February 2020. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Visiting the doctor as a foreigner in China: I wish they will not become complacent

Lianhe Zaobao’s Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu recounts her recent visit seeking medical treatment in Beijing in times of Covid-19. She extrapolates from her experience of being initially turned away and sounds a reminder to officials not to let complacency or a wish to maintain a positive recovery record lead to China facing a recurrent rash of outbreaks.
There is a huge potential in the healthcare market in China and the demand for good healthcare will outstrip the supply. However, the planning and strategies around the future of healthcare in China arguably have not put enough consideration into the patients’ experience. (iStock)

Visiting the doctor as a foreigner in China: I see potential for collaboration

It was a very different time when Kwek So Cheer visited the doctor in China prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. Nevertheless, recent events have highlighted the need for countries to band together, sharing knowledge and expertise, not least in healthcare management. Speaking from personal experience, Kwek thinks that Singapore can collaborate with China to build a better healthcare experience beyond this special period.
Prof Yuen Kwok-yung (centre) and a team of experts heading to Tai Po in Hong Kong to evaluate the Covid-19 situation, 14 March 2020. Mainland China has criticised his commentary on the Covid-19 epidemic. (CNS)

Irate Chinese netizens lash out at Hong Kong SARS hero Yuen Kwok-yung

Hong Kong academic Yuen Kwok-yung was a prominent figure in bringing the 2003 SARS epidemic under control. But he has recently sparked anger in mainland China for his commentary on the Covid-19 outbreak, leading to a subsequent retraction of the piece. Zaobao’s Associate China News Editor Fok Yit Wai asks: "Will Beijing boycott Yuen?"
A memorial for Dr Li Wenliang is pictured outside the UCLA campus in Westwood, California, on 15 February 2020. (Mark Ralston/AFP)

Chinese netizens: Is this how the Li Wenliang story should end?

Netizens are devastated that an investigation report into the Li Wenliang incident released yesterday only yielded a chastising of local police officials. They assert that the report was grossly inadequate in addressing their suspicions of a cover-up in the initial stages of the Covid-19 outbreak. They ask: Was this meagre result all Dr Li Wenliang’s death was worth?
Journalists at the daily press briefing of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, March 18, 2020. (Thomas Peter/REUTERS)

US journalists expelled: Diplomatic clash or press freedom in downward spiral?

Following the US labelling China state-owned media organisations in the US as “foreign operatives” and limiting US-based Chinese media staff, China has retaliated by expelling US journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Yang Danxu and Norman Yik examine how this might affect China-US relations, the “one country, two systems” policy, and press freedom in China.
A couple walks by the Castro theater with their baby in San Francisco, California on 17 March 2020. (Josh Edelson/AFP)

Annihilation or protracted war ⁠— which is our best bet against Covid-19?

Professor Deng Xize of Sichuan University says that months into the fight against the coronavirus, strategies that countries are adopting are coalescing around two main threads — a war of annihilation or a protracted war. He cautions that these conflicting approaches are bound to generate risks on a global scale. Not only will the history of some countries take a different turn, international dynamics will also be altered. For the individual, it may become a gamble of health and luck.