Society

Kathy Chow was known for her roles in broadcaster TVB’s television dramas in the 1980s and 1990s. (Internet)

Passing of Kathy Chow puts focus on the rise of people living alone in China

Several media reports of Hong Kong star Kathy Chow’s passing seemed to have highlighted the fact that she was living alone. Advertently, her death has sparked off discussions about the rise of Chinese living alone and the stigma and policy challenges behind the trend. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk examines the issue.
Office workers walk on a street during lunch hour in the Central district in Hong Kong, China, on 20 November 2023. (Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

Rise of youth suicides in HK: Academic and unemployment woes

Youth suicide rates are on the increase in Hong Kong, with stresses such as academic pressure and unemployment woes some of the key factors. While the issue is multifaceted, giving hope and promoting mental well-being is a project that everyone in society can work on together.
People take photographs outside the Hongyancun Station. (Photo: Edwin Ong)

[Video] Chongqing's Hongyancun now the deepest metro station in China

Hongyancun metro station in Chongqing has the distinction of being the deepest metro station in China. However, it takes about ten minutes to go all the way down — to the depth of 39 storeys — which raises safety concerns, alongside the convenience to nearby residents.
Students walk on the campus of Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, US, on 19 September 2023. (Kevin Wurm/Reuters)

Americans studying in China will continue to trend downwards

China-US political tensions have been a key reason for the sharp decline in people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, with study abroad programmes for US students to China halted and Confucius Institutes in the US closing down in droves. Some believe that China’s domestic policies are also to blame for the drop in American students’ interest. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Li Kang finds out more about the downward trend.
The boorish behaviour of illegal mainland Chinese immigrant Ah Chan in Hong Kong TV drama The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (《网中人》) made his name a trendy insult. (SPH Media)

Feigning strength: Why we use derogatory terms on peoples and countries

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai points out that throughout history, people have come up with various terms to refer to “others”. Such forms of discrimination, while not physically harmful, can still be perpetuated and lead to discord and resentment. It is up to present generations to end the cycle.
Healthcare workers in protective gear give residents their Covid-19 tests in Shanghai, China, on 10 July 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China reinstating the health code to combat respiratory disease?

Following a recent spike in respiratory illness in China, people in some areas have found that the green codes on their long-dormant health code apps have been reactivated, prompting speculation that this particular measure from the pandemic days might be coming back, and also reviving memories of the painful days of lockdown.
Children and their parents wait at an outpatient area at a children's hospital in Beijing, China, on 23 November 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Packed children’s hospitals in Beijing reflects China's social conditions

Academic Zhang Tiankan notes that crowded children’s hospitals in Beijing actually reflect social conditions, such as mindsets towards hospital treatment being the best and also the stressful education system, as children do their homework even while hooked up to IV drips. In many cases, rushing to the hospital as an immediate response could do more harm than good and be a great drain on public resources.
Chinese fans attend mainland China's first official fandom event for science-fiction adventure franchise Star Trek, at a shopping mall in Beijing, China, on 9 September 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Hollywood in China: The cycle of boom and bust

Academic Ying Zhu explains why political and diplomatic tensions aside, the business of motion pictures has its own commercial logic so Hollywood and its Chinese counterpart will continue to be locked in a transactional relationship, though more surreptitiously and in a much more low-key fashion.
A Japanese boy stretching with a ball during a clinic arranged by J2 football club Matsumoto Yamaga with the Matsumoto City Kiri Kindergarten in Japan, in November 2018. (SPH Media)

Can Japan overcome its declining birth rate?

Japanese academic Hisakazu Kato observes that Japan's low birth rate has been an issue for decades seemingly with no solution, and despite efforts by the Japanese government to address the problem, its policies have come under criticism for not being what the people need.