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Seeking spirituality is a universal human need. In this photo taken on 25 January 2020, people wearing face masks visit Wong Tai Sin temple on the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Rat in Hong Kong, as a preventative measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus. (Dale De La Rey/AFP)

Chinese spirituality [Part one]: Reawakening of the heart after trauma

Spirituality helps individuals cope with severe trauma and aids their growth and psychological well-being in the aftermath of a crisis. Such ballast is something humanity badly needs in the face of a pandemic. Dr Chang Weining, visiting psychologist of the Institute of Mental Health, ponders China’s search for spirituality in times of distress. In part one of her article, she recalls her visits to China in 1984 and 2008 — both different periods in China’s reform and opening up — where she got a sense of China’s budding need and search for spirituality.
People wearing face masks sit outside Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan in hopes of taking one of the first trains leaving the city early on 8 April 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Would Fang Fang’s English-translated Wuhan diary become ammunition for anti-Chinese forces?

Yang Danxu notes that netizens are making mountains out of molehills and imposing their judgements on others. She points out the danger of politicising issues to the point that no one feels free to even make innocuous comments about the weather.
This file photo taken on March 2, 2018 shows people gathering on a street in the "Little Africa" district in Guangzhou, the capital of southern China's Guangdong province. Africans in southern China's largest city say they have become targets of suspicion and subjected to forced evictions, arbitrary quarantines and mass coronavirus testing. (Fred Dufour/AFP)

Officials say no differential treatment of African community but Chinese in Africa fear sinophobia

Amid claims of discrimination against Africans in Guangzhou in terms of coronavirus controls, the Guangzhou authorities have stressed that there is no differential treatment of foreigners. Meanwhile, Chinese in and out of China are worried about a second wave of the virus, and retaliation by locals in other countries. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong reports.
People in Tokyo's Gotanda area, April 7, 2020. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency in parts of the country, including Tokyo, over a spike in coronavirus infections. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

Covid-19: East Asia must play a greater role

East Asian countries are showing early signs of getting the pandemic under control and must channel their relative stability towards spearheading the economic recovery of the region if they wish to play a larger role in shaping the international order post-Covid 19.
The Statue of Liberty in Paris, during a winter flood. Humans have always struggled to master nature. (iStock)

From humility to arrogance: A fight with nature is a fight with ourselves

Zoonotic viruses will continue to plague humankind if man continues recklessly destroying the environment and natural habitats in the name of development. If there is any lesson to be learnt from the Covid-19 outbreak, Zheng Yongnian says, it is that humans, both in the East and West, need to learn how to be at one with nature, rather than seek to subdue or triumph over nature for their own ends.
Police officers at a street crossing in Beijing, April 7, 2020. Control measures in Beijing have not been relaxed yet. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Stability above all else: Beijing's control measures could stay for rest of year

Beijing’s control measures against the coronavirus outbreak look set to be in place for some time, perhaps for the rest of the year. With stricter rules for people moving in and out of China’s capital, residents and visitors will need to adjust to the new normal. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing finds out how ordinary people are affected.
An adult helps to put a face mask on a child in Taipei, March 31, 2020. (Ann Wang/REUTERS)

Stay well, my beautiful Taipei

The Taiwanese are looking increasingly lost and powerless as they face rising China-US competition and now, the pandemic. Zaobao correspondent Ng Soon Kiat reflects on the years he has spent in Taipei, and wishes the best for the beautiful island he has called home for more than three years.
Residents burn paper offerings during the annual Qingming Festival in Wuhan, April 4, 2020. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Families in Wuhan want accountability from those who covered up outbreak

With the lockdown on Wuhan about to be lifted on 8 April and the annual Qingming Festival just over, families in Wuhan are coming to terms with their losses. They want accountability from those who covered up the initial outbreak, even as they deal with the psychological impact of the coronavirus and lockdown.
The Chinese national flag flies at half mast at a ceremony mourning those who died of the Covid-19 coronavirus as China holds a nationwide mourning on the Qingming Festival, in Wuhan, China, on 4 April 2020. (China Daily via Reuters)

Was China's three-minute silence enough to comfort its people?

On 4 April, the Chinese people observed a three-minute silence for the thousands of lives lost to the pandemic. However, Beijing correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes that accountability checks triggered by the Li Wenliang incident have not fully subsided and may possibly create a new political hoo-ha within and outside of China.