Society

A man wearing a face mask walks past an advertising board featuring Bing Dwen Dwen, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Mascot and Shuey Rhon Rhon, the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympic Games Mascot, in Beijing, China, 24 January 2022. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Beijing gears up for Winter Olympics amid Omicron threat

Beijing is about to make history by becoming the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Despite being a country that had a late start to winter sports and being hit by the Omicron variant lately, how will China push through and deliver a “safe, streamlined and splendid” event as promised?
Students attend their graduation ceremony at South Carolina State University on 17 December 2021, in Orangeburg, South Carolina, US. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

Are American universities veering too far left?

Some Chinese academics and international students in the US think that far-left tendencies are going overboard in American universities and even fear the dawning of an “American Cultural Revolution”. Are these fears unfounded? What does the profile of those who hold far-left views and have a mission to champion social justice tell us about the evolution of American society?
This photo taken on 6 January 2022 shows a vendor sorting newspapers at a newsstand in Hong Kong. (Peter Parks/AFP)

As HK pro-democracy media exits the scene, mainland media swoops in

The media landscape in Hong Kong is facing great upheaval, following the closures of prominent pro-democracy media such as Apple Daily and Stand News. Hong Kong pro-democracy media refugees have since taken their work overseas but few believe commentaries from afar can fill the gap of public discussion left in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, mainland-friendly media are looking to gain a greater foothold. Tai Hing Shing surveys the situation.
The Shandong and Jinan authorities have set up investigative teams to look into thousands of illegally constructed villas in the area. (Internet)

When China’s local governments ignore Xi Jinping’s instructions to demolish illegally built villas

Recent media reports have highlighted the issue of villas continuing to be illegally built in the mountains of southern Jinan even as those found are demolished. Shandong and Jinan authorities have swiftly launched investigations, including taking action against party cadres who might be involved, but will their persistence last? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan reports.
Former senior official Sun Lijun was featured in the first episode of an anti-graft documentary series in China. (Internet)

How China's corrupt ex-police official Sun Lijun gained clout in the CCP

The first episode of an anti-graft documentary highlighted the case of former Vice-Minister of Public Security Sun Lijun, who built a personal following in the Communist Party of China (CPC) by helping other officials with promotions, despite not being among the very top leadership himself. How did he build up his clique? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan reports.
People line up to take nucleic acid tests at a testing site outside a hospital following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Beijing, China, 17 January 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

China needs to break free of its zero-Covid policy. Here's how.

With its dogged implementation of the zero-Covid policy, China has painted itself into a corner and is now saddled with four shackles that prevent it from changing course. Lu Xi explains the factors involved and suggests how China may slowly begin to extricate itself from its predicament.
New Oriental founder Yu Minhong started selling farm products online from last month. (Internet)

China's 'godfather of overseas study' now selling farm produce, regrets listing

For New Oriental Education and Technology Group Inc. founder Michael Yu Minhong, the year 2021 has been a rollercoaster ride of losses amid a crackdown on the off-campus tutoring sector. The company seems to be bouncing back with livestreaming farm sales, but is this all just bravado and a further move away from the company’s origins as an educatonal provider assisting those preparing to study overseas? Yu himself has lamented in the past that the minute the company listed on the NYSE, it went off course. In the aftermath of the chaos, will it be able to recentre itself, or will it continue being swept by the tide?
A couple poses during a pre-nuptial photography session in front of Drum Tower in Beijing, China, on 21 December 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Elderly Chinese want a second chance at love

Demand for matchmaking services and platforms is on the rise for China’s growing elderly population. Though these people have plenty of life experience, it seems they still conform to the expectations of society, be it assessing a mate by monetary criteria or fearing gossip for seeking a second chance at love. Under the weight of societal norms, their quest for love is riddled with obstacles. On a lighter note, the plethora of elderly matchmaking variety shows that have spawned do provide some entertainment and fun for this segment of the population.
Medical workers in protective suits administer the Covid-19 vaccine at a makeshift vaccination site in Haidian district, Beijing, China, 8 January 2021. (CNS photo via Reuters)

China's zero-Covid era to end after Chinese New Year?

With the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreading through China in a fresh wave of infections, is China’s current zero-Covid approach still feasible, given that strict measures did not stamp out the less transmissible Delta variant? To safeguard the economy and global supply chains, will a move towards a post-zero-Covid be inevitable, whether China likes it or not? Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong reports.