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Travel is one way to build critical thinking and identity, says cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai. (iStock)

Woman traveller of the Qing dynasty Qian Shan Shili: Education is the bedrock of a nation

The little-known Qian Shan Shili had the opportunity to travel in the days of upheaval at the end of the Qing dynasty and at the dawn of a new republic. She was the first woman to record her thoughts in two travelogues and felt strongly that China’s new education system paled in comparison with that of other countries such as Japan. She concluded that education should have the aim of building critical-thinking men and women rather than just nurturing a crop of scholars with exceptional talent. After all, she notes, without citizens, how can there be talents? And without citizens, there can certainly be no society. These are wise words, says cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai, that remain relevant even today.
People wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus commute during rush hour in Beijing on 15 October 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Why only China will maintain positive growth this year

Chinese financial commentator Tan Haojun looks at what China has done right to quickly recover after the pandemic, and what makes international financial institutions and analysts confident about its economy.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seen on a large screen during a live press conference in Tokyo on 28 August 2020. (Philip Fong/AFP)

Shinzō Abe's second term: Was Abe pro-China? Should the Chinese miss him?

Entering his second term in 2012,  Shinzō Abe immaculately repackaged his image in a bid to shed some of the baggage from his first 2006-2007 term, says academic Toh Lam Seng. But Abe was still the man he was before — a descendant of Nobusuke Kishi, the “Yokai (i.e., monster or goblin) of the Showa era”, and a hawkish politician focused on amending Japan’s peace constitution. There was never a pro-China Abe as portrayed by the media. Now with his younger brother Nobuo Kishi coming into the spotlight in the new Cabinet, it looks like the political bloodline of the “Yokai of the Showa era” will continue on and have an impact on Japan’s policies. 
The clean and pure Chinese snowball flower. (Facebook/蔣勳)

As pure as the driven snow, in a virtual and surreal world

Art historian Chiang Hsun remembers a lone Chinese snowball flower from his many overseas trips. Its pristine beauty was its allure. In this world where fakes abound, this image, lodged deep in his memory, is proof that authenticity exists.
The yellow line marking the boundaries of correspondent Chen Jing's quarantine area.

Quarantined in Shanghai: Can I find peace in solitude?

Food delivered to the door every day, temperature taking twice a day, and not a single sound from the outside world... Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing documents 14 days in a hotel room, quarantined behind a yellow line. Did she find peace in solitude?
In this file photo, passengers wearing face masks are seen in Pudong International Airport in Shanghai on 11 June 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

What it's like to travel to Shanghai during the pandemic

Wearing PPE to the airport, going through a blood test and nasal and throat swabs, surviving a 14-day centralised quarantine… The pandemic has indeed changed the way we travel. With airtight preventive measures in place, Lianhe Zaobao Shanghai correspondent Chen Jing doubts her friends and family in Singapore will be coming to visit her in Shanghai anytime soon.
A woman wearing a face mask is seen on a tourist electric car at a shopping area in Shanghai, China, on 16 June 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

After Covid-19: People can't wait to visit China again

Lianhe Zaobao reporter Chen Jing was shocked to see a long queue of people when she went to apply for a visa at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Singapore. Assigned to be the paper’s correspondent in Shanghai just before the coronavirus threw a spanner in the works, Chen has done her fair share of virtual reporting from her home in Singapore. She looks forward to the day that she can be on the ground in Shanghai, now that Singapore and China have installed the “fast lane” for essential travel.
Cardboard figures of Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) wearing a face mask and US President Donald Trump (L) stand in front of a souvenir shop in downtown Moscow, 3 June 2020. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP

Is China the 'big bad wolf' the US has made it out to be?

In the face of domestic problems, the US is choosing to suppress China as a strategy to distract from issues such as the coronavirus, George Floyd riots, and a declining economy. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu traces the tit-for-tat exchanges between the US and China, with the latest round of salvos being over resuming passenger flights between both countries.
Chiang Ching (left) and Brigitte Lin atop Wuyi Mountain. (Photo: Brigitte Lin)

Women of stories: Chiang Ching and Brigitte Lin

As the saying goes, “It’s not where you go, but who you go with.” Chiang Ching and I toured many places of interest, witnessing the full glory of the mountains and waters on our adventure to mainland China. We did many things we’ve never dreamt of doing and it was a really enriching trip. But, the most important thing was the company I had with me.