Political systems

A worker receives a nucleic acid test for the Covid-19 coronavirus at the dining hall of a car parts factory in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province on 4 August 2021. (STR/AFP)

Why China is determined to achieve 'zero-Covid'

Chinese society is facing the debate of whether to aim for "zero-Covid" or to "live with the virus", with its former health minister Gao Qiang and top infectious diseases expert Zhang Wenhong offering opposing views. While the West believes that the world needs to live with an endemic Covid-19, China is still adopting a zero-Covid stance. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk puts together the arguments and concludes that for China, the zero-Covid stance is here to stay. Why is China determined to achieve zero-Covid?
Performers wave national and party flags as they rehearse before the event marking the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, 1 July 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Rise of China's CCP and demise of USSR's CPSU: A tale of two communist parties

The CCP has much to be proud of on the 100th anniversary of its founding on 1 July. Coincidentally, this year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)’s demise. Chinese leaders have learnt much from the Soviet Union’s experience, not least the importance of a people-centric approach. In fact, the party is undergoing a grand synthesis of its reforms to chart the country’s way forward. However, amid problems such as regional disparities and insatiable expectations, fresh solutions need to be found. The CCP also needs to present a brand new image of itself in the international arena.
Performers rally around the party's flag during a show commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the National Stadium in Beijing, China, 28 June 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

A secretive centenary celebration: Can the CCP be more open?

Amid paltry information released by the authorities, Yang Danxu has learnt to rely on “traffic updates” for a heads-up on events marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. On the actual anniversary date tomorrow, it seems that a ceremony at Tiananmen Square will be a main event. 100 years after its founding, the CCP still seems shrouded in mystery, not least the details of its centenary celebrations. As the party moves forward, will it let a little more light shine in?
People visit the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu River during a Labour Day holiday in Shanghai on 1 May 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Is the US embassy in China recruiting ‘traitors’?

The US embassy in China recently released an Public Annual Statement outlining the requirements for funding through its public diplomacy grants programme. As the activities it supports aim to spread American values and culture in China, Chinese commentators have aired criticisms that this is an insidious attempt to “recruit traitors” within China. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan considers the theories behind this idea.
Members of the media (bottom) take photos as (left to right) Acting Law Officer (Special Duties) Llewellyn Mui, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang and Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Roy Tang arrive for a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on 13 April 2021. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

Hong Kong's electoral reform: Powerful businessmen to lose influence in politics?

Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing analyses the Election Committee’s expanded role in deciding who becomes the chief executive and gets to sit on the Legislative Council. Will these adjustments help Beijing reduce the influence of the pro-democracy camp as well as the business sector?
In this file photo from 6 January 2021, supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol, in Washington, DC. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

America's flawed democracy: When power and cognitive abilities of the people fail to match

Academic Deng Xize notes that the 2020 US election demonstrates what he terms the Socratic Trap, referring to the gap between people’s cognitive abilities and the power they hold. How will this affect the democratic process, and what are the shortcomings of democracy?
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather at the west entrance of the Capitol during a "Stop the Steal" protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C., 6 January 2021. (Stephanie Keith/REUTERS)

Capitol siege: Is American democracy doomed?

US academic Zhu Zhiqun gives his take on the future of US leadership and the state of its democracy, making the sad observation that from now on, no one in the world is likely to see, respect, or depend on the US in the same way again. But is American democracy truly doomed?
A Chinese flag is seen at the landing site of the return module of China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe in Siziwang Banner, in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on 17 December 2020. (STR/AFP)

Is China indeed the biggest threat to the US?

Over the past few years, and especially in the past few months, the US has been painting China as its biggest threat and even enemy. Are these claims valid or exaggerated? What does it mean for the incoming Biden administration, and will it be able to improve China-US relations? Economics professor Zhu Ying explores the topic.
A supporter of President-elect Joe Biden celebrate his victory in Wilmington, Delaware on 7 November 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP)

Chinese liberal intellectuals divided over Trump and the US elections

Liberal intellectuals in China are not a monolithic group. While the elites within the community once served to moderate divergent views, disagreements laid bare by the recent US elections shows that deeper schisms run deep, especially between those espousing conservative and liberal views.