Central vs local government

A deserted road in the central business district in Beijing, China, on 29 November 2022. (Bloomberg)

China is facing a harsh economic winter

Commentator Chen Kuohsiang notes that even after the 20th Party Congress and talks between Chinese and US Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden during the G20 summit, the Chinese economy is not facing an easy time, not least because of Covid-19 controls, the US's trade restrictions and China's stringent policy on private enterprises.
This UGC image posted on Twitter reportedly on 26 October 2022 shows an unveiled woman standing on top of a vehicle as thousands make their way towards Aichi cemetery in Saqez, Mahsa Amini's home town in the western Iranian province of Kurdistan, to mark 40 days since her death, defying heightened security measures as part of a bloody crackdown on women-led protests. (UGC/AFP)

What China can learn from the Iran protests

The protests in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini seem to have put the authorities on the back foot, worsened by the missteps in its responses. The current protests in China have also clearly taken the Chinese government by surprise. Academic Fan Hongda notes that the Chinese authorities can take the example of Iran to see what moves to avoid.
Kuomintang chairman Eric Chu (second from left), New Taipei City mayor Hou You-yi (third from left) and Wayne Chiang (second from right), Taipei mayoral candidate, take a group photo at a rally ahead of the election in Taoyuan, Taiwan, 19 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

'Resist China, protect Taiwan' becoming a consensus in Taiwan

NUS academic Lu Xi assesses that the victory of the non-Green camp in the “nine-in-one” local elections shows that the Taiwanese people are aligning their views towards the Taiwan Strait issue regardless of political parties and camps. “Resist China, protect Taiwan” is becoming a consensus, and parties will need to compete on some other parameters such as a wholesome party image and promising political stars.
A medical worker in protective suit collects a swab from a resident at a free nucleic acid testing site following new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lanzhou's Chengguan district, Gansu province, China, 20 October 2021. (cnsphoto via Reuters)

Chinese Covid testing firms come under fire for pandemic profiteering

An incident involving errors with Covid test results at a test facility in Lanzhou has opened the doors to deeper digging by netizens, indicating a pattern of outbreaks wherever there are facilities established under the Shenzhen Nucleus Gene Technology Co. Coincidence, or something else?
A health worker takes a swab sample from a woman at a residential area under lockdown due to Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions in Beijing on 25 November 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

This has to be the end of lockdowns in China

While the rest of the world has moved on from strict Covid measures, China is continuing its dynamic zero-Covid policy and local governments are sticking to what they know best — lockdowns. But this mode of control is looking increasingly untenable on the back of increasing protests. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at how the CCP can respond.
People walk by a building decorated with an election campaign poster in Taipei, Taiwan, 14 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan’s local elections: Voter fatigue over thesis plagiarism tussle

Zaobao journalist Miao Zong-Han takes a closer look at voter fatigue in Taiwan in the upcoming “nine-in-one” elections, caused mostly by the arguing over plagiarism allegations, which might interest the highly educated but bore the average voter. Another question is whether the atmosphere at these elections will be a good indicator of things to come in the 2024 general election.
A pandemic prevention worker in a protective suit keeps watch at at residential compound after it was locked down as outbreaks of Covid-19 continue in Beijing, 18 November 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Chinese local governments struggle to find perfect way to ease pandemic rules

Various areas in China have responded to the new “20 measures” for Covid-19 controls, as announced by the Chinese central government on 11 November. Zaobao’s China Desk takes a look at how various local authorities have — or have not — adjusted their measures and the public’s reaction.
Barriers surround a neighborhood placed under lockdown due to Covid-19 in Shenzhen, China, on 19 November 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Two steps forward, three steps back: Lockdowns in China still prevalent

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at how Covid controls have changed — or not — in various places in China following the announcement of the new 20 measures to ease Covid controls. Going by the measures implemented, it seems that lockdowns and testing seem to still be the default in curbing Covid in China.
Participants run past Tiananmen Gate during the Beijing Marathon in Beijing, China, 6 November 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Chinese ambassador Sun Haiyan: Why not think about China in this way?

Chinese ambassador to Singapore Sun Haiyan responds to an article by Lee Huay Leng, editor-in-chief of SPH Chinese Media Group. She notes that while individual stories have to be remembered, national policies have to take into account the big picture. The difficult but necessary decisions taken on Covid management reflect this.