Central vs local government

Visitors walk past ice sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 24 December 2023. (Liz Lee/Reuters)

[Video] China's Harbin pampering visitors to win tourism battle

Harbin has seen an explosion of tourists this Chinese New Year season, and it is pulling out all the stops to welcome them, sometimes to the chagrin of locals. However, can this wave of tourism be sustained, and improve Harbin’s economy? Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Daryl Lim takes a trip to China’s land of snow and ice.
Migrants look for a way past concertina wire after crossing the US-Mexico border through the Rio Grande River into El Paso, Texas, seen from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on 8 February 2024. (Justin Hamel/Bloomberg)

The fight over what US immigration policy should look like

Commentator He Qinglian notes that Operation Lone Star launched by Texas governor Greg Abbott — who has refused to remove the wire fence at the Mexico border — is a signal to the Biden administration and also the Supreme Court about what the people truly desire in terms of immigration policy.
Pedestrians crossing the road in front of office and commercial buildings in the central business district of China's capital Beijing, on 9 December 2023. (SPH Media)

Fighting 'little emperors': China must not rely on public opinion to rein in power

Public opinion has continued to sway judicial justice in China since ancient times, according to EAI senior research fellow Lance Gore, and this reflects the lack of rule of law in the country and the problems with an authoritarian regime. He discusses why China has not been able to modernise its governance system and the possible reforms to right the wrongs.
People wave the flags of Hong Kong and China on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade in Hong Kong on 1 July 2023. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP)

No place for pan-democrats in today's Hong Kong

Political analyst Wang Qingmin notes that given the near-total power of the Chinese government over Hong Kong, perhaps Beijing can afford to show more tolerance towards the people and government of Hong Kong. This might actually encourage the moderate pan-democrats who love Hong Kong to contribute, which would also benefit mainland China.
People ride on a scooter past residential buildings under construction in Beijing, China, on 6 September 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China’s trillion-dollar local government ‘hidden debt’ dilemma

As China’s financial system remains plagued by trillions of dollars in local governments’ hidden debt, policy makers may need to take drastic measures to solve the problem.
A couple prepare to pose for photos near the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on 24 June 2023. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Regular phone calls and cash incentives: China goes the extra mile to encourage childbirth

Local governments in Chinese cities are taking extra measures to encourage couples to marry early and have children. However, given the youth’s shifting values and society’s tolerance for singlehood, these measures are falling short. Meanwhile, netizens are lamenting that government policies should not be coercive or objectify women.
This photo taken on 20 June 2023 shows a view of a complex of unfinished apartment buildings in Xinzheng city in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China. (Pedro Pardo/AFP)

Can new policies revive China's home sales?

In a bid to boost home purchases in what has normally been the peak sales period of September and October, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have announced preferential policies for homebuyers. However, Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing notes that market confidence is still at a low; are the new policies enough to boost the Chinese property market’s recovery?
People ride elevators at a shopping street in Beijing, China, on 16 June 2023. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

Crisis of trust underlies Chinese private sector's unwillingness to invest

Erratic and unreasonable governance of local governments and a shift in public opinion towards left-wing ideology are just some of the causes for the private sector’s lack of confidence in China, says academic Han Heyuan. Even with the latest measures to boost the sector, government efforts seem to fall short of expectations.
People walk in a shopping district in Beijing, China, 14 July 2023. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

China needs a new model of economic development to revive the economy

Over the past four decades, China’s economic growth has been mainly driven externally by exports and internally by investments. But China can no longer count on exports to drive economic growth. Thus, the country is seeking to boost domestic demand. Academic Gu Qingyang shares that China needs a multi-prong approach, which would require a significant transformation of the economy.