Government intervention

A worker in a protective suit disinfects at a closed residential area during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 17 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

It takes a mountain of effort to tell the truth about China's economy

Chinese economist David Li Daokui has been mocked by netizens for comments he made at a recent economics forum, where he said that China’s life expectancy has increased by an average of ten days due to pandemic efforts, and suggested setting up quarantine facilities next to factories in order to maintain productivity. But is this derision deserved? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu analyses the issue.
People ride escalators at a business district in Beijing, China, on 16 May 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China's unified national market has its drawbacks and challenges

The Chinese government has recently announced plans to establish a unified national market that is highly efficient, standardised, open and competitive. It would break down walls, raise the standards of the business environment within China and act as a buffer against external pressures. While the intention is good, NUS academic Lu Xi points to possible drawbacks and challenges.
A man drives his bike inside a fenced residential area under a Covid-19 lockdown in Beijing, China, on 11 May 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Tough Covid measures in China may drag on for another year

The swift way that districts and communities were shut down in Shanghai and Beijing is a reminder that the authorities will not hesitate to take drastic steps to stamp out Covid-19, whatever the human cost. Not only that, the end may not be in sight even by the summer of next year.
A resident looks on behind barriers at a fruit shop, during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 16 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Covid-stricken Shanghai is down, but is it out?

The seemingly unending lockdown in Shanghai has taken a toll on investor confidence, leading to some entrepreneurs and companies talking about leaving the city. Zaobao’s Shanghai correspondent Chen Jing surveys the short-term reactions and long-term outlook of China's top financial city.
People wearing face masks walk out of a subway station during morning rush hour in Beijing, China, 26 April 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Patriotism has become a commodity on Chinese social media

Chinese internet celebrities have landed in hot water since social media platforms began displaying the IP addresses of posts by verified accounts. Netizens are crying foul as the locations of these individuals have potentially exposed the deception and falsehoods in their content and “patriotic” personae. Is this the end for the “patriotic Big Vs”?
A resident and a child look out through gaps in the barriers at a closed residential area during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 10 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Escape from Shanghai: The sorry state this megacity finds itself in

Despite the decline in daily new Covid-19 cases over the past week, Shanghai has seen stricter anti-epidemic controls implemented to the point of absurdity. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu highlights the stranger-than-fiction happenings in Shanghai that have sparked public outrage and shaken people’s confidence in China’s zero-Covid policy.
A resident looks out through a gap in the barrier at a residential area during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 6 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Best of both worlds: China wants both zero-Covid and economic growth

China’s dynamic zero-Covid policy has come at a heavy toll on the economy and people’s livelihoods. However, the Chinese authorities believe that economic growth is still possible amid the strict anti-epidemic measures. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks into the Chinese government’s strategy to have the best of both worlds.
A health worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is seen at a makeshift testing site outside a museum along a street in Beijing, China, on 4 May 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP)

A Singaporean in China: How Covid brings out the worst in people

A spate of news of pet “cullings” and cruel acts against people amid Covid-19 lockdowns in China have captured widespread public attention. While it may be easy to classify the instigators of such acts as heartless, former journalist Jessie Tan believes that those actions may not be borne out of an individual’s ill nature or will, but a reaction to the complex forces amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
Pedestrians walk in front of an electronic quotation board displaying share prices of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan, on 6 January 2022. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Can a sliding Japanese yen survive the Fed's interest rate hike?

The Japanese yen has been on a prolonged decline and is unlikely to see an upside given the Japanese central bank’s persistence with its ultra-loose monetary policy. As a result, Japan’s trade balance is worsening and the Japanese people are feeling the crunch as energy and consumer goods prices soar. Chinese academic Zang Shijun believes that the Japanese currency will face even more pressure of rapid depreciation as the US Federal Reserve raises interest rates.