Europe

A person carries groceries in a neighbourhood in Wuhan, April 20, 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

China faces avalanche of calls for coronavirus compensation

The US is leading a drive to seek accountability and compensation from China for losses and damages sustained due to the coronavirus. Economics professor Zhu Ying looks at whether these efforts will bear any fruit.
A man in front of a screen displaying a propaganda image (top), on a street in Beijing, April 20, 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Covid-19: China's missing narrative in the global battle of narratives

While it appears that China is going all out to shape the global narrative in a vacuum left by the West, Zheng Yongnian says this is a non-starter as China is often reactive to Western narratives, resorting to tit-for-tat tactics, rather than projecting its own clear narratives. The arduous task of establishing a voice and a narrative remains the biggest international challenge that confronts China.
A woman in Prague walks past a poster of the late Li Wenliang, a Chinese ophthalmologist who tried to raise the alarm about COVID-19 and later died from it, March 27, 2020. (David W Cerny/REUTERS)

Can a messed up world fight the pandemic together?

Did China make up the numbers? Did it waste precious time before getting information out to the world? Belgian writers Ng and Dirk answer these questions and opine that instead of knuckling down and fighting the pandemic together, everyone, from countries to regional blocs to international organisations, seems to have been shell-shocked into “safe-distancing” from each other. This means that the virus is not only attacking our health, economies and mental resilience, but the very international institutions that have been built up since the end of WWII. If a lot of that debilitation has to do with the China threat writ large, it is too high a price to pay. To reverse this dire trend, the world must look beyond finger-pointing and think long and hard about how it will go on once this storm passes.
In this photo taken on 28 March 2020, a shopper walks past a print shop in Berlin with a sign advising its customers to stay at home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Odd Andersen/AFP)

Globalisation as we know it shall come to an end

Zheng Weibin thinks that strategic rivalry between China and the US will only intensify in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. As the US moves to close off its vulnerabilities in the global supply chain, will Europe do the same and if so, what will the new face of globalisation look like?
Staff members move medical supplies to be sent to Italy, at a logistics center of the international airport in Hangzhou, March 10, 2020. (China Daily via REUTERS)

Is China’s pandemic diplomacy working?

As the Covid-19 coronavirus starts to ease domestically, China is now extending help to other countries that gave it assistance in the initial stages of the outbreak and publicising its efforts domestically and globally. While these efforts are sparking praise from Chinese netizens, it is getting mixed reactions in the global arena. Academics say a quieter and calmer approach may be preferred. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing looks at how China’s pandemic diplomacy is being received.
Cardboard cutouts of US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping with protective masks, near a gift shop in Moscow, March 23, 2020. (Evgenia Novozhenina/REUTERS)

China raises its international game with ‘pandemic diplomacy’ in Europe

While China has been diligently making hay while the sun shines, so to speak, in conducting “pandemic diplomacy”, experts assess that its relations with countries in Europe will improve but the US will still hold on to its dominance in the international arena.
Passers-by pass by a shop in Via Paolo Sarpi, the commercial street of the Chinese district of Milan on 30 January 2020. (Miguel Medina/AFP)

Covid-19: Racist behaviour must not go unchecked in Europe

Stories of race-related incidents have crawled out of the woodwork and spread almost as fast and venomously as the coronavirus itself. Zhou Ruirui of the Centre of Globalisation and Governance at Hamburg University says it’s time for some self-reflection.
China and Asia should take note of relations between the US and Europe. (iStock)

Why Asia needs to worry about transatlantic tensions

"If an American president tells Asians that 'we will not help Europe, but are certainly committed to defending Asia', could that be credible?" asks Associate professor Michito Tsuruoka from Keio University. He says that in view of a rising China, transatlantic relations have more impact on strategic imperatives in Asia than one might think.
Tension is rising between China and Sweden. (iStock)

The Swedish Ambassador’s trial: A cautionary tale on taking a personal stance towards China

In unfolding developments in the detained Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai case, Anna Lindstedt, former Swedish ambassador to China, is facing trial for allegedly arranging a meeting between Gui’s daughter and businessmen with interests in the matter. Lianhe Zaobao's Beijing correspondent Yew Lun Tian thinks that this will serve as a cautionary tale to the Swedish to be extra careful when dealing with foreigners, especially those from China.