Europe

Employees work on the assembly line during a construction completion event of SAIC Volkswagen MEB electric vehicle plant in Shanghai, China, 8 November 2019. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

Will Europe pour more money into China?

This year’s dramatic geopolitical changes have significantly altered the calculus for foreign investment in China as large European enterprises are increasingly taking the lead and Japanese businesses are retreating in manufacturing and advancing in services. American companies, on the other hand, are frozen as the US government imposes tough sanctions on China’s tech sector and as manufacturers weigh strategic moves back to the US.
Nadine Hwang, who led a storied life, was known as the 'Chinese Joan of Arc'.

The story of Nadine Hwang: The ‘Chinese Joan of Arc’

Photo collector Zou Dehuai tells the story of Nadine Hwang, a half-Chinese woman who was a rare breed in every sense of the term. Her dramatic life took her from Madrid to China and the salons of Paris, to a concentration camp in Germany, and eventually to Belgium. Amid the tragedy of war, she found love, and through it all, lived life with great spirit.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is seen ahead of the Global Fund Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York on 21 September 2022. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)

Germany and Europe a pawn of the US?

Analysing German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s recent visit to China, former journalist Goh Choon Kang offers the view that Germany — along with much of Europe — has been “weaponised” by the US for its own aims, whether in terms of China policy or the war in Ukraine. This is a clear lesson for other countries, those in Southeast Asia included.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) welcomes German Chancelor Olaf Scholz at the Grand Hall in Beijing, China, on 4 November 2022. (Kay Nietfeld/Pool/AFP)

Scholz's Asia month: Preparing Germany for a non-Western-centric world

Thorsten Benner of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin points out that unlike former Chancellor Merkel, current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has invested a lot of time into building closer connections with Asian partners. This fits in with his worldview of multiple emerging global powers, and the need to foster resilience, diversification and “de-risking” in achieving economic security vis-a-vis China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping awarded the Friendship Medal to Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in a grand award ceremony in the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, on 31 October 2022. (Xinhua)

China’s diplomacy in full swing after 20th Party Congress

Diplomatic activities appear to be back at full swing after the 20th Party Congress. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu notes that the visits by heads of states to China are driven by Beijing’s objectives of bringing its neighbours close, stabilising relations with Europe, and strengthening relations with developing countries. Will this help improve China’s relations and international image, especially amid the tense geopolitical background?
A liquified natural gas (LNG) storage tank and workers are reflected in a puddle at PetroChina's receiving terminal at Rudong port in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China, 4 September 2018. (Stringer/Reuters)

From electric blankets to natural gas: Europe’s dependence on China for winter heating

As energy prices soar in Europe, the continent has been turning to China to get it through the approaching winter, from purchasing electric blankets and thermal stockings to importing natural gas. Zaobao’s China Desk explores the geopolitical factors involved and how Europe is both dependent on China and resistant to this dependence.
Visitors near a screen displaying an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China, 3 September 2022. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

[Future of China] Xi Jinping and the world: Retrospect and prospect

As the 20th Party Congress approaches, US academic Robert S. Ross assesses China’s foreign policy record over the last ten years and weighs up China’s foreign policy priorities in the likely third term of President Xi Jinping’s leadership. This is the last in a five-part series of articles on the future of China.
An Electric Multiple Unit high-speed train for a rail link project, which is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, arrives at Tanjung Priok port during load in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2 September 2022. (Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters)

[Future of China] China's ten-year-old BRI needs a revamp

The BRI’s implementation will be slowing down as a result of multiple factors ranging from the global Covid-19 pandemic, the shift in the global geostrategic environment and the Chinese economic slowdown. As it changes its model to suit change, it could focus more on sustainable financing for BRI countries and lower the long-term financial impacts of loans for infrastructure projects. It could also pursue “third-party market cooperation” as a flexible approach in its pursuit of cooperation with other countries under the BRI umbrella. This is the second in a five-part series of articles on the future of China.
Singaporean conductor Wong Kah Chun conducting the New York Philharmonic during a Chinese New Year concert held at the David Geffen Hall in New York, US, on 6 February 2019. (Photo: Chris Lee)

Building bridges through music: A young Singaporean conductor leads the way

Lee Huay Leng was touched by the live broadcast of a concert in the park put up by the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra with Singaporean conductor Wong Kah Chun at the helm and Singapore Chinese Orchestra musicians taking part. Chinese instruments found their place in Wong’s arrangement of 19th century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. In the aftermath of Covid and an international milieu where politics meddles even in the arts, the young Wong had found a way to stay composed and build a bridge with music. Can countries learn to do the same?