Gender

This photo taken on 6 October 2021 shows staff members spraying disinfectant at Gulangyu as the island prepares to reopen to tourists after being closed due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Xiamen, Fujian province, China. (STR/AFP)

Animal protectors and feminists hindering pandemic work in China?

Sadly, a Chinese pet owner in Shangrao, Jiangxi province, had the dubious honour of witnessing via pet monitor the culling of her Welsh corgi, right before her eyes. The perpetrators? Covid-19 community workers who have now given their peers a bad name. This is not just an issue of animal rights, Lorna Wei asserts, but also one of privacy and information disclosure, personal safety, and the abuse of power.
A two-year-old boy pointing a toy rifle at my son, wanting to play with him.

A Singaporean mother in China: The war games Chinese kids play

A Singaporean mum living in Beijing observes that the theme of war and violence is surprisingly pervasive in daily life. School kids know war-themed rhymes by heart and chant them in playgrounds as they play at war. Realistic-looking toy guns and ammunition dot corner shops and even the children’s section in bookshops has reading material on guns. Add to that the plethora of war-themed dramas on screens and it seems that the Chinese are taking the manly mantra to the extreme. Or is it an unconscious “making ready” for real war amid international tensions? Whichever the case, hopefully, the kids skipping off happily will never know war beyond their playground games.
A couple hug as they look out at a night view through a fence at the Central Television Tower in Beijing, China, on 26 August 2021. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Rape accusations in China: When wives protect their errant husbands

The alleged rape case involving a former Alibaba manager kept netizens riveted as charges were dropped as quickly as arrests were made. Unlike the #MeToo movement in the West where many of the victims rally around each other to seek justice against their oppressors, in China, the female victims — those preyed upon and the wives of the alleged perpetrators — seem to be fighting each other in the aftermath of tragedies. Why aren’t the males involved manning up and owning up?
A public screen displays an advertisement for Stella Artois beer in Shanghai, China, on 18 August 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China's forced drinking culture a submissive test for Chinese women

In a deeply misogynistic society, some men take agreeing to drink as consent for inappropriate behaviour or even sexual assault. Society compounds the problem by judging the victims and perpetuating their cycle of self-blame. It should instead focus resources on changing people’s attitudes about women. Equally important is educating men and women about consent — no really means no and only yes means yes.
People look at images of late chairman Mao Zedong of the Chinese Communist Party at the Museum of the Communist Party of China that was opened ahead of the 100th founding anniversary of the Party in Beijing, China, 25 June 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

China idol: Mao Zedong makes a comeback among Chinese youth

China’s youth today are turning to Mao Zedong for inspiration amid a crushing sense of social immobility and injustice. But Wang Qingmin recalls the Mao era to be one of violent political struggles, anti-intellectualism, and cult of personality. Is a return to Mao really the answer?
This photo taken on 25 May 2021 shows a woman posing for a picture on the Bund in Shanghai, China. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

More young and single Chinese women buying properties in China's top-tier cities

The trend of single women buying property in China’s top-tier cities is on the rise. They do it for many reasons — as insurance for the future, to have more choices, or for good old investment. While it seems on the surface that they are gaining financial freedom and moving away from depending on marriage as a security blanket, it also means they are laden with housing loans or tied down by their parents who often foot the down payments or even the whole cost of the house. Are they swapping one handcuff for another?
A woman carries an elderly woman as they make their way through floodwaters following heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, 23 July 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Chinese economics professor: Why we should not profit from natural disasters

In the wake of floods in Henan and the case of a hotel that raised its prices sky-high, Henan native and economics professor Li Jingkui gives a rejoinder to purists who swear by market-based resource allocation. He says sometimes, special circumstances warrant intervention to ensure an orderly distribution of resources. Profiting from the misfortune of others is certainly not a virtue according to Confucius or any good economist.
A man walks past a logo of Alibaba Group at its office building in Beijing, China, 9 August 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Alibaba sexual assault case: China’s ugly drinking culture is a show of power

A recent case of sexual assault involving an Alibaba employee has once again turned the spotlight on the business drinking culture in China. Zaobao’s China Desk looks into the prevalent issue that does not seem likely to change anytime soon.
A banner marking the centenary of the Chinese Community Party is seen at a subway station in Shanghai, China on 28 June 2021. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Former Singapore FM George Yeo on CCP’s centenary: The Chinese revolution continues

George Yeo, Singapore’s former foreign minister, shares his thoughts on China’s evolution with Lianhe Zaobao on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. He sees the milestone as just a pitstop in the long journey of the Chinese nation. Fresh thinking and innovation will be needed as the country progresses. Equally important, developing a “broad-minded and big-hearted nationalism” which is humble and learns from others will keep China on the path of being a great nation. Here are edited excerpts from the interview.