As the world’s second largest economy, China’s domestic consumption has a major influence on the global economy. The Chinese government has said that its focus is on boosting China's domestic economy and consumption. But how should it go about achieving it? Researcher Ding Ke says it depends on the kind of society China wants to build.
Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Peter Ong looks into why Asian countries are facing a declining population, especially those that have witnessed successful economic transformation. What social conditions have led to the staggeringly low birth rates? And is migration a solution?
The Chinese Communist Party has yet to resolve in theory and in practice two great issues: the ever widening rich-poor divide and the question of capitalists’ place in a socialist market economy. This is why the slogan "common prosperity" caused widespread panic across the private sector when it was first put forth. How will the authorities prove that “the rich will never be robbed in order to help the poor”?
Li Cheng, director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution, notes that while the Mao-era slogan of "women hold up half the sky" is often repeated, only one woman serves on the current 25-member Politburo (4%), and no woman has ever served on the Politburo Standing Committee, the supreme decision-making body in the country. He asks: what are the prospects for women leaders at the 20th Party Congress? Who are the prominent female candidates for the upper echelons of the CCP leadership?
Chinese academic Sun Peisong notes that renowned financier George Soros has always been critical of China’s social system. While "the man who broke the Bank of England" has a keen eye for finance, Sun feels that Soros’s criticism of China’s “closed society” sheds light on his penchant for globalisation and dated means of making the wealthy wealthier.
American youths today are dealing with more issues and turmoil than their previous generations. US academic Wu Guo believes that the culmination of terrorist attacks, financial crises, social injustice and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have led to a generation that is more politically, socially and environmentally aware. These challenges and experiences could be a path for Americans to connect with the world outside of the US, in particular with China.
The use of “national swear” (国骂) in the Chinese language has been a topic of discussion for the past century, with its derogatory nature towards women long known. From seemingly harmless insults to women’s intelligence to malicious debasing of female ancestors, why is the use of such language still prevalent on the internet today?
Through contact tracing records of Covid-19 positive patients, people are getting a glimpse of how their fellow Chinese live their lives. While the detailed records bring up the question of privacy, they have helped to highlight the issue of inequality in big cities and the lives of those who are toiling away and struggling to make ends meet. Beijing-based Singaporean Jessie Tan shares the stories that have gripped the attention of Chinese netizens.
In China’s rural areas, despite traditional pressures to get married, young men are finding themselves in a difficult position as the high gender imbalance has led to a short supply of marriageable women. Furthermore, men who are not well-off cannot find wives, with many of the women looking to marry men with better prospects in other towns and cities as a means of upward social mobility. These social problems have led to the abduction and trafficking of women in rural China. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong visits some villages to find out more about these crimes.