Economic power

People walk past the central business district, in Beijing, China, on 21 June 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China’s application to join CPTPP comes to the fore, after the UK’s entry

​With the UK’s addition to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the question of the next applicant, China, joining comes front and centre. Other applicants like Taiwan, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Uruguay are also keen to be part of a grouping that could become the largest free trade area in the world. Academic Min-Hua Chiang outlines the stakes involved.
Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings, meets journalists as he formally retires after the company's Annual General Meeting in Hong Kong, China, on 10 May 2018. (Bobby Yip/Reuters)

All eyes are still on retired Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing

Even after announcing his retirement in 2018, Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-shing is still making headlines. From the introduction of his granddaughter to the family businesses to the recent divestments of his companies from the UK and Europe, recent developments have led analysts and the public to speculate on mainland China’s economic conditions and whether Li could make a comeback. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk delves into the recent developments surrounding Hong Kong’s “Superman”.
A group photo at the 16th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) in Bangkok, Thailand. (Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry)

China's growing influence on overseas Chinese businessmen: Reflections on the 16th WCEC in Bangkok

Lee Huay Leng, editor-in-chief of SPH’s Chinese Media Group, notes that she seems to have witnessed a shift in focus while attending the recent World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention in Bangkok — while earlier editions were targeted at bringing together ethnic Chinese businessmen scattered around the world, a changed world seems to have made the latest edition more China-centric, and it remains to be seen whether this will hold for future editions.
Young people looking at gold jewellery in Shuibei, Shenzhen, 18 June 2023. (SPH Media)

China’s young people becoming biggest consumers of gold

Young people are becoming the biggest consumers of gold in China, from jewellery to beads. They see it as a form of investment and savings, amid uncertainty about the economy. Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim looks into the trend.
Seatrek Trans founder Asifur Chowdhury (in dark glasses) collecting food to be distributed to vulnerable households, 13 May 2023. (SPH Media)

Wealthy immigrants in Singapore: Contributing back to society is part of the plan

Singapore has become a top choice for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) to live in because of its pro-business environment, transparent system, as well as a stable and harmonious society. With increasing numbers of HNWIs immigrating here, many people are curious and concerned about who they are and how HNWIs are contributing to local society and communities. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Wang Hwee Wen interviews HNWIs from China and Bangladesh to find out about their new lives in Singapore.
Workers check an electronic system at the Tegalluar station of the China-made high speed railway connecting the capital city of Jakarta with Bandung, in Bandung, West Java on 15 May 2023. (Timur Matahari/AFP)

Why China's BRI is not a debt trap

The solution to developing countries’ ballooning debt arising from borrowing to finance Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and other projects is not to stop the work, as such projects could spur greater economic development and growth, says EAI senior research fellow Yu Hong. Rather, greater transparency and debt sustainability analysis should be applied in relation to BRI debt.
People visit a riverside in front of the Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai, China, 7 March 2023. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Can the US remove China's developing country status?

In per capita terms, China may seem more like a developing country than the might of its overall economic, technological and military prowess suggests. Be that as it may, the duality of its identity suits the CCP’s purpose in trumpeting China’s strengths at home while holding on to the right to developing country status benefits internationally. While the US will be keen to strip China of such flexibility, China will likely fight tooth and nail to keep this advantage.
Congolese cheer ahead of Pope Francis's arrival at Martyrs' Stadium in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), on 2 February 2023. The competition between China and the US in the DRC is intensifying. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP)

Is the US subverting China's influence in the DRC?

In the battle for resources in the clean energy race, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) stands as a critical piece of the puzzle, holding access to key metals such as cobalt, lithium, copper and coltan. While China has been an early dominant investor, the US is upping the stakes and seeking to throw the competition wide open.
Boys run past a mural by Senzart911, of children wearing facemasks amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, at Soweto's Kliptown, South Africa, 27 October 2021. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

Chinese investments in Africa moving into new areas amid return of the West

After 20 years of rapid growth fuelled by Chinese investments, Africa-China ties stand at an inflection point, with some African countries wary of the pitfalls of collaboration and other challengers seeking to dominate the region. Will China’s Africa-China relations reach new highs after this fork in the road?