Governance

Chinese President Xi Jinping gestures after the 29th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) during the APEC 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand, 18 November 2022. (Rungroj Yongrit/Pool via Reuters)

The Real Xi: Reflections on the 20th Party Congress

Vienna-based Li Ling observes that while it seems that Chinese President Xi Jinping has removed all obstacles to his rule, actually the outcomes of the 20th Party Congress has shown another side of him: a level-headed and even disciplined man who can act in a measured and controlled fashion. Being able to show restraint while holding on to great power will be a delicate balance that one has to strike in Xi’s “new era”.
In this file photo taken on 19 October 1992, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin applauds in Beijing during a press unveiling to introduce new members to the standing committee of the poliburo. (Mike Fiala/AFP)

Jiang Zemin who deepened China's reform and opening up dies at age 96

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan presents the life and achievements of Jiang Zemin, following his passing at the age of 96. While he was seen as not having enough heft on his own when he first began as CCP general secretary, he had chalked up various achievements by the end of his tenure and graceful exit.
A medical worker in protective suit collects a swab from a resident at a free nucleic acid testing site following new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lanzhou's Chengguan district, Gansu province, China, 20 October 2021. (cnsphoto via Reuters)

Chinese Covid testing firms come under fire for pandemic profiteering

An incident involving errors with Covid test results at a test facility in Lanzhou has opened the doors to deeper digging by netizens, indicating a pattern of outbreaks wherever there are facilities established under the Shenzhen Nucleus Gene Technology Co. Coincidence, or something else?
A woman walks across the street during morning rush hour, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Central Business District (CBD) in Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, 21 November 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Why the 20th Party Congress was not a 'decisive victory' for Xi

Japanese researcher Toshiya Tsugami observes that the exuberant tone of China's previous Party Congress reports has been carried over in this year’s 20th Party Congress. However, the external environment has changed much for China and its targets could be a stretch in this context.
Pedestrians cross a road in front of the Bank of Korea headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, on 12 October 2022. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP)

Is South Korea’s economy in trouble?

Often referred to as the world’s economic “canary in the coal mine”, South Korea has seen its economy tumble over the past year, impacted by external factors such as US interest rate hikes and signs of recession in key trade partners. The accumulation of domestic factors — currency crisis, tumbling stock market and rising inflation — is also hitting the South Korean economy hard. However, this industrial powerhouse has the domestic means to climb out of the doldrums.
A health worker takes a swab sample from a woman at a residential area under lockdown due to Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions in Beijing on 25 November 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

This has to be the end of lockdowns in China

While the rest of the world has moved on from strict Covid measures, China is continuing its dynamic zero-Covid policy and local governments are sticking to what they know best — lockdowns. But this mode of control is looking increasingly untenable on the back of increasing protests. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at how the CCP can respond.
People walk by a building decorated with an election campaign poster in Taipei, Taiwan, 14 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan’s local elections: Voter fatigue over thesis plagiarism tussle

Zaobao journalist Miao Zong-Han takes a closer look at voter fatigue in Taiwan in the upcoming “nine-in-one” elections, caused mostly by the arguing over plagiarism allegations, which might interest the highly educated but bore the average voter. Another question is whether the atmosphere at these elections will be a good indicator of things to come in the 2024 general election.
Zhong Shanshan, founder and chair of Nongfu Spring, and China's richest man. (Internet)

China's richest man Zhong Shanshan sells pure spring water, but can Nongfu Spring stay clean and green?

Nongfu Spring, China’s largest packaged drinks company, prides itself on its clean and green natural water source and low production costs. However, Chinese academic Zhang Tiankan stresses that despite its financial success, the company will need to do more for the environment if it wants to keep its future growth intact.
A pandemic prevention worker in a protective suit keeps watch at at residential compound after it was locked down as outbreaks of Covid-19 continue in Beijing, 18 November 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Chinese local governments struggle to find perfect way to ease pandemic rules

Various areas in China have responded to the new “20 measures” for Covid-19 controls, as announced by the Chinese central government on 11 November. Zaobao’s China Desk takes a look at how various local authorities have — or have not — adjusted their measures and the public’s reaction.