When Japan attacked China during the Second Sino-Japanese War, overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia made contributions to China’s war efforts. Among the most prominent community leaders were Tan Kah Kee and Aw Boon Haw, who corralled donations and made separate visits to Chongqing. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao takes us back to that period and shows us the atrocities of war and the indomitable human spirit reflected in old photos.
China’s Hubei province — most badly-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic — has pressed the reset button on its economy, becoming China’s first province to implement an economic revitalisation package following the pandemic. Although policy details are not yet released, academics interviewed predict that Hubei will receive more financial subsidies than any other province or city, and industries like auto manufacturing and infrastructure will benefit from industry support policies. Hubei’s revitalisation scheme will also give an idea of how the country’s yet-to-be-released economic stimulus package will look like. While help is on the way for Hubei, due to the enormous economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, making a fast and effective recovery is going to be a tall order.
With the lockdown on Wuhan about to be lifted on 8 April and the annual Qingming Festival just over, families in Wuhan are coming to terms with their losses. They want accountability from those who covered up the initial outbreak, even as they deal with the psychological impact of the coronavirus and lockdown.
In these days of Covid-19, the world needs hope. As spring descends and the world renews itself, the cherry blossoms in Wuhan — where the coronavirus was first reported — remind us to take heart that no matter how long it takes, this too shall pass. (Did you know that the cherry blossoms in Wuhan University were first planted by the Japanese army during WWII?)
Texts written in reverse, replaced with emojis, and encrypted in morse code... Netizens demonstrated their creativity in resurrecting an interview with Ai Fen, director of The Central Hospital of Wuhan's emergency department, after it was removed by the authorities from the internet in China. ThinkChina traces how Chinese citizens banded together to keep an article alive, and shares a story of the "404 Building" written by a netizen.
While it may seem that the Chinese government single-handedly dealt with the Covid-19 crisis in its initial stages, Chen Kang opines that it is the voluntary involvement of the people, social organisations and enterprises that made and continues to make life under lockdown liveable. This process has provided invaluable lessons on public governance that the Chinese government and society should continue to learn from and work on.
Wuhan party secretary Wang Zhonglin’s suggestion that people should be educated to be grateful to the authorities drew strong backlash, prompting Hubei party secretary Ying Yong to come forward with comments of his own to ease the anger. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong weighs the strategy.
Angry netizens suggest that Wuhan party secretary Wang Zhonglin’s call for gratitude for the CCP shows where officials’ allegiance truly lies. The testy mood of the public portends the zero tolerance of further grandstanding behaviour.