How do urban planners go about their work and what contributions do they make to the building of liveable cities? Ke Huanzhang, former head of the Beijing Academy of Urban Planning and Design, is all for the seamless melding of a good ecological environment, living facilities, jobs and public services in a city. Liu Thai Ker, the former chief architect and CEO of Singapore’s Housing Development Board, says a good planner needs to have the heart of a humanist, the brain of a scientist, and the eye of an artist. Tan Ying Zhen speaks to the veteran urban planners as part of a series of fireside chats put together to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China.
After largely bringing the coronavirus under control, and keeping Beijing out of the fray, China is facing the possibility of a fresh outbreak, this time focused on a cluster involving the Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing. That the coronavirus was found on a chopping board for cutting imported salmon has sparked much debate about transmission via salmon, and the prospect of a second wave of Covid-19. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu weighs up how Beijing will tackle the problem.
Zaobao's Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu often marvels at the spending power of Chinese white-collar workers around her, and she too was surprised when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang remarked that China has 600 million people with a monthly income of 1,000 RMB. That is more than 40% of the Chinese population, and the figures portray a reality that is starkly different from common perception. Are Chinese people moving up the income ladder and are their lives becoming better as is the common refrain? Yang examines the facts.
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.
Seeing that stalwarts have kept their positions while new blood comes in the form of those who have law enforcement or political experience, pundits wager that Beijing may take a more hardline approach in the days to come.
Yang Danxu notes that netizens are making mountains out of molehills and imposing their judgements on others. She points out the danger of politicising issues to the point that no one feels free to even make innocuous comments about the weather.
Beijing’s control measures against the coronavirus outbreak look set to be in place for some time, perhaps for the rest of the year. With stricter rules for people moving in and out of China’s capital, residents and visitors will need to adjust to the new normal. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing finds out how ordinary people are affected.
Three cautionary warnings have been issued in the last six days by the Chinese government, calling on officials to pay special attention to containing Covid-19 in Beijing. Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu observes that the authorities' political survival is at stake if Beijing becomes severely affected by the coronavirus. All hands are on deck to ensure that this does not happen.
The Chinese calendar, based on observations of sun and moon, was chiefly used to mark agrarian time. With the dawn of the Republic of China in 1912, official calendars were reset to the Gregorian system. No matter that the start of the year was now 1 January, people’s lives were still much tied to the land. They welcomed the Spring Festival and Chinese New Year with relish, celebrating their well-earned rest from toil. Photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shares his precious images of celebrations in Beijing and Nanjing from a bygone era.