With the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreading through China in a fresh wave of infections, is China’s current zero-Covid approach still feasible, given that strict measures did not stamp out the less transmissible Delta variant? To safeguard the economy and global supply chains, will a move towards a post-zero-Covid be inevitable, whether China likes it or not? Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong reports.
Following an overhaul of the electoral system in Hong Kong by the Chinese central government, both the pro-democracy and localist camps are not taking part in the upcoming Hong Kong Legislative Council elections, leaving a small number of moderate democrats who advocate dialogue with Beijing in the running. However, a severely fractured society in Hong Kong means that it will not be easy for them to be elected. Faced with the prospect of a LegCo that is likely to be made up of mainly pro-establishment voices, what is the way forward for Hong Kong?
Following the announcement of the US’s diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Australia, the UK, and Canada have also joined the boycott, while New Zealand has cited the pandemic as its reason for not sending ministerial-level officials to the Games. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong examines the moves by these countries, and notes that perhaps the real reason for the US boycott has more to do with US-China competition and the need to play to the domestic gallery. And while China has reacted strongly to the boycott, is it truly concerned?
In Beijing’s latest effort to discourage notions of independence for Taiwan, it has released a list of Taiwan leaders it considers to be “stubbornly pro-Taiwan independence”, seemingly targeted at Green camp members. However, those on the list are wearing it as a badge of honour, as recognition that they love Taiwan, while those not on the list are clamouring to be blacklisted. Will this move backfire on Beijing instead?
Zaobao’s Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu experienced a 14-day home quarantine for being in the vicinity of Covid-19 patients while in Gansu. From her first-hand experience, she observes that people at large have gotten used to and even expect sudden but orderly disruptions when outbreaks erupt and are stamped out under a zero-Covid regime. But as borders start opening around the world, will China be forced to open up to new mindsets of living with the virus?
Amid a widespread power shortage across China, the authorities have implemented power cuts in several regions. But what is the underlying cause for the power crunch, and will the current measures be effective and sustainable? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu tells us more.
A new Beijing Stock Exchange is good news for technology-focused small- and medium-sized enterprises, especially those with innovation potential but may not fit the listing requirements of traditional exchanges. Not only that, it will likely give a boost to SMEs in the north, helping to balance regional economic imbalances.
With President Xi Jinping’s announcement of a new Beijing Stock Exchange, innovation-oriented SMEs will benefit and Beijing’s stock as a credible financial centre will also rise. Not only that, it is hoped that this will show China’s resolve to continue pursuing the market economy as it continues its push for “common prosperity”.
While Beijing has objected strongly to the Lithuanian government's move of allowing Taiwan to open a representative office under the name “Taiwan” rather than “Taipei”, Taiwan has lashed out at “autocratic” Beijing, saying that its ties with Lithuania are based on the shared values of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. Japanese academic Shin Kawashima examines the names of Taiwan's overseas offices and of various countries' offices in Taiwan, analysing the subtleties behind the different naming conventions.