Scientific mindset

A protester holds signs during a rally against the discharging of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean, in front of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, on 25 August 2023. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Japanese academic: China's strong views about Fukushima water will affect Japan-China relations

Propaganda campaigns against Japan may leave China turning a deaf ear to Japan’s explanations about the discharge of Fukushima treated water, says Japanese academic Shin Kawashima. This can only have dire consequences for Japan-China relations.
Protestors attend a rally against Japan's plan to discharge treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean, in front of the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the nuclear plant in Tokyo, Japan, on 24 August 2023. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Frostier Japan-China ties with Fukushima treated wastewater discharge

Japan’s discharge of treated nuclear wastewater into the sea has dealt another blow to the political, economic and trade relations between China and Japan. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan elaborates.
Patients lie on beds in the emergency department of a hospital, amid the Covid-19 outbreak in Shanghai, China, 4 January 2023. (Reuters)

Are the Chinese facing a crisis of confidence in the government?

As the Chinese authorities ease Covid-19 controls and infections increase, hearsays about symptoms, treatments and folk remedies are widespread. Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing looks at why people fall for these baseless rumours and remain wary of the government’s responses.
A closed Covid testing booth in Beijing, China, on 13 December 2022. (Bloomberg)

From zero-Covid to living with the virus: Chinese society's adaptability put to the test

Following the protests against harsh Covid measures, China seems to be going from strict lockdowns to opening up and relaxing controls almost overnight. While the health system is under strain and nerves are wrecked, the Chinese people have shown that they are quite capable of adapting to change, especially if large cities like Beijing lead the way.
Health workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) carry barricades inside a residential community that just opened after a lockdown due to Covid-19 restrictions in Beijing, China, on 9 December 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

China’s reopening will not lead to a million deaths

Chinese academic Zhang Tiankan explains why some estimates that China's reopening without safeguards could result in 1.5 million to 2 million deaths is improbable if one looks at the facts. Such predictions could cause public alarm and mislead policy making.
People ride bicycles on a street in Jing'an district, Shanghai, China, on 7 December 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

What can we expect now that China’s ‘zero-Covid’ is no more

After an almost three-year-long hyper-restrictive “zero-Covid” policy, the Chinese government seems to have finally relented. But for China to comprehensively revamp its Covid-19 control regime and fully reopen, some daunting challenges remain.
This file photo taken on 15 October 2022 shows a man walking past portraits of (left to right) late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong and former Chinese leaders Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and current president Xi Jinping at Yan’an Revolutionary Memorial Hall in Yan'an city, Shaanxi province, China. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Did Jiang Zemin pave the way for greater centralised rule in China?

Taiwanese academic Wen-Hsuan Tsai notes that while the late former Chinese President Jiang Zemin had pushed forward economic development during his tenure, he had neglected political reform, and in so doing, possibly paved the way for ever greater centralised rule in China.
This photo taken on 30 November 2022 shows people inside a subway train in Haizhu district, Guangzhou city, in China's Guangdong province, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the city. (CNS/AFP)

China is finally easing Covid rules, but not all are happy

The Chinese central government has not mentioned the “dynamic zero-Covid” policy as of late, sparking hopes that it will further ease Covid-19 control measures. With public anger boiling over in the form of protests in several cities, more signs of easing are needed. The path to reopening will not be smooth, but Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that any form of progress towards normalcy would be reassuring for the Chinese people.
Barriers surround a neighborhood placed under lockdown due to Covid-19 in Shenzhen, China, on 19 November 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Two steps forward, three steps back: Lockdowns in China still prevalent

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at how Covid controls have changed — or not — in various places in China following the announcement of the new 20 measures to ease Covid controls. Going by the measures implemented, it seems that lockdowns and testing seem to still be the default in curbing Covid in China.