Lola Amaria's documentary Eksil has been a hit in Indonesia, telling the story of Indonesians forced into exile for not supporting Sukarno. (Internet)

Political taboo of questioning PKI's role in Indonesia's history: Documentary Eksil deals a blow

A popular documentary about ten exiles has had an extraordinary run in Indonesia, not least because it sings a different tune from the official historical narrative about the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) and its supporters, perpetuated since the Suharto era.
Screenshot of a video showing the argument between British pianist Brendan Kavanagh and a Chinese TV group, with the police entering the scene. (YouTube)

When culture differences create trouble: How to be an 'outsider' in a foreign society

Consultant Ma Haotian takes a look at two recent incidents showing conflict between groups of people from different cultures, one between China and the West, and another between Chinese societies of different places. While Chinese culture is indeed vastly different from British culture, different Chinese communities around the world also live under different political systems and social environments, and have different ways of thinking and behavioural patterns.
Shivaji Das and Yolanda Yu, the authors of Rebels, Traitors, Peacemakers: True Stories of Love and Conflict in Indian-Chinese Relationships. (Photo: Zhao Lancing)

The tragi-comic lives of Indian-Chinese couples

Shivaji Das and Yolanda Yu, an interracial couple and the authors of Rebels, Traitors, Peacemakers: True Stories of Love and Conflict in Indian-Chinese Relationships, share their thoughts and findings of their time collecting stories on the lives of Indian-Chinese couples.
Pedestrians in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York, US, on 26 December 2023. (Eilon Paz/Bloomberg)

US academic: Chinese Americans and racial discrimination in the US

Academic Wu Guo notes that ethnic politics is fundamentally a narrative and institutional tool dominated by the ethnic majority. He looks at how white elites in the US shaped the politics of demographic categorisation and identity labels in the country and at their attempts to stir up identity politics in other countries. He asks: are the very people classified as "people of colour" aware of these issues or are they just as guilty of racism and having a tendency towards "social Darwinism"?
Customers queue outside an Apple store during the first day of sale of the iPhone 15 smartphone in Beijing, China on 22 September 2023. (Andrea Verdelli/Bloomberg)

Behind Apple’s ‘insult’ of China

A photo on Apple’s customer service webpage sparked controversy in China by featuring a person with “stereotypical” Chinese looks, with slit eyes and a long braid, coming under fire for “uglifying” Chinese people. While aesthetic preferences do differ, is there something deeper under the criticism of a stranger’s looks?
This picture shows workers on a construction site in Shenmu, Shaanxi province, China, on 24 April 2023. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China’s housing downturn: Household registration reform needed

In China, policy easing in real estate continues even as calls for greater stimulus packages get louder. But to address the nub of the property downturn, says PIIE researcher Tianlei Huang, long-term challenges such as supply-demand imbalances and the discriminatory household registration system should be addressed.
Xu Zaozao speaks to the media before a second hearing of her case suing a Beijing hospital for refusing to freeze her eggs on the basis that she is unmarried, at the No. 3 Intermediate People's Court in Beijing, China, on 9 May 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

A woman's right to freeze her eggs: Chinese society debates

As China faces a dire population crisis of ageing population and declining birth rates, public discussion on female reproductive rights have gained attention. Assisted reproductive technologies such as egg freezing has become a sought-after option for women looking to delay child bearing, but it remains a contentious issue in China. Lianhe Zaobao's China Desk tells us more.
People gather to burn incense sticks and offer prayers at the Lama Temple, in Beijing, China, on 19 February 2023. (Jade Gao/AFP)

More Chinese youths visiting temples to seek solace

As Chinese youths face pressures on all fronts, from education to job hunting and even finding love, they are finding some solace in prayers to gods. But a recent article from state media denouncing such behaviours has sparked uproar among the youths, claiming that the authorities are far removed from the problems young people face today.
Mainland Chinese travellers on low-cost tours walk to a tourist bus after lunch at To Kwa Wan in Hong Kong, China, 30 March 2023. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Are mainland China tourists discriminated against in Hong Kong?

The reopening of borders between mainland China and Hong Kong has led to heightened tensions between people on the ground, as each side has their own complaints against the other. The authorities will have to handle the situation carefully to prevent it from boiling over.