Chen Kang attributes the blindspots in China’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak to the tendency of officials to withhold information and put up appearances for their own interests. As such, decision-making could be impaired by the asymmetry of information and misaligned interests between superiors and subordinates, especially at the local level. Results then vary based on how well one navigates the minefields of groupthink, collusion and that seemingly innocuous aim of not rocking the boat. Using the prism of formalism, or what is prizing form over substance, Chen points out the weakness of a centralised system.
In his first creative writing class of the semester, acclaimed Chinese author Yan Lianke addresses the Covid-19 milieu of the times. He urges his students to remember what they have seen and heard as memory separates man from beast; memory begets truth. He says if one cannot speak loudly or even whisper, at least remember.
A man queuing and buying medicines for residents, chefs preparing signature dishes, a volunteer turned patient... ThinkChina takes a look at the ordinary lives in China and the heartwarming acts of kindness from everyday heroes.
Hong Kong political commentator Leung Man-tao reflects on the dearth of truth in mainland Chinese society as he grieves the passing of Dr Li Wenliang. He remembers the men and women who have gallantly pursued truth in the face of adversity and believes that we can all learn to do the same.