Deep divisions in the US highlighted by the US presidential election and storming of the Capitol show that we are entering a post-reality, post-truth era. In such a world, closely cocooned online groups perpetuate a self-confirming bias and take fiction for fact. When strident positions are taken offline and “reality” and reality go head to head, is it a tragedy akin to China’s Cultural Revolution waiting to happen?
A failed military coup on 30 September 1965 which led to the massacre of more than a million Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) members and communist sympathisers continues to plague Indonesian politics. People want to know who was the real instigator of the coup: the PKI, the left-wing military, Sukarno, Suharto, or the CIA in the US are all possibilities. A 2019 book says that according to declassified documents from the Chinese Communist Party Central Archives, a central figure in the coup was in Beijing on 5 August 1965, and discussed Indonesia’s situation with Mao Zedong and other Chinese Communist Party leaders. Leo Suryadinata pieces together the events in explaining how this catastrophe continues to impact Indonesia.
Dr Peter Chang says the US is fighting a Cold War with China as well as a culture war with itself, marked by deep polarisation and vindictiveness. Some US media seem less vigilant about telling China's side of the story, fuelling a narrative that reinforces a fear of China. Chang opines that this disturbing silence could make American journalism complicit in worsening the domestic and global situation. While the US battles to maintain global dominance, he feels it is best that smaller countries and powers stay centred to help the world achieve its much-needed balance.
The Covid-19 outbreak that started in Wuhan, China has spread with a vengeance to the rest of the world. The public health crisis will have longer-term impacts on the global economy and geopolitics. How has China and the rest of the world responded to the pandemic thus far? How will these responses change the league table of nations in international relations? How can China build on its strength and take full advantage of the situation to emerge a winner? Former Singapore Cabinet minister George Yeo ruminates on these questions and concludes that we are standing before a historic opportunity to build a safer world.
The war of words between the US and China continues, as Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan examines the conspiracy theories that have resurfaced over the possible origins of the coronavirus.
Amid uncertainty, netizens are indulging in speculation about the origin of the Covid-19 virus. Their conjectures lead to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The possibility of Covid-19 being a US-related biological weapon has been swirling around in the press and on social media. While little weight is given to the conjectures, just like in the case of sinophobia, a climate of fear could continue to cause panic and cloud China’s interactions with the world.