Nongfu Spring, China’s largest packaged drinks company, prides itself on its clean and green natural water source and low production costs. However, Chinese academic Zhang Tiankan stresses that despite its financial success, the company will need to do more for the environment if it wants to keep its future growth intact.
China is crafting “wonderful stories” about its upstream dams in the Mekong. But the overall thrust of the narrative glosses over the more controversial aspects of dam building. The cure to the dying Mekong must begin with clinical analysis and honest exchange among riparian states. ISEAS researcher Hoang Thi Ha says China’s unilaterally imposed narratives are part of the problem, not the remedy.
Extreme weather and declining water levels at hydropower reservoirs in Sichuan are sparking worries of a power crunch across China. This has forced electricity cuts to businesses and households in the province of 84 million people, along with loud calls for a rethink of coal in the nation’s energy mix, putting a spanner in the works of its goal to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030.
The Group of Seven’s new infrastructure and investment drive seeks to provide what Southeast Asia needs, such as financing for hard infrastructure. However, ISEAS academic Chanrith Ngin believes that the need for multiple stakeholders and financing issues might not garner much buy-in from the region, and some countries may opt out to avoid being caught in the geopolitical competition between China and the US.
Hainan is set to become China’s first free trade port and has great potential to beef up its financial offerings. Academics Pei Sai Fan and Chen Jingwei present a number of suggestions that could boost the Chinese province’s standing as an international hub for financial and regulatory innovations, green financing and connectivity.
Beijing-based Singaporean Jessie Tan recounts her experience in keeping her residential compound safe from potentially harmful mosquitoes. While mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent in some countries such as Singapore, the local Chinese would find it rather unusual in their part of the world, leaving one to reflect how different environments breed different concerns.
China's "Foundation Plan" for iron ore has gained much official support, and is aimed at reducing reliance on foreign sources of iron, including Africa and Australia. The only way to do this effectively is for China to ramp up mining of its own iron resources. However, these resources are scattered and difficult to access, and of lower grade. This means China has its work cut out if it is to succeed.
Erik Baark points out some of the peculiarities of China’s emissions trading system (ETS) with Chinese characteristics on its one-year anniversary. Going forward, will the Chinese ETS gradually morph into an ETS in the likes of the EU ETS as it works towards meeting its dual carbon ambitions?
In this fifth instalment of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, we look at how China’s electric vehicle manufacturers are making inroads in Singapore and the region.