Heroes in Harm's Way, a Chinese television series based on the Covid-19 pandemic, has drawn flak for inaccurate portrayals and gender discrimination. While the depiction of such a catastrophic event would have touched many a raw nerve in any case, the drama’s lack of finesse in telling China’s story has offended not only those outside China, but those within China as well, especially the young. Writ large, those running China’s inability to frame a credible narrative will only see them lose their cachet at home and abroad.
US academic Han Dongping says that electoral politics in the US seems to have deviated from its original intent, which was to elect a leader that represents public opinion. The quest for power is now a game of thrust and parry by the elites and the wealthy, and is rarely in line with what the man on the street needs or wants. Is the “Trump or Biden” toss-up then just a false choice?
On an organised visit to Wuhan with other journalists and business representatives, Lianhe Zaobao’s Shanghai correspondent Chen Jing sees a city that appears to be humming away as if the Covid-19 disaster was nothing but a bad dream. Nevertheless, she gets an inkling that many stories of the pandemic are still waiting to be told. She resolves to tell them, all in good time.
Dr Li Yan, one of 40,000 medical workers across the country who served in Wuhan, was one of the speakers at a webinar organised by the Beijing People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Beijing NGO Network for International Exchanges and the Beijing Medical Women's Association on 13 May. Moved by her testimony, former VRT (Flemish Radio and Television broadcaster) journalist Ng Sauw Tjhoi requested to do an interview with her. Prior to leaving her family behind for the first time to take part in such a volunteer mission, Dr Li has been an intensive care physician in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Department of the Xuanwu Hospital affiliated to the Capital Medical University in Beijing for 18 years. The below is the transcript of their video interview, conducted via Zoom.
China’s Hubei province — most badly-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic — has pressed the reset button on its economy, becoming China’s first province to implement an economic revitalisation package following the pandemic. Although policy details are not yet released, academics interviewed predict that Hubei will receive more financial subsidies than any other province or city, and industries like auto manufacturing and infrastructure will benefit from industry support policies. Hubei’s revitalisation scheme will also give an idea of how the country’s yet-to-be-released economic stimulus package will look like. While help is on the way for Hubei, due to the enormous economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, making a fast and effective recovery is going to be a tall order.
The pandemic has exposed the flaws of a globalised world characterised by interconnectedness. Dr Yu Hong asks: "If there are no safeguards in place for risk control and management, would it still be in the interest of each country to pursue globalisation? Do the economic and trade benefits of globalisation outweigh the impact of its potential systemic risks? How should each country safeguard domestic public health while driving economic globalisation forward?"
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.
Yang Danxu notes that netizens are making mountains out of molehills and imposing their judgements on others. She points out the danger of politicising issues to the point that no one feels free to even make innocuous comments about the weather.
Beijing’s control measures against the coronavirus outbreak look set to be in place for some time, perhaps for the rest of the year. With stricter rules for people moving in and out of China’s capital, residents and visitors will need to adjust to the new normal. Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing finds out how ordinary people are affected.