News of the arrest of an individual surnamed Ma in the technology industry in Hangzhou on suspicion of endangering national security led to a sharp drop in the stock market, as people associated the name with Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba. Zaobao’s Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu notes that perhaps this is not so surprising, given Jack Ma’s previous trouble with the Chinese government, especially during the crackdown on the “disorderly expansion of capital”.
While most of the world have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and see it as unjust and even foolish, the Chinese people have shown their support for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Chinese academic Andrew Huang notes that this is most likely driven by their perception that the US and the West are arrogant and have always made things difficult for China in various settings. This has led to the Chinese being willing to cheer for anyone that can stand up to the US.
How the China-US conflict will end very much depends on the vociferous court of public opinion of each country. At the moment, political correct views are being spewed on both sides. Such behaviour shows a common human weakness to demonise the other and threaten to keep both sides locked in a vortex of vitriol. East Asia Institute academic Lance Gore implores the people of both countries to keep their senses and adhere to their better judgement. In particular, China should be clear-eyed that the combined strength of the US and its allies exceeds any level China may attain in the foreseeable future and act accordingly.
President Vladimir Putin had set the stage for Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine by couching the country’s relations with Ukraine in ethnocentric terms. Would military action taken in the name of reuniting “one people” give a psychological boost to Beijing in terms of a possible armed reunification with Taiwan?
When the Chinese featured a lady wearing a hanbok — what to the Koreans is their national costume — at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, it was as if the band-aid on rising China-South Korean tensions was peeled off. Soon after, cries of foul play and the Chinese “snatching” medals from the South Koreans followed. Are greater squabbles on the horizon for these Northeast Asian neighbours?
It seems that the Chinese and foreign media have very different approaches to covering the Beijing Winter Olympics — Chinese journalists want to portray the favourable side of the Games while foreign journalists tend to take a more critical stand in focusing on problems. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu examines this phenomenon.
The Beijing Winter Olympics has featured some naturalised China athletes, not least skier Eileen Gu and figure skater Zhu Yi, as well as the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. These naturalised athletes have come under close scrutiny, and Zhu Yi’s poor performance in particular has come under fire. What makes for an effective naturalised athlete policy?
The US’s recently enacted Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act prohibits the import of Xinjiang-produced goods, leaving US companies in a bind. In response, Walmart and Tesla have taken different approaches. While Sam’s Club under Walmart removed Xinjiang products, drawing the ire of Chinese consumers, Tesla gained cheers for opening a new showroom in Urumqi. Will US companies be forced to choose sides? Zaobao correspondent Chen Jing looks into the matter.