Nationalism

Alibaba founder Jack Ma in Paris, France, 15 May 2019. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

How Jack Ma’s surname sent shockwaves through China’s capital market

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”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on 18 March 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev/SPUTNIK/AFP)

Why do Chinese people sympathise with Russia?

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.
Visitors rest on benches at a People's Liberation Army Flag Guard barrack near the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on 3 March 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

The curse of political correctness in China and 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.
A person holds a banner with the joined faces of a portrait of Vladimir Putin and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler during an anti-war protest, after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Barcelona, Spain, 24 February 2022. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

Will China be emboldened by Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

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?
A couple (front, left) wear traditional hanbok dress as they walk across a road in Seoul, South Korea, on 7 January 2022. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

When neighbours disagree: Did China 'steal' South Korea’s culture and historical memory?

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?
Competitors in a cross-country skiing event at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, National Cross-Country Centre, Zhangjiakou, China, 16 February 2022. (Lindsey Wasson/Reuters)

Media coverage of Beijing Winter Olympics shows parallel worlds

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.
Gold medallist China's Gu Ailing Eileen celebrates on the podium during the freestyle skiing women's freeski big air victory ceremony at the Beijing Medals Plaza in Beijing on 8 February 2022. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP)

China's love-hate relationship with naturalised athletes

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?
Leaves lay on the ground as pedestrians and bicycle riders are seen in front of the Reichstag building housing the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, on 19 October 2021. (Ina Fassbender/AFP)

Germany between the US and China

With a new chancellor in place, how Germany will adjust its approach to China amid growing rivalry between the two superpowers is an issue that is closely watched by many countries around the world. US academic Zhu Zhiqun examines the possibilities.
People walk past a showroom outside Tesla China headquarters at China Central Mall in Beijing, China, 11 July 2018. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

Tesla’s choice on Xinjiang: Will the benefits be enough to offset the costs?

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.