Humanity

This photo taken on 6 September 2021 shows residents looking at a flooded area after heavy rainfalls in Quxian county, Dazhou city, Sichuan province, China. (STR/AFP)

Chinese economics professor: The making of a moral society

How can one encourage a society where people do things that benefit not just themselves but also others? How can we eliminate bad behaviours and encourage better ones by institutionalising various means of rewarding good behaviour? Chinese economics professor Li Jingkui looks at examples from Chinese modern life and history to find the answers.
The silver grey skies of Chishang.

Taiwanese art historian: 'Severing all ties’ in a pandemic

Cloistered in Chishang township in Taiwan’s Huadong Valley for the past four months, Chiang Hsun has no choice but to face himself in all its foibles. At peace with himself, he is at peace with the world. He revels in beautiful sights, as if he’s the only one let in on nature’s little secret. Just as he readies to leave, tourists trickle back into Chishang, bringing a bit of a bustle with them. May their hearts be still, says Chiang, to see the beauty that lies before them.
Art historian Chiang Hsun learns some life lessons from a stray cat at a farmhouse. (Facebook/蔣勳)

Taiwanese art historian: A stray cat, a farmhouse in Taiwan and a quiet afternoon

In our periods of isolation, even desolation through the pandemic, one can become cautious about forming bonds. A stray cat Chiang Hsun befriends reminds him that humans can’t help but care about one another, even when they pretend not to care. Yet they’re also guilty of caring too much, cocooning themselves to protect what they have. Will we ever learn to let go and have a good rest, defenceless?
A man stands next to Houhai Lake during the sunset in Beijing, China on 16 May 2021. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Chinese economics professor: How I fell for a scam

After a good laugh over falling for a phone app scam, Chinese economics professor Li Jingkui says seriously that the scammers’ tactics involved simple economics and he should have caught on to it sooner. But perhaps he was just being human and some knowledge of psychology would have been more helpful in this case?
Where are the heroes?

[Comic] A Chinese youth's meditation on life amidst the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how unpredictable life can be. As the world struggles to find its feet in politics, economics and daily life, comic artist Bai Yi turns the conversation inward: when times are tough, where do we find the strength to carry on? If it is religion, why do we have blind faith? If it is not, what sustains the human spirit?
A man is called forward while waiting in line at a medical oxygen refilling facility in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India on 4 May 2021. (Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

India's coronavirus crisis is the world's crisis. Politics needs to take a back seat.

In hindsight, Zhu Zhiqun analyses some of India’s missteps that have left it ill-prepared to handle the second wave of Covid-19. China and other countries should learn from this: it is still not time to slacken one's vigilance against Covid-19, and a friend in need is a friend indeed.
Patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 are seen inside a centre of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) village which has been temporarily converted into a Covid care facility in New Delhi on 2 May 2021. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP)

Chinese authorities' Weibo post lambasted for mocking India's coronavirus crisis

A recent post from an official social media account of the Chinese authorities mocking India’s coronavirus situation has been removed following intense debate. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu speaks to Chinese academics, who note that such crass comparisons do no favours for China’s image in the international arena.
Pedestrians walk along the banks of the River Thames in view of the Battersea Power Station office, retail and residential development in the Nine Elms district in London, UK, 7 January 2021. (Hollie Adams/Bloomberg)

Life is short. Would you risk yours for a Covid-19 'challenge trial'?

As Covid-19 “challenge trials” in the UK get underway where volunteers are intentionally infected with the coronavirus, Chip Tsao ponders how many of us would put our lives on the line for the greater good? Would having a Western or Chinese mindset have a part to play in the decisions made? And would cultural differences such as the Chinese focus on self-preservation explain why China was better at getting the epidemic under control? 
"Lost in a scarlet sea of fire"

[Comic] A Chinese youth waves goodbye to 2020

Amid the pandemic that has been ravaging the globe, the year 2020 has come to an end. Young comic artist Bai Yi looks at the world with all its scars battling a virus, the deteriorating environment, the faulty human systems, and the seemingly incomprehensible foolishness displayed by the adults.