Economic recovery

A woman wearing a face mask is seen on a tourist electric car at a shopping area in Shanghai, China, on 16 June 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

After Covid-19: People can't wait to visit China again

Lianhe Zaobao reporter Chen Jing was shocked to see a long queue of people when she went to apply for a visa at the Chinese Visa Application Service Center in Singapore. Assigned to be the paper’s correspondent in Shanghai just before the coronavirus threw a spanner in the works, Chen has done her fair share of virtual reporting from her home in Singapore. She looks forward to the day that she can be on the ground in Shanghai, now that Singapore and China have installed the “fast lane” for essential travel.
Workers labor at the construction site of an elevated highway on the outskirts of Shanghai, 12 June 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Even as the US obstructs its way, how can China build trust for the BRI?

Yu Hong says while the US is mobilising all of its national strength to try to convince the international community to stand against the BRI, there are ways that China’s Belt and Road Initiative can have a second wind. As China rises to the challenge of advancing its “grand strategy” amid a global economy ravaged by Covid-19 and an increasingly hostile international environment, the key to solving its woes is in building trust. 
A police robot keeps watch on a shopping street in Shanghai, following the Covid-19 outbreak, on 16 June 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Smart cities: The future of ASEAN-China cooperation

In the post-Covid-19 world, global supply chains are expected to be reconfigured as countries look to reduce their reliance on China. Enter greater room for ASEAN-China cooperation, particularly in areas related to the digital economy, such as in the development of smart cities. Associate Professor Gu Qingyang of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) sets out the arguments.
Street vendors wait for customers at their vegetable stalls in Jingzhou, 27 March 2020. (Aly Song/REUTERS)

Street stalls: Saviour of livelihoods for ordinary Chinese after Covid-19?

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei once ran a stall selling slimming pills, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma used to sell small items in Zhejiang. In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the street stall economy is making a comeback in China. These stalls were popular in the 1980s and 1990s but declined with efforts by authorities to clean up the streets. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan weighs the pros and cons of reviving the street stall economy.
Paramilitary soldiers from the Border Security Force patrol a street during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Ahmedabad, India, on 8 May 2020. (Sam Panthaky/AFP)

China and India say 'no' to Trump's offer to mediate border tensions

Anti-Chinese and anti-Indian sentiment have been stoked by recent escalating incidents along the Line of Actual Control between China and India. While tensions are still simmering, will they boil over into violent clashes if too many cooks spoil the broth?
People commute on a bus during morning rush hour in Beijing on 22 May 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

China's turn towards domestic market amid global uncertainties — good for the world?

China is speeding up its construction of a “domestic circulation system” to complement its international efforts, in a bid to protect itself from any anticipated effects of decoupling from global supply chains. If the world wishes to cut itself off from China, it seems to say, so be it, as it can make its own plans.
People with face masks are seen at a square near residential buildings under construction in Xianning, Hubei, China, on 25 March 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Property now a liability for China’s middle class

With salary cuts, housing loans on their backs and little means of generating cash flow, middle-class workers across China’s cities are walking the tightrope of trying to maintain their living standards while keeping up with their mortgage payments. The recently-announced stimulus plan may not solve their housing woes either.
Military delegates leave the Great Hall of the People after a meeting ahead of National People's Congress (NPC), China's annual session of parliament, in Beijing, 4 March 2019. (Aly Song/REUTERS)

China's military spending amid the pandemic: Will it go up or down this year?

China's economy has taken a hit from the pandemic, but in the face of external challenges from the US and concerns over cross-straits relations, military spending is expected to be one major topic at China’s upcoming "two sessions". Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan examines the evidence as to whether it will go up or down.
Professor Wang Gungwu speaks on China, the coronavirus, and the prospect of a divided world. (SPH)

Wang Gungwu: Even if the West has lost its way, China may not be heir apparent

In a wide-ranging email interview with ThinkChina editor Chow Yian Ping, sinologist Wang Gungwu shares his thoughts on how China and the world have changed because of the pandemic. He keenly observes that Chinese leaders have sought greater control over the population in recent years, and the situation will worsen as the pandemic deepens their insecurities. On the international stage, an intense clash of interests among the major powers looks set to keep nations divided. On the micro-level however, he takes heart that a “globalisation from below” is taking place; the fact that the virus knows no borders has brought people closer together, with opportunities for reset.