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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.