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People celebrate in the streets with members of Guinea's armed forces after the arrest of Guinea's president, Alpha Conde, in a coup d'etat in Conakry, Guinea, 5 September 2021. (Cellou Binani/AFP)

Guinea coup: Why did non-interventionist China speak up?

Many were caught off-guard when China made forceful statements against the military coup in Guinea. Hasn't China always been circumspect and asked countries to resolve their internal issues well in past such cases? Perhaps Guinea being China’s leading source of bauxite for its aluminum industry is a key motivation. Or perhaps it is a case of finally feeling the need to step up to a greater international role? Zaobao’s China Desk examines the issue.
Left to right: Chinese pop culture icon Gao Xiaosong (Internet), Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma (Bloomberg), and actress/producer Vicki Zhao (Weibo).

Celebrities scrubbed from the Chinese internet: Victims of China’s social revolution?

Personalities such as actress/producer Vicki Zhao and music multi-hyphenate Gao Xiaosong have recently been scrubbed from the Chinese internet. Curiously, among the “wrongs” they are thought to have committed, a common one between them is having strong links to big capital Alibaba. What are the authorities saying with this latest clampdown on well-connected pop culture icons? Is an engineered social revolution under way?
Afghan nationals return back to Afghanistan from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on 17 August 2021. (AFP)

'Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow’?

With the US pullout in Afghanistan leading to chaos, many are questioning if the US has lost credibility around the world. Events in Afghanistan have also sparked discussions in Taiwan about US reliability if fighting breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, so much so that Taiwan premier Su Tseng-chang has spoken out to calm the people's nerves. Lianhe Zaobao speaks with various Taiwanese academics to get a sense of the situation.
Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin (left) greets Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana (right) as Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (centre) looks on at Camp Aguinaldo military in Manila on 30 July 2021. (Rolex Dela Pena/AFP)

US and Southeast Asia need to cultivate common interests and understanding

Compared to China, the Biden administration has been slow off the blocks in the game of winning friends and influencing people in Southeast Asia. It has its work cut out for it.
China's Yang Qian celebrates on the podium after winning the women's 10m air rifle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Asaka Shooting Range in the Nerima district of Tokyo, Japan, on 24 July 2021. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP)

Does China still need Olympic gold medals to prove its worth?

Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk examines China’s obsession with Olympic gold, whether for sports or geopolitical reasons. Chinese netizens are gaining notoriety for their sometimes searing comments on Chinese and foreign Olympians. Meanwhile, China's state media is busy steering public opinion towards being less fixated on gold medals and to have a more holistic view of the Olympic Games. Not only that, young Chinese Olympians are being profiled and praised. Could the positivity and dynamism of the post-00s generation be the best face of China’s future?
Mima Ito and Jun Mizutani of Japan celebrate winning their match against Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen of China, Tokyo Olympics, 26 July 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Japan-bashing by Chinese netizens: A lack of sportsmanship during the Olympics?

A week into the Tokyo Olympics and the Chinese internet is already a minefield of anti-Japan sentiments. Displeasure ranges from Japan’s win over China in the table-tennis mixed doubles to perceived slights against China. By playing the nationalism card, Chinese netizens are not doing China any favours in the run-up to next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics.
A woman walks past a decorated board with images of Tiananmen Gate and the Chinese national flag, marking the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, at a hi-tech industrial park in Beijing, China, 23 June 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Chinese butting heads with Western media: Irrational nationalism or deeds of justice?

Yang Danxu observes that the Chinese are becoming more confident about refuting Western media reports they deem erroneous or biased. This stems from recent events such as growing US-China antagonism, China’s rise and even some goading on by the authorities. But if unleashed in a vacuum, nationalist sentiment can be a dangerous sword that ends up hurting the one who wields it.
People look at images showing Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Communist Party of China that was opened ahead of the 100th founding anniversary of the Party in Beijing, China, 25 June 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

'Red peril' or benign power: How different is China's CCP from USSR's CPSU?

Whether the Communist Party of China will escape the fate of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union depends greatly on the extent to which it has rooted out the six major ills that plagued the Soviet system. Only then can it rise smoothly and peacefully to the benefit of the world.
A boy holds up a US flag as guests attend Independence Day celebrations at the White House in Washington, DC, 4 July 2021. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)

Can China hold its own without the US?

Researcher Wei Da notes that China and the US have been moving on increasingly divergent paths, to the point that relations may soon be irrevocably broken. Despite China’s confidence that it can make it without the US, its strong nationalism may be all that keeps it going.