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The Lion Grove Garden in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. (Photo: Haryani Ismail)

Bai Juyi: This Tang dynasty poet enjoyed a good life

Cultural historian Cheng Pei-kai gives us a glimpse into the life of Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi, whose later years were leisurely spent as a carefree and frivolous official often writing about the blazing heat of summer.
Transmission lines pass in front of the construction site of Shenmu Shenxin power station, a coal-fired power plant, in Shenmu, Shaanxi province, China, on 20 November 2023. (Colleen Howe/Reuters)

China’s ambitious clean energy development raises questions on efficiency

The expansion of renewable energy in China has been driven by the government’s 2020 pledge to reach peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060. But the reshaping of a new energy order still has a long way to go.
A rescuer is helping a resident to get on a vehicle in Zhuozhou on 1 August 2023.

How a 140-year flood caught Beijing and nearby cities off guard

After experiencing the hottest June on record for the city, Beijing is now witnessing the most rainfall in the 140 years since records began. How did Typhoon Doksuri bring the prolonged heavy rainfall to northern China thousands of kilometres away from its landing point?
Commuters ride bicycles along a street at the central business district in Beijing, China, on 8 July 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

Huawei founder: Global economic outlook will be grim for next few years

In a recent internal memo, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei did not beat around the bush in warning of the dire global economic situation. Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong notes that Ren is merely being candid about what has already been iterated by heads of states and economic experts. Amid a war in Europe, supply chain disruptions, geopolitical tensions and domestic economic troubles, can China hope for a recovery in the foreseeable future?
This aerial photo taken on 21 July 2022 shows a bucket wheel machine tranferring coal at a coal storage centre in Jiujiang, in China's central Jiangxi province. (AFP)

Sichuan power crunch sparks calls for rethink of coal in China's energy mix

Extreme weather and declining water levels at hydropower reservoirs in Sichuan are sparking worries of a power crunch across China. This has forced electricity cuts to businesses and households in the province of 84 million people, along with loud calls for a rethink of coal in the nation’s energy mix, putting a spanner in the works of its goal to reach peak carbon emissions by 2030.
This photo taken on 16 August 2022 shows a section of a parched riverbed along the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China. (AFP)

Electricity woes further dampen China’s hopes of economic recovery

While China has yet to emerge from the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic and its ailing real estate sector, power shortages caused by severe weather conditions are adding to its woes. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu tells us more about the severity of the power crunch, and its far-reaching impact across regions and industries.
Members of social organisations demonstrate after camping overnight at Plaza de Mayo square in front of Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires on 11 August 2022, during a protest demanding better wages and more jobs and a meeting with Argentina's new economy minister Sergio Massa. Argentina has suffered years of economic crisis, with some 37% of its population now living in poverty. Inflation for the first half of this year alone topped 36%. (Luis Robayo/AFP)

Can the world survive these six crises?

Economics professor Zhang Rui identifies the main crises faced by global economies today, their various effects, and how they are interrelated. How will governments handle these challenges and work together to ease the impact of what seems to be a perfect storm of negative factors?
Commuters walk past a Fight Dengue banner at an MRT station in Singapore on 15 May 2020. (SPH Media)

When a Singaporean tries fighting mosquitoes in Beijing

Beijing-based Singaporean Jessie Tan recounts her experience in keeping her residential compound safe from potentially harmful mosquitoes. While mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent in some countries such as Singapore, the local Chinese would find it rather unusual in their part of the world, leaving one to reflect how different environments breed different concerns.
A woman guides a boy learning to cycle below power lines in Beijing, China, on 13 October 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Why China will continue to experience power cuts

Erik Baark takes a bird’s eye view of the structure of energy supply and demand in China, analysing how macro issues led to the September 2021 rash of power cuts across China. He notes that China's continued development needs energy, and a shift from heavy industries to services or high-tech fields does not mean that the country's energy needs will decrease. The Chinese government is looking to new and renewable energy resources to take the place of the old, but transitioning to new energy sources is not an easy process, especially when different actors are trying to protect their own terrain and a mindset change is necessary. It will be a tall order for the Chinese government to get local governments, old power grid corporations and the public to align with new policies and thinking. All this means that power cuts will not be going away anytime soon.