Human rights

"Doctors scour mountains and the sea to exterminate every single virus."

[Comic] Dystopia or 'a beautiful new world'?

Comic artist Bai Yi's artwork gives a glimpse into a dystopian world where individual lives are considered insignificant before the all-powerful and all-important state machine, and where herculean efforts are needed to uphold the dignity of human lives.
A woman uses her mobile phone as she rides an escalator past an advertising board at a business district in Beijing, China, on 16 May 2022. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

The dwindling space for public opinion in China

Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo, Bilibili and Douyin have announced measures to clean up the use of miswritten words and homonyms that could be related to sensitive terms, sparking backlash from netizens. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong tells us more.
A man rides a scooter with two children on board during a Covid-19 lockdown in the Jing'an district of Shanghai, China, on 25 May 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Chinese netizens lament barbarity of one-child policy era

A recent case of a couple looking for their son who was taken from them as a baby and “reallocated” in the 1990s has been circulating online, prompting the question of how many other similar cases of “reallocation” have happened over the years in China. What is the fate of these children, and can they be found?
Abortion rights protesters gather at the Utah State Capitol after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision, in Salt Lake City, Utah, US, 24 June 2022. (Jim Urquhart/File Photo/Reuters)

The US is more divided than ever

US academic Han Dongping believes that the US society is more divided than ever and this has led to a high risk of violent social conflicts. Extreme actions taken by anti-abortionists, gunmen and white supremacists are just some of the issues that characterise today’s American society. Meanwhile, politicians either have their hands tied in solving these problems, or are using them as political campaign tools.
Demonstrators hold banners during a protest over the freezing of deposits by rural-based banks, outside a People's Bank of China building in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China, 10 July 2022, in this screengrab taken from a video obtained by Reuters. (Reuters)

Henan rural banks scam: It's about public trust in the government

Rural bank depositors have clashed with police after finding themselves unable to withdraw their funds, prompting financial regulators to step in and repay customers on behalf of the banks first. If this exercise is not handled delicately, will trust between the people and government be affected? Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu speaks to bank customers and academics to find out more.
Balconies at a compound in Sihanoukville are covered with iron grilles to prevent escapes.

Chinese scam rings in Cambodia drawing recruits from Southeast Asia

Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies, but it has also become a hotbed of Chinese telecoms and online scams targeted at mainland Chinese in recent years. Most of the scam rings based in Sihanoukville recruit mainland Chinese, but have also started to bring in Chinese from Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Once duped into joining their firms, these workers are trapped and forced to work as online scammers. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim visited Sihanoukville in May to get a better picture.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on a giant screen as he delivers a speech at the event marking the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, 1 July 2021. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

China’s pragmatic party diplomacy in Southeast Asia

The Chinese Communist Party’s outreach to political parties in Southeast Asia, regardless of ideology, underscores the pragmatism in President Xi Jinping’s plan for regional influence. From issues of the economy to human rights, the CCP is clearly seeking to counter the Western narrative and improve its image in Southeast Asia.
A woman rides a bicycle along a street in Beijing, China, on 6 April 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP)

Why China's 'peaceful rise' will be particularly difficult

EAI academic Lance Gore notes that China’s “peaceful rise” is a particular hard sell because it involves the rise of a major heterogeneous civilisational power, which is different from the mere transfer of hegemony between states from the same civilisation. Thus China needs to work on gaining acceptance from the international community by conveying the merits of its civilisational traits and avoiding pitfalls such as a reversion to cultural dead wood or failed Marxist orthodoxy.
The Texas state flag is flown at half-mast, in honor of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting, outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, on 31 May 2022. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Competition between democracy and autocracy a political fallacy

The US has defined major global events such as the war in Ukraine and its competition with China under the ideological framework of a fight between democracy and autocracy. But is the 21st century world just black and white? Lim Jim Koon, former editor-in-chief of Chinese Media Group, SPH Media, suggests that before we criticise others and demand them to change, maybe we should start by examining ourselves.