Human rights

A woman hands out sheet of paper in protest over Covid-19 restrictions in mainland China, during a commemoration of the victims of a fire in Urumqi, at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), in Hong Kong, China, 29 November 2022. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Why first-generation Chinese immigrants in the UK fear speaking up

Freelance writer He Yue muses about why first-generation Chinese immigrants in the UK are keeping silent about Chinese politics, even for those who have opinions about what is happening in China. It seems that the opportunities for democracy and freedom while living abroad are still not enough to get them to share how they really feel, even in private chat groups among friends.
People gather as they hold candles and white sheets of paper to support protests in China regarding Covid-19 restrictions at National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, 30 November 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Why did the Taiwanese support China's A4 revolution?

Taiwanese academic Ho Ming-sho asserts that Taiwan’s show of solidarity with protestors in China’s A4 revolution is better understood under the lens of the history of the island’s pursuit of its own identity. He explains why Taiwan’s civil-society actors chose to react to the protests on universal values, rather than national sentiment.
Italian Prime Minister and leader of Brothers of Italy party Giorgia Meloni gestures as she attends an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Brothers of Italy party in Rome, Italy, 17 December 2022. (Remo Casilli/Reuters)

Italy’s right-wing government can't make up its mind about China?

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her party seem to be adopting a see-saw position on China, notes Italian academic Alessandro Albana. In contrast to voicing strong criticisms in the run-up to the elections, the new right-wing government seems to be engaging China, not least with PM Meloni striking a rapport with China’s President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Bali. Do economic imperatives trump election rhetoric after all?
Workers wearing personal protective gear at an area placed under lockdown due to Covid-19 in Beijing, China, on 12 October 2022. (Bloomberg)

Where will the zero-Covid policy and Xi’s third term lead China?

China’s strict zero-Covid policy has led to lockdowns and other extreme measures in various cities, as local officials follow directions from the top. However, the people are pushing back, as their daily life is impacted in all sorts of ways. Chinese commentator Ma Haotian believes that the decision makers are caught between a rock and a hard place as either maintaining or easing the strict zero-Covid measures comes with painful consequences.
"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.