Population

Residential buildings under construction in Shanghai, China, on 9 November 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China lines up yet more aid for the property sector, but will it be enough?

Caixin notes that China is poised to roll out more policies to assist developers in an increasingly desperate attempt to arrest a protracted downturn of the multi-trillion-dollar property sector. However, amid the perform storm of changing demographics, Covid-19 disruptions, weakening demand and Beijing’s campaign of deleveraging, industry practitioners are bracing for a tough battle.
Pedestrians in the Pudong's Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, on 10 October 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Large population no longer an asset to China's long-term growth

Chinese academic Han Heyuan notes that while China is claiming that its economic growth outlook remains healthy, the signs are there that changes to its population would also mean changes to its economic growth. Other factors such as dependence on overseas markets would also come into play.
This file photo taken on 2 August 2022 shows a woman pushing a trolley with twins along a street in Beijing, China. (Noel Celis/AFP)

China's 'little emperors' of the 1980s are now the most burdened generation

China has more than 170 million sandwich-generation families. While the sandwich generation grew up in the 80s as "little emperors", they are feeling the strain now with the double pressure of looking after their children and the elderly. Most of them focus on "children first", but if a married couple’s parents live in two different cities, that makes it even harder to care for all four parents at the same time.
"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.
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.
A Chinese flag flutters near people lining up to get tested at a makeshift nucleic acid testing site, amid Covid-19 outbreak in Beijing, China, 18 May 2022. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Why Xi Jinping's bold experiments with socialism are commendable

While China’s market-based socialism with Chinese characteristics has lifted many out of poverty, creating the Chinese miracle, the ills of abiding by the “laws of the market” should be tackled and reined in. In the ever-evolving model of new socialism, a mechanism needs to be established that can raise and maintain a good standard of living in the absence of economic growth. This is so that people can transcend the pursuit of the material and live their lives with meaning and purpose.
Graduates attend a graduation ceremony at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 13 June 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

Record 10.76 million Chinese university graduates face bleak job market and struggling economy

With over ten million Chinese university students set to graduate this year, the competition for jobs will be more intense than ever, and it does not help that certain sectors are scaling back recruitments for various reasons. Can the potential mismatch of jobs and skills be rectified? And will the impact of youth employment difficulties spill over to other areas?
This file photo taken on 25 April 2021 shows a medical staff member taking care of a newborn baby in the paediatric ward of a hospital in Fuyang in China's eastern Anhui province. (AFP)

China wants to reverse its high abortion rate with pro-birth policies, and young women are not happy

As a result of the country’s now-abolished one-child policy and other factors, abortion has gained wide acceptance among women in China. A recent work plan by the national family planning unit stated its intention to “intervene” in abortions for unmarried women has sparked backlash that women would lose their reproductive autonomy. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong speaks with researchers and Chinese women to understand the policy implications on women’s rights and how the issue will impact China’s shrinking birth rate.
This file handout picture taken and released on 17 December 2019 by the Indonesian Presidential Palace shows Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (left) during his visit to North Penajam Paser district near Sepaku in East Kalimantan, where the government plans to build its new capital city replacing Jakarta. (Handout/Indonesian Presidential Palace/AFP)

Jokowi's plan for Indonesia's new capital: Who benefits?

A law recently passed by the Jokowi government regarding the relocation of the nation's capital to East Kalimantan has generated much controversy. ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata notes that while there are objections relating to the conservation and ecology in Kalimantan, greater protests are coming from the anti-Jokowi camp that believe only a handful of wealthy people will benefit, and fear that the new capital will be controlled by foreign countries, especially China. Jokowi is in a race against time to move the capital before the next election.