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Ai Weiwei in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal, 3 March 2021. (Pedro Nunes/Reuters)

Do artworks need to be patriotic? Hong Kong politicians fight over Ai Weiwei's 'middle finger photograph'

In itself, a subversive artwork by Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei to be shown at Hong Kong’s new M+ museum may not have drawn such attention. But under the shadow of the national security law in Hong Kong and the looming chief executive election, everything is magnified a hundredfold.
Supporters of former US President Donald Trump hold flags and signs near Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, US, on 20 January 2021. (Saul Martinez/Bloomberg)

US Capitol siege: Lessons for China in a post-reality, post-truth era

Deep divisions in the US highlighted by the US presidential election and storming of the Capitol show that we are entering a post-reality, post-truth era. In such a world, closely cocooned online groups perpetuate a self-confirming bias and take fiction for fact. When strident positions are taken offline and “reality” and reality go head to head, is it a tragedy akin to China’s Cultural Revolution waiting to happen?
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's chief executive, centre, walks in an area under lockdown in the Jordan area of Hong Kong, China, on 23 January 2021. (Paul Yeung/Bloomberg)

The race is on: Picking Hong Kong’s next chief executive

The Hong Kong chief executive elections are still a year away but speculation is rife as to the possible contenders in the race. Tai Hing Shing surveys the field and does not discount incumbent Carrie Lam.
A sign welcoming US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is placed near the US Capitol days after supporters of US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in Washington, US, 10 January 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Can America find its way under Biden?

His divisive ways had earned President Donald Trump the moniker “Trump who builds our nation” amongst Chinese netizens. When President-elect Biden assumes power, will he be straitjacketed by the radical left in his party and be turned unwittingly into another “Biden who builds our nation” to the Chinese? Will America's troubles translate to opportunities for China?
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather at the west entrance of the Capitol during a "Stop the Steal" protest outside of the Capitol building in Washington D.C., 6 January 2021. (Stephanie Keith/REUTERS)

Capitol siege: Is American democracy doomed?

US academic Zhu Zhiqun gives his take on the future of US leadership and the state of its democracy, making the sad observation that from now on, no one in the world is likely to see, respect, or depend on the US in the same way again. But is American democracy truly doomed?
A supporter of President-elect Joe Biden celebrate his victory in Wilmington, Delaware on 7 November 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP)

Chinese liberal intellectuals divided over Trump and the US elections

Liberal intellectuals in China are not a monolithic group. While the elites within the community once served to moderate divergent views, disagreements laid bare by the recent US elections shows that deeper schisms run deep, especially between those espousing conservative and liberal views.
Protesters rally outside the Georgia State Capitol against the results of the 2020 Presidential election on 21 November 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images/AFP)

The US remains leader and pioneer of civilised societies despite unsettled election

US-based researcher Wei Da notes that many in China believe the US will soon be in chaos following an unsettled 2020 US presidential election. He says that while the election has indeed highlighted the widening chasm in the US between conservatism and liberalism, and brought forth calls for change in the electoral system, the US remains a leader and pioneer in seeking out new and innovative ways to advance civilised societies.
President-elect Joe Biden waves to supporters as he leaves the Queen theater after receiving a briefing from the transition COVID-19 advisory board on 9 November 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)

The US is getting old but China is still too green

Zhou Nongjian observes that there was a large slate of older candidates in this year’s US elections including incumbent President Trump who is 74 and President-elect Joe Biden who is 78. It is not an exact science of course, but he notes that this large crop of “oldies” is a metaphor for a greying America, or put bluntly, a country that is fast deteriorating and way past its prime. Notwithstanding, will China be fooled by such a veneer of weakness or stay watchful and humble?
People celebrate at Times Square in New York after Joe Biden was declared winner of the 2020 presidential election on 7 November 2020. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP)

Biden presidency a turning point for China-US relations?

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan says that while US President-elect Joe Biden will have his hands full with domestic issues when he assumes office, at the very least, his approach to US-China relations will be less antagonistic than that of his predecessor’s. That in itself leaves room for the relationship to move forward from ground zero.