Energy resources

Employees work on the assembly line during a construction completion event of SAIC Volkswagen MEB electric vehicle plant in Shanghai, China, 8 November 2019. (Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters)

Will Europe pour more money into China?

This year’s dramatic geopolitical changes have significantly altered the calculus for foreign investment in China as large European enterprises are increasingly taking the lead and Japanese businesses are retreating in manufacturing and advancing in services. American companies, on the other hand, are frozen as the US government imposes tough sanctions on China’s tech sector and as manufacturers weigh strategic moves back to the US.
A liquified natural gas (LNG) storage tank and workers are reflected in a puddle at PetroChina's receiving terminal at Rudong port in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China, 4 September 2018. (Stringer/Reuters)

From electric blankets to natural gas: Europe’s dependence on China for winter heating

As energy prices soar in Europe, the continent has been turning to China to get it through the approaching winter, from purchasing electric blankets and thermal stockings to importing natural gas. Zaobao’s China Desk explores the geopolitical factors involved and how Europe is both dependent on China and resistant to this dependence.
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.
Foreign tourists walk past a banner of the G20 for the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesia resort island of Bali on 14 July 2022. (Sonny Tumbelaka/Pool/AFP)

Indonesia’s G20 presidency: Carving out a path for developing countries' representation

Amid a world shaken by global events, President Jokowi has done his fair share of shuttle diplomacy in the lead-up to the G20 Summit in Bali later this year. While Indonesia has the potential to play an intermediary role among global powers, it remains circumspect and looks to push forward the G20 agenda in incremental and achievable steps.
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?
Taiwanese soldiers take part in a military drill at an undisclosed location in Taiwan, on 8 August 2022 in this handout picture released on 10 August 2022. (Taiwan Military News Agency/Handout via Reuters)

Indonesia’s elites respond to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

Indonesia has long pursued a free and independent foreign policy that does not take sides, says ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata. However, with increased tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the diplomatic elites and experts in Indonesia have strongly objected to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and criticised the US’s “double standards” in its foreign policy. Indonesia will therefore need to weigh its interests and consider its gains and losses in the competition between the two superpowers.
A young woman walks in the train station of Pokrovsk, eastern Ukraine, on 2 August 2022. (Bulent Kilic/AFP)

Russia-Ukraine war: Impacts on global supply chains and China-Ukraine relations

Ukrainian academic Olga Brusylovska explains why the world economy and food supply are in turmoil from the Russia-Ukraine war, and how the war is also affecting China-Ukraine relations and China's trade and investments in Ukraine.
A conveyer belt dumps iron ore into a pile at an iron ore transfer and storage centre operated by the Shanghai International Port Group in Shanghai, China, on 26 January 2010. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China’s plan to break foreign iron ore dependence — mine more at home

China's "Foundation Plan" for iron ore has gained much official support, and is aimed at reducing reliance on foreign sources of iron, including Africa and Australia. The only way to do this effectively is for China to ramp up mining of its own iron resources. However, these resources are scattered and difficult to access, and of lower grade. This means China has its work cut out if it is to succeed.