Coming to the end of his second term, Indonesian President Jokowi is still enjoying influence in Indonesian politics, with analysts believing that whoever he endorses will end up the winner in the presidential election in February 2024. How critical will the Chinese Indonesian vote be? ISEAS academic Leo Suryadinata explains.
Former Zaobao editor Lim Jim Koon observes that zaobao.com was recently lumped in with “local media” of China in one of the Japanese media reports. Intentionally or not, this is one of the ways that Singapore’s leading Chinese-language newspaper has sometimes been cast as pro-China or anti-China to suit the narratives of others. As China-US tensions intensify in the new Year of the Rabbit, the paper, and perhaps Singapore too, must brace itself for labels being cast on it, and keep vigilant in staying the course and guarding its own interests.
Despite repeated warnings from Beijing, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan. Her act has triggered strong reactions from Chinese netizens, raising Chinese national sentiment to a new high. Beijing has strongly condemned the visit, sent jet fighters over the Taiwan Strait and said that it would conduct live-fire exercises around the island. It has also announced economic sanctions on Taiwan, and warned of more "long-term, resolute and steadily advancing actions”. Zaobao's Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu examines the situation.
The Beijing Winter Olympics has featured some naturalised China athletes, not least skier Eileen Gu and figure skater Zhu Yi, as well as the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. These naturalised athletes have come under close scrutiny, and Zhu Yi’s poor performance in particular has come under fire. What makes for an effective naturalised athlete policy?
The Chinese authorities’ recent moves to regulate industries from internet platforms to tutoring to gaming have prompted fears of a new Cultural Revolution. Despite benign intentions expressed and a clear line drawn in the sand on history, what are people so afraid of? Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong ponders the question.
Personalities such as actress/producer Vicki Zhao and music multi-hyphenate Gao Xiaosong have recently been scrubbed from the Chinese internet. Curiously, among the “wrongs” they are thought to have committed, a common one between them is having strong links to big capital Alibaba. What are the authorities saying with this latest clampdown on well-connected pop culture icons? Is an engineered social revolution under way?
Yang Danxu observes that the Chinese are becoming more confident about refuting Western media reports they deem erroneous or biased. This stems from recent events such as growing US-China antagonism, China’s rise and even some goading on by the authorities. But if unleashed in a vacuum, nationalist sentiment can be a dangerous sword that ends up hurting the one who wields it.
Researcher Wei Da notes that China and the US have been moving on increasingly divergent paths, to the point that relations may soon be irrevocably broken. Despite China’s confidence that it can make it without the US, its strong nationalism may be all that keeps it going.
The Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the 20th century goes down in history as proof that if the Chinese are weak, the West will take advantage and China will pay the price. It is a constant reminder to the Chinese of their past humiliations and guides their dealings with the West today. Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao shares illustrations of the tumultuous times during that period.