History

Professor Wang Huning (left) with the writer at the international university Chinese language debate competition in Singapore, 1993.

Taiwanese photo collector: How I met Xi's top brain, Wang Huning, in Singapore

Photo collector Hsu Chung-mao tells us how he first met current Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Huning over 30 years ago at an international university debate competition in Singapore, when Wang was a university professor in charge of a debate team. Wang subsequently became a prominent strategist for Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, as well as current President Xi Jinping. This article gives a glimpse into Wang’s approach to debating and politics.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin waves from his car following talks with Laurent Fabius, speaker of the French National Assembly, in Paris, France, 25 October 1999. (Charles Platiau/File Photo/Reuters)

Jiang Zemin: The Chinese leader whose achievements outweighed the shortcomings

US academic Zhu Zhiqun gives an assessment of the late former President Jiang Zemin’s policies during his time leading China throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s.
A mural in Chinatown depicting a letter writer. (SPH Media)

Singaporean Mandarin Database: Recognising the uniqueness of the Singaporean Chinese identity

Associate Professor Tan Chee Lay, principal investigator of the Singaporean Mandarin Database, shares some interesting Singaporean Mandarin phrases and says it is time that we recognise our Chinese linguistic features as part of the Singaporean Chinese identity formed in a multicultural social setting.
Elderly eat in a community canteen in Changbai county, Jilin province, China, on 17 November 2022. (CNS)

Not everything has to be run by the state: Thoughts on communal canteens in China

US academic Wu Guo looks at the recent online furore over the mushrooming of state-run communal canteens in China and offers his views from the US. While providing food for the needy should be part of the state's responsibility, there should also be space for civil society, private enterprises and the public to play a role to create kind and healthy communities.
People stand in a queue outside a restaurant along the popular Yaowarat Road in the Chinatown area of Bangkok, Thailand, on 5 September 2022. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP)

An imagined China and feeling Chinese in Thailand

Thai academic Sittithep Eaksittipong explains how the Thai rulers of the past used emotion as a political tool to assimilate the Chinese overseas in Thailand. Fast forward to today and the Thai Chinese are more confident of their identity, and feeling Chinese has less to do with developments in China. If anything, the latter is used as a means to chastise the Thai government.
New Politburo Standing Committee members Xi Jinping, Li Qiang, Zhao Leji, Wang Huning, Cai Qi, Ding Xuexiang and Li Xi arrive to meet the media following the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 23 October 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Unlike Taiwan, mainland China lacks top women leaders

Taiwanese academic Chang-Ling Huang explains the importance of gender quota laws in pushing forward women’s representation in politics, observing that while China and Japan have had poor women political representation, Taiwan has managed to be a bright spot in East Asia.
Participants run past Tiananmen Gate during the Beijing Marathon in Beijing, China, 6 November 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Chinese ambassador Sun Haiyan: Why not think about China in this way?

Chinese ambassador to Singapore Sun Haiyan responds to an article by Lee Huay Leng, editor-in-chief of SPH Chinese Media Group. She notes that while individual stories have to be remembered, national policies have to take into account the big picture. The difficult but necessary decisions taken on Covid management reflect this.
Nadine Hwang, who led a storied life, was known as the 'Chinese Joan of Arc'.

The story of Nadine Hwang: The ‘Chinese Joan of Arc’

Photo collector Zou Dehuai tells the story of Nadine Hwang, a half-Chinese woman who was a rare breed in every sense of the term. Her dramatic life took her from Madrid to China and the salons of Paris, to a concentration camp in Germany, and eventually to Belgium. Amid the tragedy of war, she found love, and through it all, lived life with great spirit.
Cooperatives seem to be making a return in China, like this one in Heilongjiang. (Internet)

Cooperatives are making a comeback. Is China preparing for combat and famine?

Cooperatives that used to manage agricultural and other daily resources in China faded away during China's reform and opening up, but recently, they were highlighted again by the state media and promoted in various regions. Chinese people are concerned if this means that the government is going to further tighten its grip on the economy or that China is preparing for the likelihood of containment and even war?