Technology

Students take part in an evacuation drill in a primary school in Kunming, Yunnan province, China, 11 May 2022. (CNS)

China wants to create a new democratic system. Is that possible?

Domestic and external pressures compel China to face the issue of democracy. With growing affluence and diversity in the population, the government needs to find a way to incorporate various views that goes beyond the Mao-era “mass line”. In forging a new path, the Chinese Communist Party is feeling its way around bringing about a socialist neo-democracy, or what has been verbalised as “whole-process people’s democracy”. But what stands in the way of putting thought into action?
Primary school students work with flour during a cooking lesson in school, in Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, China, on 13 May 2022. (Xinhua)

Chinese kids to undergo nine years of culinary training: Parents are worried 

China’s education ministry recently introduced a new curriculum for primary and secondary students with the aim of teaching life skills. From cooking to technology applications, young children will be better equipped to face society. However, parents have voiced their concerns about the added burden on both children and parents.
A resident looks on behind barriers at a fruit shop, during lockdown, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Shanghai, China, 16 May 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Covid-stricken Shanghai is down, but is it out?

The seemingly unending lockdown in Shanghai has taken a toll on investor confidence, leading to some entrepreneurs and companies talking about leaving the city. Zaobao’s Shanghai correspondent Chen Jing surveys the short-term reactions and long-term outlook of China's top financial city.
A newsagent picks up magazines next to a mural by Italian urban artist Salvatore Benintende aka "TV BOY" depicting a girl painting a peace symbol on an Ukraine's flag, reading "Hope" in Barcelona, Spain, on 30 April 2022. (Pau Barrena/AFP)

Russian academic: Whose ideology will rule an emerging 21st century world?

Amid a changing global order, Russian academic Artyom Lukin analyses the different ideologies of the US, China and Russia and explains why it would be hasty to lump Russia and China in one camp or to dismiss the similarities between the US and Russia. In the end, the ideology that rules the emerging new world may not even be that of any of the three countries.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets troops who have taken part in the military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), 29 April 2022. (KCNA via Reuters)

Can South Korea’s Yoon and China’s Xi denuclearise North Korea?

North Korea conducted an unprecedented seven missile tests in January and continues to test boundaries as it isolates itself from the world amid the Ukraine war. Yoon Suk-Yeol, who becomes South Korea’s president on 10 May, has every reason to work with Chinese President Xi Jinping on denuclearising North Korea. But will joint efforts be a casualty of tectonic shifts in the global landscape?
The ponds left by rare earth mining in Longnan city in Ganzhou, China, in March 2022. (Ding Gang/Caixin)

China's rare earth mining could cause irreversible environmental harm

Despite its economic benefits for locals, rare earth extraction has become quite a headache for the people of Ganzhou, Jiangxi province. They have been left with toxic water and contaminated soil which has an impact on the livelihoods of farmers nearby. With a lack of funding and technology, how can local governments clean up the mines?
A worker in a protective suit shows a QR code to residents lining up for nucleic acid testing, as the second stage of a two-stage lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) begins in Shanghai, China, 1 April 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

How China's health code app permeates daily life and may still play a role post-Covid

China’s use of the health code for pandemic control has illustrated the potential of digital technologies in the 21st century. However, there are concerns about the blurring of the lines between digital surveillance and public service provision, and fears that tech giants and local governments will take advantage of the greater access to personal data they have been given.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma in Paris, France, 15 May 2019. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

How Jack Ma’s surname sent shockwaves through China’s capital market

News of the arrest of an individual surnamed Ma in the technology industry in Hangzhou on suspicion of endangering national security led to a sharp drop in the stock market, as people associated the name with Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba. Zaobao’s Beijing correspondent Yang Danxu notes that perhaps this is not so surprising, given Jack Ma’s previous trouble with the Chinese government, especially during the crackdown on the “disorderly expansion of capital”.
The Liaoning at sea. (Internet)

China’s expanding its naval power, and it’s not afraid to show it

Recent signs point to China’s third aircraft carrier being ready to launch very soon, with more advanced technology such as an electromagnetic catapult launch system. Amid growing international pressure, China cannot afford to slacken in terms of defence, and its latest moves to beef up its navy are an effort to show that it is taking defence seriously. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan breaks down what we can expect from China’s growing naval power.