Yu Hong

Senior Research Fellow, East Asian Institute

Dr Yu Hong is a Senior Research Fellow at the East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore. His research interests cover regional development in China, the Belt and Road initiatives, and the reform of state-owned enterprises. He has published widely on these topics. His research articles have appeared in many internationally refereed journals such as Journal of Contemporary China; Cambridge Review of International Affairs; Asian Survey; Asia Policy; Asian Studies Review; The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies; China: An International Journal and Asian Politics & Policy. Dr Yu has been frequently interviewed by both local and international media outlets on a wide range of topics. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.

A news report on Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech in the city of Shenzhen is shown on a public screen in Hong Kong, 14 October 2020. (Roy Liu/Bloomberg)

Xi's five-year plan for Shenzhen: A hard road ahead?

Shenzhen has grown rapidly over the past 40 years, such that its GDP reached a massive 2.7 trillion RMB in 2019. Just this month, the Chinese government released a five-year plan to make Shenzhen a “pilot demonstration area for socialism with Chinese characteristics”. Amid plans for reforms and new initiatives, EAI academic Yu Hong asks: How much autonomy will Shenzhen have, and what challenges will it face?
Workers labor at the construction site of an elevated highway on the outskirts of Shanghai, 12 June 2020. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Even as the US obstructs its way, how can China build trust for the BRI?

Yu Hong says while the US is mobilising all of its national strength to try to convince the international community to stand against the BRI, there are ways that China’s Belt and Road Initiative can have a second wind. As China rises to the challenge of advancing its “grand strategy” amid a global economy ravaged by Covid-19 and an increasingly hostile international environment, the key to solving its woes is in building trust. 
An Indonesian woman walks past a mural created by Indonesian artist Bayu Rahardian amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Depok on 16 April 2020. (Adek Berry/AFP)

Covid-19: Is deglobalisation on the cards?

The pandemic has exposed the flaws of a globalised world characterised by interconnectedness. Dr Yu Hong asks: "If there are no safeguards in place for risk control and management, would it still be in the interest of each country to pursue globalisation? Do the economic and trade benefits of globalisation outweigh the impact of its potential systemic risks? How should each country safeguard domestic public health while driving economic globalisation forward?"
Cambodian workers exit their factory as they take a lunch break in Phnom Penh, March 2, 2020. Cambodia's multi-billion-dollar garment industry is at risk of chain disruption from the Covid-19 breakout, as its impacts hammer on Southeast Asia's key industries. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

Wake-up call for ASEAN countries: Curb over-reliance on China and seize opportunities of global supply chain restructuring

After this battle with the Covid-19 coronavirus, each ASEAN country should step up its emergency preparedness and national resilience capacities in dealing with similar pandemics. But health concerns aside, the outbreak also highlights the region’s high reliance on China in economics and trade. As global supply chains realign in the wake of the crisis, Southeast Asian countries should implement bold domestic reforms and vigorously develop their manufacturing sectors to be in the best position to reap the benefits.
Workers in protective suits after loading travellers onto buses outside the New China International Exhibition Centre, near Beijing Capital Airport in Beijing, 17 March 2020. The exhibition center is being used as a registration and screening centre for travellers arriving in Beijing before transferring them to quarantine locations. (Greg Baker/AFP)

From supply chain to BRI, a super-connected China impacts the world

From the global industrial chain to the Belt and Road Initiative, China's interactions with the world is markedly changing due to the Covid-19 outbreak. East Asian Institute’s senior research fellow Yu Hong says that as the impacts of globalisation are magnified during the pandemic, the world will be reconsidering the consequences of its over-reliance on and deeply entrenched links with China. But are alternatives available?
China is trying to sell its soft power to the world. But are other countries biting? (Jason Lee/REUTERS)

Growing China's soft power: Free debate and creative thinking are key

China’s hard power may be increasing, but its soft power is not growing in tandem. And despite China’s efforts in developing its soft power, it seems most of the world remains unconvinced. Prof Yu Hong of the East Asian Institute looks at China’s soft power arsenal, and the challenges it faces in using it to its advantage.
An aerial view of Ho Chi Minh City's skyline and skyscrapers. (iStock)

Vietnam's cautionary tale on benefiting from the trade war and the BRI

Vietnam is a rising star amongst Southeast Asian economies. Its GDP totalled US$238.5 billion in 2018 and its economy grew more than 7%, the fastest it has grown since the 2008 global financial crisis. Many said Vietnam is benefiting from the China-US trade war and stands to gain from Chinese investments and the BRI. But what is the reality? Researcher Yu Hong was in Vietnam to find out.