Yu Zeyuan

Beijing Correspondent and Senior Researcher, Lianhe Zaobao

Yu Zeyuan (real name Yu Haisheng) started in 1993 as a journalist and editor with Xinhua's foreign news desk, then joined the University of Hawaii as a visiting academic from 1996 to 1997. Since 2000, he has been Lianhe Zaobao's Beijing correspondent and senior researcher.

People flock to pay their last respects to Yuan Longping at his memorial service in Changsha, Hunan, China on 24 May 2021. (CNS)

China mourns scientist Yuan Longping, the ‘father of hybrid rice’

Following the recent passing of scientist Yuan Longping, “the father of hybrid rice”, citizens in China called for the flag to be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect. Yu Zeyuan says that the authorities seem reluctant to do so for fear of setting a precedent. But for a man whose achievements speak for themselves, no pomp and pageantry is needed.
People visit the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu River during a Labour Day holiday in Shanghai on 1 May 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Is the US embassy in China recruiting ‘traitors’?

The US embassy in China recently released an Public Annual Statement outlining the requirements for funding through its public diplomacy grants programme. As the activities it supports aim to spread American values and culture in China, Chinese commentators have aired criticisms that this is an insidious attempt to “recruit traitors” within China. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan considers the theories behind this idea.
Children play a jump rope game in a park in Beijing on 9 February 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Is China facing a demographic crisis?

China’s latest population census was completed late last year, but the results will only be announced on 11 May, pushed back from early April. Some speculate that the delay is due to sensitive findings such as the severity of the declining birth rate. Is China facing a demographic crisis and how will the government seek to balance population challenges and economic growth? Yu Zeyuan throws up some possibilities.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the commissioning ceremony of three PLA Navy battle warships in Sanya, Hainan province, China, 23 April 2021. (Xinhua)

What does the high-profile launch of three new PLA warships tell us?

The PLA Navy recently launched three heavy-duty battle warships — the Hainan, the Dalian and the Changzheng 18 — all in one go, prompting suggestions that the Chinese are now more confident about their strategic defence capabilities. Yu Zeyuan has the details.
Emissions rise from the Kentucky Utilities Co. Ghent generating station in Ghent, Kentucky, U.S., on 6 April 2021. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

If Xi Jinping and Joe Biden meet this week, it won't be just about climate change

US climate envoy John Kerry’s visit to China was aimed at getting China to participate in the upcoming US-hosted virtual climate summit later this week, which in turn could be the first step to further dialogue between the leaders of the two countries. At the same time, China also held discussions with France and Germany on climate trajectories. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan analyses how climate cooperation can be a pivot for relations between China and the West.
The logo of Alibaba Group is seen at its office in Beijing, China, 5 January 2021. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Is Alibaba leaving its carefree days behind?

Alibaba’s name is said to be inspired by the song that goes: “Ali Baba is a happy youth!” But after the halting of Ant Group’s listing and being slapped with a 18.228 billion RMB fine, Alibaba faces headwinds. In their anti-monopoly efforts, the authorities seem to have no qualms about making an example of companies like Alibaba. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan analyses the situation.
People take part in a rally to encourage Canada and other countries as they consider labeling China's treatment of its Uighur population and Muslim minorities as genocide, outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, US, 19 February 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

‘Countering sanctions with sanctions’: Where China’s confidence comes from

China is reacting to sanctions imposed by the West with sanctions of its own, with the latest salvo affecting US and Canadian individuals and entities. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at the factors behind China’s increasing penchant for tit-for-tat sanctions.
A popular meme in China, showing the 1901 meeting involving Li Hongzhang's group, and the recent meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. (Internet)

Alaska meeting: A historic moment of China standing up to the West?

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes the fiery start to the high-level dialogue between China and the US held in Alaska, with both sides trading barbs. However, amid the aggression and the "catharsis" some Chinese netizens felt from China standing up to the West after 120 years, some real communication did take place between the two countries where substantive issues were discussed.
(left to right) China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and US national security adviser Jake Sullivan. (Photos: Pool, AFP, Reuters)

US-China talks in Alaska — how far can they go?

Top officials in the Biden administration and the Chinese government are meeting in Alaska this week for what has been touted as the first high-level contact between the two countries under the new US administration and one to watch. Can this meeting turn the page on testy US-China relations? Yu Zeyuan gives a preview.