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.

Pedestrians pass a Chinese flag in Beijing, China, on 3 March 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Stability and growth: Two Sessions' government work report spells out what China wants

China’s Two Sessions annual meetings commenced this week amid the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang outlined the key theme of “stability first” for China's economic growth and geopolitical outlook. Despite some calls for an armed reunification with Taiwan, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan says that nothing can distract China from its priority for stability, as it progresses towards building a modern China by 2035 amid challenges in its internal and external affairs.
Demonstrators march during a rally in support of Ukraine, in Santa Monica, California, on 27 February 2022. (Ringo Chiu/AFP)

China's tricky position on the Russia-Ukraine war

Russia’s military attack on Ukraine has shocked the world. While China has said that it does not wish to choose sides in the ongoing war, it has also refused to label Russia's military operation as an “invasion”. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan observes that the majority of online discourse in China is also unsurprisingly pro-Russia. As Russia’s strongest ally, China is maintaining a fine balance in the development of events in order to hold on to its "strategic advantage".
Performers during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, National Stadium, Beijing, China, 20 February 2022. (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

Why China is the biggest winner of the 2022 Winter Olympics

Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan feels that the Beijing Winter Olympics has turned out much better than what was initially expected. Despite diplomatic boycotts by some Western countries and political bickering about China's human rights issues, the Chinese are more than pleased with the event. Not only did China give its best-ever showing at a Winter Olympics, it also pulled off a decent event despite the pandemic, and has generated great interest in winter sports among the Chinese public.
People watch a screen with live footage of the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Shenyang Olympic Sports Centre in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, on 4 February 2022. (AFP)

Will political bickering overshadow sports events at the Beijing Winter Olympics?

Yu Zeyuan takes stock of the barbs that have been traded by mainstream Western media and Chinese state media at the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics. It seems that references to political issues such as Xinjiang and Taiwan have been thrown in by both sides. After this snowball fight and the warm glow of the opening ceremony, is it time to get down to the sports?
The Shandong and Jinan authorities have set up investigative teams to look into thousands of illegally constructed villas in the area. (Internet)

When China’s local governments ignore Xi Jinping’s instructions to demolish illegally built villas

Recent media reports have highlighted the issue of villas continuing to be illegally built in the mountains of southern Jinan even as those found are demolished. Shandong and Jinan authorities have swiftly launched investigations, including taking action against party cadres who might be involved, but will their persistence last? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan reports.
Former senior official Sun Lijun was featured in the first episode of an anti-graft documentary series in China. (Internet)

How China's corrupt ex-police official Sun Lijun gained clout in the CCP

The first episode of an anti-graft documentary highlighted the case of former Vice-Minister of Public Security Sun Lijun, who built a personal following in the Communist Party of China (CPC) by helping other officials with promotions, despite not being among the very top leadership himself. How did he build up his clique? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan reports.
Troops are seen at the main square where hundreds of people were protesting against the government, after authorities' decision to lift price caps on liquefied petroleum gas, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, 6 January 2022. (Mariya Gordeyeva/Reuters)

China and Russia’s shared interest in preventing a pro-US Kazakhstan

To help quell the current unrest in Kazakhstan, Russia sent troops while China gave only verbal support to Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Despite their different levels of commitment, Russia and China share a common desire not to see Kazakhstan developing closer ties with the US. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan analyses the situation.
Everyday life through the eyes of secret agents in spy drama Enemy. (Enemy official Weibo)

Mainland Chinese TV drama sparks talk of ‘Taiwan spies’

China's new TV show Enemy tells the story of a spy couple from Taiwan living in mainland China. The drama has won accolades and fans not so much for spy intrigue per se, but the realistic portrayal of everyday life in mainland China. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks at how reel life mirrors real life and the ongoing tensions in cross-strait relations.
Workers are seen on the production line at a cotton textile factory in Korla, Xinjiang, China, 1 April 2021. (CNS photo via Reuters)

Does a leadership change in troubled Xinjiang signal a new direction?

Guangdong governor Ma Xingrui has been appointed the next Xinjiang party secretary, replacing Politburo member Chen Quanguo, who has implemented tough security-related measures in Xinjiang in his time. Does this signal a fresh direction for Xinjiang? How will Ma lead efforts to promote high-quality development in Xinjiang while maintaining social stability and give all people of Xinjiang a sense of ownership and belonging?