Social Policy

China is trying to pull in foreign investors who are increasingly finding it to be a less attractive place to put their money, despite abundant opportunities. 
Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen
‘Highly investible’ China woos foreigners but withholds what they want most

Geopolitical tensions, zero-Covid restrictions and political uncertainties serve to make the world’s second-largest economy less attractive, but China is pressing on with its charm offensive.

28 Sep 2022 - 11:04AM
In this edition of the Global Impact newsletter, we look at Beijing’s position on Russia and Taiwan after President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and following Joe Biden’s remarks about the self-ruled island. Photo: AP
Taiwan, Russia remain front and centre as countdown to party congress continues

In this edition of the Global Impact newsletter, we look at Beijing’s position on Russia and Taiwan after President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and following Joe Biden’s remarks about the self-ruled island.

27 Sep 2022 - 5:41PM
A recent survey of nearly 20,000 women from Shanghai shows that most of them do not want multiple children. Photo: Xinhua
Shanghai seeks answers as only 1 out of 8 native mothers have a second child

Health authorities in China’s wealthiest city are trying to understand how reproductive decisions are being made, while a demographer warns that this year’s fertility rate could be even worse, due to the pandemic.

27 Sep 2022 - 7:00AM
Local governments across China are using special-purpose bonds – a form of off-budget debt – to raise case for economy-boosting infrastructure projects. Photo: Reuters
Explainer | China’s special-purpose bonds – from the debt risks to the revenue rewards

China’s local governments are increasingly using special-purpose bond revenue to boost their local economies, but debt-fuelled infrastructure spending comes at a price.

24 Sep 2022 - 8:30PM
Overseas students enrolled at universities in China have been forced to study online for over three years due to the coronavirus, but even as some travel restrictions are eased, they still face complicated and expensive journeys to resume their studies. Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen
Quarantine, flights, Covid-19 tests add to headache, cost for stranded students

Overseas students enrolled at universities in China have been forced to study online for over three years due to the coronavirus, but even as some travel restrictions are eased, they still face complicated and expensive journeys to resume their studies.

21 Sep 2022 - 9:00AM
Jiangxi province has suffered “severe” drought for 69 days this year as of Monday, when 95.7 per cent of its county-level areas were deemed to be under an “extremely severe” drought. Photo: Reuters
China’s major rice-growing regions struggle under record-breaking drought

The capital cities of the southern provinces of Jiangxi and Hunan, two major rice-growing regions, have not seen a single drop of rain this month, raising concerns over China’s food security, drinking water and animal conservation.

21 Sep 2022 - 9:43AM
Processing is leading to the loss of nutrients in China’s food supply system, experts say. Photo: Xinhua
China urged to embrace ‘nutrition-oriented’ farming or risk food security

Chinese authorities have in recent years ramped up rhetoric around safeguarding food supply. They now say more needs to be done to prevent the loss of nutrient-rich foods through processing.

19 Sep 2022 - 7:00PM
Beijing is pulling out all the stops to stabilise the job market, but China’s youth unemployment remains stubbornly high. Photo: Getty Images
‘We’re in a helpless mood’: China’s youth haunted by weak job prospects

China’s youth unemployment rate improved slightly in August from a month earlier, but it remains stubbornly high despite Beijing’s efforts to stabilise the job market.

17 Sep 2022 - 8:00AM
Heavy fines have become an increasingly common measure as local governments in China seek to bring in much needed revenue, revealing the tip of the iceberg for China’s fiscal predicament. Illustration: Brian Wang
US$43,000 fine for ‘jacking up’ potato price shines light on China’s fiscal woe

Local authorities in China are struggling with slashed revenues resulting from the property sector slump as well as tax rebates as part of efforts to help coronavirus-hit businesses.

15 Sep 2022 - 10:39AM
Large areas of southern China are suffering from serious drought, with water levels on two major rivers in rice-growing provinces dropping to historic lows. Photo: Reuters
‘I’ve never seen a drought like this’: China’s farmers fight to save harvest

A severe drought has parched Jiangxi province and other major rice-growing areas in the Yangtze River Basin. Farmers in the region are growing increasingly fearful about the coming autumn harvest.

14 Sep 2022 - 9:22AM
Beijing is determined to stabilise employment ahead of the 20th party congress next month. Photo: AFP
China pledges more help for internet economy as job market risks ‘scarring’

China’s State Council has promised to scale up support for tech start-ups and ordered banks to extend special loans to companies in the platform economy, as Beijing rushes to stabilise the economy and job market.

9 Sep 2022 - 7:00PM
Xi Jinping told a meeting he chaired on deepening reform on Tuesday that a waste-free society should also be “vigorously developed”. Photo: Corbis via Getty Images
Xi calls for China to ‘push for a green, low carbon lifestyle’

President Xi Jinping underscored the importance of a ‘comprehensive saving strategy’ and urged for major resource risks to be addressed as a priority after China was hit by a drought-induced power crisis last month.

7 Sep 2022 - 9:30PM
Last year, China’s population aged over 60 rose from 264.02 million to 267.36 million, representing 18.9 per cent of the total. Photo: AFP
China’s pension burden in spotlight after new population figures raise concerns

Citizens aged 60 or over account for more than a fifth of residents in 13 of China’s 31 provincial-level jurisdictions, highlighting the challenges ahead for the country’s pension system.

7 Sep 2022 - 7:25PM
China finally has designs in place for a high-speed railway that will better connect major cities across the Yangtze River Delta. Photo: Xinhua
Full speed ahead for high-speed rail plans in China’s biggest economic circle

The massive and long-anticipated railway project, spanning 16 stops across the Yangtze River Delta, is expected to help reverse the economic misfortunes in a region responsible for a big chunk of China’s GDP.

2 Sep 2022 - 8:30PM
China is the biggest investor in clear energy in the world. Photo: AFP
US climate bill falls short of China’s clean energy investment: Beijing envoy

Just weeks after China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, suspended climate talks with the US, Beijing’s climate envoy has slammed developed countries for falling short on climate financing.

7 Sep 2022 - 3:21PM
China already uses waterways, like the Grand Canal in Huaian in Chinas eastern Jiangsu province, to transport goods. Photo: AFP
US$10 billion canal highlights China’s economy-boosting infrastructure push

The 135km-long Pinglu Canal in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region will cost 72.73 billion yuan (US$10.5 billion), and is part of China’s renewed effort to use infrastructure to aid the economy.

1 Sep 2022 - 9:15AM
China has been gripped by a record heatwave in recent weeks, triggering a power crunch in southern parts of the country. Photo: Xinhua
Explainer | Why is China facing a power crisis, and what does it mean for the economy?

China is facing a power shortage due to heatwaves and drought, affecting the Yangtze River basin in particular, home to several manufacturing hubs and a large population.

31 Aug 2022 - 6:30PM
The power crisis has become another unpredictable event for the already faltering Chinese economy caused by its stringent zero-Covid policy, a property sector slump as well as mounting external challenges. Photo: EPA-EFE
Rain may not cool China’s economic woes as impact could be ‘felt for months’

Rain and temperatures have started to fall in Sichuan province, but concerns remain that the economic and inflation fallout from China’s power crisis could still be ‘felt for months’.

31 Aug 2022 - 6:30PM