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First step towards solving the mystery origins of Covid-19

THE first step was taken this past weekend towards investigating the origins of the coronavirus which, by July 12, had infected almost 13 million people around the globe with the loss of more than half a million lives.

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A Trump win in November may not seem all that bad to Xi

On the surface, the low-profile meeting in Hawaii between the top diplomats of China and the United States last week was notable mostly for being held, showing that despite bilateral relations being at its lowest ebb in four decades, the two sides can still talk to each other.

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WHO should take the lead on virus study in China

CHINA'S apparent willingness to co-operate with the World Health Organization (WHO) in an open investigation into the origin of the Covid-19 virus, asserted repeatedly last week by its foreign ministry, is an encouraging sign that an issue on which the United States and China are at loggerheads...

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Covid-19: An independent investigation is good for China

VOICES are increasingly being raised, calling for China to be held accountable for the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world with three-and-a-half million people infected so far and close to a quarter million deaths. Economic losses will amount to trillions of US dollars.

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China and US should step up joint action for pandemic

A TENTATIVE truce between Washington and Beijing to work together on the novel coronavirus pandemic, agreed to by the two countries' leaders in a telephone call last month, has paved the way for the flow of Chinese medical equipment to the United States. But this needs to be followed by much...

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China wins diplomatic success in its Covid-19 outbreak

WHEN President Xi Jinping was first informed of the looming threat posed by the emerging Covid-19 in Wuhan, probably towards the end of 2019, one of his chief concerns was that China would be condemned internationally as the source of the disease, which today has spread to more than 50 countries...

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It's a two-front war on the virus and economy for China

GENERATIONS of journalism students have been told that if a plane crashes, it is news. If it does not crash, it is not news. Hence, news tends to be bad news.

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New health crisis tests China's governance system

CHINA'S decision to lock down the central city of Wuhan - with more people than London or New York - in a dramatic attempt to halt the spread of the deadly new coronavirus now rampaging across the country shocked even the World Health Organization (WHO), whose representative said a move to "...

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Hong Kong's post-2047 future needs more clarity

IN THE 1970s, with Britain's 99-year lease over most of Hong Kong due to expire in 1997, London worried about the colony's future as investment was bound to dwindle over time unless an accord was reached with China. Eventually, Beijing agreed that Hong Kong's legal, economic and social systems...

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Time for Beijing and Taiwan to reassess cross-strait policy

THE election last Saturday, in which Tsai Ing-wen won a second term as president, shows democracy maturing in Taiwan, which only started direct presidential elections in 1996. Political power has now changed hands three times between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP...

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Getting to the truth of what happened in Hong Kong

HONG KONG marked the beginning of the 2020s with a huge anti-government march that organisers said was bigger than the million-person march on June 9. It began peacefully and ended in violence. The police said rioters hijacked the demonstration, leading the police to order an early end to the...

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2019: The year China's HK chickens come home to roost

ZHOU Enlai, premier of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until his death in 1976, used to say: "We Chinese mean what we say." China's word was its bond.

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US-China deal: Perhaps not 'historic' but better than nothing

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump, with his fondness for superlatives, hailed the first-phase US-China trade agreement as "historic", "an amazing deal" and one in which China would make "massive purchases" from the United States despite evidence that Washington had to roll back tariffs to achieve this...

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HK's peaceful march is win-win for protesters and police

EVIDENTLY stung by the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act by the United States, the Hong Kong government has made a multi-barrelled response: denied that human rights have been eroded, granted permission for a mass rally on Sunday, marked internationally as Human Rights Day...

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Beijing should let anti-mask case go through HK judiciary

"ONE country, two systems" in action was on view this week, as both mainland China and Hong Kong responded to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act signed into law by US President Donald Trump last week.

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Hong Kong government dragging its feet?

AFTER a peaceful two-week hiatus during which Hong Kong held district council elections that saw pro-democracy candidates win a stunning victory by capturing 87 per cent of the seats and 17 of the 18 councils, violence returned to the streets after the Carrie Lam administration refused to ease...

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Hongkongers take action while the government dithers

THE social unrest gripping Hong Kong - now in its sixth month - worsened last week as violence reached new heights, universities were taken over by students, protests spread to the heart of the business district and traffic was paralysed.

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China and the US: Deep-seated differences remain

WHILE China and the United States once again appear to be close to a trade agreement, the fact that it is a "first phase" accord makes it clear that intractable issues have been left for a second and, possibly, third phase.

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Hong Kong: Time for vision and reform in official ranks

AS VIOLENT anti-China protests in Hong Kong continue, the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, which met last week in Beijing for the first time in 20 months, issued a communique in which it pledged to take action to "improve the legal system and enforcement mechanism for safeguarding...

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China and Japan make progress on cordiality track

FOUR months ago, the leaders of China and Japan met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka and agreed to normalise their relationship. President Xi Jinping accepted Premier Shinzo Abe's invitation to visit Japan "when cherry blossoms bloom".

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China's open moves to tap overseas Chinese influence

AS TAIWAN'S January presidential election approaches, Beijing is stepping up its effort to undermine incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to favour Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang (KMT), who is generally described as Beijing- friendly.

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Idealism needs to be grounded in reality

THIS week marks the beginning of the fifth straight month of protests in Hong Kong. The million person march on June 9 was focused on opposing the government's extradition bill. That goal was finally achieved on Sept 4, when Chief Executive Carrie Lam finally announced the withdrawal of the...

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China's 70th birthday: A nurtured narrative

THE People's Republic of China is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its founding this week with fireworks, a huge parade showing off its latest military hardware and a vast outpouring of facts and figures to show the progress that had been made under Communist Party rule.

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China moves to regain control of HK narrative

MORE than three decades ago, when China set up a special committee to draft Hong Kong's Basic Law, its attitude towards the business elite was unmistakable, as 12 of the 23 Hong Kong members that it picked were tycoons. To be sure, there were legal experts, educators and even clergymen, but the...

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Xi's talk of 'Asia for Asians' might well be materialising

FIVE years ago, in May 2014, President Xi Jinping took the United States aback when, at a regional conference held in Shanghai, he proposed the idea of "Asia for Asians" where security matters were concerned.