On June 29, Malaysian tycoon Kuok Hock-nien (郭鶴年), who owns the South China Morning Post (南華早報, SCMP) and invests massively in China, wrote a letter to his own newspaper as a reader. In the letter, Kuok lashed out at Willy Wo-Lap Lam (林和立), the paper's deputy editor and editor of the China desk, for Lam's earlier essay on a meeting hosted by Chinese President Jiang Zemin (江澤民) for 30 Hong Kong tycoons, including Kuok. The meeting was an attempt to rally the tycoons in support of Special Administrative Region (SAR) Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa (董建華). Apart from railing against Lam, Kuo also criticized the SCMP for its tendency toward viewing "patriotism" as a mistake and an evil. Of course, the assertion touched on the newspaper's editorial direction. Later, seven tycoons went on to endorse Kuok's view. Since the boss took action in such a threatening gesture, the editorial direction of SCMP was doomed to change. And someone was expected to "be sacrificed" sooner or later.
\nOn Nov. 3, the Apple Daily (蘋果日報) broke the story of Lam's expected replacement: Robert Keatley, SCMP's editor, told Lam on Nov. 2 that he would soon be replaced by a man surnamed Wang from China as editor of the Chinese edition. Lam was unwilling to comment on the event since he had not received any written documents concerning the replacement. However, due to Lam's international reputation, the event immediately attracted attention from media circles at home and abroad.
\nLate in the afternoon of Nov. 3, the SCMP management made an internal announcement saying Wang Xiangwei (王向偉), who had previously worked for Beijing's China Daily (中國日報), would replace Lam as China editor on Nov. 20. Lam, who had worked at SCMP for 12 years, called Keatley, who had taken a hike to Guangzhou, and told him he was resigning. Lam also called the management's decision "unreasonable and disturbing" and said it would eventually damage Hong Kong's press freedom. Lam left the SCMP soon afterwards.
\nIn addition to the Asian Wall Street Journal, there used to be two English newspapers in Hong Kong: SCMP and the Hong Kong Standard, which respectively belonged to Australian media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and Sally Aw Sian (
By Yu Sha
Late last month, Beijing introduced changes to school curricula in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, requiring certain subjects to be taught in Mandarin rather than Mongolian. What is Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) seeking to gain from sending this message of pernicious intent? It is possible that he is attempting cultural genocide in Inner Mongolia, but does Xi also have the same plan for the democratic, independent nation of Mongolia? The controversy emerged with the announcement by the Inner Mongolia Education Bureau on Aug. 26 that first-grade elementary-school and junior-high students would in certain subjects start learning with Chinese-language textbooks, as
There are worrying signs that China is on the brink of a major food shortage, which might trigger a strategic contest over food security and push Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), already under intense pressure, toward drastic measures, potentially spelling trouble for Taiwan and the rest of the world. China has encountered a perfect storm of disasters this year. On top of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, torrential rains have caused catastrophic flooding in the Yangtze River basin, China’s largest agricultural region. Floodwaters are estimated to have already destroyed the crops on 6 million hectares of farmland. The situation has been
In 1955, US general Benjamin Davis Jr, then-commander of the US’ 13th Air Force, drew a maritime demarcation line in the middle of the Taiwan Strait, known as the median line. Under pressure from the US, Taiwan and China entered into a tacit agreement not to cross the line. On July 9, 1999, then-president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) described cross-strait relations as a “special state-to-state” relationship. In response, Beijing dispatched People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft into the Taiwan Strait, crossing the median line for the first time since 1955. The PLA has begun to regularly traverse the line. On Sept. 18 and 19, it
Midday in Manhattan on Wednesday, September 16, was sunny and mild. Even with the pandemic’s “social distancing” it was a perfect day for “al fresco” dining with linen tablecloths and sidewalk potted palms outside one of New York City’s elegant restaurants. Two members of the press, outfitted with digital SLR cameras and voice recorders, were dispatched by The Associated Press to cover a rare outdoor diplomatic meeting on one of these New York streets. American diplomat Kelly Craft, Chief of the United States Mission to the United Nations, lunched in the open air with Taiwan’s ambassador-ranked representative in New York, James