Catherine Wong

Catherine Wong

Catherine is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a reporter with the South China Morning Post in Beijing, where she focuses on China’s diplomacy and defense policy.

Are China's ‘Wolf Warriors’ baring their teeth too often?
China's “Wolf Warrior” diplomats and state media have been told to tone down their efforts to defend Beijing's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Emboldened by the country’s success in containing the outbreak at home, and displeased with what they see as unfair criticism of China from abroad, official news outlets and diplomats have adopted an aggressively nationalist tone to defend the country's handling of the situation. But some of the country’s top foreign policy advisers say this is only serving to drive the world further away from China. “The aim is to promote the Chinese political system as superior, and to project the image of China as a world leader in combating a global health c
Exodus from Wuhan after 11 weeks of lockdown
Tens of thousands of people in Wuhan are traveling out of the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the first epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, after a monthslong lockdown was lifted on Wednesday.  Many are heading back to their workplaces in other Chinese towns and cities, after the epidemic turned a weeklong Lunar New Year family reunion into a citywide lockdown that lasted 11 weeks. An estimated 55,000 people left the city by train alone on the first day the railways reopened, heading to all parts of the country, from Shanghai to Beijing and Shenzhen to Chengdu, according to the local railway authority.  More than 100 commercial flights also took off from the city, the first departures sin
China, US may stop their war of words at coronavirus summit
China and the United States are expected to call a timeout on their coronavirus blame game and focus on the challenges of the pandemic, when leaders of the Group of 20 hold talks via video conference on Thursday. According to a draft statement to be discussed at the summit, the leaders are expected to agree that the coronavirus is a common threat to humanity and united efforts are required to fight it. All eyes will be on the US and China, which have been locked in a war of words over a pandemic that has already infected more than 470,000 people and killed 21,000. The US has criticized China, where the outbreak was first reported, for its slow initial response and attempts to silence people
Tough US visa rules could benefit China’s tech industry, says investor
China’s tech industry could benefit from a US government crackdown on foreign influence, which is taking a toll on ethnic Chinese researchers, according to a top investor. “While the US is driving talent away, it is the perfect time for us to race to bring them back to China,” said Ning Tao, president and partner of Sinovation Ventures, one of China’s leading venture capital firms with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI). This talent, she said, would be the key asset in fueling China’s rise in AI. The Chinese government wants to lead the world in AI by 2030, when the domestic industry is forecast to be worth about $150 billion. Sinovation was founded by Kai-Fu Lee, former president of G
Why China is struggling to win hearts abroad
A Chinese official posed a question last week that would resonate among his fellow cadres: as China rises, why are we not making more friends and why are our voices not heard? The question has gained weight as the trade war with the United States has deepened, and Chinese officials have scrambled to win the battle of public opinion at home and abroad. It also came to the fore at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore on the weekend, when Chinese officials were faced with balancing the need to appear tough for an increasingly nationalistic audience at home and being conciliatory to an international audience wary of China’s assertive foreign and defense policy. Senior Colon
China’s defense chief says the Tiananmen crackdown was ‘correct’
China’s defense minister offered a stern justification of Beijing’s bloody crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement days before its symbolic 30th anniversary. Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Wei Fenghe said the Tiananmen crackdown had contributed to China’s prosperity in a rare public address on the event. “That incident was political turbulence,” he said on Sunday at the annual Asia defense summit, in response to a question from the audience. “The central government’s measures to stop that turbulence was correct. China has enjoyed stable development.” Tuesday marks 30 years since the Chinese military opened fire at protesters in Beijing after demonstrations demanding
Pence warns Beijing as report says Chinese army could dominate
US Vice President Mike Pence has delivered an indirect warning to Beijing over its rising strength in the Indo-Pacific, just one day after a US commission warned that in less than 20 years, the Chinese military may be able to edge the US out of the entire region. “We all agree that empire and aggression has no place in the Indo-Pacific,” Pence said as he addressed the Asean summit in Singapore on Thursday. “Our vision for the Indo-Pacific excludes no nation. It only requires that nations treat their neighbors with respect, and respect the sovereignty of our nations and international rules and order.” While not explicitly naming China, the target of his comments was clear. Warning report On
When a Chinese and a US warship almost collided
A Chinese warship warned a US Navy vessel in the South China Sea it would “suffer consequences” if it did not change course, internal military documents show, as new details and never-before-seen footage emerge of last month’s near collision in the disputed waters. The Chinese Luyang destroyer issued the stern verbal message to the USS Decatur before sailing within 45 yards of the vessel in the September 30 incident that Washington labeled “unsafe and unprofessional,” according to a timeline obtained from Britain’s Ministry of Defence. “You are on [sic] dangerous course,” the Chinese ship warned, according to the document obtained by the South China Morning Post via a freedom of information