Kristin Huang

Kristin Huang

Senior Reporter, China Desk

Kristin Huang is a contributor to Inkstone and a senior China reporter at South China Morning Post. She is most interested in security topics in northeast Asia and China's growing military might.


Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Areas of Expertise
International relations, diplomacy, defence
China launches its first Mars probe
China launched its first independent probe to Mars on Thursday, joining a growing number of countries aiming to lead exploration of Earth’s nearest neighbor. The probe, named Tianwen-1, was launched from the southern island of Hainan and is expected to reach Mars’ gravitational field next February, according to Chinese media. If the 5-tonne probe makes a successful landing on the fourth planet from the sun, it is expected to work for at least 90 Mars days – a little longer than three months on Earth. Tianwen-1 – the name means “questions to heaven” in Mandarin, inspired by an ancient poem by Qu Yuan – consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The lander and rover will attempt a soft land
US and China are talking again, but no consensus at diplomats’ meeting
China and the United States held diplomatic talks in Hawaii on Wednesday that exposed their divisions over a range of issues, even if there were some positive noises made in Beijing. No consensus was reached between China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but the two had dinner and spoke for seven hours, showing a willingness to at least prevent a further deterioration in relations, observers said. The meeting came with relations between the world’s two largest economies at their lowest point in decades and the two governments facing off on multiple fronts including technology, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea – despite signing an interim trade deal i
China to investigate ambassador’s death in Israel
China is sending a team of investigators to Israel to probe the death of Du Wei, its ambassador to the country, whose body was found at his residence in Tel Aviv on Sunday. The team, accompanied by a member of Du’s family, will handle arrangements for the remains, as well as conducting its own internal investigation, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Du, 57, died unexpectedly “of health reasons.” Du was last seen in public on Tuesday in a video conference with an official from Israel’s foreign affairs ministry, according to the embassy website. Du was assigned to serve in Israel in February, when China was in the throes of the corona
‘Like a prison drama’: Taming an epidemic the China way
Life under strict lockdown in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the first cases of the coronavirus were reported, was a reminder of the past for its elderly residents. One of them, 75-year-old Jiang Hong, said the past three months had been just like life in the Mao Zedong era. “It’s déjà vu really – a throwback to the 1960s when we lived in the people’s communes and everything was taken care of but you didn’t have much choice,” the retiree said. But in 2020, she said officials used smartphones instead of loudhailers to get their message across. And people no longer relied on the food coupons widely used in China in the ’60s to buy essentials. Like many elderly residents, Jiang had to l
What’s in a name? China hopes territory
China has named 80 geographical features in the disputed South China Sea in the latest move to assert its territorial claims in the face of increasing opposition from Vietnam. According to a notice jointly released by China’s Natural Resources Ministry and Civil Affairs Ministry, it has given names to features in both the Paracel and Spratly islands. These include 25 islands, shoals, reefs and 55 oceanic mountains and ridges. China has not named geographic features in the disputed area since 1983, when 287 features were named.  The Spratly and Paracel islands are a geopolitical flashpoint because multiple countries have competing territorial claims over the region.  It has also become anoth
US naval researchers want to revive centuries-old tool to contain China’s rise
The United States should encourage the use of privateers to fight Chinese aggression at sea, according to a pair of articles published in a magazine produced by the US Naval Institute. The reports suggest the US government issue letters of marque – a commission authorizing privately owned ships (privateers) to capture enemy merchant ships. The articles, titled “Unleash the Privateers!” and “US Privateering Is Legal,” were published in the April issue of Proceedings, a monthly journal published by the Naval Institute, a professional association of active and retired members of the US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The authors – Mark Cancian, a retired US Marine Corps colonel and senior a
Wuhan lockdown has reduced exported coronavirus cases by 77%, scientists say
China’s decision to lock down the central city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected, has cut the number of infected people traveling to other countries by more than 75%, according to a study by a team of international scientists.  The restrictions also dramatically curbed the number of domestic infections, another team found. Wuhan, which has banned residents from leaving since January 23, has recorded few new infections over the past few days. The city will formally lift all of its travel restrictions on April 8. The researchers’ conclusions were reported in two papers published in Science magazine, looking at the impact of the travel ban and other contingency measures imposed
She ‘recovered’ from the coronavirus. Then she tested positive again
For Adele Jiang, 24, a previously “recovered” coronavirus patient in China, the past two months have been a nightmare. Jiang, a master’s student in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, was diagnosed with Covid-19 in late January. She was deemed recovered and discharged from the hospital a month later, but was sent back to the hospital after testing positive for the virus again while being monitored at an isolation facility. Her experience highlights the potentially long and difficult road to recovery for coronavirus patients and the stress this could put on any country’s health care system. While there are no national numbers for patients like Jiang, health authorities in the southern province
‘I was in despair’: Doctor details how officials crushed early alarm on coronavirus
One of the first Chinese doctors who tried to sound the alarm on the new coronavirus said she was barred from publicizing the virus in the early days of the outbreak. Ai Fen, director of the emergency department at Wuhan Central Hospital, told Chinese magazine People that she was muzzled by authorities for sharing information about the virus without their permission at the start of the outbreak. She posted an image of a diagnostic report on the WeChat social network on December 30, showing that the patient had a pneumonia infection caused by a Sars-like coronavirus.  Her post was shared by Dr Li Wenliang, whom the police tried to silence and whose death set off a torrent of anger at the gove
One month in virus lockdown: ‘Have we been abandoned and left here to die?’
It all came without warning. One month ago in the early hours, authorities in Wuhan, the biggest city in the central province of Hubei, announced a full lockdown in response to a coronavirus crisis that just a day earlier had been declared “under control.” It was an unprecedented moment in the history of China – and the world – and condemned the 9 million people left within the city’s limits to an unknown fate. Not even at the height of the Sars epidemic, another coronavirus outbreak 17 years earlier, had such sweeping controls on movement been imposed on so many people at one time. In the weeks since, people in the city have confronted life-altering experiences, whether in a supermarket que