Sarah Zheng

Sarah Zheng

Reporter, China

Sarah is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a China reporter covering diplomacy and society news at the South China Morning Post.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin
Areas of Expertise
China-US relations, international relations of East Asia, Asian security issues
‘Comrade Trump’ hailed for spurring reforms in China
US President Donald Trump may have his critics in China, but some internet users have suggested, albeit sarcastically, that he has been a positive force for the country.  They joke that he is acting as a catalyst for much-needed reforms. In social media circles and even on some academic forums, the American leader earned the nickname Comrade “Chuan Jianguo,” which translates as “Trump Building the Nation.”  The backhanded compliment stems from the assumption that, by starting a trade war with China, Trump unwittingly forced the country into a program of domestic reforms to counter its impact. Such is people’s familiarity with the nickname that Wang Manchuan, head of the public administration
‘Comrade Trump’ hailed for spurring reforms in China
Hong Kong protests are a game changer – for Taiwan
At the Purple Garden Hotel in downtown Taipei, there is little sign that it had once hosted Chan Tong-kai, the Hong Kong student who confessed to killing his pregnant girlfriend in February last year. It was a gruesome murder that, unpredictably, helped to plunge Hong Kong into its worst political crisis since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 and has spilled over into Taiwan’s elections next year. These days, workers at the hotel are reluctant to discuss the case. Chan, 19, has been sentenced in Hong Kong on money laundering charges stemming from the killing. But 19 months after the murder, in a stunning butterfly effect, Hong Kong’s plan to amend laws ostensibly to
Hong Kong protests are a game changer – for Taiwan
China sentences leading dissident to 12 years in jail
A Chinese dissident, who set up a website documenting human rights abuses in the country, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for “leaking state secrets.” Huang Qi was sentenced at the Mianyang Intermediate People’s Court in the southwestern Sichuan province on Monday, for “illegally leaking state secrets” and “providing state secrets to foreign entities,” according to an online court notice.  Human rights groups said they feared the sentence, the third jail term for 56-year-old Huang, could cost him his life given his deteriorating health. The Communist Party suppresses social activism and puts people in jail for challenging its authority. Critics have cited the heavy sentences imposed
China sentences leading dissident to 12 years in jail
Rwandan troops trained by China mark genocide anniversary
For the first time, Rwandan troops have marched in a Chinese-style military parade to mark the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. The troops had previously marched in Western military formations, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. In April, the Rwanda Defence Force invited commanders from the Chinese army to help train soldiers and police in the East African nation. Six Chinese instructors worked to train about 2,000 Rwandans, who made up 22 squads in the military parade. “We are very satisfied with their performance,” CCTV quoted Liu Baoxin, a Chinese instructor, as saying. Leaders from seven African nations were among the thousands commemorating Rwanda’s Liberation Day in
Rwandan troops trained by China mark genocide anniversary
What Democratic presidential hopefuls are saying about China
Over two nights, 20 Democratic candidates for the 2020 US presidential election faced off at the first primary debate in Miami. China was on the agenda, with several calling it America's greatest geopolitical threat. This is what the presidential hopefuls have said about the China challenge: Tim Ryan, congressman, Ohio When asked whether he could promise that manufacturing jobs would return to places like Ohio, Ryan said: "Yes, I believe you can, but, first, let’s say the president came, he said 'Don’t sell your house to people in Youngstown, Ohio.' And then his administration just in the last two years, we lost 4,000 jobs at a General Motors facility. That rippled throughout our community
What Democratic presidential hopefuls are saying about China
Why Chinese TV is screening wartime love
Love conquers all – at least while Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are set to meet. In the 1999 film Lover’s Grief Over the Yellow River, a Chinese soldier and an American serviceman fall in love during wartime.  That may not sound like the kind of fare China would want its people to see in the midst of the trade war with the United States.  But just hours after the two presidents confirmed plans to meet at the G20 summit in Japan later this month, the Chinese state broadcaster’s movie channel CCTV6 appeared to adjust its Wednesday programming schedule to celebrate the news. Out went the comedy Dating Fever, in came 180 minutes of “love-conquers-all” positivity. Lover’s Grief Over the Yellow Ri
Why Chinese TV is screening wartime love
China warns students about studying in the US
Beijing issued an official warning on Monday for people seeking to study in the United States, amid heightened tensions between the two countries. China’s Ministry of Education urged students and academics to “raise their risk assessment” after an increase in visa delays and denials for those who had applied to study in the US. “For a period of time now, some Chinese students in the US have faced situations where their visas were restricted, the visa review period was extended, the period of validity was shortened, or [their applications] were rejected,” it said in a statement, relayed by the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. “The ministry wants to remind students and scholars to raise their r
China warns students about studying in the US
China can deliver a ‘deadly punch’ to the US, ex-official says
China has many options for retaliating against the United States and is likely to implement sanctions that go beyond tariffs on trade in goods, a former top government official has said. “China will not only act as a kung fu master in response to US tricks, but also as an experienced boxer and can deliver a deadly punch at the end,” Wei Jianguo, a former vice-minister at the Ministry of Commerce responsible for foreign trade, told the South China Morning Post. Beijing is considering how it will strike back at the US after President Donald Trump on Friday raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. China’s response can be consequential to ending – or escalating – a trade war that has di
China can deliver a ‘deadly punch’ to the US, ex-official says
One of last four giant softshell turtles in the world has died in China
One of the world’s rarest turtle species moved a step closer to extinction with the death of the last known female of the kind in eastern China over the weekend. The turtle, named Xiangxiang, was the last female Yangtze giant softshell turtle in China. Her death left just three others of the species in the world – a century-old male in the same Chinese zoo in the eastern city of Suzhou and two others of unknown sex in the wild in Vietnam, Suzhou Daily reported. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is one of the world’s biggest and rarest freshwater turtles. Native to China, the species once thrived along the Yangtze River and in the Red River basin of northern Vietnam. But the number of Yangtz
One of last four giant softshell turtles in the world has died in China
Open dissent is rising in China’s halls of power
It's not filibustering or parliamentary brawls, but there are signs of open dissent in the air at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. To many, Beijing’s annual meetings of its policymaking bodies – its rubber-stamp legislature the National People’s Congress (NPC) and advisory body the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – are scripted, boring fare. But there appeared to be more dissenting voices – although still mild by nature – at this year’s parliamentary sessions, even though President Xi Jinping faces no real challenge to his power. Most of these voices are heard in relation to China’s foreign policy, with the country locked in a costly trade war with the Unit
Open dissent is rising in China’s halls of power