Wang Xiangwei

Wang Xiangwei

Wang Xiangwei is a contributor to Inkstone. He was a former editor-in-chief at the South China Morning Post.

Explosive claims of ‘Chinese spy’ seem more fiction than fact
At a time when China is being systematically portrayed as a bogeyman trying to take over Australia’s political system, the emergence in October of a self-proclaimed Chinese spy claiming to have a trove of insider secrets to spill about China’s intelligence operations should have been a dream come true for Canberra’s top spooks. But instead of putting Wang Liqiang in a secure location for a thorough debriefing which could take months, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation apparently took a back seat and allowed some enthusiastic journalists to lead the investigation on what has been billed as the most significant spy defection since 1954, when a Russian KGB officer sought politica
Explosive claims of ‘Chinese spy’ seem more fiction than fact
Xi Jinping is about to get tough on Hong Kong
Too little, too late. That has been the prevailing reaction from both the protesters and pro-government lawmakers after Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive Carrie Lam made a sudden about-face on Wednesday, announcing that she would formally withdraw the extradition bill which sparked the city’s worst political crisis in decades. Indeed, her withdrawal offer would have had a much bigger impact had it come immediately after the protests turned violent in mid-June. But after nearly three months of violent demonstrations, protesters appear to have moved beyond the extradition bill and have since vowed to press on with demonstrations until the rest of their demands are met. Lam seems to sugges
Xi Jinping is about to get tough on Hong Kong
How the Hong Kong protests can be defused
There is no question that Hong Kong has messed up big time. But a cloud of questions hangs over how to defuse the city’s biggest political crisis in decades. Last week, the Hong Kong government announced a basket of extra budget measures valued at $2.4 billion, spanning everything from relief for small businesses to more generous student subsidies and goodies for low-income households. Although Financial Secretary Paul Chan cited the gloomy economic outlook and downplayed the political crisis, he seems to have resorted to the tried-and-tested trick of “handing out candies” to assuage public discontent at a time of upheaval. More may be on the way as Chief Executive Carrie Lam is expected to
How the Hong Kong protests can be defused
US-China trade war: hardliners in Beijing are gaining influence
Ever since the trade war between Beijing and Washington started more than a year ago, China’s state media has performed contortionist acts in trying to build up a narrative. For much of the year, the official media outlets focused on playing up the potential fallout of the escalating conflict on the US economy while remaining silent on its potentially bigger negative impact on the Chinese economy, giving rise to jokes that Chinese officials seemed to be more concerned about the Americans than their own people. But since mid-May, when the trade talks collapsed with both sides blaming each other and further hiking import tariffs on each other’s goods, the state media has suddenly started to go
US-China trade war: hardliners in Beijing are gaining influence
May 4 and June 4: Why Beijing celebrates one movement and silences the other
China held an elaborate televised ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the centenary of student protests in 1919 known as the May Fourth Movement, which helped transform the country and pave the way for the birth of the Communist Party. But the government will disregard the 30th anniversary of another student demonstration in 1989 that preceded its bloody crackdown on June 4. The latter protest may be less seminal in China’s modern history, but its core spirit should not be obscured. In an hour-long speech at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, next to Tiananmen Square, President Xi Jinping hailed the student protesters 100 years ago as patriotic heroes who took a stand against imperialism and f
May 4 and June 4: Why Beijing celebrates one movement and silences the other
Chinese leaders should start eating what the people eat
The root of China’s pandemic food safety problem? The powerful and the people are not eating the same food. Food safety in China can be a highly emotive and incendiary issue because of the country’s appalling record over the past decade, including a litany of public health scandals affecting children. Chinese parents are constantly on edge because of the alarming occurrence of such scandals in the past, involving unscrupulous businessmen taking advantage of ineffective law enforcement and the government’s previous propensity to cover up such incidences. This month, hundreds of parents stormed a local school in the southwestern province of Sichuan and clashed with police when several dozen st
Chinese leaders should start eating what the people eat