SINGAPORE - A free online publication by Lianhe Zaobao will make its reporting on China available to English readers.
Launched on Tuesday (Sept 24), ThinkChina will have select articles from Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) flagship Chinese-language newspaper translated into English, and include contributions of scholars from the National University of Singapore's East Asian Institute.
It will also feature in-depth commentaries and analyses from invited China experts across various fields, including politics, economics, business and culture.
About 70 per cent of the content will be selected from Zaobao, with the rest from external contributors.
Updated daily, the e-magazine will also include a weekly newsletter of highlights that readers can sign up for.
ThinkChina is a continuation of efforts that started with Zaobao's revamp 16 years ago to increase its focus on China's current affairs, said Ms Lee Huay Leng, head of SPH's Chinese Media Group.
In March 2003, Zaobao reorganised all of its China coverage into Zaobao China, which became a dedicated second section of the newspaper.
"Sixteen years on, China's presence and influence in this region and the world have strengthened and deepened, and it is even more important today to have a deeper and broader understanding of China," said Ms Lee in her welcome address at the launch.
More than 130 people from schools, business associations and embassies attended Tuesday's event.
Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was the guest of honour, said China's complexity, size and diversity make it a challenging country to define and report on.
"The information and analysis we receive about it are often incomplete, and even contradictory. What we read can also be shaped by the ideological starting points of the writers," said Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security.
He noted that Zaobao has established a reputation of being a keen observer of China, but from a distinctly Singapore perspective that allows it to avoid viewing developments from an ideological viewpoint.
"This is what differentiates Singapore media from your counterparts in Greater China and the Western world - you are an 'insider' with an 'outsider's perspective'," he said.
Ms Lee agreed, noting that this has been a tradition which generations of Zaobao's foreign correspondents have observed.
"We immerse ourselves in the happenings and developments of China, yet we maintain our independence and distance, never losing sight of who we are," she said.
Readers can go to ThinkChina's website at thinkchina.sg