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Stories about East Asia

‘Courage is accumulative,’ said director of Hong Kong protest documentary at 2021 Cannes Festival

"This is a paradox, only if I stay in Hong Kong I can enjoy freedom, a freedom to overcome fear."

Hong Kong will pass a tough anti-doxxing law that may curb freedom of information

The internet sector has expressed concerns about the vague definition of doxxing, the extension of criminal liability to tech companies and their employees and the extraterritorial implications of the amendment.

July arrests mark turn for the worse in Vietnam

Among those arrested were two relatively unknown individuals with hardly any history of pro-democracy activism.

Volunteers tackle Bali’s plastic problem during pandemic

On average in Bali, per capita, a tourist uses 3.5 times more plastic per day than a local resident.

Macau bans 21 opposition candidates from campaigning for the Legislature

A handshake with the ex-chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party was presented as evidence to disqualify Antonio Ng from Macau political office.

The imprisonment of the ‘Lucky Family': How Chinese authorities detained and sentenced a whole birthday party

A birthday party among friends and family resulted in several arrests on suspicion of extremism in Xinjiang, as authorities in China continue to surveil and detain Uyghurs and Kazakhs.

How ‘Yasuke’ offers a new perspective on the history and current relations of Africans in Japan

The revelation that an actual African Samurai did indeed exist has triggered important conversations about his origins and the experience of the African diaspora in Japan today.

China wipes out LGBTQ channels on WeChat with no explanation

At least 14 LGBTQ public channels on WeChat were permanently blocked on July 6, 2021. All their content vanished without a trace.

Malaysian artists and activists face probe over a short film depicting police brutality

"These ongoing harassments against activists, journalists, and artists attempt to silence our voice and deflect the public pressure on the prevalent cases of custodial death in the past few months."

China’s Belt and Road megaproject in the Mediterranean: Was it the Greek shipping tycoons who sealed the deal?

In Sino-Greek relations, the dominant narrative runs that China is taking the lead by investing in Greece. But a more layered account of the events is often overlooked.

Groups call for the release of Mother Nature environmental activists in Cambodia

"The work that activists undertake should be praised rather than hampered, and their voices should be listened to rather than silenced."

Hong Kong Government defines assault on police as “lone wolf terrorism”

Hong Kong authorities define an assault on a police officer as a “lone-wolf style act of domestic terrorism” and claimed that the man had been radicalized by hate speech.

What has Hong Kong lost one year after the National Security Law was enacted?

Hongkongers have lost the right to attend public protests and assemblies;  Apple Daily, Hong Kong's largest pro-democracy publication has been shut down; and numerous civic groups have been dissolved. 

A young activist’s fight for gender equality and democracy in Thailand

"I think everyone should be a feminist, because if it’s a true democracy, the people should be supreme, and every person should be equal, no matter their gender or class."

Myanmar coup architect's birthday celebrated with mock funerals, curses, protests

For Myanmar's citizens, General Min Aung Hlaing's birthday on July 3 was an occasion to vent anger over the February 1 coup and the military's deadly response to anti-coup resistance.

Abuse of Hong Kong domestic workers by employers increased dramatically during pandemic lockdown

A survey by one rights group found that about 40,000 foreign domestic workers were given no rest days during the pandemic, and 20,000 were given only one day off per...

Hong Kong promotes two former police officers to lead the government

It is the first time since Hong Kong returned to China that a former police officer has filled the position of chief secretary.

Hong Kong digital news outlet Stand News removes articles and suspends subscriptions following Apple Daily closure

Pro-democracy digital news outlet Stand News has announced it will remove opinion articles it published before May and stop accepting donations to reduce risks under the national security law.

Myanmar journalists endure attacks for reporting the coup

"We're all just waiting for the knock on the door. Sometimes you hear footsteps on the stairs, it's like they're coming for you: you have this feeling all the time."

UNESCO proposes listing World Heritage Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’

The fairness of the diplomatic process are irrelevant to the wider context of the reef’s 'in danger' listing. Australia risks being labelled an international climate change pariah.

About our East Asia coverage

Oiwan Lam is the North East Asia editor. Email her story ideas or volunteer to write.

Mong Palatino is the South East Asia editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.

Nevin Thompson is the Japan editor. Email him story ideas or volunteer to write.


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