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· February, 2020

Stories about East Asia from February, 2020

Battered by criticism, Abe government scrambles to save Japan from COVID-19

"Just cancel it!" (#中止だ中止), a line from the 1988 animated film Akira about the cancellation of the fictional Olympics, accompanied by a screenshot of the movie, trended on Japan Twitter.

What kind of rumours were circulating during the 2020 Taiwan presidential election?

"...a majority of the rumors were aimed at dividing the Taiwanese society. They provoke people’s emotions and split the community into two political camps."

Migrant workers in Thailand organize against exploitation by the country's fishing industry

Off the shores of Thailand, a seafood industry flourishes. Here, debt-bondage and slavery are standard workplace practices. But workers are organizing unions to fight back against exploitation.

Verifying the 2020 presidential elections: An interview with the Taiwan Fact Check Center

For the first time, the Taiwan Fact Check Center fact-checked the live, televised 2020 presidential debates on December 29, 2019.

Can the anti-infiltration law successfully block pro-Beijing media in Taiwan?

Pro-Beijing media outlet announced it would leave the Taiwanese market in protest over the anti-infiltration law in Taiwan.

Political beliefs divide generations and strain family ties in Taiwan

While the outcome of the Taiwan 2020 presidential election is settled, generational conflicts continue.

Chinese censorship demonstrates it can afford the cost of ‘the death of media’

A massive number of groups and user accounts were removed by platforms following the death of Dr. Li Wenliang, which set social media on fire.

Indonesian superhero cartoon fights for the environment and the Balinese language

"The inspiration for the creation of the superhero character of Luh Ayu Manik Mas is the strong, tough and resilient Balinese women who themselves are like superheroes."

Japan edges ever closer to a COVID-19 epidemic

As a ship with 454 infected passengers remains quarantined at berth in Yokohama, the likelihood of a potential epidemic within Japan has slowly started to sink in.

For Rohingya refugees, ID systems have brought coercion, violence and denial of ethnic identity

"They told us they would withhold rations and that we couldn’t stay in the camps. So we had no choice."

China travel ban heightens threats to Australia's trade, tourism and education sectors

"#Coronavirus is more than a minor cold for the Chinese economy... They’ve got more to worry about than another week’s travel ban to Australia."

Hong Kong's labor laws aid and abet the abuse of foreign domestic workers

Hong Kong immigration rules such as the one that requires foreign domestic workers to live with their employers are putting women's safety at risk, activists say.

Positive energy floods Chinese social media as over 60,000 infected with COVID-2019

As of February 15, there are 66,577 infections and 1,524 deaths as a result of 2019-nCoV -- which has not stopped Chinese social media from being flooded with positive energy.

Is the coronavirus epidemic China's ‘Chernobyl moment'?

"It is a system that turns every natural disaster into an even greater man-made catastrophe."

#OustDuterte trends as Filipinos criticize government's response to the coronavirus

"How to prevent Corona Virus? 1. Proper hygiene 2. Stay indoors as much as possible 3. Use face masks daily 4. #OustDuterte"

Semi-quarantined: Living with the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong

"The park is half-empty, but we have decided to let our daughter enjoy a few hours of daily sunshine. We are determined not to let ourselves be overwhelmed by fear."

Public outcry over Wuhan coronavirus leads to blame game in China

Despite Beijing's claims, the central government bears significant responsibility for the mismanagement of crucial information in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Controversy in Malaysia: Do Facebook posts about the coronavirus amount to ‘circulating rumors’?

"...while I agree some restrictions are necessary in times of crisis, dragging someone under the Penal Code is unjustified. Restrictions need not be through punitive measures in this case."

‘L Japan’: Kobe couple vlogs about lesbian life

Get an introduction to Japanese lesbian slang and more on this YouTube channel by Kobe residents Miho and Clare.

Coronavirus death of whistleblower Li Wenliang sets Chinese social media on fire

The manipulation around his death became obvious. Li Wenliang became an icon as people have come to see his life and death as a reflection of their own fate.

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