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· May, 2021

Stories about East Asia from May, 2021

Hong Kong authorities warn of 5-year prison term for attending Tiananmen Massacre vigil

The security bureau warned that under the Public Order Ordinance, offenders will face up to five years in prison for attending, or one year for promoting, the vigil.

Why Huawei was almost excluded from the 5G race in Brazil

Despite its two-decade history in Brazil, the Chinese tech giant's chance to compete for 5G development contracts was at one point vehemently opposed by the Bolsonaro government.

7 ways Beijing reduced democratic representation in Hong Kong’s elections

A new powerhouse, headed by a "state leader," will elect the city's chief executive, nominate all candidates running for the legislature, and appoint 40 of its members to the legislature.

Greeks wage a court battle against Chinese-funded port that may poison the environment

Expansion of the Piraeus port will create a "subaquatic toxic landfill” at the expense of the area’s fragile ecosystems.

A new COVID-19 wave overwhelms pandemic-conscious Taiwan

Taiwan recorded 3,161 COVID-19 cases so far in May 2021. Previously, it had registered fewer than 1,200 total cases since the start of the pandemic.

Resistance, rebellion, and rage: Japan's opposition to the Tokyo Olympics

As Japan continues to struggle with a new wave of COVID-19 infections, opposition to the upcoming Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games continues to build.

Netflix’s new series on Yasuke, the African samurai, is a new dawn for Black characters in animation

Rather than a biography of the African Samurai, the a six-part series takes the void of knowledge post-1582 as a starting point to a re-imagined alternate reality and fantastical story.

Hong Kong to toughen up privacy law against doxxing

If the law passes, will the Privacy Commissioner implement the law fairly, taking against doxxing regardless of the victims' (real or perceived) political affiliations?

Environmental activists convicted in Cambodia for planning ‘one-woman walk’

"These young people were arrested for trying to protect Phnom Penh’s largest lake and preserve it for current and future generations."

The different faces of gender equality in Vietnam politics

"From former political prisoners to the wives of jailed activists to ordinary citizens, many women have been subjected to mistreatment and harassment one way or another."

Hong Kong's public broadcaster is on its way to become a government mouthpiece

Shows are being censored, journalists are being fired, and even social media posts are being deleted.

Using Clubhouse to counter Beijing-imposed amnesia: An interview with Ai Weiwei

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei continues to fight political censorship in China by using art, sound and social media to maintain the memory of the school victims of the 2008 Sichuan...

Inside Myanmar: Testimonies of survival and resistance

"The military junta could only terrorize our country but they can't rule. They could shoot, kill and arrest our young heroes called 'Spring flowers' but they can't avoid Burma's Spring."

Hong Kong activists sentenced to jail for commemorating Tiananmen Square Massacre in 2020

Hongkongers have been gathering to commemorate the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre since 1990. The court's ruling signals that anyone participating in commemorations this year risks being charged with unlawful assembly.

Two Malaysian artists face police probe for online commentary and artwork

"The persecution of artists such as Zunar and Fahmi stifles creative expression, chills public discourse, and undermines trust in Malaysian authorities."

Women leaders discuss campaign for digital rights in Thailand

'...the government must learn to use technology as a tool to create more positive connections with the people on the ground, not using technology to oppress people.'

Community pantries inspire hope amid pandemic and economic crisis in the Philippines

In a span of less than three weeks, around 800 community pantries have been set up nationwide to help those in need amidst worsening COVID-hit economy, sparking government backlash.

Taiwan, ‘the most dangerous place on Earth'? Not according to Taiwanese.

This week's cover story by the British magazine The Economist labeled Taiwan "the most dangerous place on Earth," eliciting a lot of reaction on Taiwanese Twitter.

China pledges to improve conditions of delivery workers. Arrest of a labor activist suggests otherwise.

Earlier this year, Chen Guajiang, a delivery worker who helped organize dozens of WeChat groups for drivers, was arrested and charged for "picking quarrels." He faces five years in prison.

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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