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· July, 2021

Stories about East Asia from July, 2021

Indonesia faces criticism for lack of financial support amid lockdowns

Many citizens are criticizing the government for their seemingly inadequate response to the pandemic and lack of socio-economic support amid tightened COVID-19 restrictions.

Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz makes history for winning the Philippines’ first ever Olympic gold medal

"A woman unfairly included in the drug matrix wins the first Olympic gold medal for the Philippines. Coincidence or a foretelling? The last man standing is a woman."

Hong Kong hands down first guilty sentence on terrorism and inciting secession charges under national security law

The special High Court's judgement was based on 'all the relevant circumstances' and the undisputed understanding that the slogan was 'capable of' inciting others to commit secession.

Foreign journalists harassed by Chinese citizens over Zhengzhou flooding coverage

Correspondents for several international media outlets were harassed by citizens on the streets of Zhengzhou over the weekend as they covered the aftermath of severe flooding in the Chinese city.

Hong Kong Pro-Beijing camp finds fault with Olympic badminton player's black outfit

In Hong Kong, the hottest topic about the Tokoyo 2020 Olympic Games in recent days has been badminton player Angus Ng Ka-Long’s monochrome black outfit. 

‘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.

Twitter Japan appears to suspend government critics

Twitter Japan typically provides no explanation for the bans, or why accounts are restored.

Released journalists share prison experiences in Myanmar

"Without letting me sleep, they interrogated me for three days. I requested water, which they allowed me only on the third day. I had food only on the fourth day."

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.

Chinese cities’ plans to ban unvaccinated from public facilities triggers online backlash

A few dozen Chinese cities have introduced restrictive policies banning unvaccinated people from visiting public venues including schools, hospitals, mass transportation and shopping malls. 

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.

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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