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· August, 2021

Stories about East Asia from August, 2021

Train attack in Japan exposes misogyny and gender violence

"The common trait among mass shooters, serial killers, and other serial perpetrators of gendered violence is an intense hatred of women."

Facebook user gets 18-month prison sentence for mocking Cambodia’s prime minister

"This verdict is a message that makes those who have constructive ideas or criticisms in relation to social issues be fearful and hesitant and will limit their freedom of expression."

Protestors call for the resignation of Thailand's Prime Minister Gen Prayut

Since last year, protestors have been calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Gen Prayut who came to power through a coup in 2014.

Who is glorifying terrorism: Hong Kong students or the Chinese government?

HK police arrested four university students on charges of 'advocating terrorism' because they mourned the death of a police assaulter. Meanwhile, China looks to cooperate with the Afghan Taliban.

Cambodia’s China-funded mega dam linked to rights abuses and loss of fisheries

"Today, everything the dammed-up rivers provided – food, water, an income from fishing – is gone."

Space for peaceful protests is vanishing in Hong Kong as pro-democracy coalition is disbanded

Throughout its tenure, the umbrella organization frequently hosted major mass rallies in Hong Kong, including the 2019 anti-China extradition protests.

The evil of banal censorship

Images of peaceful protesters do not fit the narrative that continues to portray the protesters as violent, irrational and emotional.

Venezuela and China: Strong bond or empty words?

Venezuelan authorities claim that the strategic partnership with China remains as strong as ever, but they have reaped little economic benefits from it since 2016.

Kanal Istanbul, Turkey's Middle Corridor, and the Belt and Road Initiative

The Middle Corridor, formally known as the Trans-Caspian East-West-Middle Corridor Initiative, reflects Turkey’s dream of building links to China via the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Japan's ‘Battleship Island’ hides history of wartime forced labor

"Very little of Japan's history of industrialization presented at their new UNESCO Heritage sites is true."

Chinese investments in Nigeria flourish on a Silk Road of corruption

The willingness of corrupt Chinese businesspeople to bribe equally fraudulent Nigerian government officials is rarely captured by the simplistic mutual understanding narrative pushed by Chinese diplomats. 

The Chinese government drives support among ambassadors of Muslim countries for the Uyghur genocide

Ignoring data collected over the years by activists and testimonies by former inmates of Xinjiang "re-education camps," ambassadors from Muslim countries peddled the official Chinese line during a staged interview.

What’s wrong with the political analogy comparing Taiwan to Afghanistan?

Following the withdrawal of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan, Chinese commentators comparing Taiwan with Kabul have flooded social media questioning the credibility of the United States' commitment to Taiwan.

Journalists call for the release of Cheng Lei who has spent a year in detention in China

"We are concerned about the chilling affect her arrest has on the practice of journalism, which has never been more critical."

How did Chinese propaganda force Hong Kong's largest teachers union to disband?

Besides HKPTU, Chinese state media outlets have also attacked the HK Bar Association, the Law Society of HK, HK Journalists Association, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and more.

Dissecting the ‘win-win’ of Chinese investment in Greece

On the surface, Sino-Greek economic relations, largely centered around shipping, are seen as bilateral ‘win-win’. But this narrative becomes more complex if one examines Greek media and political actors.

China: Parents and teachers are divided amid crackdown on private tutoring

To ensure that the policy is fully enforced, the education authorities encouraged parents and students to report schools and teachers that violate the policy guidelines.

China’s wavering COVID-19 vaccine diplomacy in Turkey

Turkey procured vaccines from China in December 2020, but delivery delays and negative perceptions of China-made vaccines are now making other sources more attractive. 

China state media erases references to fictitious Swiss biologist

Major Chinese state media outlets quoted a fake Swiss biologist to spread misinformation that the US had turned the WHO into a political tool.

Are Turkish environmental groups alone in criticizing the Beijing-Ankara economic integration?

The Hunutlu coal-fired power plant is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative in Turkey, an economic and political cooperation program that Ankara joined in November 2015.

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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