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· October, 2021

Stories about East Asia from October, 2021

Singapore's new law against ‘foreign interference’ threatens to undermine free speech

"The solution should never be to simply give the government more and more and more broad discretionary powers that can be used against citizens ..."

Hong Kong stays firm on zero-COVID policy as its top strategy to reconnect with China

"So if Hong Kong were to loosen border controls for people arriving from overseas... then the chances to travel with the mainland will be reduced," says Hong Kong's Chief Executive.

Hong Kong to ban films and punish unauthorized screenings on grounds of ‘national security’

An inspector authorized by the censorship agency may also enter and search premises without a warrant when they are trying to halt an unauthorized film screening or publication.

“Hong Kong, add oil” is censored as Pro-Beijingers associate the expression with sedition

"This paranoia says nothing but weakness. Changing shirts and covering up tattoos are easy things to do. Changing hears and minds? Forget about it."

The Uyghur issue, China’s greatest fear, is looming in Afghanistan

As the Taliban and China seem to strengthen their ties, the tragedy of the Uyghurs imprisoned in China's so-called re-education camps could prove to be a diplomatic stumbling block.

A McDonald's drive-through in Japan gets a visit from a sacred horse

A popular post on Japanese Twitter provides a glimpse into the long connection between horses and Shinto shrines in Japan.

Taiwan: Deepfake pornographic video victims call for new laws against sexual violence in cyberspace

Taiwan's recent arrest of popular YouTuber Xiao Yu, Zhu Yuchen, for allegedly selling deepfake pornographic videos of public figures has drawn public attention to artificial intelligence (AI) crimes.

Malaysian rapper Namewee breaks the hearts of mainland Chinese ‘little pinks’

"Sorry for hurting you. It’s okay to delete Weibo, Oh, I hear a sound, a fragile heart is broken into pieces... It’s Okay I still have IG and FB…"

Community care during the pandemic in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines

From community pantries in the Philippines to the White Flag movement in Malaysia, this pandemic has spurred communities to mobilize and provide aid during this public health emergency.

Malaysian students share lessons using digital tools to promote indigenous languages

"Students have the opportunity to explore, reflect and scrutinize the functions and roles of indigenous languages in society and to the indigenous communities."

Is the shutting down of Chinese LinkedIn the end of foreign big tech’s engagement with China?

What are the reasons behind Microsoft's decision to leave China? Product failure? China' newly enacted data security law? or the proposing algorium law?

Prefecture threatens to sue after being ranked one of the “least attractive” places in Japan

The annual survey asks respondents all over Japan to rank the attractiveness of the nation's 47 prefectures based on 84 different attributes, including natural features, cuisine, and tourist attractions.

Chinese movie ‘The Battle of Lake Changjin’ turns the painful history of the Korean War into a glorious victory

The official message of the film is that China gained a decisive victory in the battle of Chosin Reservoir and young people should learn from the fearless, "hot-blooded" soldiers.

COVID-19, vaccination and the progress of the global healthcare system

“ … obesity might soon be recognised as a vitally strategic global element in explaining varying COVID-19 levels between rich and poor.”

China's reputation challenged by perceptions of low-quality projects and products in Ethiopia

In contrast to the official praise, the Ethiopian public is often critical about the quality of these projects, as well as Chinese products sold in Ethiopia.

Why are Czech elites being captured by Beijing narratives? 

The ties between outgoing president Zeman as well as economic relationships over the past few years, especially in the media, raise concerns about the public narrative around Sino-Czech relations.

Philippines will allow casinos on world-famous Boracay Island, despite local opposition

“I appeal to our leaders in the province not to allow gambling casino that will destroy our cherished land.”

An interview with Myanmar's UN Ambassador who defied the junta

"We need international support to increase that momentum. We can end the suffering if the military faces domestic and international pressure."

Chinese citizen journalist held incommunicado after COVID reporting reappears

Chinese citizen journalist Chen Qiushi has returned. But other citizen journalists covering the COVID-19 outbreak in China are still missing. Among them Zhang Zhan has been sentenced to four years...

Myanmar actress Mya Hnin Ye Lwin on her decision to join the anti-junta resistance

"The hardships we face each day are nothing compared to the lives of those who gave up life and limb and those who have been imprisoned."

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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