Stories about East Asia from November, 2021
An interview with media scholar Rose Luqiu about WeChat and techno-nationalism
"A major factor is censorship or 'coerced loyalty.' As other communication tools like Facebook and Twitter are unavailable in China. WeChat has a very special [monopoly] status in China."
Cambodian rapper vows to continue writing critical songs after a year in jail for incitement
"I will not stop writing and singing my songs about my country. I will continue to educate the people through my songs and keep the patriotic spirit going."
Myanmar rappers express rage and resistance against the military regime
"Myanmar hip hop will never be silenced. We come together, not because we are the same but because we are united as one."
Chinese tennis star reappears after #WhereisPengShuai campaign sparked global outcry
Tennis star Peng Shuai has reappeared on a number of video clips released by Chinese state owned media outlets and the latest, a video call with the International Olympic Committee.
Political dynasties and billionaires hijack ‘democratic’ party-list system in the Philippines
"The most urgent need of the hour is for legislation to be passed to revise the party-list act and install permanent safeguards to prevent abuses and misuses of the system."
An impossible task: Serbia on the European path, hand in hand with Russia and China
Serbia keeps touting the country’s progress in aligning itself with EU foreign policy, but real gains won’t happen with Kosovo on the agenda.
When athletes get political: Support for the Uyghurs ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics
NBA player Enes Kanter called for fellow Muslim athletes to join him in condemning the atrocities that the Uyghurs have been suffering at the hand of the Chinese government.
Indonesian official tries to silence Greenpeace activists, changes course amid criticism
The report has since been withdrawn to avoid "politicization" and insinuations that the government does not welcome criticism.
#WhereIsPengshuai? Feminist activists and sports fans campaign for the missing tennis star
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, 35, has not been seen or heard from since accusing former Chinese Communist top leader Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault through Weibo on November 2.
Democratization in South Korea and the legacy of the Gwangju Uprising
"Youth participation and engagement in politics are promising. ... I see that the South Korean political system is gradually developing and the general public are embracing institutionalized democratic practices."
Japan named ‘Fossil of the Day’ for ‘clean coal’ plans
Efforts by Japan to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade appear to be marginal at best.
Champani youth in Cambodia find creative ways to promote their culture amid the pandemic
"During COVID pandemic and lockdown, I am able to keep myself going sane with online language classes and Cham is one of them."
More voices call for the release of Zhang Zhan, a citizen journalist who could die in a mainland Chinese prison
For months, international human rights groups have been urging China to release the jailed citizen journalist Zhang Zhan. The US government recently joined the cause as Zhang’s health is deteriorating.
A dive into young people's discontent through the Hong Kong indie band, My Little Airport
A dive into the discography and lyrics of My Little Airport (MLA), a 17-year-old indie band in Hong Kong, offers a perspective into young people's discontent in the city.
An all-women coral conservation team is helping to revive Indonesia's world-famous Gili reefs
"I believe that empowering women and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development."
Indonesian court allows internet blocking amid social unrest
"We [are] worried the Indonesia government will implement more Internet restrictions based on this Constitutional Court decision that not follow or address human rights standards like their previous actions."
How ‘Squid Game’ hijacked Halloween and a traditional Kenyan wedding ceremony
Despite the criticism that the series has received for its violence and gore, it has unquestionably become a global cultural phenomenon, exporting Korean pop culture to the world.
Why can't Japan's opposition parties win?
Despite an all-out effort to coordinate campaign activities, opposition parties once again failed to gain traction with voters.
#HandsOffOurLibraries: Scholars protest removal of ‘subversive’ books from Philippine universities
"An attack on the library is an attack on the very heart of the University itself."
Days after COP26 agreement, Indonesian officials renege on anti-deforestation pledge
Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar has dismissed the UN plan to end industrial deforestation by 2030, saying: "Forcing Indonesia to zero deforestation in 2030 is clearly inappropriate and unfair."
The Zhang Gaoli sexual assault scandal: Political power struggle or #Metoo?
"It reveals the real life of Chinese top leaders and lets people have a glimpse of their hypocrisy, corrupted lifestyles, excessive power abuse and fear underneath their moralistic masks."