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Stories about East Asia

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.

Netflix animation “Trese” brings Filipino supernatural beings to our screens

"It’s so inspiring and hopeful to think about how Trese is going to open so many doors for other local artists who are dreaming to get their works published."

Thailand protests against pandemic mismanagement met with police violence

Protesters have three demands: The resignation of the prime minister, the reallocation of the budget for the monarchy and military to COVID-19 assistance, and replacement of Sinovac with mRNA vaccines.

Is anti-Chinese sentiment in Kyrgyzstan strong enough to freeze a key Belt and Road Initiative project?

A logistics project in Kyrgyzstan, part of China's BRI infrastructure program, was poised to become a commercial hub in the heart of Eurasia. Despite the hype, it now seems stalled.

‘I demand 100 percent freedom’ — Hong Kong political artist leaves for Taiwan citing crackdown

Wong sought to push the boundaries of art as a means of political dissent on the streets and was a regular attendee at the annual July 1 pro-democracy rallies.

The diplomatic struggle over Taiwan's name in the Olympics

The Taiwan team can only use a plum blossom flag in the Olympic Games because the International Olympic Committee refused to let Taiwan using its national flag.

Belarusian sprinter sent home from Olympics by Belarusian officials says she will ask for asylum

24-year-old Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said she was not worried about being kicked off the national team, but was afraid she would be imprisoned once she arrived in Belarus.

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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