RFA in the News (August 2020)

2020-09-04
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VICE (Also in INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMESNEWSHUB)

Aug. 31 “The Only Mongolian-Language Social Media Site Was Shut Down in China

… According to U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia, hundreds of teachers in the Inner Mongolian cities of Tongliao and Ulaanhad were called into “urgent, secret meetings” to discuss orders from the Chinese government to switch elementary and high school curriculums to Mandarin Chinese under a state-supported “bilingual education program.”

EXPRESS

Aug. 28 “North Korea warning: Troops to ‘kill anyone near Chinese border to stop COVID-19 spread’

… According to Radio Free Asia, the ban applies to the 880-mile border between the two countries.

ASIA TIMES

Aug. 28 “Hun Sen uses Covid-19 to mask EU sanction hit

… Brad Adams, executive director of New York-based Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, told Radio Free Asia this month that he reckons Brussels is planning a “phased approach”, in which the EU will escalate its sanctions until Phnom Penh changes course.

WALL STREET JOURNAL (Also in COCONUTS, THE STANDARD, WASHINGTON EXAMINER, TAIPEI TIMES, FOCUS TAIWAN)

Aug. 27 “China Coast Guard Seizes Hong Kong Activists Fleeing to Taiwan

Radio Free Asia first reported Mr. Li’s arrest at sea.

UCA NEWS

Aug. 27 “Nowhere to hide: SE Asian nations conspire as dissidents disappear

… “There has been no progress in this case for now,” a police officer told Radio Free Asia’s Lao Service.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

Aug. 26 “China Sees Red in Islamic Weddings of Uighur Muslims, Banned Over A Year Ago, Says Report

… Kashgar officials pushed Uighur couples to marry only by obtaining government-issued marriage license because the authorities viewed the Islamic wedding ritual as a form of "religious extremism," a source told Radio Free Asia (RFA).

SAXON

Aug. 26 “Shanghai Police Detain Another Journalist, As China Faces Accusations Of A COVID-19 Cover-Up

… According to Radio Free Asia, lawyer-turned-journalist Zhang Zhan was taken by authorities from Wuhan’s Caiguang Hotel near Hankou railway station on the night of May 14.

SAXON

Aug. 26 “Southeast Asian Drug Markets Are Booming Amidst The Coronavirus Pandemic

… “It is hard to imagine that organized crime have again managed to expand the drug market, but they have,” said Jeremy Douglas, UNODC representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in a written statement, according to Radio Free Asia.

KOREA HERALD

Aug. 25 “UN set to address NK human rights issues

… “North Korea is a totalitarian country. It doesn’t need a Party Congress to change. Kim Jong-un orders there needs to be reforms,” John Sifton, the Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, told Radio Free Asia.

TAIWAN NEWS

Aug. 25 “China 'willing' to share data with Mekong countries after its dams worsen drought downstream

… In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Southeast Asia program director of the American think tank the Stimson Center, Brian Eyler, said "the Jinghong dam [in China's Yunnan Province] has not released water or has released less water than it normally does ... And this is likely because the needs of that dam are prioritized over the needs of everyone downstream."

UCA NEWS

Aug. 25 “Hong Kong vexed as China censors textbooks

Radio Free Asia quoted students and teachers as saying that the new measures are aimed at "brainwashing" students into unquestioning patriotism and inculcating loyalty to the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

EXPRESS

Aug. 24 “Kim Jong-un dead and sister poised for North Korea takeover experts say after clue spotted

… The US-backed Radio Free Asia website earlier this month claimed six people - including four party officials - had been executed by firing squad after being accused of either pimping or buying sex at a public bathhouse popular among influential city residents.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

Aug. 23 “Chinese Authorities Do Monitor Overseas WeChat Accounts, Jailed User Reveals”

But Geng told Radio Free Asia that he never clicked on the video and despite trying to reach Gao, his attempts were unsuccessful.

EXPRESS (Also in MIRROR, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES)

Aug. 21 “North Korea chaos: Panicked Kim Jong-un deploys 1,500 special forces soldiers to border

… A military source in Ryanggang province told Radio Free Asia (RFA): “Since August 5, we have quadrupled our border security over the North Korea-China border area in Ryanggang Province."

FOX NEWS (Also in NATIONAL REVIEW, BUSINESS INSIDER, BIG NEWS NETWORK, DAILY SIGNAL, FAITHWIRE)

Aug. 20 “State Department renews scrutiny of China amid report of Uighur infanticide, forced abortions

… Hospitals in Xinjiang have been forced to abort and kill babies born in excess of family planning limits, Radio Free Asia reported citing a Uyghur obstetrician who worked in multiple hospitals in China's northwest province.

EXPRESS

Aug. 20 “North Korea's war on sex: Kim Jong un's high society shattered by prostitution ring bust

… The women involved were all female students at the prominent performing arts colleges in the city, sources told the US-backed Radio Free Asia (RFA) website.

HANKYOREH

Aug. 20 “US State Department indirectly opposes S. Korean proposal to readjust working group

… Evans Revere, former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, told Radio Free Asia that Lee’s characterization of the working group as an obstacle clashes with the US’ position that the working group provides a valuable review of hasty actions.

ASEAN TODAY

Aug. 20 “Myanmar election stresses cracks in democracy as Suu Kyi government, military will hold strong

… “Some restrictions imposed by the commission block equal opportunities and free speech for all political parties,” said Min Zeyar, a leader of the new People’s Party, speaking with Radio Free Asia.

BITTER WINTER (Also in ZEENEWS, INDIA TIMES, NEWSROOM POST, ABP LIVE, OPINDIA, ASIANET)

Aug. 19 “Spirit Breaking: On Mosque Rectification and Cultural Genocide

… The installation of the public toilet facility on the remains of the Tokul mosque, an act profoundly offensive to anyone retaining even a modicum of civilized sensibilities, has not gone unnoticed in the international community, but when Radio Free Asia followed up on the story with the local committee chief, there was no acknowledgement whatsoever that the move was as an obnoxious misstep.

CNN (Also in DAILY MAIL, BUSINESS INSIDER, SPUTNIK NEWS, THE DRIVE, EXPRESS)

Aug. 19 “Satellite photos appear to show Chinese submarine using underground base

… According to Radio Free Asia, the sub is probably a Type 093, also called the Shang-class nuclear-powered attack submarine.

NEW YORK TIMES (Also in SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

Aug. 18 “She Was a Communist Party Insider in China. Then She Denounced Xi.

… “They have persecuted Xu Zhangrun by ruining his reputation, humiliating his dignity, stripping him of his right to work and cutting off his livelihood,” she wrote in an essay published by Radio Free Asia last month.

TAIWAN TIMES (Also in KOREA HERALD)

Aug. 18 “North Korea Could Have Up To 60 Nukes, Global Hacker Network: US Army

… At least one defence analyst questioned on the issue, Dr. Bruce Bennett, at RAND Corp., in speaking to Radio Free Asia said that Pyongyang was capable of rendering South Korean counterattacks to North Korean aggression futile – at least in the short term.

EXPRESS

Aug. 17 “North Korea state of emergency: Crisis sparks panic as ENTIRE COUNTRY deployed to help”

… Speaking to Radio Free Asia, a North Korean official said: "The Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party, gave the order to mobilise the entire party, army, and all the people to help the effort to recover from the damage caused by the rainy season."

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

Aug. 17 “Vietnamese blogger Truong Duy Nhat’s 10-year jail sentence upheld on appeal

… Nhat, a regular contributor to U.S. Congress-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia, disappeared from Thailand in January, and then appeared in Vietnam, where in March he was sentenced to prison on charges of “abusing his position and power while on duty” as a reporter, as CPJ documented at the time.

EXPRESS

Aug. 14 “North Korea horror: Kim orders public executions of six people over high-class sex ring

… Radio Free Asia confirmed the executions by firing quad took place last month in the capital of Pyongyang.

JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION

Aug. 14 “The CCP’s Economic Plans in the Lead-Up to the Fifth Party Plenum

… Now that the United States has blocked Chinese access to American know-how, “the bursting of the bubble of Xi Jinping’s technological dream has taken place earlier” (Radio Free Asia, July 29).

EXPRESS (Also in CHRISTIANITY DAILY, NEW YORK POST)

Aug. 14 “North Korea cruelty: Kim Jong-un jails soldier for MINUSCULE crime - rogue state panicking

… The female soldier, described as a “model” soldier of the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, was detained after she was caught listening to US-government funded news agency Radio Free Asia (RFA) on duty

IRRAWADDY

Aug. 14 “Five Abducted as Feud Between Myanmar’s Ethnic Rakhine Groups Continues”

“In the interview with RFA [Radio Free Asia], Khaing Thukha said they were detained not because they are ALP members, but for being drunk and disorderly,” said Lt-Col Khaing Kyaw Hlaing.

KOREA HERALD

Aug. 14 “Flood-battered NK rules out outside aid”

Meanwhile, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies told Radio Free Asia it has offered relief goods to about 3,000 households in North Hwanghae Province and Kangwon Province, the hardest-hit regions all bordering the South.

NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS

Aug. 13 “Uighur Poets on Repression and Exile

… Izgil currently works as a film producer at Radio Free Asia, whose Uighur bureau has done more than perhaps any other news agency to document the devastation in Xinjiang.

EXPRESS

Aug. 13 “North Korea panic: Kim Jong-un's secret office launches desperate plan to raise funds

… It is offering gold producers scarce electricity in return for record prices to fund the Workers’ Party of Korea, according to Radio Free Asia.

JOONG ANG DAILY (Also in UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL)

Aug. 13 “UN envoy calls inspections of defector groups 'political'

Tomás Ojea Quintana, the special rapporteur on the human rights situation in North Korea, told Radio Free Asia (RFA) in an interview that he was considering issuing a formal communication to Seoul about the potential human rights violations stemming from the probes.

ASEAN POST

Aug. 13 “New Mekong dam ignores threats to UNESCO World Heritage city, livelihoods and ecosystems

… “We will wait to hear no matter how long it takes,” one local resident told Radio Free Asia.

EXPRESS

Aug. 11 “North Korea chaos: Sick 'neighbourhood watch' scheme sparks fury – bizarre project leaked

… In response to the evolving crisis, ruling party officials ordered Neighbourhood Watch Units (NWU) to provide food supplies to households identifies as hungry, Radio Free Asia reports.

KOREA HERALD

Aug. 11 “Inter-Korean barter pending approval; aid group helps displaced N. Koreans

… “Hundreds of homes have been damaged and large areas of rice fields have been submerged due to heavy rain and some flash flooding,” spokesperson Anthony Balmain from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) told Radio Free Asia Monday.

EXPRESS

Aug. 10 “China cover-up: Beijing forced Uighurs to work during the peak of coronavirus pandemic

… A local resident told Radio Free Asia: “Barricades have been erected on every corner and they are saying that whoever leaps over them will be taken for ‘re-education’.”

EXPRESS (Also in PLEDGE TIMES)

Aug. 10 “North Korea prostitution conspiracy: Kim Jong-un EXECUTES officials as war on sex erupts

… The women involved were all female students at performing arts colleges in the city, sources told the US-backed Radio Free Asia (RFA) website.

OBSERVERS

Aug. 8 “Video of Uighur handcuffed to bed in quarantine centre refocuses attention on Chinese persecution

... When asked about the video on July 5, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs, told Radio Free Asia that he had no knowledge of the situation.

ASIA NEWS

Aug. 6 “Chinese workers and gamblers illegally stream into Laos to avoid quarantine

Laos has detained and deported hundreds of Chinese nationals in recent months for illegally entering the country to sidestep a mandatory 14-day coronavirus quarantine period and head straight to casinos to gamble or work, local sources told Radio Free Asia (RFA).

EXPRESS

Aug 6. “China accused of cover-up: Woman sues over dad's COVID death 'Why did they keep it quiet?'

Zhao told the US-funded Radio Free Asia website: "The government concealed the fact that the coronavirus can be transmitted between people, which meant that everyone in Wuhan, including our family, carried on buying stuff, eating celebratory meals for Lunar New Year and eating out together.

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

Aug. 5 “Report: Red Cross in North Korea activates disaster response

… Red Cross spokesman Antony Balmain said this week the North Korean Red Cross has activated an emergency response team to "work alongside authorities and local communities in nine provinces," Radio Free Asia reported.

NEWSMAX

Aug. 4 “China Conducts South China Sea Drill Ahead of US Exercise

… China recently made a move likely meant to flex its military muscles to the United States by sending warships and fighter jets to its military bases throughout the Spratly island chain in the South China Sea, according to Radio Free Asia.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (Also in ASSOCIATED PRESS, VOICE OF AMERICA, CAMBODIA DAILY, JURIST, NEWS POCKET)

Aug. 4 “Cambodia: Free Prominent Trade Union Leader

…. In an interview with Radio Free Asia on July 31, shortly before his arrest, Rong Chhun responded to the government’s statement and urged the Border Affairs Committee to visit the border provinces themselves and speak to the aggrieved villagers.

OIL PRICE

Aug. 3 “China’s Oil Import Dependence Grows To 73.4% In H1 2020

… According to Chinese data, analyzed by Radio Free Asia’s Michael Lelyveld, China has been buying record volumes of crude oil over the past months in order to bolster its energy security, especially at a time when its relations with the United States are deteriorating.

BITTER WINTER

Aug. 2 ”Crosses Toppled from Two Protestant Venues in One Village”

As Radio Free Asia reported in its July 8 piece, the police monitored mobile phones and the internet in the village that day.

EXPRESS (Also in MIRROR, NEW YORK POST)

Aug. 1 “North Korea horror: Kim Jong-un introduces incredibly cruel new law for residents

… A resident of North Hamgyong province told Radio Free Asia’s Korean Service: “Since early this month, residents who need travel certificates to go to the border areas must submit a document with their fingerprint on it confirming they will never defect from North Korea.

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