RFA in the News (January 2020)

2020-02-03
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TELEGRAPH

Jan. 31 “North Korean government officials escape across the border ‘with key documents’ in group defection

… A Radio Free Asia report claims that a further seven officials from Pyongyang were caught by state security officers in a village close to the border before they could defect.

NEWSWEEK

Jan. 30 “China’s Neighbors Close Borders As Country’s Coronavirus Cases Surpass Last Major Outbreak

… A number of private schools have also been closed, according to Radio Free Asia, a U.S. government-funded news outlet.

DIPLOMAT (Also in, VOICE OF DEMOCRACY, PHNOM PENH POST, VOICE OF AMERICA)

Jan. 30 “The Truth About Hun Sen and the Media in Cambodia

… Yet this month, amid a trial of two Radio Free Asia reporters on “baseless espionage charges,” according to Human Rights Watch, the prime minister claimed that he is actually a friend of journalists, and what’s more, that he wants to become a mentor to reporters when he eventually retires from politics.

UCA NEWS

Jan. 30 “Probe sought into attack on Rohingya Christians in Bangladesh

Radio Free Asia reported on Jan. 27 that a victim said the attack was “due to our faith” and it was carried out by members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a Rohingya extremist group.

VOICE OF AMERICA

Jan. 29 “Pompeo Interview Dispute With NPR Sends Conflicting Message on Press Freedom

… Lansing is the former CEO and director of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an independent U.S. government agency that oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia and Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE

Jan. 29 “Her Uighur Parents Were Model Chinese Citizens. It Didn’t Matter.”

… A journalist from Radio Free Asia asked Humar if she had tried calling her parents’ office. Humar realized that though it would endanger an individual in Xinjiang to get a call from a Uighur living abroad, an office landline couldn’t be thrown in a camp.

BUDDHIST DOOR (Also in NEW ZEALAND HERALD)

Jan. 29 “Buddhist Monasteries in Tibet Closed; Coronavirus infections Confirmed in Tibetan Regions of China

… A resident of Lhasa resident was quoted by the Radio Free Asia news website as saying that streets in the Himalayan city were almost empty: “Most teashops and restaurants are all closed down, and there are many people on duty to prevent any gathering of crowds all over Lhasa, in an effort to prevent the spread of the infection.”

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

Jan. 28, 2020 “Cambodia upholds espionage investigations into ex-Radio Free Asia reporters

... A Cambodian appeals court today rejected a request made by two former Radio Free Asia reporters for state prosecutors to drop a reinvestigation of espionage charges pending against them, according to a report by their former employer.

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW

Jan. 27 “China wants to be a middle-income country without a middle class

Radio Free Asia estimates that China's national public security expenditure, also known as its stability maintenance budget, which includes maintaining formidable cyber operatives for propaganda and public opinion control, amounted to nearly 1.4 trillion yuan in 2019.

VOICE OF DEMOCRACY (Also in PHNOM PENH POST, VOICE OF AMERICA)

Jan. 26 “Appeal Court Upholds Decision to Reinvestigate RFA Espionage Case

... The Appeal Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal made by two former Radio Free Asia journalists to stop the reinvestigation of an espionage case against them more than two years after they were charged.

WASHINGTON TIMES (Also in EXPRESS, DAIJI WORLD, OUTLOOK INDIA, CNBCTV)

Jan. 26 “Coronavirus may have originated in lab linked to China’s biowarfare program

… Radio Free Asia last week rebroadcast a Wuhan television report from 2015 showing China’s most advanced virus research laboratory, known the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The laboratory is the only declared site in China capable of working with deadly viruses.

YONHAP

Jan. 25 “French NGO plans 3 humanitarian projects in N. Korea

… The projects include efforts to improve the nutrition of children and other underprivileged North Korean citizens by increasing their intake of vegetables and protein, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

ASEAN POST

Jan. 24 “What is Hun Sen planning for Cambodia’s media?

… A number of radio stations were also shuttered in 2017, knocking the United States’ (US) Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA) as well as local media outlet, Voice of Democracy (VOD) off the air.

BUSINESS INSIDER

Jan. 24 “The Wuhan coronavirus has hit Xinjiang, where China has imprisoned at least 1 million Uighur Muslims. Its filthy detention camps will make inmates sitting ducks.”

… At 6 p.m. local time health authorities reported a 47-year-old man, named as Li, and a 52-year-old man, named as Gu, were infected, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, citing the state-run China Central Television (CCTV).

BUSINESS INSIDER (Also in WASHINGTON EXAMINER, DAILY MAIL, SUN, STANDARD)

Jan. 23 “Videos appear to show Wuhan coronavirus patients being transported in small boxes and plastic tubes to stop the deadly disease from spreading further

Radio Free Asia has shared a video that it says shows a patient who had been infected with the virus in Huizhou, a city in the southern Guangdong province, being taken out of an ambulance in a large plastic tube by medical workers wearing protective layers.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Jan. 23 “Why is North Korea clamping down on ethnic Chinese over Lunar New Year?

Radio Free Asia reported recently that North Korean authorities were forcing hwagyo to pay large sums to acquire the documents needed to travel to China, and fining hwagyo who fail to participate in political events, most of which involve paying tribute to North Korea’s ruling dynasty.

AMERICAN MILITARY NEWS

Jan. 22 “China quarantines entire city as coronavirus spreads fast; 17 dead, 540+ infected

… By Thursday, the quarantine orders expanded to stop paths of travel in and out of the city, Radio Free Asia reported.

38 NORTH

Jan. 22 “More YouTube channels deleted, DPRK Today unavailable

… No other details were posted although Radio Free Asia quoted YouTube as indicating it was deleted due to sanctions: “YouTube complies with all applicable sanctions and trade compliance laws including with respect to content created and uploaded by restricted entities.”

TAIWAN NEWS

Jan. 22 “Saudis allegedly buy ‘Halal organs’ from ‘slaughtered’ Xinjiang Muslims

… In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Tohti said that the majority of the customers seeking organs harvested by Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang were Arabs, primarily from Saudi Arabia.

TIBET POST

Jan. 21 “Tibet’s exile President thanks United States government and Congress for new aid

… Funding for broadcasting into Tibet by Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, and to support the democratic aspirations of people all over the world, including the Tibetan people.

VOICE OF AMERICA (Also in KHMER TIMES, CAMBODIA DAILY)

Jan. 20 “Appeal Court Considers Ex-RFA Reporters Motion On Lower Court Ruling

… The Appeal Court on Monday considered a challenge from two former Radio Free Asia reporters, who are contesting a lower court’s decision to re-investigate espionage charges against them despite completing the trial process.

ECONOMIST

Jan. 18 “Criticism of the army or government lands many Burmese in court

… In April the Tatmadaw sued two news outlets, Irrawaddy and Radio Free Asia, over their coverage of its clashes with one of Myanmar’s many ethnic militias. In June it sued three journalists for suggesting that it had seized land from farmers and suppressed the resulting protests.

FINANCIAL TIMES (Also in AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL UK, BBC NEWS, ASIA TIMES)

Jan. 16 “Amnesty International accuses Vietnam of ‘weaponising’ social media

… The YouTube channel of Radio Free Asia’s Vietnamese service was also prevented from uploading videos or live streaming for several days.

KOOGLE TV

Jan. 15 “China Continue Deporting North Korean Slave Laborers!”

… Meanwhile, the North Korean regime imported 22,862 francs worth of Swiss watches from January to November last year, Radio Free Asia reported citing data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

FOCUS TAIWAN

Jan. 15 “Controversial KMT legislator-at-large elect vows loyalty

… "If that happens, put me behind bars until I die," he said Tuesday in an interview with Radio Free Asia in response to calls that he quit the Legislature for the good of the KMT, following the party's landslide defeat in Saturday's presidential and legislative polls.

ASIA TIMES

Jan. 14 “Farce, delay as Kem Sokha’s treason trial begins

… At the time of his arrest, CPP media mouthpieces were also throwing around accusations that the US Central Intelligence Agency, Taiwan’s ruling party and independent journalists were also part of this lurid conspiracy, while the Supreme Court, when dissolving the CNRP, called the US-funded Radio Free Asia an “assistant,” and independent local election-monitoring outfit Comfrel a “colluder,” in the CNRP’s supposed revolutionary plan.

US NAVAL INSTITUTE NEWS

Jan. 14 “China Expected to Pressure Taiwan After Recent Presidential Election

… Young Taiwanese “see their way of life could be threatened” if they were reunited with China, Nadia Tsao, director of the Mandarin Service of Radio Free Asia, added.

EAST ASIA FORUM

Jan. 14 “Cambodia’s year of political limbo

… Radio Free Asia, accessing a leaked copy, reported that the European Union judged efforts to date as insufficient, citing a further deterioration of civil and political rights.

BUSINESS INSIDER (Also in YENI SAFAK)

Jan. 13 “China’s latest move in its Uighur crackdown is forcing Muslims to redecorate their homes to make them look more Chinese

Radio Free Asia reported that officials in China's Xinjiang western region are ordering Uighurs get rid of their traditional home decoration and to "modernize" the spaces to make them more Chinese-influenced.

NEW STRAITS TIMES

Jan. 13 “Military lawsuit courts criticism

… The military has accused the defendants of defamation, which was allegedly committed during the civilian-led government’s nearly four years in office, Radio Free Asia (RFA) said.”

DIPLOMAT

Jan. 10 “Deadly Clash Highlights Vietnam’s Land Dispute Challenge

… Radio Free Asia reported that the current dispute was related to that incident as local authorities began building a fence for the military airport a week prior to that, thereby causing discontent among some residents.

BITTER WINTER

Jan. 9 “No Man – No Problem: Disposing of Problematic Petitioners

… According to a Radio Free Asia report, Yu Haiping, 62, petitioned the government for six years about the effects the mining industry has had on the environment of his area of residence and other issues.

TRUMPET

Jan. 8 “China Courts Malaysia in Bid to Control Strait of Malacca

… The vessel, delivered to Malaysia on December 31, is officially categorized as a Littoral Mission Ship. But due to its cutting-edge armaments and capacity to carry attack helicopters, Radio Free Asia calls this designation a “euphemism.”

DIPLOMAT

Jan. 7 “A Kazakh Dilemma as Beijing Reportedly Seeks Deportation of Former Camp Detainees

After making an appeal via video on December 26, a Kazakh woman who had been detained in Xinjiang in 2017 and subsequently fled to Kazakhstan in 2018 told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that she was at risk of deportation back to China.

LIFE SITE

Jan. 6 “Chinese govt demands Christians use religion to ‘spread Communist Party principles’

… According to Radio Free Asia, churches in Hunan province were forced last year to remove displays of the Ten Commandments and replace them with quotes of President Xi Jinping.

YUBANET

Jan. 6 “Tibetan students ordered not to take part in religious activities during winter break

… Additionally, Radio Free Asia reported that in May 2018, Chinese authorities in Tibet’s Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu) city ordered Tibetan students and their parents to avoid religious gatherings and festivals during the Buddhist holy month of Saga Dawa (the fourth month that marks the anniversary of the Buddha’s conception, enlightenment and death), threatening them with unspecified punishment if they were caught ignoring the ban.

KOREA TIMES (Also in KOREA HERALD, WORLD TRIBUNE)

Jan. 6 “North Korean provocation looming after Soleimani killing

… Former U.S. nuclear negotiator Robert Gallucci also told Radio Free Asia that the North Korean regime may take a provocative approach such as long-range missile tests, concluding the U.S. is not going to get involved in its hostile policy toward North Korea and Iran at the same time.

KOOGLE TV

Jan. 6 “N. Korea Suffers power and Food Shortages

Radio Free Asia cited sources in China as saying that major shipments of food aid began on Jan. 1 by rail connecting the Chinese border town of Dandong with Sinuiju in North Korea.

IFEX

Jan. 3 “India protests, internet shutdowns, Ampatuan verdict and Hong Kong’s ‘White Christmas’

… A court upheld the government’s decision to investigate two former reporters of Radio Free Asia, Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, for pornography.

ASIA NEWS

Jan. 3 “Sichuan, the government closes a network of Tibetan Buddhist centers

… According to Radio Free Asia, between 2017 and 2018 the Chinese authorities removed at least 4,820 monks and nuns, forcing them to return to their countries of origin, depriving them of the opportunity to deepen their religious formation.

CASINO

Jan. 2 “Cambodia Online Gaming Boom Officially Over as Prohibition Enforcement Kicks In

Radio Free Asia claims some 120,000 Chinese workers left Cambodia in the two weeks after Hun Sen announced the end of online gaming in the country, although there are reasons to question these figures.

VOICE OF AMERICA

Jan. 2 “RSF Calls Pornography Charges Against Ex-RFA Reporters ‘Grotesque’

A press freedom advocacy group has called the continuing pornography proceedings against two former Radio Free Asia reporters as grotesque and said that the charges needed to be dropped.

TELEGRAPH

Jan. 31 “North Korean government officials escape across the border ‘with key documents’ in group defection

… A Radio Free Asia report claims that a further seven officials from Pyongyang were caught by state security officers in a village close to the border before they could defect.

NEWSWEEK

Jan. 30 “China’s Neighbors Close Borders As Country’s Coronavirus Cases Surpass Last Major Outbreak

… A number of private schools have also been closed, according to Radio Free Asia, a U.S. government-funded news outlet.

DIPLOMAT (Also in, VOICE OF DEMOCRACY, PHNOM PENH POST, VOICE OF AMERICA)

Jan. 30 “The Truth About Hun Sen and the Media in Cambodia

… Yet this month, amid a trial of two Radio Free Asia reporters on “baseless espionage charges,” according to Human Rights Watch, the prime minister claimed that he is actually a friend of journalists, and what’s more, that he wants to become a mentor to reporters when he eventually retires from politics.

UCA NEWS

Jan. 30 “Probe sought into attack on Rohingya Christians in Bangladesh

Radio Free Asia reported on Jan. 27 that a victim said the attack was “due to our faith” and it was carried out by members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a Rohingya extremist group.

VOICE OF AMERICA

Jan. 29 “Pompeo Interview Dispute With NPR Sends Conflicting Message on Press Freedom

… Lansing is the former CEO and director of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, an independent U.S. government agency that oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia and Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE

Jan. 29 “Her Uighur Parents Were Model Chinese Citizens. It Didn’t Matter.”

… A journalist from Radio Free Asia asked Humar if she had tried calling her parents’ office. Humar realized that though it would endanger an individual in Xinjiang to get a call from a Uighur living abroad, an office landline couldn’t be thrown in a camp.

BUDDHIST DOOR (Also in NEW ZEALAND HERALD)

Jan. 29 “Buddhist Monasteries in Tibet Closed; Coronavirus infections Confirmed in Tibetan Regions of China

… A resident of Lhasa resident was quoted by the Radio Free Asia news website as saying that streets in the Himalayan city were almost empty: “Most teashops and restaurants are all closed down, and there are many people on duty to prevent any gathering of crowds all over Lhasa, in an effort to prevent the spread of the infection.”

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS

Jan. 28, 2020 “Cambodia upholds espionage investigations into ex-Radio Free Asia reporters

... A Cambodian appeals court today rejected a request made by two former Radio Free Asia reporters for state prosecutors to drop a reinvestigation of espionage charges pending against them, according to a report by their former employer.

NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW

Jan. 27 “China wants to be a middle-income country without a middle class

Radio Free Asia estimates that China's national public security expenditure, also known as its stability maintenance budget, which includes maintaining formidable cyber operatives for propaganda and public opinion control, amounted to nearly 1.4 trillion yuan in 2019.

VOICE OF DEMOCRACY (Also in PHNOM PENH POST, VOICE OF AMERICA)

Jan. 26 “Appeal Court Upholds Decision to Reinvestigate RFA Espionage Case

... The Appeal Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal made by two former Radio Free Asia journalists to stop the reinvestigation of an espionage case against them more than two years after they were charged.

WASHINGTON TIMES (Also in EXPRESS, DAIJI WORLD, OUTLOOK INDIA, CNBCTV)

Jan. 26 “Coronavirus may have originated in lab linked to China’s biowarfare program

… Radio Free Asia last week rebroadcast a Wuhan television report from 2015 showing China’s most advanced virus research laboratory, known the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The laboratory is the only declared site in China capable of working with deadly viruses.

YONHAP

Jan. 25 “French NGO plans 3 humanitarian projects in N. Korea

… The projects include efforts to improve the nutrition of children and other underprivileged North Korean citizens by increasing their intake of vegetables and protein, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

ASEAN POST

Jan. 24 “What is Hun Sen planning for Cambodia’s media?

… A number of radio stations were also shuttered in 2017, knocking the United States’ (US) Radio Free Asia (RFA) and Voice of America (VOA) as well as local media outlet, Voice of Democracy (VOD) off the air.

BUSINESS INSIDER

Jan. 24 “The Wuhan coronavirus has hit Xinjiang, where China has imprisoned at least 1 million Uighur Muslims. Its filthy detention camps will make inmates sitting ducks.”

… At 6 p.m. local time health authorities reported a 47-year-old man, named as Li, and a 52-year-old man, named as Gu, were infected, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, citing the state-run China Central Television (CCTV).

BUSINESS INSIDER (Also in WASHINGTON EXAMINER, DAILY MAIL, SUN, STANDARD)

Jan. 23 “Videos appear to show Wuhan coronavirus patients being transported in small boxes and plastic tubes to stop the deadly disease from spreading further

Radio Free Asia has shared a video that it says shows a patient who had been infected with the virus in Huizhou, a city in the southern Guangdong province, being taken out of an ambulance in a large plastic tube by medical workers wearing protective layers.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Jan. 23 “Why is North Korea clamping down on ethnic Chinese over Lunar New Year?

Radio Free Asia reported recently that North Korean authorities were forcing hwagyo to pay large sums to acquire the documents needed to travel to China, and fining hwagyo who fail to participate in political events, most of which involve paying tribute to North Korea’s ruling dynasty.

AMERICAN MILITARY NEWS

Jan. 22 “China quarantines entire city as coronavirus spreads fast; 17 dead, 540+ infected

… By Thursday, the quarantine orders expanded to stop paths of travel in and out of the city, Radio Free Asia reported.

38 NORTH

Jan. 22 “More YouTube channels deleted, DPRK Today unavailable

… No other details were posted although Radio Free Asia quoted YouTube as indicating it was deleted due to sanctions: “YouTube complies with all applicable sanctions and trade compliance laws including with respect to content created and uploaded by restricted entities.”

TAIWAN NEWS

Jan. 22 “Saudis allegedly buy ‘Halal organs’ from ‘slaughtered’ Xinjiang Muslims

… In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Tohti said that the majority of the customers seeking organs harvested by Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang were Arabs, primarily from Saudi Arabia.

TIBET POST

Jan. 21 “Tibet’s exile President thanks United States government and Congress for new aid

… Funding for broadcasting into Tibet by Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, and to support the democratic aspirations of people all over the world, including the Tibetan people.

VOICE OF AMERICA (Also in KHMER TIMES, CAMBODIA DAILY)

Jan. 20 “Appeal Court Considers Ex-RFA Reporters Motion On Lower Court Ruling

… The Appeal Court on Monday considered a challenge from two former Radio Free Asia reporters, who are contesting a lower court’s decision to re-investigate espionage charges against them despite completing the trial process.

ECONOMIST

Jan. 18 “Criticism of the army or government lands many Burmese in court

… In April the Tatmadaw sued two news outlets, Irrawaddy and Radio Free Asia, over their coverage of its clashes with one of Myanmar’s many ethnic militias. In June it sued three journalists for suggesting that it had seized land from farmers and suppressed the resulting protests.

FINANCIAL TIMES (Also in AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL UK, BBC NEWS, ASIA TIMES)

Jan. 16 “Amnesty International accuses Vietnam of ‘weaponising’ social media

… The YouTube channel of Radio Free Asia’s Vietnamese service was also prevented from uploading videos or live streaming for several days.

KOOGLE TV

Jan. 15 “China Continue Deporting North Korean Slave Laborers!”

… Meanwhile, the North Korean regime imported 22,862 francs worth of Swiss watches from January to November last year, Radio Free Asia reported citing data from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

FOCUS TAIWAN

Jan. 15 “Controversial KMT legislator-at-large elect vows loyalty

… "If that happens, put me behind bars until I die," he said Tuesday in an interview with Radio Free Asia in response to calls that he quit the Legislature for the good of the KMT, following the party's landslide defeat in Saturday's presidential and legislative polls.

ASIA TIMES

Jan. 14 “Farce, delay as Kem Sokha’s treason trial begins

… At the time of his arrest, CPP media mouthpieces were also throwing around accusations that the US Central Intelligence Agency, Taiwan’s ruling party and independent journalists were also part of this lurid conspiracy, while the Supreme Court, when dissolving the CNRP, called the US-funded Radio Free Asia an “assistant,” and independent local election-monitoring outfit Comfrel a “colluder,” in the CNRP’s supposed revolutionary plan.

US NAVAL INSTITUTE NEWS

Jan. 14 “China Expected to Pressure Taiwan After Recent Presidential Election

… Young Taiwanese “see their way of life could be threatened” if they were reunited with China, Nadia Tsao, director of the Mandarin Service of Radio Free Asia, added.

EAST ASIA FORUM

Jan. 14 “Cambodia’s year of political limbo

… Radio Free Asia, accessing a leaked copy, reported that the European Union judged efforts to date as insufficient, citing a further deterioration of civil and political rights.

BUSINESS INSIDER (Also in YENI SAFAK)

Jan. 13 “China’s latest move in its Uighur crackdown is forcing Muslims to redecorate their homes to make them look more Chinese

Radio Free Asia reported that officials in China's Xinjiang western region are ordering Uighurs get rid of their traditional home decoration and to "modernize" the spaces to make them more Chinese-influenced.

NEW STRAITS TIMES

Jan. 13 “Military lawsuit courts criticism

… The military has accused the defendants of defamation, which was allegedly committed during the civilian-led government’s nearly four years in office, Radio Free Asia (RFA) said.”

DIPLOMAT

Jan. 10 “Deadly Clash Highlights Vietnam’s Land Dispute Challenge

… Radio Free Asia reported that the current dispute was related to that incident as local authorities began building a fence for the military airport a week prior to that, thereby causing discontent among some residents.

BITTER WINTER

Jan. 9 “No Man – No Problem: Disposing of Problematic Petitioners

… According to a Radio Free Asia report, Yu Haiping, 62, petitioned the government for six years about the effects the mining industry has had on the environment of his area of residence and other issues.

TRUMPET

Jan. 8 “China Courts Malaysia in Bid to Control Strait of Malacca

… The vessel, delivered to Malaysia on December 31, is officially categorized as a Littoral Mission Ship. But due to its cutting-edge armaments and capacity to carry attack helicopters, Radio Free Asia calls this designation a “euphemism.”

DIPLOMAT

Jan. 7 “A Kazakh Dilemma as Beijing Reportedly Seeks Deportation of Former Camp Detainees

After making an appeal via video on December 26, a Kazakh woman who had been detained in Xinjiang in 2017 and subsequently fled to Kazakhstan in 2018 told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that she was at risk of deportation back to China.

LIFE SITE

Jan. 6 “Chinese govt demands Christians use religion to ‘spread Communist Party principles’

… According to Radio Free Asia, churches in Hunan province were forced last year to remove displays of the Ten Commandments and replace them with quotes of President Xi Jinping.

YUBANET

Jan. 6 “Tibetan students ordered not to take part in religious activities during winter break

… Additionally, Radio Free Asia reported that in May 2018, Chinese authorities in Tibet’s Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu) city ordered Tibetan students and their parents to avoid religious gatherings and festivals during the Buddhist holy month of Saga Dawa (the fourth month that marks the anniversary of the Buddha’s conception, enlightenment and death), threatening them with unspecified punishment if they were caught ignoring the ban.

KOREA TIMES (Also in KOREA HERALD, WORLD TRIBUNE)

Jan. 6 “North Korean provocation looming after Soleimani killing

… Former U.S. nuclear negotiator Robert Gallucci also told Radio Free Asia that the North Korean regime may take a provocative approach such as long-range missile tests, concluding the U.S. is not going to get involved in its hostile policy toward North Korea and Iran at the same time.

KOOGLE TV

Jan. 6 “N. Korea Suffers power and Food Shortages

Radio Free Asia cited sources in China as saying that major shipments of food aid began on Jan. 1 by rail connecting the Chinese border town of Dandong with Sinuiju in North Korea.

IFEX

Jan. 3 “India protests, internet shutdowns, Ampatuan verdict and Hong Kong’s ‘White Christmas’

… A court upheld the government’s decision to investigate two former reporters of Radio Free Asia, Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, for pornography.

ASIA NEWS

Jan. 3 “Sichuan, the government closes a network of Tibetan Buddhist centers

… According to Radio Free Asia, between 2017 and 2018 the Chinese authorities removed at least 4,820 monks and nuns, forcing them to return to their countries of origin, depriving them of the opportunity to deepen their religious formation.

CASINO

Jan. 2 “Cambodia Online Gaming Boom Officially Over as Prohibition Enforcement Kicks In

Radio Free Asia claims some 120,000 Chinese workers left Cambodia in the two weeks after Hun Sen announced the end of online gaming in the country, although there are reasons to question these figures.

VOICE OF AMERICA

Jan. 2 “RSF Calls Pornography Charges Against Ex-RFA Reporters ‘Grotesque’

A press freedom advocacy group has called the continuing pornography proceedings against two former Radio Free Asia reporters as grotesque and said that the charges needed to be dropped.

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