RFA in the News (July 2019)

2019-09-09
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JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION

July 31 “Xi Jinping Evokes the Original Aspirations of the Communist Party—While Seeking to Further Consolidate His Hold on Power

… There are similarly hard-line articles in Guangming Daily and other official outlets, which have laid into the Chinese negotiation team’s apparent propensity for striking a deal with Washington (Radio Free Asia, June 12; Guangming Daily, June 6).

ASIA TIMES

July 31 “A bad day all around for Cambodian media

… Yet farce is never too far away from tragedy, and what really made July 26 a woeful day for Cambodian journalism was that, as about 70 reporters traipsed out of Phnom Penh on a pointless visit to a naval base, the trial of two journalists – former Radio Free Asia reporters Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin – began in the capital.

AP

July 30 “China: Most people in Xinjiang camps reintegrated to society

… The U.S. State Department’s counterterrorism coordinator, Nathan Sales, said in an interview in July with the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia that the detentions of Muslims in Xinjiang had “nothing to do with terrorism” and was instead part of the Communist Party’s “war on religion.”

DIPLOMAT

July 29 “Kazakh Xinjiang Activist’s Trial Begins With Relocation, Incitement Charges Linger

… Umarova told Radio Free Asia that a video of Bilash speaking had been edited to remove critical context and then posted online by Kazakh and Chinese authorities.

ASEAN POST

July 29 “Worrying days for the Mekong

… “This could be very likely the lowest point the river has experienced in the last hundred years, and it might even extend farther than that,” he told Radio Free Asia.

PHNOM PENH POST

July 29 “CHRC denies rights restriction claim

… Malin also referred to a separate case, saying former Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalists Oun Chhin and Yeang Sothearin had not acted following standards of professional journalism.

AP

July 25 “Trial of Cambodian reporters who used to work for US begins

… The pair, who had already left their jobs with Radio Free Asia, were arrested in November 2017 during a crackdown on the media and political opponents of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government, ahead of the July 2018 general election.

CHOSUN ILBO

July 25 “N. Korea ‘Remodeled Old Russian Sub’

… Joseph Bermudez at the Center for Strategic and International Studies told Radio Free Asia that even if the North has built a new ballistic missile sub, it does not pose an immediate threat.

CPJ (Also in REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, UCANEWS, CAMBODIA DAILY, ASEAN POST)

July 24 “Espionage trial to begin for former Radio Free Asia reporters in Cambodia

Cambodia should drop espionage charges against two former Radio Free Asia reporters and stop using anti-state charges to harass journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

YAHOO NEWS (Also in NEWS.COM.AU)

July 24 “Firefighters Search for Survivors Following Landslide in Guizhou Province

At least 13 people were killed after a landslide hit China’s southwestern Guizhou province on Tuesday, July 23, Xinhua and Radio Free Asia reported.

FAITHWIRE (Also in CHRISTIAN POST)

July 24 “Chinese Megachurch Pastor In Prison for His Faith Hit With New Set of Charges

… “They want to charge Pastor Wang Yi with inciting subversion, but even they know that this isn’t a very persuasive accusation,” one local person told Radio Free Asia.

ASIA TIMES

July 24 “Vietnam FTA: EU is more pragmatic than principled

… “We are concerned about some of the human rights situations in Vietnam, and of course, a trade agreement is not going to take all that away, but it creates a platform together with the association agreement to continue to engage, to push, and to work with the Vietnamese authorities to improve the situation,” Malmström told Radio Free Asia in early July.

HILL (Also in TAIPEI TIMES)

July 22 “Human rights: Trump’s trump card against China and North Korea

… A well-planned, aggressive and consistent messaging campaign of truth-telling from VOA and Radio Free Asia can provide spiritual uplift for the more than a billion people enduring crushed lives in China and North Korea.

NEW YORK TIMES (Also in WASHINGTON POST)

July 22 “Cambodian leader denies allowing China naval base

… U.S.-government funded Radio Free Asia earlier this month confirmed that U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia Joseph Felter had sent a letter to Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh expressing concern about "the possib    le hosting of Chinese military facilities."

KHMER TIMES

July 22 “Ministry refutes nepotism claim against MCC

The Defence Ministry yesterday refuted an allegation by Radio Free Asia that the selection of Military Court of Cambodia officials was done through nepotism and cronyism.

HANKYOREH

July 21 “The rise of N. Korea’s amusement parks and entertainment facilities

In December 2015, the US-based Radio Free Asia (RFA), citing the findings of an analysis of commercial satellite images by researcher Curtis Melvin of the Johns Hopkins US-Korea Institute, reported that water parks, movie theaters, skating rinks, and other entertainment and sporting facilities either had been or were being built all around North Korea.

TRICYCLE

July 21 “Thousands More Expelled from Yachen Gar Buddhist Center

… A source told Radio Free Asia, “China is now implementing a policy that spares none of the nonresidents at Yachen Gar.

BANGKOK POST (Also in JAPAN TIMES, STARS AND STRIPES)

July 20 “Chinese mega-resort in Cambodia raises red flags

… Tea Banh, who attended the opening ceremony for Dara Sakor in March, told Radio Free Asia this month that Cambodia no longer needed the U.S. funds because the facilities designated for repair would be moved to an unspecified new location.

AP

July 19 “Taiwan says it will treat Hong Kong asylum seekers humanely

… Tsai made the comments after Radio Free Asia reported that more than a dozen protesters from Hong Kong have fled to Taiwan.

FOCUS TAIWAN

July 18 “MAC downplays report of Hong Kong asylum seekers in Taiwan

… The MAC was responding to a Radio Free Asia report earlier in the day that about 10 Hong Kong protesters have arrived in Taiwan to seek political asylum since the storming of Hong Kong's Legislative Council on July 1, following a series of demonstrations against a bill that would allow the extradition of suspects to mainland China.

BLOOMBERG (Also in SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

July 18 “The U.S. Fears This Huge Southeast Asian Resort May Become a Chinese Naval Base

Tea Banh, who attended the opening ceremony for Dara Sakor in March, told Radio Free Asia this month that Cambodia no longer needed the U.S. funds because the facilities designated for repair would be moved to an unspecified new location.

HANKYOREH

July 17 “Pompeo expresses hope that N. Korea approaches future denuclearization talks with new ideas

… Regarding the schedule for North Korea-US working-level talks, the State Department was reported by Radio Free Asia the same day as saying there had been “no meetings to announce at present.”

SDE (Also in 10 DAILY, MIRROR, NEWS.COM.AU, AMERICAN MILITARY NEWS)

July 15 “Kim Jong-un begs North Koreans for cash to keep his dad’s body frozen

… News outlet Radio Free Asia reported: “There was a ceremony to award certificates for the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il Fund to factory representatives.”

ASIANEWS.IT

July 15 “Plainclothes police attack activists and relatives of political prisoners in Nghe An

… "I recognised them because I was also imprisoned in this camp in the past," said Trinh Ba Khiem, a former political prisoner who spoke to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

WASHINGTON FREE BEACON

July 15 “Network of Chinese Concentration Camps for Uighurs Uncovered

… "In addition to the people who are in custody and these forced labor camps there are millions more who are subjected to political re-indoctrination in daytime facilities," Sales told Radio Free Asia.

CHINA DIGITAL TIMES

July 11 “Situation Still Dire for Rights Lawyers Four Years On

… Gao Feng at Radio Free Asia reports: ‘Four years after the ruling Chinese Communist Party launched a nationwide crackdown on the country’s human rights lawyers, the country’s rights attorneys say they are now being prevented from practicing law at all.’

UCANEWS

July 11 “Hunger strikers vow to continue Hong Kong protest

… "We should let the public and young people know that there is a group of people who are willing to ruin their health and their lives in order to protest and fight," Radio Free Asia quoted Chan as saying at the start of the hunger strike.

KOREA HERALD (Also in KBS WORLD RADIO)

July 11 “UNICEF used S. Korea donations to buy aid for NK: report

The UN Children’s Fund used contributions from South Korea to buy drugs and nutritional support for the vulnerable in North Korea, Radio Free Asia reported Thursday.

EPOCH TIMES (Also in TAIWAN NEWS)

July 10 “Top US Officials Meet With Hong Kong Media Tycoon Critical of Beijing, Much to China’s Ire

Radio Free Asia (RFA) cited Next Digital executive and Lai’s spokesman Mark Simon as saying that “The two had a constructive discussion about the situation in Hong Kong, human rights, and the broader context with China and Taiwan.”

RELIEFWEB

July 9 “ACLED Regional Overview – Asia (9 July 2019)

… Several leaders of the AA have been recently charged under a counter-terrorism law, marking the first time the law has been used to charge ethnic leaders (Radio Free Asia, 8 July 2019).

IRRAWADDY

July 8 “Two Dead in Rakhine Border Post Attack

… Colonel Win Zaw Oo, head of Myanmar’s Western Regional Military Command, said the Maungdaw border post was fired on by a rifle grenade but declined to comment on the number of causalities beyond referring questions to a weekend briefing from Radio Free Asia (RFA) previously cited by the Tatmadaw True News Information Team’s Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun; that report said two officers were killed in the ambush.

DAILY MAIL (Also in INFOSURHOY)

July 5, “Kim Jong-un’s photo-op meeting with Trump ‘has backfired because North Koreans questions why THEIR leader was so desperate to meet the US President’

… A North Korean source told Radio Free Asia: ‘The authorities propagandise that North Korea is the most powerful country in the world and Kim Jong-un is leading the world with his outstanding ability and courage, so why is he hurrying to meet President Trump in Panmunjom?

IFEX

July 5 “Cambodia urged to adopt more reforms in third Universal Periodic Review

… In a conversation I had with Rohit Mahajan, spokesperson for Radio Free Asia (RFA), he recalled how “authorities prosecuted two former RFA reporters on false charges of espionage” and how this “prompted others to flee the country as they feared for the safety of themselves and their families.”

HANKYOREH (Also in ARIRANG)

July 5 “N. Korea reportedly selects new counterpart to Biegun in denuclearization talks

… It would be a good decision to make him Biegun’s counterpart in the negotiations,” said Ken Gause, a North Korean expert who is the director of the Adversary Analytics Program at CNA, an American research and analysis organization, during an interview with Radio Free Asia on Thursday.

INTERPRETER

July 5 “Cambodia: the regime’s base survival instinct on display

… US-funded Radio Free Asia got in first and closed its Phnom Penh bureau amid a state-wide crackdown against independent media outlets.

QUARTZ

July 4 “More than 1 million Muslims are detained in China—but how did we get that number

… In January 2018, US-funded news organization Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported one of the first estimates: 120,000 Uyghur Muslims detained for showing signs of “extremism,” sourcing a security official from Kashgar city.

KOREA HERALD (Also in ARIRANG, YONHAP)

July 3, “Senior NK official meets Swedish envoy amid reports of missing Australian student

… Earlier in the day, Radio Free Asia quoted a Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying that “the visit is in line with Sweden’s long-term engagement for a peaceful resolution of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the special envoy’s regular contacts with North Korea.

SHARE AMERICA

July 3 “China Arrests Mongolian historian

… Tensions in the region have increased as state-backed mining and forestry companies have come into conflict with local herders over land rights, Radio Free Asia reports.

CBS NEWS

July 3 “Reporter on China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims: “This is absolute Orwellian style surveillance

… Chinese authorities recently told Radio Free Asia they “have been ordered to send almost half of area residents to re-education camps.”

CHINA DIGITAL TIMES

July 2 “Research Challenges Official Picture of Xinjiang Camps

… Elsewhere, Radio Free Asia reports that thousands of monks and nuns visiting Sichuan’s Yachen Gar Tibetan Buddhist Center have been forced to leave the area and sent home for “political re-education.”

NEW YORK TIMES (Also in TODAY, STEERFEED)

July 2 “China Snares Tourists’ Phones in Surveillance Dragnet by Adding Secret App

…The journalists also asked researchers at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany and the Open Technology Fund, an initiative funded by the United States government under Radio Free Asia, to analyze the code of the Android app, Fengcai.

PHNOM PENH POST

July 2 “Idea of Rainsy meeting ‘disgusts’ Hun Sen

…However, on Saturday, he posted a video clip on Facebook of an interview with Radio Free Asia in which he was asked about his announced return to Cambodia.

FORBES (Also in WIRED)

July 1 “Jamal Kashoggi Leads One Free Press Coalition’s Latest ’10 Most Urgent’ List of Press Freedom Cases

… The One Free Press Coalition now counts 36 prominent international members including: … Radio Free Asia.

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