RFA in the News (February 2021)

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BANGKOK TIMES

Feb. 28 “Mekong needs tough govt stance

… It's reported the equipment testing was due to end on Jan 24, but sources along the Thai-Lao border told Radio Free Asia earlier this month that water levels in their area have not returned to their normal levels.

NEPAL 24 HOURS

Feb. 28 “Xi Jinping’s Propaganda Campaign Says Poverty Is Over In China

… An employee of the CCP’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily, said that party newspapers in all localities were recently instructed to work together with the central propaganda department to plan retrospective features and special reports singing the CCP’s praises, according to Radio Free Asia.

EAST ASIA FORUM

Feb. 27 “North Korea’s mistranslated ‘shoot-to-kill’ border protection order

… According to Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) sources, border troops had received orders by 5pm on 25 August about the implementation of buffer zones at midnight, while citizens were informed the next day by local officials of the Ministry of Public Security.

NEPAL 24 HOURS

Feb. 27 “Chinese Development in Tibet Fails To Be Inclusive Of Tibetans

… The report was released in Dharamsala, India by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), according to Radio Free Asia.

JAMESTOWN FOUNDATION

Feb. 26 “The Vatican, Chinese Catholicism and the Diplomatic Isolation of Taiwan

… A significant shift in the mainland’s relations with the Vatican also bodes poorly for Taiwan. In 2018, China and the Vatican signed a historic agreement on the joint appointment of Chinese bishops (Radio Free AsiaSeptember 24, 2018).

RAPPLER

Feb. 26 “Myanmar police free Japanese journalist after brief detention – media

… Myanmar police released a Japanese freelance journalist on Friday, February 26, after briefly detaining him during a protest in the commercial capital of Yangon, Radio Free Asia showed in a livestream on Facebook.

INSIDE HIGHER ED

Feb. 26 “Fallout From Coup in Myanmar

… “They took him away so fast that his wife and son didn’t even realize it,” a witness told Radio Free Asia.

ARIRANG

Feb. 26 “N. Korea has at least eight ICBMs, continues to invest in nuclear program: Report

… And according to broadcaster Radio Free Asia, it estimates eight ICBMs, but says the circumstances are unclear when it comes to the Hwasong-16, an ICBM unveiled last year that can carry multiple warheads.

NEPAL 24 HOURS

Feb. 25 “Chinese Military Aircraft Carry Out Exercises in South China Sea Posing Threat Against Taiwan

… According to Radio Free Asia, Groups of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft flew near the Taiwan-occupied Pratas Islands in the South China Sea twice last week, Taiwan’s defense ministry said on Twitter.

ROLL CALL

Feb. 25 “For Young Kim, it all began with ‘Atlas Shrugged’

… We got the idea of extending the Radio Free Asia program, much like Radio Free Europe.

ASIA NEWS INTERNATIONAL

Feb. 25 “Protest in Paris against Tibetan tour guide's death in Chinese prison

… Citing local sources, Radio Free Asia said that Kunchok Jinpa, a resident of Driru (in Chinese, Biru) county in Tibet's Nagchu (Naqu) municipality, had vanished in custody after being detained on November 8, 2013, and died on February 6, three months after being admitted to hospital suffering from paralysis and a brain hemorrhage.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

Feb. 24 “China: Baseless Imprisonments Surge in Xinjiang

Radio Free Asia has reported that people are being sentenced with perfunctory and closed trials that families cannot attend.

NEWSWEEK

Feb. 23 “Beijing 'Has No Real Friends,' Says Mike Pompeo's Top China Adviser

… The remarks by Miles Yu, who was principal China policy adviser in the Trump administration's State Department, were given to Radio Free Asia on Tuesday in response to a speech made earlier by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.

NEPAL 24 HOURS

Feb. 23 “Canadian Parliament Approves Motion Labeling China’s Abuses Against Uyghurs in Xinjiang As ‘Genocide’

… Authorities in the region are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of internment camps since early 2017, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

DIPLOMAT

Feb. 23 “Why Communist Anti-Corruption Campaigns Never Work

Let us compare two articles from Radio Free Asia, the first published on February 18 and the second the following day.

DIPLOMAT

Feb 22 “Vietnam Appoints Military Officer as Propaganda Chief

… Nguyen An Dan, an independent journalist, told Radio Free Asia that the likely effect of the lieutenant general’s appointment would be to squeeze out criticisms of the Party, as well as the sensitive issue of its relationship to China.

NEPAL 24 HOURS

Feb. 22 “China Targets Muslims Including Uyghurs With ‘Cosmetic’ Ethnic Unity Policies

… Religious affairs officials should be fully aware of the “connotations” of this concept and “further deepen ethnic unity,” Fu said during a visit to the bureau on Feb. 18, according to Radio Free Asia.

NEW YORK TIMES

Feb. 21 “Myanmar security forces open fire on protesters

… The work stoppage there in protest of the ouster of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, has paralyzed river transport on the Irrawaddy, the country’s most important commercial waterway, according to Radio Free Asia.

INQUIRER

Feb. 21 “Myanmar police arrest famous actor after 2 killed in protests

… The Burmese service of Radio Free Asia said police had shot him but it was not clear why.

YAHOO (Also in ARAB NEWS)

Feb. 21 “Funeral Held in Naypyitaw for Woman Who Died Following Protest Injury

… Thousands joined a funeral procession in Naypyitaw on February 21 for a woman who died from injuries sustained during a pro-democracy protest earlier in the month, Radio Free Asia reported.

INDIA BLOOMS

Feb. 21 “After completing term, Uyghur man re-imprisoned for 18 years

… On Feb. 5, 1997, protests sparked by reports of the execution of 30 Uyghur independence activists were violently suppressed by authorities in Ghulja (in Chinese, Yining) city in the XUAR’s Ili Kazakh (Yili Hasake) Autonomous Prefecture, leaving nine dead, according to official media, though exile groups put the number at as many as 167, reports Radio Free Asia.

KBS WORLD RADIO

Feb. 19 “N. Korea-Russia Trade Volume Falls Just 11% in 2020 despite Pandemic

… Quoting data from the Federal Customs Service of Russia, Radio Free Asia reported on Friday that the trade volume between the two nations came to 42-point-seven million U.S. dollars in 2020, down ten-point-eight percent on-year.

ARCHITECHTS NEWSPAPER (Also in ARTNET NEWS)

Feb 19 “Plans for sprawling resort near Cambodia’s Angkor heritage site sparks concern from UNESCO

… In a November 2020 interview with Radio Free Asia, Pech Pisey, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, expressed concern that the resort could lead to the depreciation of the value of Angkor’s ancient artifacts.

PERSECUTION

Feb. 19 “Killer of Lao Christian Man Still At Large

… While Lao police remain hesitant to say religion was the motive behind the murder, however, an officer told Radio Free Asia that “[…] we are unable to conclude that because we are still searching for the person who committed this crime.

NEWSMAX

Feb. 18 “Chinese Authorities: Fake COVID-19 Vaccines Shipped to Other Countries

… Lu Jun, co-founder of the nonprofit Beijing Yirenping Center, told Radio Free Asia that officially-approved organizations in China often were involved in illegal activity.

CHINA DIGITAL TIMES

Feb. 17 “’SINICIZATION’ CAMPAIGNS TARGET RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC MINORITIES ACROSS CHINA

… Citing coronavirus concerns, Chinese authorities shuttered monasteries during Losar, the Tibetan Lunar New Year festival, but some residents suspected it was an attempt to limit religious celebrations, according to Radio Free Asia.

JURIST

Feb. 17 “Myanmar dispatches: updates and analysis from our law student correspondents in Myanmar

… RFA [Radio Free Asia] interviewers asked a lot of specific and straightforward questions at Tuesday’s press conference given by the military junta. 

  

MOSCOW TIMES (Also in NEWSER)

Feb. 17 “North Korea Offers $10K Bounty on Runaway Laborers in Russia – Reports

… North Korea is offering a bounty of up to $10,000 to help find runaway workers in Russia, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Tuesday, citing Russian citizens of Korean descent in the country’s Far East.

ASIA NEWS INTERNATIONAL

Feb. 17 “Two Chinese online producers disappeared after mocking Xi

… According to the Apple Daily newspaper and Radio Free Asia, the chairperson and a manager of the Ru Mo Xin Lian She YouTube channel disappeared last Tuesday.”

NEW INTERNATIONALIST

Feb. 15 “Forest Defenders Under Fire In Cambodia

… Following one youth environmental campaign in Prey Lang forest, activist Heng Sros explained to Radio Free Asia that he thought the Ministry of Environment officials were trying, in fact, to impede the group’s activities.

DIPLOMAT (Also in CAMBODIA DAILY)

Feb. 15 “What’s Behind Cambodia’s Cancellation of Military Exercises with China?

… In comments to Radio Free Asia’s Khmer-language service, Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh said that the fourth annual Golden Dragon exercise would be canceled this year due to heavy flooding in late 2020 that devastated the country’s infrastructure and food supply. 

WORLDCRUNCH

Feb. 14 “Inside China's Quiet Flex On Myanmar Coup

… A former professor of political science at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Wu Qiang, argued in an interview with Radio Free Asia that the coup could ultimately prove to be a good deal for Beijing.

NIKKEI ASIA (Also in UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, JOONG ANG DAILY)

Feb. 13 “Kim Jong Un lashes out at cabinet over economy, with US unengaged

… An official at the Czech Embassy in Pyongyang confirmed reports of power shortages to Radio Free Asia.

 

KHMER TIMES

Feb. 12 “US Ambassador, Information Minister discuss press freedom

… The case of two former Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalists, Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, was discussed, with Ambassador Murphy expressing concern over the matter.

 

ANADOLOU AGENCY

Feb. 12 “Myanmar junta releases over 23,000 prisoners

Radio Free Asia’s Burmese Service reported that Aye Maung, an ethnic Rakhine politician who was handed a 20-year sentence for high treason in 2019, were among those released from Yangon’s notorious Insein prison.

 

REUTERS (Also in GUARDIAN, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, BANGKOK POST, NIKKEI ASIA, GUAM DAILY POST)

Feb. 11 “Myanmar police fire rubber bullets, wounding three, as hundreds of thousands protest

… Footage broadcast by Radio Free Asia showed police charging at protesters, grabbing one and smashing him in the head.

DIPLOMAT

Feb. 11 “Why is the Kachin Independence Organization Keeping Silent on the Myanmar Coup?

… When asked by Radio Free Asia about the difference between the peace process under the Thein Sein and NLD governments, Colonel Naw Bu said, “…the difference between them is that it seems like Myanmar has two governments [the NLD government and Tatmadaw]… when the NRPC agrees to something, the Tatmadaw rejects it and vice versa.”

 

ANADOLOU AGENCY (Also in UCA NEWS, GLOBAL VOICES)

Feb. 9 “Protesters shot in Myanmar in critical condition: Doctors

Radio Free Asia’s Burmese Service said at least five protesters, including a woman in her 20s, were taken to a public hospital.

 

BROOKINGS (Also in CHANNEL NEWS ASIA)

Feb. 9 “To understand post-coup Myanmar, look to its history of popular resistance — not sanctions

… Radio stations such as BBC, Voice of America, and Radio Free Asia even played a critical role in helping Burmese activists broadcast their campaigns, transforming bystanders into informed participants as a result.

IRRAWADDY (Also in CENTRAL BANKING)

Feb. 9 “Deputy Bank Governor’s Location Unknown Since Military Detention: Wife

… She told Radio Free Asia’s Burmese service that she does not know what to say when their young son asks, “When can I call Daddy?” 

YUBA NET (Also in INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR TIBET)

Feb. 8 “U.S. Secretary Blinken raises Tibet in first call with Chinese diplomat

… Blinken’s remarks followed comments the State Department made to Radio Free Asia last week, promising that the US will pressure China to re-enter dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama; end its interference in the selection of Tibetan Buddhist leaders; and respect Tibetans’ unique culture, religionlanguage and environment.

TAIWAN TIMES

Feb. 8 “Chinese Torture Of Tibetan Women & Nuns Inside Tibet – Pt.II

… As per Radio Free Asia’s Chinese News Station report, a Tibetan woman was detained and intimidated for “illegal” WeChat posts by the Chinese authorities.

STRAITS TIMES

Feb. 8 “Biden has to be firm against Myanmar: Jakarta Post contributors

… First and foremost, for the longest time, indeed since his role as the senator in the Foreign Relations Committee, Biden has given his fullest support to programmes such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia.

NEW YORK TIMES

Feb. 8 “This Chinese Businesswoman Was a Model of Success. Then She Angered the Party.

“The butcher’s knife of the authorities can fall at any time,” Ms. Geng said in an interview in July with Radio Free Asia in explaining her support for Professor Xu.

JOONG ANG DAILY (Also in KOREA TIMES)

Feb. 7 “Chung says North willing to denuclearize, Pentagon disagrees

… But a U.S. State Department spokesperson also revealed skepticism over Chung’s remarks on North Korea’s willingness to denuclearize in a statement to Radio Free Asia Friday.

NATION

Feb. 5 “What Biden’s Agenda Can Mean for Oppressed Uighurs

… For one thing, Biden was instrumental in the 1990s to the reconstitution of Radio Free Asia, whose Uighur Service reporters have proved critical to illuminating Xinjiang’s plight nearly three decades later.

DAILY MAIL

Feb. 5 “North Korea bans 'capitalist' blacked out car windows (which allowed citizens to watch foreign media without being seen)

Kim Jong-un's cronies have identified the darkened windows as the latest malign capitalist influence to be stamped out in the country, according to Radio Free Asia.

STOCKHOLM CENTER FOR FREEDOM

Feb. 4 “Uyghurs continue their protest in Ankara amid accusations of systematic rape in Xinjiang camps

… According to his wife Melike, who spoke to Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur service, the police asked Abdullah Metseydi if he had ever called for jihad against China. 

PBS FRONTLINE

Feb. 4 “Chinese Spam Network Aims to Discredit U.S. COVID Vaccine and Response, Report Finds

… One account impersonating the U.S.-government-funded Radio Free Asia touted China’s donation of protective equipment to Italy.

KOREA HERALD

Feb. 4 “N. Korea to start vaccinations with COVAX aid

… The North did not respond to media requests from Radio Free Asia asking the regime to confirm that it had sent an application.

PHNOM PENH POST

Feb. 3 “Rong Chhun, activists testify in incitement case

… He told the judge that before going to visit the border area, he had heard on Radio Free Asia a broadcast concerning the suffering of people in Trapeang Phlong village who complained that they had lost their land to Vietnam.

CHINA DIGITAL TIMES

Feb. 3 “WOMEN DETAINED IN XINJIANG CAMPS REPORT SYSTEMATIC RAPE

… In-depth interviews with former detainees conducted between November 2019 to May 2020 by the U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia Department of Research, Training, and Evaluation, likewise found widespread physical abuse:

CAMBODIA DAILY

Feb. 3 “Cambodia urged to drop charges against union leader

… Chhun was charged with incitement under Article 495 of Cambodia’s Penal Code for allegedly spreading fake news after telling Radio Free Asia that Vietnamese soldiers had placed border posts 500 meters into Cambodian territory and expelled villagers from their land.

KOREA HERALD

Feb. 3 “UN puts faith in Seoul’s leaflet ban

… “We trust that the Republic of Korea authorities will implement the law in full compliance with the Republic of Korea’s human rights obligations,” the office told Radio Free Asia, using the South’s official name.

TAIPEI TIMES

Feb. 2 “Biden’s team faces new cold war

… The Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and the BBC can play the same liberating role in affecting China’s internal dynamics as their predecessors did during the Cold War.

GUARDIAN (Also in VOICE OF AMERICA, UCA NEWS, EXCHANGE 99, SCOOP)

Feb. 2 “Myanmar coup: who are the military figures running the country?

… According to Radio Free Asia, he amassed hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, but his accounts were removed from Facebook and Twitter after the army’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims.

BIG NEWS NETWORK (Also in INDIA BLOOMS, OPINDIA, NEW KERALA)

Feb. 1 “China removes Uyghur language from medium of instruction

… Citing officials, Radio Free Asia (RFA) has reported that Keplin county in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) no longer offers Uyghur language instruction to students despite being home to a mostly Uyghur population and national laws guaranteeing minorities the right to bilingual education.

VOICE OF AMERICA

Feb. 1 “China Retaliates Against Uighur Activists by Imprisoning Relatives, US Officials Say

… “I learned recently that after I talked to Radio Free Asia’s Uighur Service in 2019 about Helil’s imprisonment, the authorities in Xinjiang added one more crime to his revised court case — ‘joining terrorist activities,’” the relative said.

TIMES OF CENTRAL ASIA

Feb. 1 “Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan seek to expand cooperation on Caspian energy production

… But plummeting global demand for gas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with competition over the booked capacity in the pipeline even prior to the coronavirus crisis, made it difficult for Ashgabat to guarantee a secure export outlet and maximize the monetization of its vast gas volumes (Radio Free Asia, August 2017).

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