RFA in the News (December 2020)

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ASEAN TODAY

Dec. 30 “China’s new fence on Myanmar border shows shift in strategy along complex frontier

… Coverage from US media outlet Radio Free Asia says the border barrier is also meant to prevent Chinese citizens from leaving the country without authorization.

ASIA TIMES

Dec. 29 “America puts the ball in Cambodia’s court

… The US-funded Radio Free Asia and Voice of America were also targeted by authorities.

REPUBLIC WORLD

Dec. 29 “Japan Gave Key Inputs On Uyghur Clampdown To US, UK Amid Calls To Join 'Five Eyes': Report

… According to a report by Radio Free Asia, the detention of the religious leaders has created an atmosphere in which the people belonging to the minority are “afraid of dying”. 

NATIONAL INTEREST

Dec. 28 “Why Joe Biden Should Boycott China’s 2022 Winter Olympics

… China has replaced them with Han Chinese “relatives,” who, in addition to monitoring the home life of their assigned family, “regularly sleep in the same beds as the wives of men detained in the region’s internment camps,” according to Radio Free Asia.

WALL STREET JOURNAL (Also in NEW YORK TIMES, CNN, INDEPENDENT, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE, HILL, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, JAPAN TIMES, HINDU, MONEY CONTROL, NEW BLOOM, MAGAZINE 99)

Dec. 28 “China Jails Citizen Journalist for Her Accounts of Covid-19 in Wuhan

… They also alleged that Ms. Zhang “maliciously hyped up” the pandemic situation in interviews with the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia and the Epoch Media Group, which has links to the Falun Gong spiritual movement that was founded in China and has clashed with the Communist Party.

TIBET POST

Dec. 28 “US President signs Tibetan Act 2020 into law, sends a strong message to the people of Tibet

… The TPSA authorizes a number of appropriations for Tibet and Tibetan related issues including (not less than)… over $3.4 million and $4 million respectively for Voice of America’s and Radio Free Asia’s reporting on Tibet and Tibetans; $1 million for Office of the United States Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, among others.

PHAYUL (Also in INDIA TODAY)

Nepalese police detain 5 Tibetans for holding elections

Radio Free Asia reported that the Tibetan community in Nepal were holding elections in a low-profile manner on Dec. 25th and 26th

EXPRESS

Dec. 26 “North Korea HORROR: Kim using re-education camps to test chemical weapons on Christians

… A North Korea insider told the Radio Free Asia Project, only the capital has been exempt from a nationwide shutdown.

TIMES OF LONDON

Dec. 26 “Beijing uses messaging app WeChat to stifle debate and enforce rules”

“The fundamental purpose of censorship is to use the ambiguity of the rules and the fear of humankind to achieve self-censorship,” he told Radio Free Asia, which is backed by the US government.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

Dec. 26 “China CCP to Nationalize Jack Ma's Alibaba and Ant Group – Report

… "There will definitely be an outcome, now that they have started the investigation ... This is probably coming from the highest levels," he told Radio Free Asia.

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL (Also in WORLD TRIBUNE)

Dec. 24 “Canada endorses free speech amid South Korea leaflet ban

… Christelle Chartrand, a spokeswoman for Canada's department of foreign affairs, told Radio Free Asia freedom of speech must be protected when asked to comment about the new law in South Korea.

DIPLOMAT

Dec. 23 “Two Rappers Convicted of ‘Incitement’ in Cambodia

… “This case is aimed at intimidating young people who have talent and contribute to society,” he told Radio Free Asia.

TAIWAN NEWS (Also in ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Dec. 23 “Taiwan-friendly Stephen Yates tapped to head Radio Free Asia

The U.S.-government-funded Radio Free Asia (RFA) will be headed by Taiwan-friendly former deputy national security adviser Stephen Yates, the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) announced Tuesday (Dec. 22).

KBS WORLD RADIO

Dec. 23 “Unification Ministry Accused of Using US NGO Head's Remarks Out of Context”

Carl Gershman, the chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, which supports human rights activists, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia on Tuesday that he was disappointed by being quoted out of context by the ministry. 

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

Dec. 23 “Red Cross delivered $700K of COVID-19 aid to North Korea, report says

Radio Free Asia's Korean service reported the North accepted shipments of kitchen supplies, 5,000 blankets, 1,000 units of hygiene products and 1,000 water bottles for the maintenance of thousands of people in quarantine facilities.

PHAYUL (Also in EAST AFRICAN)

Dec. 23 “Tibetan political prisoner released after 5-year sentence

… A Tibetan political prisoner named Ajaja jailed for five years for celebrating the 80th birthday of the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama was released on Dec. 10, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Dec. 21 “North Korea Sends 2,000 Security College Students To Border, Residents Worried They Are Being Monitored

… The group is specially assigned to conduct an interview with struggling residents, Radio Free Asia reported. 

KBS WORLD RADIO

Dec. 19 “'Anti-Leaflet Law May Come in Conflict with Biden Administration'

… According to Radio Free Asia, Michael Kirby made this remark in an online hearing Wednesday hosted by Britain's All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea.

DAILY MAIL (Also in HILL, EXPRESS, KBS WORLD RADIO)

Dec. 18 “North Korean fishing captain 'is publicly executed for listening to foreign radio while at sea'

… The US government-funded Radio Free Asia claims the mariner was put to death after admitting he had listened to its broadcasts for more than 15 years. 

KANKYOREH (Also in KBS WORLD RADIO)

Dec. 18 “S. Korea responds to UN criticism of anti-propaganda law restricting freedom of expression

Radio Free Asia reported on Dec. 16 that Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN’s special rapporteur for North Korean human rights issues, had recommended that the relevant democratic institutions use appropriate procedures to reconsider the amendment of the anti-propaganda law before it takes effect.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Dec. 18 “Alibaba says Uygur-tracking facial recognition violates company values, removes software

… Also on Thursday, new rumours emerged from a Radio Free Asia report alleging the company was being investigated by China’s central government.

TAIWAN NEWS

Dec. 18 “Over 300 workers reportedly infected with COVID-19 despite China vaccine

… However, on Tuesday (Dec. 15), Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that many Chinese construction workers in Angola and Serbia have tested positive for COVID. 

YAHOO NEWS

Dec. 17 “Alibaba says Uygur-tracking facial recognition violates company values, removes software

… Also on Thursday, new rumours emerged from a Radio Free Asia report alleging the company was being investigated by China’s central government.

 

CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Dec. 17 “South Korea Bans Sending Of Printed Materials, Other Items to North Korea

… In an interview with Radio Free Asia's Korean service, U.N. Special Rapporteur for North Korean Human Rights Tomás Ojea Quintana said the penalties for violators of the anti-leaflet law are "excessive."

DIPLOMAT (Also in UCA NEWS, NEW DEHLI TIMES)

Dec. 16 “Eight Years, and Still No Answers on Lao Activist’s Disappearance

… “They don’t meet with me, and they just say that they don’t have any information,” Sombath’s wife Ng Shui Meng, who lives in Singapore, told Radio Free Asia this week.

EXPRESS

Dec. 16 “North Korea grinds to halt: Kim triggers nationwide shut-down in bid to contain crisis

… He told Radio Free Asia: “From the beginning of this month, all public transport networks linking the whole country were stopped under the direction of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party.

CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Dec. 16 “Vietnamese Pastor’s Son Reveals How Authorities Persecuted His Family

… Pastor Y Yich's son, Mrui, shared his experience in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

POLYGRAPH

Dec. 16 “China Claims There’s Religious Freedom in Xinjiang. Not Even Close.

… In January, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that two Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cadres were arrested for “harboring a fugitive” after failing to confiscate a religious book from a villager during a home visit. 

DONG-A ILBO

Dec. 16 “‘N. Korea begins vaccination for party officers,’ says Asahi Shimbun

… Meanwhile, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on Monday that the operation of the public transportation system, such as train and bus, across the nation, except for Pyongyang, has been suspended to contain the virus.

ASIA NEWS

Dec. 16 “Vietnamese dissident sentenced to 12 years in prison for 'subversion'

… According to reports from Radio Free Asia (RFA), Tran will have to serve another three years of probation at the end of his sentence of 12 years in prison. 

GLOBAL VOICES

Dec 15 “Citing tweets and op-eds, Hong Kong police charges media tycoon Jimmy Lai with foreign collusion

… It highlights an excerpt of Lai's interview to Radio Free Asia on June 10 in which he said: “The U.S should sanction China and then Hong Kong, Hong Kong would eventually benefit from the sanctions (…). Foreign countries should exercise as much pressure on China as possible, followed by sanctions as a means to block the despotic act.”

CAMPAIGN ASIA

Dec. 15 “Representation and balance in the newsroom thrown into spotlight

… Several broadcasters, including Voice of America and Radio Free Asia in the US, ABC News in Australia and TVNZ in New Zealand, have embedded 50:50 tracking in their newsroom.

DAILY SIGNAL

Dec. 15 “How the Chinese Communist Party Robs Children of Their Religious Faith

… One government authority revealed to Radio Free Asia that, because religious practice among Uighurs is perceived as akin to extremism, Xinjiang-specific regulations are stringent and can even be used to criminally charge children for something as simple as reading the Quran or visiting a mosque. 

VISION

Dec. 15 “Lao Christians Return to Village After Being Evicted

… According to Radio Free Asia, the two families were kicked out and forced to live under harsh conditions in the forest for weeks.

NEWSWEEK (Also in LONDON TIMES, DIPLOMAT, AUSTRALIAN, MIZZIMA, ASIA TIMES, GLOBAL CONSTRUCTION REPORT, NEW DEHLI TIMES, VOICE OF AMERICA)

Dec. 15 “China Building 1,200-Mile Southern Great Wall Along Myanmar Border: Reports

… Social media images from the town of Wanding and the city of Ruili—both in China's southwestern Yunnan Province—show 6- to 9-foot barbed-wire metal fences separating the two countries, U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Monday.

DAILY MAIL

Dec. 16 “Devastated parents of detained Chinese human rights lawyer protest against 'torture' of their son by police during his secret detention

… The couple were taken away by plainclothes officers five minutes later, reported US-based Chinese-language news website Radio Free Asia

VOICE OF AMERICA

Dec. 15 “Record Number of Journalists Jailed Globally

… Three Radio Free Asia journalists – Nguyen Tuong Thuy, Nguyen Van Hoa and Truong Duy Nhat – and VOA journalist Le Anh Hung and contributor Pham Chi Dung are among those imprisoned in Vietnam.

CHRISTIANITY DAILY (Also in ASIA NEWS)

Dec. 13 “Hong Kong Religious Groups Fear Being Targeted After Police Raid Of Pro-Democracy Church

… Rev. Wu Chi Wai, who presides as the general secretary of the Hong Kong Church Renewal Movement, told Radio Free Asia that the Hong Kong police are now targeting churches using accusations of vaguely defined "money laundering" activities that fall under the national security law's clause prohibiting "collusion with foreign powers."

KOREA TIMES (Also in BLAZE, TOWNHALL, COMMUNITY PRESS, KOREA PORTAL, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES, KBS WORLD RADIO, NEW DAILY, DAILY CALLER, CHRISTIANITY DAILY, GULF TODAY, NEWS18)

Dec. 12 “North Korea publicly executes 2 people for quarantine violations

… North Korea publicly executed a smuggler for violating the COVID-19 quarantine measures, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

CHRISTIAN NEWS

Dec. 11 “Imprisoned Pastor’s Son Asked to Renounce Faith, Faces Death Threats in Vietnam

… Prior to International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) Vietnamese service spoke to several human rights groups to learn about the erosion of human rights in the country.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (Also in FINANCIAL TIMES, IFEX, BUSINESS INSIDER, RADIO FREE EUROPE)

Dec. 9 “China: Big Data Program Targets Xinjiang’s Muslims

… In August, Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur Service provided Human Rights Watch with an Excel spreadsheet titled “List of IJOP Trainees” with the names of over 2,000 people obtained from an anonymous Xinjiang source in late 2018.

EXPRESS

Dec. 9 “Kim Yo-Jong death rumours SQUASHED as Kim Jong-un's sister returns with South Korea threat

… A resident told Radio Free Asia North Korean authorities “did not provide sufficient training to the soldiers who were laying the mines”.

KHMER TIMES

Dec. 8 “SSCA dismisses media claims

… In addition, an article published in Khmer by Radio Free Asia on Dec 2 on its website, accused Cambodia of favouring China in the awarding of the contract and that the bidding process was neither transparent nor accountable.

FINANCIAL TIMES

Dec. 8 “Xinjiang data platform deems people suspicious by association

… The document was sent in late 2018 from an anonymous source in Xinjiang to Radio Free Asia, a US state-funded broadcaster.

INDIA BLOOMS

Dec. 8 “Chinese authorities remove statue of revered Uyghur scholar in Xinjiang: Report

… Using satellite imagery, Radio Free Asia's Uyghur Service was able to determine that Kashgary’s statue was removed sometime after Nov. 28, 2019.

PHAYUL

Dec. 7 “Tibetan writer arrested, whereabouts remain unknown

Radio Free Asia news service said, citing a source, that Lhundrup, a former monk at Rongwo monastery in Rebgong county in Malho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture has been detained in an undisclosed location.

UCA NEWS

Dec. 7 “When will Laotians celebrate Christmas with cheer?

… According to Radio Free Asia, they have recently been allowed to return, but they are being refused permission to rebuild their homes. 

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

Dec. 6 “A Chinese citizen journalist who was detained after reporting on the government's coronavirus response could spend five years in prison for it

… Zhang's lawyer, Wen Yu, told Radio Free Asia in September that she was refusing food to protest her detention.

KOREA JOONG ANG DAILY

Dec. 6 “North passes laws banning 'reactionary' thought

… According to a source in the regime quoted by U.S. government-funded outlet Radio Free Asia, university officials had allegedly admitted students based on their family backgrounds or after receiving bribes.  

GUARDIAN

Dec. 5 “Poetry, the soul of Uighur culture, on verge of extinction in Xinjiang

Abdukadir Juma, a poet, translator and businessman, who translated Red Sorghum by the Nobel-prize-winning Chinese writer Mo Yan, is believed to have been sent to a camp in 2017 and later to a forced labour facility, according to his brother Memetjan Juma, deputy director of Radio Free Asia’s Uighur service.

NEW YORK POST

Dec. 5 “CNN suddenly reports COVID truth after spewing anti-Trump propaganda”

Real journalists, such as those who work at our government-funded Radio Free Asia, started digging.

ASEAN TODAY

Dec. 5 “Geopolitics plays out on the Mekong with doubts on dams and promises of cooperation

… The Sanakham dam is Laos’ seventh large dam planned for the Mekong, according to Radio Free Asia.

NEW YORK POST (Also in INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES)

Dec. 4 “North Korea executes man for violating COVID-19 quarantine rules

… A North Korean citizen was publicly executed by authorities for violating “emergency quarantine measures,” according to Radio Free Asia.

NOSY MEDIA 

Dec. 4 “Kim Jong-un deployed anti-aircraft gun on China border, know who ordered to kill on sight?

… In October, a military source in North Hameong province in North Korea told the US-backed Radio Free Asia website that in October, the General Command ordered a core-aircraft gun to be deployed on the border.

KOREA HERALD

Dec. 4 “Experts rap Seoul for ban on flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets across border

… Roberta Cohen, who served as a US deputy assistant secretary of state for human rights, expressed concerns, telling Radio Free Asia that Seoul’s political and economic influence hinges on respecting human rights and democratic institutions.

EXPRESS

Dec. 3 “Kim Jong-un PANIC: North Korea food prices explode sparking famine fears

… According to one source, speaking to Radio Free Asia (RFA), rice prices have increased from 4,000 won per kilogram to as much as 8,000 won since mid-November.

NEW DEHLI TIMES

Dec. 3 “Bloggers, Activists Stage Hunger Strike Over Vietnam Prison Conditions

… Nguyen Van Hoa, 25, a blogger and contributor to Radio Free Asia (RFA) Vietnam Service, is protesting prison conditions with human rights defender Nguyen Bac Truyen and blogger and activist Pham Van Diep.

ASIA TIMES (Also in DRIVE)

Dec. 3 “US Air Force eyes Tinian Island as alternate airbase

… Right now, just the sprawling America’s Robert E. Kamosa Transmitting Station (REKTS) shortwave radio relay installation, which transmits Voice Of America, Radio Free Asia, and Australian Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts in this part of Pacific, is the only major manned facility that occupies this portion of the island. 

DIPLOMAT

Dec. 2 “Myanmar’s Long COVID-19 First Wave Continues

… “Amid the prolonged pandemic, medical staff are becoming overburdened,” Maw Maw Oo, a senior emergency physician at the Yangon General Hospital, told Radio Free Asia.

DIPLOMAT

Dec. 2 “Cambodian Opposition Figures Once Again Promise to Return

… When asked why she would lead the officials back to the country rather that Rainsy, Mu Sochua told Radio Free Asia’s Khmer Service that “women are gentler and more flexible and less confrontational than men.”

UPNEWS INFO

Dec. 2 “Hong Kong: Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam sentenced for pro-democracy protests

… One former employee told Radio Free Asia the firings were “a bullet to the head” of newsgathering operations at i-Cable News.

FEDERALIST

Dec. 1 “CNN Finally Discovers China Lies, Uses U.S. Media To Attack The United States

That includes a report from the government-funded nonprofit Radio Free Asia finding the death toll in Wuhan to be far higher than the 3,000 deaths the Chinese government was claiming at the time.

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