RFA in the News (January 2021)

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KOREA HERALD

Jan. 31 "Hearing on Seoul's leaflet ban to open soon: US congressman"

… "I think appointments to commissions -- such as the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission which Rep. Smith co-chaired last year -- will likely take place in the next four to six weeks, as is normal," Smith's office told Radio Free Asia on Thursday.

KHMER TIMES

Jan. 29 "Disavowing Rainsy link: Accused ex-CNRP duo deny involvement in 'coup plot'"

… "I did also not meet or contact Sam Rainsy or other former CNRP officials. I just knew them and saw them via Facebook and social media and only heard their voices on Radio Free Asia, VOA or YouTube," he said.

SUN

Jan. 29 "Inside the deadly 'prank TV show' plot Kim Jong-un used to make two innocent women murder his half brother in public"

… The Radio Free Asia journalist says: "I thought Siti and Doan were North Korean spies. For the North Koreans to use the film industry as a cover seemed plausible because Kim Jong-un and his father were known to like Western movies."

BURMA NEWS INTERNATIONAL

Jan. 28 "4,000 Displaced – European Alliance Demands Burma Military Stop its Attacks in Karen State"

… Radio Free Asia reported that more than "170 social and civil society groups on Jan. 20 sent letters to Myanmar's President Win Myint and the country's state counselor and de facto national leader Aung San Suu Kyi appealing for help to end the armed conflict in Kayin [Karen] State."

AUSTRALIAN

Jan. 29 "No going back now: farewell to China's most sparkling gem"

… Ching Cheong, a veteran journalist in HK, told Radio Free Asia: "The Bauhinia Party is designed to completely replace traditional centrist politics in Hong Kong … it doesn't work for Beijing to rule ­directly, so it sets up a political party subordinate to the CCP."

ALJAZEERA

Jan. 27 "The weaponisation of the Cambodian justice system must stop"

… A government spokesperson told Radio Free Asia that we are not welcome in Cambodia and that we will "have to find [a] way to enter Cambodia" on our own.

DIPLOMAT

Jan. 26 "'Not Sufficient': Thailand Rejects Report on Lao Hydropower Dam"

… On January 15, the country's Chinese contractor submitted a revised technical report to the Thai National Mekong River Committee, which sought to address some concerns about the impact of the dam, but according to Radio Free Asia, the Thai government did not accept the revisions.

ASEAN TODAY

Jan. 26 "Lao leadership shuffle will see precarious development, foreign policy continue"

… The post of prime minister will then likely be filled by current Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, according to Radio Free Asia.

ABC NEWS (Also in EXPRESS)

Jan. 25 "China is building border walls with Vietnam and Myanmar to keep people out, but also in"

… Meanwhile, a 659-kilometre-long fence has reportedly been completed along China's 2,000-kilometre border with Myanmar in December, in between China's Yunnan province and Myanmar's northern Shan State, according to Radio Free Asia and Myanmar's The Irrawaddy.

ECONOTIMES

Jan. 25 "World War 3 panic: China passes law to allow open fire on foreign ships on claimed waters"

… Documents obtained by Radio Free Asia revealed that work on both the artificial and actual island bases, specifically Woody Island, is ongoing for the past few years.

BRIGHT GREEN

Jan. 25 "International unions demand release of Cambodian trade union leader"

… The ITUC reports that Rong was targeted for speaking about Cambodian farmers, who have lost land to Vietnam at the border. He spoke about the controversial topic in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

STRAITS TIMES

Jan. 25 "Cambodia, Myanmar raising funds for vaccines via donations"

… Donors in Cambodia have contributed over US$56 million (S$74 million) since last month, according to Radio Free Asia.

HERITAGE FOUNDATION

Jan. 21 "How The U.S. Should Respond To Genocide In Xinjiang"

Reports from Radio Free Asia documented Uighur children being systematically separated from their families.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

Jan. 21 "China: Tibetan Monk Dies from Beating in Custody"

Radio Free Asia reported that during the first Wonpo protest in November 2019, "the nomads' livelihoods have gone from bad to worse [following resettlement], and, not having any other sources of income, they have to depend solely on government subsidies for their survival."

AL JAZEERA

Jan. 20 "In Myanmar's Rakhine, families of the disappeared seek answers"

… The family told local media that soldiers shot at them when they approached the body, which the US-government funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia reported was riddled with bullet holes. 

HILL

Jan. 19 "The Biden team must beware of losing a US-China cold war"

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

KOREA HERALD

Jan. 19 "N. Koreans doubt Kim's plans for 'self-sufficient' economy: RFA"

… North Koreans are growing skeptical of the so-called "self-sufficient" economy that their leader Kim Jong-un champions, Radio Free Asia said Monday, citing anonymous sources there.

PERSECUTION (Also in CHRISTIAN NEWS)

Jan. 19 "Beijing House Church Elder Denied Pension"

… According to Radio Free Asia, the 60-year-old Christian man was turned away by a Beijing municipal government service center after he went there to claim his first pension payments, which he should have received this month. Instead, he was denied the money, with officials citing his "criminal record."

DIPLOMAT (Also in UCA NEWS)

Jan. 18 "Cambodian Exile Return Bid Crashes Into Visa Hurdle"

… Government spokesperson Phay Siphan told Radio Free Asia on January 8 that the government would not grant the exiles passports or visas, and that they would "have to find a way to enter Cambodia on their own."

CHINA CHANGE

Jan. 15 "'Criminal Judgment' of Citizen Journalist Zhang Zhan by Court in Shanghai"

… The Shanghai Pudong New Area People's Procuratorate alleges that on February 3, 2020, the defendant Zhang Zhan entered Wuhan city, Hubei Province, and then repeatedly spread a large amount of false information through WeChat, Twitter, YouTube, and other online media in text and video format, and also gave interviews to the overseas media "Radio Free Asia" and "The Epoch Times," and maliciously speculated about the novel coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, reaching a large audience and having a deleterious impact.

SPECTATOR

Jan. 16 "CCP's persecution of the Uyghurs"

Radio Free Asia has reported in detail of the conversion of a hospital into a detention facility in Aksu in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jan. 15 "Cambodian labor leader's trial for border remarks begins"

… A week before his arrest, Rong Chhun gave an interview to U.S. government-supported Radio Free Asia in which he spoke about meeting farmers in eastern Cambodia who complained about their land being infringed upon by neighboring Vietnam.

INDIA BLOOMS

Jan. 15 "Chinese atrocities: Missing Uyghur doctor found detained in Xinjiang"

… Sayarra Nijat, a doctor who had worked at the Urumqi Friendship Hospital for three years following her graduation from medical school, was detained in May 2017, reports Radio Free Asia.

NATIONAL INTEREST

Jan. 14 "Bring Back the War of Ideas"

… When I was the State Department deputy special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, we knew Radio Free Asia's Korean Service was doing something right not because of audience share in North Korea—something that would be impossible to measure accurately—but by the regime's determined efforts to jam the broadcasts.

 

FREE PRESS JOURNAL

Jan. 12 "Chinese govt may nationalize Jack Ma's Alibaba and the Ant Group: Reports"

… "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.

CHIANG RAI TIME

Jan. 12 "Laos Government Approves Another Mega Dam on the Mekong River"

… The latest project in its controversial economic strategy to become the "battery of Southeast Asia," sources in the country told Radio Free Asia.

LA CROIX INTERNATIONAL

Jan. 12 "Dreaming of a better life, desperate Rohingya risk leaving Myanmar"

Radio Free Asia reported police will decide if they have violated the laws and whether they should be sent to court for trial.

HILL

Jan. 12 "Biden's China challenge is both easier and tougher than Trump's"

Radio Free Asia reported that the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gleefully ran a headline, "Mob storms Capitol Hill, U.S. democracy smashed!"; called last week's events an American "Waterloo"; and falsely equated the attack with the Chinese authorities' crackdown on Hong Kong's Legislative Council.

TAIWAN ENGLISH NEWS

Jan. 11 "Chinese PLA commander who refused CCP order to attack student protestors dead at 85"

… Xu's defiance of orders shook the CCP's leadership at the time, and made the Central Military Commission, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, very nervous, according to Radio Free Asia's Chinese language edition.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (Also in DIPLOMAT, KHMER TIMES, PHNOM PENH POST)

Jan 11. "Cambodia: 150 opposition politicians and supporters face jail in mass trials"

… On 8 January, a Cambodian government spokesperson told Radio Free Asia that authorities would not grant travel documents for CNRP politicians living abroad who planned to return to Cambodia to face the charges against them.

ASIA TIMES

Jan 11 "Migrants in the crossfire of Thai Covid blame game"

Radio Free Asia reported on December 5 that civil society groups in Cambodia are urging their government to step in and support migrants so they can remain in Thailand and not be forced to return home.

ASIA TIMES (Also in KHMER TIMES)

Jan. 11 "Does Cambodia have a 'puppet king'?"

… In an article published on December 28, Radio Free Asia claimed that Sam Rainsy's first offending post was one titled "Cambodia's Covid-19 Vaccine Boondoggle," which stated: "The way Hun Sen wants ordinary Cambodians to see it is that Cambodia has a 'philanthropic party,' not a 'welfare state,' so that if one takes away the CPP, the state collapses."

BITTER WINTER

Jan. 11 "China Tries to Disrupt Tibetan Parliamentary Elections"

… After this visit, the Nepalese police tried to prevent the elections by confiscating the ballots and arresting five Tibetans, including a journalist of Radio Free Asia.

MIND MATTERS

Jan. 11 "Chinese Entrepreneur Jack Ma Missing After Criticizing The Party"

Radio Free Asia, however, says Ma is definitely under a travel ban and may be "under restrictive measures."

DAYTON DAILY NEWS

Jan. 10 "Democracy is undermined when truth is a commodity"

… Think Russian hacking of U.S. federal agencies; the imprisonment of Chinese publisher Jimmy Lai and arrests of pro-democracy Hong Kong activists; and Choi, a North Korean fisherman publicly executed for listening to banned Radio Free Asia.

DAILY NK

Jan. 8 "State security agency arrests key figures involved in North Korea's nuclear and missile development"

… During intensive questioning at a Ministry of State Security detention center, one individual reportedly admitted that he "enjoyed listening to Hanminjok Radio from South Choson [South Korea] and Radio Free Asia, which are easy to understand because they are in Korean."

VOICE OF AMERICA

Jan. 8 "China Works on Vietnam Border Wall to Keep Citizens Home"

… Plans to construct a two-meter-high border wall in southwestern China were reported in October by Radio Free Asia

MEAWW (Also in LIFE NEWS)

Jan. 8 "China boasts Uyghur Muslim women are 'no longer baby-making machines' amid forced birth control allegations"

… In October end last year, Radio Free Asia reported that Chinese men asked to monitor homes of Uyghur women whose husbands are sent to prison camps are sent to sleep with them under what is called the 'Pair Up and Become Family' program.

WORLD POLITICS REVIEW

Jan 7 "Who Will Benefit From Cambodia's New Oil Wealth?"

… "As Cambodians, as the owners of the country, we should know how our resources are being extracted or explored by companies," Heng Kimhong, a program officer at the Phnom Penh-based People Center for Development and Peace, told Radio Free Asia.

GUARDIAN (Also in BRINKWIRE)

Jan. 6 "Hong Kong arrests: who are the pro-democracy activists being targeted?"

… Tai continued to speak out even after the implementation of the NSL, telling Radio Free Asia in October the number of people in Hong Kong willing to stand up to an authoritarian government had "reached a critical mass".

UCA NEWS

Jan. 6 "Cambodian project threatens fish and livelihoods"

… Radio Free Asia reports in this YouTube video.

IFEX (Also in FIJI TIMES, BRINKWIRE, MYANMAR TIMES, PHNOM PENH POST)

Jan. 6 "Vietnam sentences 3 independent journalists to more than 10 years in prison"

… Authorities detained Thuy, a reporter with the U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Asia and the vice president of the journalists' association, in Hanoi on May 23, 2020, and detained Tuan, a freelance journalist who published on the association's official news website, on June 12, according to CPJ research.

EXPRESS

Jan. 6 "North Korea pleads for coronavirus vaccine after reporting ZERO cases"

Radio Free Asia said the explosives were placed to prevent defectors from fleeing the country, despite officially claiming they were planted to protect the border.

NEW DEHLI TIMES

Jan 5 "China-Vietnam Border Wall Would Target Smugglers, Chinese Economic Refugees"

… Authorities in southwestern China are working on a two-meter-high wall along the 1,300-meter border, Radio Free Asia reported in October, referring to Chinese social media reports and individuals living nearby.

INQUIRER

Jan 5 "N. Korea requests vaccine from global group despite zero COVID-19 claims"

… A Gavi spokesman told Radio Free Asia that the group plans to deliver vaccines in the first half of this year to all countries who have requested doses within the timeframe.

TAIPEI TIMES

Jan 5 "Help China end communist rule"

… The natural conduit for such direct communications would be an expanded and invigorated effort by Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, but some at Voice of America fear a conflict between reporting the news and disseminating "propaganda."

DAILY NK

Jan. 4 "Ordinary people's distrust of financial institutions remains strong"

… According to Radio Free Asia, North Korea forced families in some parts of South Pyongan Province to open accounts at commercial banks last January, promising them 10% annual interest.

PAGOSA DAILY (Also in SENTINEL)

Jan. 4 "EDITORIAL: Reincarnation Gets a Bit Dicey"

… The legislation also authorizes $7.4 million for two radio stations, Voice of America, and Radio Free Asia, to allow Tibetans to hear American opinions about reincarnation, and other political matters.

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