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Asia Undercovered 1 July 2020

Asia Undercovered 1 July 2020

This week: More evidence of genocide in Xinjiang, Singapore’s long-time ruling party, and a dynasty in the making in Cambodia.

Genocide, slowly

The Associated Press has just released the results of an investigation that documents in detail China’s deliberate policy to reduce Uyghur birthrates and population growth by any means necessary, the latest in a growing mound of evidence of intent to commit genocide.

Coming the same week China imposed a draconian national security law on Hong Kong will this lead to concerted global action? This Uyghur poem, from 1986, seems, some, fitting.

Undercovered this week

One More China story: This interesting piece in Public Books reflects on Shanghai, once China’s most dynamic city, and how conflict and the implementation of totalitarianism led many to flee, changing the city forever. Could Hong Kong follow in these dark footsteps?

Deeply worrying a plan to expand a port could destroy Pulicat Lake in South India, the country’s second largest brackish lake and a home to varied biodiversity (Karthikeyan Hemalatha, Hakai).

Chinese investment is welcome in Indonesia, but Chinese migrants are not. For ethnic Chinese-Indonesians, who have been living in the country for generations, either way, the risk of conflict increases, writes Leo Suryadinata for SCMP.

Malaysia’s new un-elected government has increased probes of journalists, against its own free speech pledge. Is this paving a path towards a revival of the dominance of the old ruling party, whenever elections are called? (Global Voices).


A milestone for Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party. Now, the question is, can they extend it?

Cambodia has been ruled by one man, Hun Sen, since 1985. Now, his son Hun Manet is being groomed to take control, writes Kimkong Heng, creating another family dynasty in Southeast Asia (Lowy Interpreter).

As countries across Asia are turning more and more authoritarian, and with its two neighbors under firm one-party rule, Mongolia’s local elections, to be held this month, will be a test of whether it can buck the global trend, writes Byambajav Dalaibuyan for East Asia Forum.


The recall vote that removed Han Kuo-yu as mayor of Kaohsiung was a big blow for pro-China elements in Taiwan. Oiwan Lam writes on the impact of his loss, and the broader issues facing Chinese relations in the island country (Global Voices).

I like this termphoto-op diplomacy, the preferred style for photogenic Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It has failed completely, argues Priyam Marik in Madras Courier.

Solutions Stories

Just one this week – a profile of Caravan Magazine, a longtime Indian media outlet that has become the voice of reason in a country where religious battles, populism, and anti-democratic discourses are all on the rise (VQR).

Asia Undercovered: Journalist Nithin Coca’s weekly roundup of the news, events, trends and people changing Asia, but not getting enough attention in the US media.