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Asia Undercovered 22 April 2020

Asia Undercovered 22 April 2020

In this week’s roundup of non-Covid-19 stories from Asia: a green new deal for South Korea, Malaysia’s new (old) government, and a story about appreciating bats.

Undercovered this week

Sharing culture - and awareness of cultural genocide.

China’s overseas coal investments get a lot of attention. Ma Tianjie writes for China Dialogue on the barriers that keep the country form investing in green energy abroad – primarily, a lack difficulty in obtaining financing from host nations.

Hong Kong’s protest weren’t just about Hong Kongers. The city-state has over 100,000 migrant domestic workers. One of them, who happens to be a journalist herself, Yuli Riswati, speaks to NQCH about domestic workers’ visible and invisible involvement in the Hong Kong opposition movement.

Meanwhile, in the cover of the pandemic, the crackdown on pro-democracy leaders in Hong Kong is accelerating. Ben Bland argues for The Interpreter that that this will only deepen the divide.


In South Korea, the center-left part of President Moon Jae-in won a parliamentary majority for the first time in 16 years.

One of their first moves will be to implement a Green New Deal which will set a zero emissions goal, and end coal financing (Chloe Farand, Climate Home News).

Remember when Malaysia got a new (old) government, days before the pandemic? Prashanth Parameswaran writes about politics under the new Perikatan Nasional government, and what to expect in the coming months (The Diplomat).

Solutions Stories

Last week, on April 17th, was Bat Appreciation day. With the flying mammal getting so much negative attention, Tigga Kingston wrote this thoughtful piece for Southeast Asia Globe on all the benefits of bats to ecosystems, human health, and much more.

And from Inside Indonesia, this story about 28 young people bringing back natural farming techniques to a community in Indonesia, even as most of their peers opt for city life over the challenges of making a living in agriculture.

— Nithin Coca

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.