3 min read

Asia Undercovered #46

Asia Undercovered #46

This week: China’s repression of Uyghurs, activists, and others, Tuvulu election, India internment camps, and more.

New to Asia Undercovered? Sign up today!

Imminent, unjust execution of Uyghur academic

I shared this piece in an earlier issue. Now, news has emerged that Tashpolat Tiyip, a renowned Uyghur academic, is facing imminent execution in Xinjiang, China for no crime other than his ethnicity and status. Thus far, little attention has been given to this case (though it did make an appearance in one of the Hong Kong protests).

Meanwhile, India looks to be following in China’s footsteps, building its first internment camps for supposedly undocumented immigrants, most likely Muslim Bengalis in Assam. How long till these start emerging in Kashmir?

Meanwhile, a few former victims of China’s concentration camps have been released to their homes in Kazakhstan. Many are facing severe health and mental issues, reports Chris Rickleton for EurasiaNet.

All of this connects directly to China’s ongoing crackdown on human rights advocates, the few people brave enough to stand up for Uyghurs, Tibetans, and other oppressed minorities. This piece loosk into the arrest of Cheng Yuan, a public interest advocate, for no crime other than having a conscience (NPR).

How many unjust executions, jailings, and internments camps do we need until the world finally stands up and calls China out on its crimes against humanity.

Undercovered this week

The Hong Kong protests have led to many solidarity events around the world. Showing up at many of these events? Pro-China counter-protesters, often with nationalistic messages or hate. Kunsang Thokmay writes on how a brainwashed generation is now doing the Communist Party’s bidding, anywhere (Asia Times).

Nepal just deported 6 Tibetans back to China. Their fate is probably grim, as China doesn’t look kindly on those who want freedom. (for more on China’s Tibetan border controls, see my piece from earlier this year in Coda Story).

You probably heard that Indonesia is moving its capital from Jakarta. This great piece by Aisyah Llewellyn takes us on the ground, to the villages near where the new capital will be built and gets locals perspectives on the megaproject (The Guardian).

A thoughtful and sad read from Mirza Waheed in Literary Hub on the ongoing siege and clampdown in Kashmir and how it feels when your family and kids are cut off from the outside world.

Meanwhile, discontent is growing in Uzbekistan as activism grows alongside police suppression (The Diplomat).


This week, it’s all China. First, Yau Tsz Yan looks at how Chinese surveillance technology is flowing into Central Asia, and could help entrench authoritarian regimes there.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Biba looks at China’s ambitions to control the greater Mekong Region, where it enjoys a strategic advantage as the river’s most upstream riparian, and how this could be a testing ground for grander global ambitions (East Asia Forum).


Asia Undercovered’s first mention of the tiny pacific island nation of Tuvalu, which held elections that saw large turnover earlier this month (RNZ).

And big news from Taiwan, where a potential third party candidate and spoiler, has decided not to run for President.

Crazy Rich Karachi: A detailed, immersive, and a little tragic look at Pakistan’s largest city.

This fantastic interactive feature from Samma explores the politics of Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi, and why it often fails to provide services for its 20 million plus residents. A great way to learn about a city, a country, and the complex politics that affect daily life.

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.