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Asia Undercovered #51

Asia Undercovered #51

This week: Five-star propoganda tours in Xinjiang, female climate journalist in Pakistan, why Koreans are speaking up on Hong Kong, and more.

Undercovered this week

One way that China has been able to keep the human rights crisis in Xinjiang undercovered globally is through the running of what Coda Story calls five star propaganda tours. In at least one case, though, it failed.

Also a reminder – vague “terrorism” arguments don’t justify what’s happening to the Uyghurs.

Selfless heroes who sacrifice themselves for the nation are a key part of the ruling Communist Party’s rhetoric. This piece by China Media Project looks at a new star – Huang Wenxio, who died in a flash flood earlier this year and has been elevated to “national outstanding CCP member,” (David Bandurski).

Tragic. A mentally disabled 12 year old girl becomes pregnant twice due to repeated rapes. Police do nothing until the case gets media attention. This is justice in China today (Sixthtone).

Why are women reluctant to report on climate change in Pakistan? This report explores the dearth of female journalists covering an increasingly important topic (Dawn).

One climate issue that deserves more attention? How much of Asia’s cities will be inundated by rising sea levels – and how little governments are doing to prepare (Joshua Kurlantzick, WPR).

In Kerala, India this Hindu woman taught Arabic for years due to her love for the language. A piece on diversity and multiculturalism as debate rages over a Muslim teacher potentially joining a Sanksrit University in the North (The News Minute).

Meanwhile, more Koreans are starting to speak up about Hong Kong as Chinese students deface posters.


It is not just Xinjiang that is getting little attention on the global state. West Papua, which has seen increasing militarization this year, also receives mostly silence. Amelia Joan Liwe explores why for The Conversation.

One place to watch – Central Asia, where Chinese investment is increasing alongside knowledge of the repressions of Muslims in Xinjiang – leading to agitations that might, soon, no longer be controllable (Paul Goble, Eurasia Monitor).

India’s response to criticism about Kashmir strongly resembles how China responds to criticism about...anything. Could Modi be copying from Xi’s playbook? (Future Directions).

Relations between Japan and China are better today than they have been in years, but mutual suspicion hinders real deep progress, argues Stephen Nagy (Policy Forum).


Lev Nachman argues that the Hong Kong factor might be overstated when it comes to Taiwan’s Presidential race. A worthwhile read (Taiwan Insight).

Meanwhile, Thailand is not done legislating this year’s election. The latest move – removing the leader of the progressive opposition Future Forward Party (Al Jazeera).

Lighter note: A worthy honor

Indonesia awarded its highest honor, national hero, to its first female journalist - Ruhana Kuddus. Learn about this extraordinary person, who began writing for a women’s journal, back in 1908.

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.