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Asia Undercovered Round-up: 1 Nov 2022

Asia Undercovered Round-up: 1 Nov 2022

This week: More violence against ethnic minorities in Myanmar, Malaysia's upcoming elections, and China's Party Congress cements dictatorial rule.

Undercovered last week

There have been a lot of tragedies in Asia in the past few months. This one, which killed dozens of mostly Hazara women in Afghanistan, got little to no attention in global media. Is it because their lives matter less?

For the Rohingya, who have been dealing with the junta’s violence for years, there is a growing sense of hopelessness in the camps in neighboring Bangladesh, as there seems to be no sign that they’ll even be allowed to return safely home, or move onto to a new life in another country (Johanna Son, Reporting Asean).

Another undercoverd tragedy took place in Myanmar, where a deadly airstrike by the unelected junta in Kachin state was an escalation in violence, killed more than 60 (TRT World).

Last month saw the end of the long tribunal against the Khmer Rouge, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Cambodians in the 1970s. This piece by Andrew Haffner and Keat Soriththeavy explores the good, bad, and ugly of the tribunal, what it accomplished but also, what it didn’t, as the country slips back into authoritarianism.

Worth reading: This analysis of how a pro-army Indian bot network tried to influence discourse on Kashmir, tweeting in three languages and pushing narratives of Kashmiris that claimed to be relatives of soldiers (FSI).

And this, to me, is a glimpse of the vast network of Chinese-influence in Southeast Asia. For every media like this that stood its ground, how many sold out to China’s money?

In the Philippines, yet another journalist has been killed, this time broadcaster Percy Lapid. Will the government, or police, act this time?

Electoral Politics

Malaysia has elections next month (keep an eye out for an Asia Undercovered special issue). Former Prime Minister, and head of the coalition that ended the Barisan Nasional’s long reign in the last election, expect the former ruling party, UNMO to win (Nikkei Asia).

China’s Communist Party Congress exceeded even the most hawkish expectations in how Xi Jinping was able to stack the leadership with his cronies. His power is, truly, absolute, and that’s deeply worrying.

His first trip during this third term? To Yan’an. A thread on what that means


For Global Asia, Noboru Yamaguchi explores how rising tensions over Taiwan are pushing Japan to, slowly, depart from its post-World War II pacifism, and what impacts that will have on defense policy.

And here’s an Indian perspective on the China’s Party Congress – according to Aadil Brar, Xi has selected a “dream team,” that has India written all over it, and what implications this has for the still-simmering border conflict (The Print).

Solutions Stories

This is amazing. In the NE Indian state of Manipur, an 11-year-old is leading anti-coal mine protests, reports Saurabh Sharma for Business Today.

And I really enjoyed this in-depth piece for the Thailand news outlet HardStories on how a group of women is raising millions with the goal of bailing people out of jail (Teeranai Charuvastra).

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Asia Undercovered: Round-ups and in-depth analysis of the news, events, trends and people changing Asia, but not getting enough attention in the US media.