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East Asia #2

  • China and COVID
  • Asylum for Hong Kongers
  • Duterte and economy
  • Ending war in Korea
Published every Wednesday


How China used nationalism to hide coronavirus truth

For two months, Fang Fang documented life in COVID-19’s ground zero. Using Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the 64-year-old novelist and poet wrote 60 posts over 60 days about inhabiting Wuhan as it was being quarantined by Chinese authorities.

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Syndey Morning Herald

Why is the South China Sea such a hotspot?

The US has maintained an active program of freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs for short) in defiance of China’s claim, and in support of south-east Asian claimant states it is allied with – as well as other nearby nations such as Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

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Foreign Policy

Vietnam Steps Up to Take ASEAN Leadership Role

Hanoi’s strong position on China and COVID-19 success bolster its status.

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Australian Financial Review ($)

Inside China’s coronavirus response

The missteps, and indeed the suppression of vital information after the initial detection of the potentially deadly new coronavirus by doctors in Hubei province, has been well documented, mainly by the Chinese themselves.

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Foreign Affairs

What Fast Track for Asylum Seekers From Hong Kong?

At the end of June, the Chinese Communist Party passed a new national security law bringing Hong Kong more fully under China’s control than at any time since the Qing dynasty, more than a century and a half ago. A wave of émigrés could soon leave the territory for foreign shores, and countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Taiwan have pledged to welcome them. But the reception of Hong Kong’s dissidents in these countries may be far more ambivalent than those fleeing the territory have been given reason to expect.

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The Nation

‘We Need to Move From a Wartime Mentality to a Peacetime Mentality’

US and Korean groups are pushing for a peace treaty to finally end the Korean War.

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Nikkei Asian Review

Duterte’s populist rants risk further harm for ailing economy

Richard Heydarian is an Asia-based academic, columnist and author of “The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy” and the “The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China and the New Struggle for Global Mastery.”

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The Globe and Mail

Opinion: Why Eastern countries are more successful in fighting COVID-19

In this globalized world, one would think that Rudyard Kipling’s evocative line, “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,” would no longer be relevant, with the internet providing round-the-clock real-time data to all corners of the world. And yet, these words are as portentous today, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as when they were first penned in 1889.

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South China Morning Post

How China’s Ant is evolving from a payments app into a technology champion

Ant Group has evolved from a provider of e-payments to Alibaba Group’s online shopping platforms into a fintech giant with a range of businesses from asset management to technology.

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Massive Sci

The banana as we know it is going extinct. Could gene editing save it?

How the Cavendish pandemic could pave the way for tastier bananas

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