Sri Lanka Presidential Hopeful Says Won’t Honor Deal with UN

AdvertisingA former Sri Lankan defense chief who is a front-runner in next month’s presidential election said Tuesday that if he wins, he won’t recognize an agreement the government made with the U.N. human rights council to investigate alleged war crimes during the nation’s civil war. If Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins the November 16 election and follows through with his comments, it would be a severe setback to Sri Lanka’s post-war reconciliation proc..

Taiwan Can Profit from the US-China Tech War

AdvertisingRecently, the Taiwanese government seemed to lure manufacturing companies back to Taiwan successfully amid the U.S.-China trade war, but can Taiwan continue to benefit in the concurrent tech war? On October 7, 2019, the U.S. government blacklisted 28 Chinese organizations, including eight surveillance and artificial intelligence technology companies and other public security actors, over their involvement with human rights violations o..

Inside Afghanistan’s Online Battlefield

AdvertisingIn the early 2000s, the war in Afghanistan was largely fought in the country’s rural areas. As the war dragged on, entrepreneurs established social media companies that now drive modern politics. The world evolved into the present social media-dominated age; so did the Afghan war. In one video circulated on social media early this year, Taliban fighters line a local judge up in front of their guns. They ask him repeatedly: Who is legit..

Uyghur Former Internment Camp Detainee Concerned For Brother Who Posted Video Disputing Her Account

A Uyghur woman whose case was highlighted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has expressed concern over her brother’s safety after he published a video rejecting claims that she was detained in an internment camp in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and forcibly sterilized on her release. Speaking at a Vatican conference on religious freedom earlier this month, Pompeo singled out China as one of the worst perpetrators of abuse agai..

Citizens Fight Over Feces to Fill Human Fertilizer Quota in North Korea

Competition for human feces has become cutthroat in North Korea, as authorities have burdened citizens with impossible collection quotas to prepare fertilizer for next year’s farming season. In impoverished North Korea, farms are fertilized using human waste, and the government tasks every household with yearly collection quotas. RFA reported in January, shortly after leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s address, that households were struggling to m..

Why Pork Pushed China to a Deal

AdvertisingOn Friday, U.S. President Trump and China’s Vice Premier Liu He announced a trade agreement that saw Washington suspend tariff increases while China agreed to purchase some $40-$50 billion of agricultural products, including pork. Behind this seemingly positive development, the financial markets rallied; the Dow Jones rose some 320 points or 1.21 percent. Trump billed the agreement as “phase one” of a broader trade agreement, but behin..

Jailed Vietnamese Environmental Activist in Solitary After Cellmate Beat Him Unconscious

Detained Vietnamese environmental activist Nguyen Ngoc Anh has been placed in solitary confinement after being beaten unconscious at the hands of his cellmate and refused treatment for his injuries, his wife said Friday, adding that he “fears for his life” in jail. After visiting Anh at the Binh Phu Detention Center in Ben Tre’s Thanh Phu district on Friday morning, his wife, Nguyen Thi Chau, told RFA’s Vietnamese Service that her husband was le..

The NBA, Blizzard, and Beyond: Free Expression, Censorship, and China’s Global Reach

AdvertisingThe Diplomat‘s Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) and Prashanth Parameswaran (@TheAsianist) discuss recent controversies concerning the National Basketball Association, Blizzard Entertainment, and China. The episode also covers India-China relations ahead of the second “informal summit” between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Click the play button to the right to listen. If you’re an iOS or Mac user, you can al..

High Expectations as China’s Xi Lands in Nepal

AdvertisingOver the past week, Kathmandu’s streets have been transformed. Potholes have been fixed and whole roads repaved. An empty, trash-strewn lot was turned into a public park overnight. Streetlamps were adorned with portraits of Nepal’s ceremonial head of state, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, due to arrive on October 12. Xi’s visit to Nepal — following on the heels of his unofficial summit with Indian Pri..

Japan Mulls Mass Pardon of Petty Crimes to Mark New Emperor’s Enthronement

AdvertisingLast week the government announced a “full scale examination” to decide the scope of offences eligible for pardon to honor Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the throne at the end of the month. Following former Emperor Akhito’s abdication in April, between 500,000 to 600,000 people convicted of minor crimes within the last three years will be considered for amnesty. If the government pardon goes ahead, it will be the first time in 26 year..

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