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China Pursues ‘Mask Diplomacy’ With Asian Neighbors during COVID-19 Crisis

China, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, is moving to polish up its battered image by scrambling to donate medical equipment and other resources to countries reeling from the COVID-19 outbreak. Countries in South and Southeast Asia are receiving from Beijing huge shipments of medical equipment, personal protective gear and test kits,..

Estimates Show Wuhan Death Toll Far Higher Than Official Figure

As authorities lifted a two-month coronavirus lockdown in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, residents said they were growing increasingly skeptical that the figure of some 2,500 deaths in the city to date was accurate. Since the start of the week, seven large funeral homes in Wuhan have been handing out the cremated remains of around 500 people to..

Uyghur High School Teacher Detained in Xinjiang Internment Camp

A Uyghur high school chemistry teacher is being detained in an internment camp in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), official sources have confirmed. Recently, a Facebook user by the name of Uyghuriye Alip posted information that Memettursun Daim, who taught at the No. 4 High School in Aksu (in Chinese, Akesu) prefecture’s..

Face Mask Shortages Cause Price Hikes Across Southeast Asia as COVID-19 Spreads

Face mask shortages in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic are leading to price increases, causing many to reuse their disposable masks, make their own masks at home, or use materials like baby wipes to cover their faces. People in the Southeast Asian countries are petitioning their governments to rectify the shortages and to address other problems in the medical equipment supply chain. Sources told RFA’s L..

Japan’s Postponement of the Olympics: What Next?

AdvertisementThe Diplomat‘s Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) and Prashanth Parameswaran (@TheAsianist) discuss the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games and the reactions in South Asia to the spread of the COVID–19 pandemic. Click the play button to the right to listen. If you’re an iOS or Mac user, you can also subscribe to The Diplomat’s Asia Geopolitics podcast on iTunes here; if you use Windows or Android, you can subscribe on Google Play ..

Calls for Corona Bonds Met with Familiar “Nein”

On Monday, Adrio Pierantoni wanted to know what the government could do for him. Like almost all Italian companies that don't produce medicine or food, Pierantoni was forced to close his small shop in the town of Fano on the Adriatic coast. It was the latest in a series of measures designed to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus, measures that have brought the Italian economy to a standstill. Pierantoni crunched the numbers. He calculat..

Kenya: Dozens Injured As Police Brutality Marks Start of Curfew

Police brutality ushered in the coronavirus curfew for Coast and Eldoret residents as cops descended on hapless citizens two hours before the deadline. Not spared were media personnel with Nation Media Group television cameraman Pater Wainaina being clobbered by a police officer, as he struggled to perform his duties. The brutality of the journalist, which was roundly condemned by the Kenya Editors Guild (KEG) and Kenya Union of Journalist (KUJ..

Italy reports 919 coronavirus deaths in one day – highest number so far

Italy has reported its highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in one day, with 919 deaths announced on Friday. It has also surpassed China in the number of confirmed cases, with 86,498 cases compared to China's 81,897, according to Italy's Civil Protection Agency. The hardest-hit region of Lombardy reported a sharp rise in fataliti..

Vietnam’s Communist Party Finds a Silver Lining in COVID-19

AdvertisementThe coronavirus outbreak affords the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) a unique opportunity to regain its people’s trust and strengthen its legitimacy in the midst of criticism toward how the party handled several issues in late 2019 and early 2020. 2019 was an unlucky year for the CPV on many fronts. On the economic front, the tragic death of 39 illegal migrants in the United Kingdom, while having complex roots, raised the question o..

Trump signs $2.2trn relief bill as New York pleads for hospital beds

Donald Trump has signed an unprecedented $2.2trn (£1.8tn) coronavirus relief bill to help stricken American citizens and businesses. The US president said the bill would "deliver urgently needed relief" and would put Americans "first". It was signed into legislation as New York's governor urgently called for thousands more hospital beds for c..

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