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RFA is a private, nonprofit corporation that broadcasts news and information to listeners in Asian countries where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable.

06/11/2020
Coal-Fired Plant in Myanmar Stokes Local Anger

A Chinese-owned power plant near Myanmar’s largest coal mine has provoked anger and protests of people in Shan State. RFA spoke to villagers who live on the doorstep of the controversial Tigyit plant who say pollution is ruining their crops and endangers their health. They fear that plans to expand coal extraction in the area will only make matters worse.

“The results of this survey paint a picture of clearly ascendant Chinese influence in Southeast Asia, complex and diverg...
06/10/2020
Survey Suggests China Influence Over SE Asia Is Rising as America’s Falls

“The results of this survey paint a picture of clearly ascendant Chinese influence in Southeast Asia, complex and diverging views of China, and deep concerns over U.S.-China strategic competition and its impact on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),” the report describing the survey’s findings says.

China already has far more economic influence than the U.S., and slightly more political power, in Southeast Asia, and the gap is expected to widen in the next decade.

“We decided to use Facebook to provide timely and accurate information related to the Tatmadaw because real and fake new...
06/10/2020
Critics Warn of Deception as Myanmar Military Returns to Facebook After 2018 Purge

“We decided to use Facebook to provide timely and accurate information related to the Tatmadaw because real and fake news are being mixed together on Facebook,” said Myanmar military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun.

An army spokesman says the new pages will ‘provide timely and accurate information related to the Tatmadaw.’

The State Department said China's government "intensified use of detentions in furtherance of implementing a Xinjiang co...
06/10/2020
China Increased Detentions For ‘Extremist’ Religious Behavior in Xinjiang in 2019: Report

The State Department said China's government "intensified use of detentions in furtherance of implementing a Xinjiang counterextremism regulation that identifies ‘extremist’ behaviors" such as growing beards, wearing headscarves, and abstaining from alcohol.

Uyghurs and other Muslims were detained for beards and headscarves, as well as abstaining from alcohol.

"Hong Kong is losing its entrepreneurs; its most capable people, the mainstay of society, its specialists; the business ...
06/10/2020
Interview: 'I'm Going to Stay Here And Fight to The Bitter End'

"Hong Kong is losing its entrepreneurs; its most capable people, the mainstay of society, its specialists; the business people are all leaving. But why won't Shanghai be able to fill its role? Because there's no rule of law there."

Pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai says impending national security legislation will spell the end of Hong Kong's freedoms.

06/10/2020
Fraying Ties Between Beijing and Hong Kong

One year ago, massive protests erupted in Hong Kong against government plans to allow the extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China. Now, a new round of protests has broken out as Beijing plans to impose a draconian sedition and subversion law to put an end to “chaos” in Hong Kong. This video examines the deteriorating ties between the two Chinese cities.

“We have seen China forgive the debts of some countries,” said Myanmar economist Zaw Oo. “It has relaxed the repayment c...
06/10/2020
Myanmar Cautioned About Costly Borrowing From China

“We have seen China forgive the debts of some countries,” said Myanmar economist Zaw Oo. “It has relaxed the repayment conditions. The ruling government should negotiate with China for loan forgiveness. It would settle many issues that are holding us up.”

Most of the loans are 30-year debt from 1988-2010, when a military junta ruled the country.

The Beijing health commission will take comments and opinions until June 28 on the draft rules, which state: "No organiz...
06/10/2020
Beijing Mulls Law Banning 'Defamation' of Traditional Chinese Medicine

The Beijing health commission will take comments and opinions until June 28 on the draft rules, which state: "No organization or individual shall make false or exaggerated claims about Chinese medicine ... nor shall they defame or slander traditional Chinese medicine in any way or by any act."

Anyone "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble" through the slander of TCM will be dealt with by police, and possibly face criminal charges, the draft rules say.

The rules are being piloted at city level, and also seek to crack down on fraudulent claims and quack remedies.

"It is unlikely for a political party that has constantly failed its people to own up to its mistakes to other countries...
06/10/2020
Failing to Own Up to Mistakes Is Typical CCP Behavior

"It is unlikely for a political party that has constantly failed its people to own up to its mistakes to other countries in the world. Though not completely impossible, it is still extremely unlikely."

Bao Tong on the memoir of the former Surgeon General of Chinese People's Voluntary Army during the Korean War.

Many of Vietnam’s wildlife “products,” including among other things, the scales from pangolins, get exported to China an...
06/10/2020
Can Vietnam Stop Its Trade in Endangered Wild Animals?

Many of Vietnam’s wildlife “products,” including among other things, the scales from pangolins, get exported to China and to Hong Kong.

Vietnam has ranked as one of the worst performing countries in Asia in terms of policies and laws designed to protect animals.

[The situation] is very unjust for the Khmer Krom people. They are suffering because they lost their land and now Vietna...
06/09/2020
Vietnam Arrests Khmer Krom Family Over Land Dispute Clash

[The situation] is very unjust for the Khmer Krom people. They are suffering because they lost their land and now Vietnamese authorities arrested them.”

NGOs in Cambodia and abroad call for release of remaining family member.

The plant will threaten local forests and farmland, villagers and environmental experts say, urging a careful study of l...
06/09/2020
Laos Plans New Coal-Fired Power Plant in Sekong Province

The plant will threaten local forests and farmland, villagers and environmental experts say, urging a careful study of likely impacts.

The plant will threaten local forests and farmland, villagers and environmental experts say, urging a careful study of likely impacts.

A Myanmar trader said that some of his colleagues transferred money from Yangon to purchase Chinese commodities, but the...
06/09/2020
China Banks Freeze Accounts of Cross-Border Traders in Myanmar’s Shan State

A Myanmar trader said that some of his colleagues transferred money from Yangon to purchase Chinese commodities, but they could not complete the transactions because the corresponding bank accounts had been closed.

Chinese traders could be linked to online gambling businesses or be selling fraudulent products, a local trader says.

06/09/2020
How the Arakan Army Became Myanmar’s Deadliest Insurgency

This video looks at how the Arakan Army became Myanmar's deadliest insurgency. A 17-month armed conflict between the military and the Arakan Army has left hundreds dead and as many as 160,000 homeless, mostly in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has labeled the Arakan Army a terrorist group.

News of Qurban Mamut’s arrest comes amid reports of several Uyghur writers and intellectuals being taken into custody by...
06/09/2020
Prominent Uyghur Journalist Confirmed Detained After Nearly Three Years

News of Qurban Mamut’s arrest comes amid reports of several Uyghur writers and intellectuals being taken into custody by authorities in the XUAR and either jailed or sent to internment camps as part of what Uyghurs in exile say is a calculated campaign to destroy the cultural identity of their ethnic group.

Qurban Mamut’s U.S.-based son believes his father was targeted to gain leverage over him.

Cambodia has launched an inquiry into Thai political activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit's disappearance, but a rights group ...
06/09/2020
Investigation Underway in Cambodia Over Thai Activist’s Disappearance

Cambodia has launched an inquiry into Thai political activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit's disappearance, but a rights group questions why Bangkok "dragged its feet" and Phnom Penh has shown “a disturbing lack of interest in the case.”

The probe follows an earlier claim by Phnom Penh that reports of his abduction were ‘fake news.’

“This is very significant. With the beaching ramp we can bring in more materials, equipment to continuously repair and t...
06/09/2020
Philippines Inaugurates Beaching Ramp on Manila-claimed Island in South China Sea

“This is very significant. With the beaching ramp we can bring in more materials, equipment to continuously repair and then later on to maintain our airstrip,” Lorenzana said during a visit to the island to inaugurate the ramp, according to transcripts of his remarks released by his office.

The concrete pier will allow ships to bring in materials needed for other projects.

Police are charging actor Gregory Wong, protest organizer Ventus Lau, former Hong Kong University student leader Althea ...
06/09/2020
Hong Kong Police Fire Pepper Spray As Crowd Marks Protest Anniversary

Police are charging actor Gregory Wong, protest organizer Ventus Lau, former Hong Kong University student leader Althea Suen, and Brian Leung, a protester who removed his mask while reading out a statement after protesters had occupied the LegCo chamber with the offense.

"Actually the initial charges were that we were in a vicinity of the LegCo complex, which weren't very serious, so it did occur to us that they might try to bring more serious charges," Lau told reporters.

"But why did they pick today? Because this day last year, June 9, is when one million people marched; it's the anniversary of the start of the entire protest movement," he said.

"I was pretty shocked by that."

Protesters mark the marching of one million people on June 9, 2019 to oppose plans to allow extradition to mainland China.

"Things have hotted up in Hong Kong during the past two or three years, and the two things collided this year," Zhang We...
06/09/2020
Police in China's Guangdong Hold Activist Who Supported Hong Kong Protests

"Things have hotted up in Hong Kong during the past two or three years, and the two things collided this year," Zhang Weichu said. "It can't be helped. If you want freedom for others, you have to pay a price."

Zhang Wuzhou used a politically sensitive anniversary to show her public opposition to draconian national security laws for Hong Kong.

“Nine [crew members] fled after the boat entered Malaysia,” the Malaysian security source added. “The boat is believed t...
06/09/2020
Malaysia: Boat Carrying Rohingya Allowed to Land on Langkawi Island

“Nine [crew members] fled after the boat entered Malaysia,” the Malaysian security source added. “The boat is believed to have carried 500 Rohingya when it departed Bangladesh but only 269 were found.”

Officials detained 269 refugees off the boat and took them to a camp.

While it isn’t clear from the imagery what the function of new undersea cables would be in the Paracels, two of the expe...
06/09/2020
China Works On Undersea Cables Between Paracel Island Outposts

While it isn’t clear from the imagery what the function of new undersea cables would be in the Paracels, two of the experts told RFA that fiber optic connections between such Chinese-occupied features are likely meant for military purposes.

James Kraska, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, said they are probably for encrypted military communications between China’s various outposts, and will connect to the hardened undersea cable system already built along China’s east coast.

Two experts told RFA that fiber optic connections between such Chinese-occupied features are likely meant for military purposes.

"Some foreign and Taiwanese forces have blatantly interfered in the affairs of Hong Kong, stirring up trouble and fannin...
06/08/2020
Hong Kong Protests Seen as 'Threat to National Security': China

"Some foreign and Taiwanese forces have blatantly interfered in the affairs of Hong Kong, stirring up trouble and fanning the flames and causing waves of trouble ... for the Legislative Council [LegCo] of Hong Kong and other seats of political power," Zhang said.

Top Chinese official says Beijing had no choice but to intervene after months of anti-government protests and filibustering by pro-democracy lawmakers.

“The fact that the North Korean defectors’ groups in South Korea frequently send propaganda leaflets criticizing the Nor...
06/08/2020
Pyongyang Attack on Anti-Kim Leaflets Makes North Koreans Notice Exiled Critics

“The fact that the North Korean defectors’ groups in South Korea frequently send propaganda leaflets criticizing the North Korean regime shows how South Korean society guarantees freedom in their activities."

Kim Yo Jong, sister of Kim Jong Un, calls leaflet launchers “human scum” in recognition that puzzles some in North.

Tens of thousands of internally displaced war refugees in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state say they state have not yet be...
06/08/2020
Nine Years After Cease-fire Fails, 105,000 Kachin Languish in Myanmar Camps

Tens of thousands of internally displaced war refugees in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state say they state have not yet been able to return home, nine years after fighting resumed between the Myanmar military and the state’s ethnic rebel force.

The government army and the KIA have no plan or agreement for the IDPs to return home.

“Under the given conditions, the refugees who want to return will cross the border illegally,” said Soe Aung, administra...
06/08/2020
Concern as Myanmar Finds COVID-19 Case in Rohingya Who Illegally Crossed Border to Go Home

“Under the given conditions, the refugees who want to return will cross the border illegally,” said Soe Aung, administrator of Maungdaw district In Rakhine state. “When they do, they will dodge the police outposts at the border fencing.”

Authorities have requested that returnees pass through official repatriation camps to have medical screenings before they go to their villages.

06/08/2020
“I Don’t Think Hong Kong is a Safe Place Anymore”

“I don’t think Hong Kong is a safe place anymore.” Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, a retired minister at the Chai Wan Baptist Church in Hong Kong, led “Operation Yellowbird,” a secret rescue mission to help pro-democracy activists wanted by the Chinese government after the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown to escape overseas through Hong Kong. He compares Beijing then to Hong Kong now.

Democracy activist Chau Van Kham has not been seen or heard from by family or consular officials for almost four months.
06/08/2020
Australian Citizen Jailed in Vietnam ‘Vanishes’ in Custody

Democracy activist Chau Van Kham has not been seen or heard from by family or consular officials for almost four months.

Chau Van Kham, an advocate for democracy in Vietnam, has not been seen or heard from by relatives of consular officials for almost four months.

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