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Category: Asia (Page 1 of 3)

China has imprisoned 102 journalists so far in 2021

Raf Casert / The Associated Press »

Media freedom continued to be under attack across much of the world in 2021, with nine journalists killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan alone and 102 imprisoned in China, according to a new report released Thursday.

The International Federation of Journalists said in a bleak assessment that imprisonments were especially on the rise, with 365 journalists behind bars compared to 235 last year.

“The world needs to wake up to the growing violations of journalists’ rights and media freedoms across the globe,” IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said. The report was released on the eve of the United Nations’ Human Rights Day.

Apart from China, Turkey had 34 journalists in prison, Belarus and Eritrea 29, Egypt 27 and Vietnam 21.

Elsewhere » Reporters without Borders » An unprecedented RSF investigation: The Great Leap Backwards of Journalism in China

Elsewhere » Newsweek

The Economist » Vladimir Putin is eliminating his opponents

In Russia, repression is on the rise as Vladimir Putin seeks to crush any form of dissent. From eliminating the opposition—including his main rival, Alexei Navalny—to controlling the courts and purging Russia of free speech, Putin is deploying a wider range of tactics than ever to tighten his grip on power.

It has never ended well for those who betray the motherland » Is Taiwan next on China’s list?

DW’s TO THE POINT ask: Dangerous territory: Is Taiwan next on China’s list?

Guests:
Deutsche Welle colleague Melissa Chan, who presents DW’s News Asia show. She says: “Xi Jinping has gone after China’s Uyghur minority, then Hong Kong, and even its tech billionaires. So, why wouldn’t he go after Taiwan?”

Gudrun Wacker, an Asia expert from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, who believes that: “China’s saber-rattling is a message to Taiwan that the balance of power between the two sides makes unification inevitable and resistance pointless.”

Felix Lee, from the Berlin-based daily the TAZ, or Tageszeitung, spent many years as a correspondent in Beijing. And Felix asks: “Will China go for the military option? That depends on the US and its allies. Certainly, Xi Jinping will not risk a full-blown conflict with the West.”

Wang Huning is arguably the single most influential “public intellectual” today

N. S. Lyons, Palladium Magazine »

One day in August 2021, Zhao Wei disappeared. For one of China’s best-known actresses to physically vanish from public view would have been enough to cause a stir on its own. But Zhao’s disappearing act was far more thorough: overnight, she was erased from the internet. Her Weibo social media page, with its 86 million followers, went offline, as did fan sites dedicated to her. Searches for her many films and television shows returned no results on streaming sites. Zhao’s name was scrubbed from the credits of projects she had appeared in or directed, replaced with a blank space. Online discussions uttering her name were censored. Suddenly, little trace remained that the 45-year-old celebrity had ever existed.

She wasn’t alone.

Wang Huning much prefers the shadows to the limelight. An insomniac and workaholic, former friends and colleagues describe the bespectacled, soft-spoken political theorist as introverted and obsessively discreet. It took former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin’s repeated entreaties to convince the brilliant then-young academic—who spoke wistfully of following the traditional path of a Confucian scholar, aloof from politics—to give up academia in the early 1990s and join the Chinese Communist Party regime instead. When he finally did so, Wang cut off nearly all contact with his former connections, stopped publishing and speaking publicly, and implemented a strict policy of never speaking to foreigners at all. Behind this veil of carefully cultivated opacity, it’s unsurprising that so few people in the West know of Wang, let alone know him personally.

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