thenewslens_intl

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Singapore Persecuted Blogger Amos Yee for Political Opinion - US Judge

Controversial Singaporean blogger Amos Yee has been granted political asylum by an immigration court in the United States.<p>Yee, 18, was first convicted of wounding religious feelings in 2015, then convicted of the same offense in 2016 after the court found that he had insulted Islam and Christianity …

Singapore

Blogger Amos Yee Granted Asylum in United States; Judge Slams Singapore's Persecution

Controversial Singaporean blogger Amos Yee has been granted political asylum by a judge in the United States.<p>Yee, now 18, was first convicted of wounding religious feelings in 2015, then convicted of the same offense in 2016 after the court found that he had insulted Islam and Christianity in …

Taiwan

Africa Offers a Point of Cooperation for Xi and Trump

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet for the first time at Trump’s opulent Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida in early April. There’s no indication yet that they will discuss Africa. But both major powers have extensive and often complementary interests that are of …

Africa

Japan's Plans to Penalize Uncommitted Crimes

An amendment to the law against organized crimes, finally submitted to the Diet this week by the Abe administration, deviates from the principle of the nation’s criminal law system to penalize people for the crimes they have committed. If enacted, the amendment will punish groups of two or more …

Government

From Fiction to Reality: Universal Basic Income Gaining Traction in Asia

Despite being lambasted as a utopian fiction, the idea of a universal basic income (UBI) is gaining traction in Asia with new trials set to start and the concept garnering interest among lawmakers in the region.<p>UBI, or the notion of regularly distributing free money to all citizens as a form of …

Basic Income

Taiwan Supreme Court Hears Landmark Same-Sex Marriage Case

Taiwan’s Supreme Court today heard a landmark case that could help push the island-nation to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.<p>Separate cases were brought by long time rights crusader Chi Chia-wei (祈家威) and the Taipei City government. Chi petitioned for the case to be …

Taiwan

Language Schools to Help Japanese Athletes Prepare for 2020 Games

Language schools in Japan are tying up with sports associations to help improve the English skills of Japanese athletes in the lead up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.<p>The push is aimed at overcoming concern about athletes' struggles to communicate in English during international competitions, …

Taiwan

Hot Water in South China Sea Causes Mass Coral Bleaching

When researchers dove into the South China Sea to find out what one of the strongest El Niño effect on record was doing to the sea’s reefs, they found that nearly two-fifths of the coral had died in just six weeks.<p>The culprit is believed to be the extreme overheating of the water. At the Dongsha …

South China Sea

PHOTO STORY: The Neon Lights That Once Lit Up Taiwan

<i>Words by Olivia Yang<br>Photos by Hsu Jian-hao (徐健豪)</i><p>Like those of any major city, the streets of Taipei are usually bustling with people and traffic, but a unique background falls behind all this — an endless throng of signboards.<p>The LED lightboxes dominate one’s sight, especially at night, yet this …

Taiwan

Burma’s High Domestic Violence Rate; Vietnam Flight Control Sleeping; Arrest over Facebook Post in Malaysia; Canada Joins Chinese Bank; Abe's Troubles Deepen

Myanmar:<p>One in five women in Burma have experienced domestic violence, according to the first Myanmar Demographic and Health Survey conducted by Burma’s Ministry of Health and Sports. – The Irrawaddy<p>Vietnam:<p>Two flights were unable to contact air traffic controllers at an airport in northern Vietnam …

Taiwan

Hong Kong Election: A Choice Between Lesser Evils

On March 26, 2017, Hong Kong will choose its next chief executive. In December 2016, the city’s current but unpopular leader CY Leung announced that he would not seek re-election just two days ahead of polls for the Election Committee, the 1200-member body charged with electing the next head of …

Hong Kong

What is the Official Chinese Take on Trump?

In this short article, I will discuss China’s response to the Trump administration. There exists a diverse range of Chinese opinions, however, I will only discuss the official, not popular, responses. I will focus on three issues – war and peace, China’s new world leadership role, and China’s …

China

The Unlikely Populist: John Tsang's Fight For Hong Kong's Top Job

John Tsang (曾俊華), the former Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, is enjoying himself. It’s a Saturday afternoon in what the territory considers springtime — humid skies grey and heavy with pollution from China; not particularly warm but not really chilly either — and dozens of enthusiastic Hong …

Hong Kong

Taiwan’s International Sporting Goods Show Missing A Trillion Dollar Market Opportunity? - The News Lens International Edition

Three years ago I visited Taiwan’s International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO) for what was the first time in more than a decade. The experience motivated me to write an opinion piece in which I raised the viewpoint that it was time for a rethink of the TaiSPO event; to move away from the show’s …

Taiwan

Airbrushing Taiwan’s History: Can Japanese Colonialism Ever Be Justified?

As European colonial and imperial exploits reached their apogee in the late 19th century, moral philosophers such a John Stuart Mill were faced with a quandary: how to justify the colonial project? In fact, it doesn't seem to have been too much of problem for Mill, for whom utility was solely an …

Taiwan

CARTOON: Chinese Spies in Taiwan?

Earlier this month, local media in Taiwan speculated the country's national security authorities had estimated about 5,000 individuals are in Taiwan collecting state secrets on behalf of the Chinese government.<p>In response, an article on Chinese state-owned <i>People’s Daily</i>, says reports of 5,000 …

China

Q&A: Beijing Writer Stanley Chan on How Sci-Fi is Changing China

With its ever-expanding space program and efforts to pave the way in artificial intelligence and virtual reality (VR) technology, China’s futuristic ambitions can also be felt on a literary level. Some say the nation is even entering a “golden age” of science-fiction.<p>Stanley Chan (陳楸帆), a …

Science Fiction

Why China Is Right to Dispense with Its Tea Masters

Back in December, China’s State Council decided to abolish official support for certain vocational qualifications. The move affected a number of professionals in the tea industry, including tea growers and tea masters, both of which are no longer accredited jobs. Only China’s tea tasters have been …

China

Vietnam Detains Two for Anti-State 'Propaganda'; Malaysia Says Power Rangers Not Too Gay; Microsoft Woos Chinese Communist Party; Foreigners Barred from Tibetan Complex

Vietnam:<p>Bui Hieu Vo, 55, and Phan Kim Khanh, 24, were detained for investigation of "propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam", the government said on its Facebook page on Wednesday. - Reuters via Tuoi Tre News<p>Malaysia:<p>The Film Censorship Board (LPF) said it has not found the film …

China

Saudi Arabia the Next Stop on China’s Maritime Silk Road

Like a weathervane, the recent visit to China by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman points to changing strategic directions in the Middle East–Asia security architecture. The significance of the Saudi monarch’s meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and other top officials goes well beyond the …

China

Dear Foreign Policy Elite: You’re Obsolete

Rex Tillerson recently completed his first trip to Beijing as Secretary of State. Since then, a slew of critics have panned Tillerson for supposedly handing China a "diplomatic victory" because a joint media conference includes phrases like "win-win" and "mutual respect" — notions these critics …

Foreign Policy

What Food Tells Us About China’s Confused National Identity

“Even in the seemingly trivial matter of food and drink, I have implemented the Confucian doctrine of loyalty and consideration,” reads a line from one of Yuan Mei’s (袁枚) works. The much-revered 17th-century poet and gastronome had a knack for capturing the eccentricities of Chinese cuisine as well …

Taiwan

Impending Conflict Between the DPP and Taiwanese Youth Activists?

The possibility of conflict breaking out between Taiwanese youth activists and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) seems quite likely in the near future, with discussion of an oversight bill for cross-strait trade deals scheduled for late next week. Namely, this bill was one of the significant …

Taiwan

Thinking Outside the Urn: China and the Reincarnation of Mongolia’s Highest Lama

The Chinese government’s prerogative to manage the rebirths of incarnate lamas is being tested in Mongolia. One of the highest lineages covered by the Qing’s "Golden Urn" system at the basis of PRC reincarnation law is passing to its next holder, with the Dalai Lama’s involvement. Despite clear …

China

Japan Declares Red Coral Species Extinct

Japan’s Ogasawara red coral is now extinct and 56 marine species are endangered, according to a new list of threatened species released by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, <i>Japan Times</i> reports.<p>The so-called red list categorizes animals as extinct, critically endangered, endangered and …

Biodiversity

Japanese SDF Peacekeepers’ Logs Fiasco

People’s trust in the operation of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) would be in question if it had intentionally concealed information concerning SDF troops deployed as peacekeepers in South Sudan. Media reports alleged that the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) kept the daily activity logs of the …

Africa

Warner Bros. Films Like ‘Harry Potter’ Are Coming to China’s Netflix

Hundreds of Warner Bros. movie titles will soon be available to stream online in China after the Hollywood studio cut a deal with a Netflix-like company in the country.<p>On Tuesday, Time Warner-owned Warner Bros. announced its new licensing agreement with iQiyi, the streaming video platform owned by …

Movies

North Korea Botches Missile Launch; China Adds 76 Billionaires to Rich List; China-Burma Oil to Start Flowing; Quake Rocks Bali

North Korea:<p>South Korea believes a North Korean missile launch on Wednesday (March 22) did not go off normally, the South Korean defence ministry said, adding that it was conducting analysis for further details. - Reuters via Straits Times<p>China:<p>A Forbes ranking published on Monday shows 196 new …

North Korea

Renewable Energy and the PLA’s Next Generation of Self-Sufficiency (Part 1)

In December 2016, China unveiled one of its most ambitious renewable energy (可再生能源) initiatives thus far with plans to invest over $360 billion as part of the Chinese National Energy Administration’s (NEA) new “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” (可再生能源發展”十三五”規劃以實) (NDRC.gov, Dec. 2016). This initiative …

Renewable Energy

Chinese Lawmakers Seek to Protect Dead Communist Heroes With New Law

China's national parliamentary body recently passed legislation for the country's first expansive civil code, which will help judges decide legal disputes on property, contracts, inheritance, and marriage.<p>The new code, which is expected to be adopted in 2020, builds on the few existing civil laws …

China