thenewslens_intl

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WeChat 'Red Envelopes' Scandalize a Student Election in Sydney

A Chinese student was temporarily barred from standing for Sydney University’s student representative body earlier this month after offering small amounts of money to potential voters via WeChat.<p>WeChat’s “Red Envelope” feature, introduced in 2014, allows people to exchange money electronically. The …

China

ASIA NEWS BITES: 141 Arrested for ‘Gay Sex Party’ in Indonesia; Thailand Bomb Blast; China Locks Up Japanese ‘Spies’

Thailand:<p>Monday's blast at Phramongkutklao Hospital was heavily denounced while authorities said they believe it was linked to two previous explosions in Bangkok over the past two months. It comes as the government marked its third anniversary in power after the May 22, 2014, coup. 25 hurt in …

Asia

Waiting for Answers after 30 Years: Singapore’s Operation Spectrum

Singapore is a little country with an outsized reputation on the international stage. It’s lauded as a clean, corruption-free, safe city with great infrastructure and impressive levels of urban development. The city-state’s darker periods of history are less well known.<p>The police made their …

Taiwan

A Delicate Balancing Act: President Tsai’s First Year

It was late afternoon one day in February. People crammed into a classroom in a red brick building in one of the oldest campuses of National Taiwan University (NTU) on Hsu-chou Road. They were not here to take exams; it was late in the day anyway. They were awaiting their alumna, Tsai Ing-wen …

China

China, the Good Neighbor? What China is Up to in Nepal

April 2017 marked the two-year anniversary of the powerful earthquakes that devastated Nepal and set the stage for China to act as a global humanitarian player. The earthquakes inflicted significant damage in Nepal’s central and northern districts and motivated Beijing to mobilize its largest-ever …

China

China’s One-Way Trade Street

Boxers throw feint punches, and magicians misdirect to the dummy hand. Such was the intention of the Belt and Road Forum which took place in Beijing on May 14 and 15. China intended to project an image of a multilateral trade project of mutual benefit while obscuring the initiative’s problematic …

China

Viral Video Triggers Debate Over Patriotic Education in China, Again

A video showing a schoolboy crying while reciting the biography of communist heroin Lui Hulan went viral online last week in China.<p>The boy was reading the textbook in a “crying tone,” a recital skill widely taught in schools, and ended up bursting into tears while his classmates burst into laughter.<p>…

Taiwan

How to Build a Fast Food Empire on a Single Recipe

Foreign chains like McDonald’s, KFC, and Subway no longer top the menu for China’s fast food-craving masses. Instead, Chinese-style restaurants now control 90 percent of the national fast food market, with the remaining 10 percent belonging to Western chains. Instead of burgers and subs, hungry …

Taiwan

Hidden in Plain Sight: Taipei has a Glue Sniffing Problem

If there's a more accomplished flâneur in Taipei than my old pal Bede, I have yet to meet the person. Anchoring his perambulations around convenience-store pit stops, he literally stumbles upon scenes and characters that most Taipei natives would scarcely credit.<p>As with several revelations …

Taiwan

Tough Pill to Swallow: Why Singapore’s Healthcare Model Should Not Be Followed

Talk of Singapore’s debilitating healthcare costs has once again raised its head after a post about a man’s hospital bill was shared on Facebook.<p>The man in question was Malaysian Razali Raihayu, who shared that the total bill of his late father's radio-therapy treatment at a Malaysian hospital was …

Health Care

OPINION: Indonesia, Please Stop Public Flogging of Gay Men

Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should immediately intervene to prevent the scheduled May 23, 2017 public flogging of two young men convicted of same-sex sexual relations. The men were prosecuted under Aceh province’s abusive Sharia regulations and sentenced to 85 lashes with a cane, …

LGBTQ

ASIA NEWS BITES: China’s CIA Takedown; Duterte Says Xi Threatened War; 150th Tibetan Self-Immolation

China:<p>The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward. - The New York Times<p>Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte …

Asia

Cold Shoulder: Why Beijing Snubbed Singapore at the Belt and Road Summit

Among the 29 Heads of State who converged on Beijing for the Belt and Road Summit earlier this week were leaders of seven of the ten ASEAN states. One leader was noticeably missing: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.<p>Various observers have noted this absence, including Hugh White, who …

China

China's Social System Reform is Going Nowhere

In essence, hukou is a population recording system that the government uses to budget for social provisions. The differential treatment associated with different hukou statuses has implications for public finance and social insurance. Funding sources are organized locally by provinces or by cities …

China

Smuggler's Paradise: Hundreds of Tortoises Seized in Malaysia

• Customs officials at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport raided the cargo area of the airport on May 14 following a tip-off and found the tortoises packed into five boxes labeled as stones.<br>• The boxes reportedly arrived on an Etihad Airways flight from Antananarivo airport in Madagascar and were …

Kuala Lumpur International Airport

European Clubs Search for the Goal in China’s Football Frontier

You get the sense that China is on the minds of German football club Bayern Munich’s (BM) directors and managers. Over the last month alone, three significant announcements (or perhaps that should be pronouncements?) have come out of the club about football’s hottest current market.<p>BM president Uli …

Soccer

Murky Waters: Stop Blaming China for the State of the World’s Fishing Stocks

There is no doubt that China is a key player in the current era of industrialized global fishing. The fact that China operates the world’s largest fleet of fishing vessels is well established. The related facts of China being the world’s largest consumer, producer and exporter of seafood are …

China

CARTOON: Tough Times Ahead for Tsai in Year Two

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Democratic Progressive Party today mark their first anniversary since taking office in 2016.<p>As they start their second year in power, broken promises, domestic dissatisfaction and pressure from China are making it difficult for President Tsai and the …

China

PHOTO STORY: Protesters at Liberty Square Call for China to Release Taiwan Activist

A small rally was held in Taipei yesterday calling for China to release Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who was detained after entering Guangdong two months ago.<p>Lee, 42, has not been heard from since leaving Taiwan on March 19. China has not disclosed where he is or what charges …

China

Power, Money, and Fake News in China

In Anglophone circles, 2016 was the year that "fake news" became real, at least in terms of raw political impact. Questionable figures painted on the side of the Brexit Battle Bus were blamed for leading the UK out of the European Union. Donald Trump’s triumph in November’s U.S. Presidential …

Journalism

Why is China Home to Half of the Computers Infected With WannaCry Ransomware?

China is one of the countries that has been hit hardest by the ransomware program known as “WannaCry” launched on May 12, which infected over 230,000 computers in 99 countries in just one day.<p>China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Center has confirmed that by May 14, half of the …

Information Security

Lin Fei-fan: Don’t Let The People Down Again

As President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) marks the first anniversary of her inauguration, three different protests are happening in Taiwan: an occupation in front of the Presidential Office by indigenous people pursuing the return of their traditional territories, which has lasted more than 85 days; a …

China

INFOGRAPHIC: Taiwan’s Cities are One Giant Heat Sink

Taiwan’s cities can feel like a blast furnace in the summer, when the city absorbs heat and radiates it back into the air. This effect, called an urban heat island, can even be seen from satellites 800 kilometers up in the form of thermal infrared imagery.<p>Credit: Morley J Weston<p>This colorized image …

Taiwan

Blending In or Standing Out: Immigration and the ‘Cultural Quality’ Problem in Taiwan

From when her Taiwan-born daughter was a one-year-old to when she started kindergarten, Indonesian Linda Tjindiawati Arifin would take her to visit the National Taiwan Museum each fortnight, exploring the century-old building and the surrounding 228 Peace Memorial Park.<p>Twelve years later, Arifin is …

Asia

ASIA NEWS BITES: China's Dog Eating Festival Goes Dog Free; Duterte's Smoking Ban; North Korean Scientists on the Rise

China:<p>The Chinese government has released the first draft of a new intelligence law aimed at formalizing its sweeping security powers, with broad authority to engage in surveillance at home and abroad. - AFP via Hong Kong Free Press<p>The Yulin dog eating festival in China, notorious for its animal …

Asia

China’s Global Power Projection Hit With 'Strategic Overdraft'

Despite the tough challenges facing the Chinese economy, President and “core leader” Xi Jinping (習近平) is going ahead with ambitious plans to project Chinese power worldwide including the landmark One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. Xi is expected to announce a new series of projects linking China …

China

The Blurry World of Chinese Investment in Indonesia

In January 2017, the head of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong announced that Indonesia received US$2.7 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) from China during 2016. With FDI from Hong Kong included, this figure rises to an unprecedented US$4.9 billion.<p>A few weeks …

China

Q&A: Akohub, the Marketing Assistant for Emerging E-Commerce Brands

E-commerce businesses have been booming in the last decade. Brands like Amazon and eBay have transformed the way consumers make purchases and are leading a whole new industry.<p>Other than these e-commerce giants, many small and medium e-commerce brands are emerging, with some managed as a side job. …

Startups

A Few Home Truths Revealed in China's ‘House of Cards’

The Chinese television series "In the Name of People," compared by many to the U.S.-produced drama "House of Cards," has become the most talked-about TV show nationwide after airing last month. With the clear aim of celebrating President Xi Jinping’s campaign to crack down on corrupt tigers and …

China

ANALYSIS: Tsai’s Defense and Security Challenges Line Up in Year Two

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will mark the end of her first year in power on May 20. It was hardly an uneventful 12 months for the country's first woman president. The defense and security arena was no different, despite generally being lower profile than issues like pension reform, same-sex …

China