thenewslens_intl

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Translation Wages in China Affecting the Popularity of Foreign Classics

Two years ago, when I returned to China after completing my studies in France, I found a position as an editor of Chinese translations of French literary works. As a person who is passionate about literature, I was delighted to have found a way to make a living doing what I love most. However, …

Taiwan

CARTOON: Protests to Start as the Universiade Kicks Off?

The 29th Summer Universiade games are kicking off in Taipei tomorrow, but the name of the hosting country has lately stirred up much controversy.<p>The Taipei City government on Aug. 8 released the Universiade media guide online, as edited by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), and …

China

Japan's Invisible Children

There are approximately 3000 children born in Japan each year that are bureaucratically, administratively and legally invisible. Many of these invisible children grow up to be invisible adults and spend their lives on the periphery of Japanese society, unable to participate as full citizens. …

Taiwan

China Tries New Tactics as it Loses its Soft Power War on the West

Ten years ago, then-Chinese president Hu Jintao announced that China needed to develop its soft power. Progress is not good. The percentage of people around the world who hold a favorable perception of China declined from 48 per cent in 2007 when Hu made his announcement to 40 per cent in 2016.<p>Even …

China

Painting ’90s Pop Culture into Classical Chinese Landscapes

Dressed in traditional robes with loose lapels, two figures sit at the prow of an ornate boat gliding over a serene lake. At first glance, the painting resembles a classical depiction of a Chinese landscape, but look a little closer and you’ll see that one of the characters is Doraemon, the blue …

Taiwan

BREAKING: Hong Kong Jails 'Political Prisoners' Wong, Law and Chow

Pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong (黃之鋒), Alex Chow (周永康) and Nathan Law (羅冠聰) will be sent to prison for their roles in the events that sparked the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.<p>The trio was last year found guilty of offenses related to entering Hong Kong’s Civic Square on Sept. 26, 2014 – …

Hong Kong

Thailand’s Junta Courts the White House as 'Democracy' Drops from US Agenda

Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Bangkok as part of a tour of the region. Top of the agenda was Thailand’s relationship with North Korea, but Tillerson also confirmed arrangements for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to visit Washington in October and paid respects to the …

Thailand

Jokowi Has a Political Prisoner Problem

The Indonesian government has been doing something remarkable over the past year with its political prisoners in Papua and West Papua provinces: Releasing them.<p>There are currently only between one and five Papuan political prisoners behind bars compared to a tally of 37 at the end of August 2016, …

Melanesia

A Brief Primer on Vietnam’s Football History

Club football has existed in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City since the turn of the 20th century, however it wasn’t until the end of World War II that Vietnamese football clubs started to become more organized and established. In the early days of local football, teams were formed from existing …

Vietnam

China’s New Mothers Look to Both Science and Superstition

Last month, a new mother in eastern China’s Shandong province died while “sitting the month,” a phrase that refers to a traditional period of convalescence after childbirth. During this time, the 20-something woman’s family would not let her use a fan or turn on the air conditioning, even forcing …

Taiwan

MAMA and Hong Kong's Role in Spreading South Korea's Popular Culture

There has been a lot of speculation on where the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) 2017 – the annual South Korean music award ceremony that is broadcast live in over 15 countries and draws over 20,000 audiences – will be held. MNET, the South Korean media conglomerate and organizer of MAMA, has …

Hong Kong

Eastern Dragon and the Dangerous Rise of High-Frequency Trading in China

On June 23, 2017, a court in Shanghai charged the international trading company Eastern Dragon with market manipulation in the Chinese futures markets during the 2015 stock market crash. Eastern Dragon was slammed with a US$101 million fine and two of its traders were handed out suspended prison …

Trading

Did Mooncakes Help the Chinese Overthrow the Mongols?

After 88 years under Mongol rule, the spirits of Han Chinese families were at an all-time low. Every aspect of their lives was at the mercy of their Mongol rulers who were, mostly, not terribly merciful. Due to fears about uprisings, the Han couldn’t meet in groups. Possessing weapons was out, too, …

China

How Blockbuster Movies Capture China’s Changing Nationalism

Directed by and starring former martial artist Wu Jing, “Wolf Warrior 2” has become this year’s box office phenomenon in China. On Aug. 7, less than two weeks after its release, it overtook “The Mermaid” to become the all-time highest-grossing film at the Chinese box office and is breaking its own …

China

INFOGRAPHIC: Breaking the Bank to Host the University Games

The Olympics’ lesser known cousin the Universiade is coming to Taipei at the end of this week. The city has gone through years of preparations and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of hand-wringing to clean house and get ready.<p>But how does Taipei stack up against past events? It’s worth getting …

Taiwan

Too Little, Too Late: Hong Kong’s Glacial Progress on Mounting Food Waste Problem

A new waste charging scheme coming into force in Hong Kong in 2019 is decades overdue and remains incomplete, environmentalists say.<p>In a city with major land scarcity issues and some of the world’s highest property prices, food waste – seen largely as an avoidable problem – amounts for about 40 …

Recycling

Abe No Longer Invincible: Dissecting Japan's Cabinet Reshuffle

Now that the dust has settled on Abe’s new cabinet and executive line-up in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), what are the main takeaways in political and policy terms?<p>In political terms, the most obvious is that Prime Minister Abe has preserved what he calls "the Abe administration’s …

Taiwan

Cambodian Strongman is Going Nowhere

After 25 years of global peacebuilding efforts that began with the UN intervention early in the 1990s, Cambodia is still far from achieving a stable peace based on genuine democracy and respect for human rights. Government threats to, and sometimes violent crackdowns on, critics and power …

Asia

Can Bangkok Wean Itself Off Beijing?

Since the military coup in 2014, Thai foreign policy has moved closer towards Beijing at the expense of its longstanding ties with Washington. But recent developments suggest that there might be a wind change from both Washington and Bangkok.<p>In March 2017, US President Donald Trump had telephone …

International Relations

Bringing the World’s Great Museums to 200,000 Children in China

My first child, whom we nicknamed Pipi, was born in 2002. Pipi wasn’t like other children. Not particularly social, he wasn’t interested in traveling and didn’t care about what he ate or wore. He lacked a group of friends, placed great emphasis on cleanliness, and was only ever interested in a …

Taiwan

Hanoi Tributes to the Voice of a Generation, Trinh Cong Son

Earlier this week, Hanoi officials announced the conversion of the capital’s narrow Trinh Cong Son Street into a pedestrian zone featuring artistic performances as well as snacks and souvenirs.<p>While those plans are now on hold, according to DTI, as local authorities attempt to reach a compromise …

Music

(Re)Naming Yourself in Asia and Beyond

Our names have history, so when they’re changed they reflect the new reality and erase the past. For hundreds of years, Taiwan’s Indigenous people were forced to adopt Chinese names, thereby becoming Sinicized and subsumed within the ethnically Han clan.<p>In these more enlightened times and given the …

Language

Gender Identity Confronts Indigenous Traditions in 'Alifu, The Prince/ss'

“China can't produce films like this. That's why we have to.”<p>Film director Wang Yu-lin (王育麟) is joking. Or maybe not. It’s hard to tell with his light tone of voice, face hidden behind dark rectangular sunglasses, a bold Asian-print thin t-shirt, and Wang digging into his bento box as he …

LGBTQ

Facebook’s Stealth China Play; Death Toll Rises in Nepal; Babies Die in India after Hospital’s Air is Cut; Protests Likely at World Uni Games in Taiwan

Nepal<p>The death toll in rain-induced disasters since Friday night in Nepal's southern flatlands has risen to 52 with 37 people missing, the Home Ministry said Sunday. – The Bangkok Post<p>India<p>At least 30 children died Thursday and into Friday at a hospital in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh …

Asia

China's 'Silver-Bullet' in the Sky: The PLA Bomber Force

Although China is widely seen in the West as a major future opponent and rival in terms of global economics and political influence, its current force structure and its evolving joint operational doctrine is still largely consistent with a defensive orientation (Defense White Paper, May 25, 2015). …

Aerospace

China’s Fevered Property Market Exporting Risk to Asia

China’s fevered property market is a growing liability to China itself and to its trading partners. A slowdown could trigger a debt-deflation scenario which would impact not just China but all Asia-Pacific economies that China’s capital touches.<p>Local government debt is now mostly raised on land …

China

Reflections from China's Rustbelt: A Laid-off Worker’s Story

It was with honor that a sprightly 19-year-old Wang Dianyu heeded the central government’s call and joined the ranks of China’s heavy industry workers. Almost 60 years later, his eyes still glow with the pride of having worked for one of his country’s largest state-owned factory groups: China First …

China

Leather Goods Brands in Taiwan

When Taiwan was one of the top manufacturing countries in the world, Taiwanese produced a great deal of textiles, shoes and leather goods. Though the local manufacturing industry has dwindled, some local leather-enthusiasts have established their own brands that combine traditional craft with …

Taipei

Locals are Leaving One of China’s Latest Heritage Sites, Why?

For Chinese tourists, the attraction of the eastern coast’s former colonial cities lies in experiencing the feeling of immersion in exotic, foreign customs without leaving the country. Xiamen’s satellite island of Gulangyu (鼓浪嶼) — also known as Kulangsu in the local dialect — offers just such an …

China

Six Performance Spaces in Taipei

In the past decade, performance spaces for different music genres have popped up in Taipei, adding versatility to the city's live music scene. "Good Eye Taipei," a new bilingual Taipei city guide, recommends six venues worth checking out.<p>The Wall (這牆)<p>Address: B1F, No. 200, Section 4, Roosevelt Rd, …

Taipei