The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) released a new report on Wednesday, which shows that China has used the coronavirus pandemic to boost its image in global media coverage. The author of the report thinks that journalists around the world need to enhance their media literacy in order to deal with China’s ever-improving propaganda efforts.

IFJ released a new report based on its second global survey on Wednesday, and the results show that Beijing has been using the COVID19 pandemic to boost its image in global media coverage throughout 2020. 54 journalist unions from 50 countries participated in this survey.


On Monday, former Hong Kong district councilor Timothy Lee announced on Facebook that he had left Hong Kong, becoming another pro-democracy political figure that is forced to leave the city following the implementation of the national security law.

“In 2019, I participated in the protest through a different role and in November 2019, I became one of the last batches of district councilors elected by Hong Kong people,” he wrote in his Facebook statement.

Lee said the reason that prompted him to leave Hong Kong was the mass-arrest of the 47 pro-democracy figures at the end of February for participating…


A Slovak academic received several threatening emails from a local Confucius Institute director after his institute released a research paper examining China’s influence on Slovak academic institutions through bilateral interactions. The director of the Confucius Institute later claimed that he was just trying to “joke around” through those threatening emails.

Matej Šimalčík is the executive director of the Central European Institute of Asian Studies in Slovakia and he recently published a research paper with another colleague that maps the academic interaction between Slovak academic institutions and Chinese entities.

According to the paper, while interests in Sino-Slovak cooperation have increased in…


On April 1, an Uyghur Australian woman learned that her husband has been sentenced to 25 years in jail under the charge of separatism. She said he was arrested and detained by local police three times over the last four years simply because he lived in Turkey for one year. Eventually, he was given a heavy sentence.

April has been a very emotionally complicated month for Mehray Mezensof over the last four years, because she met her husband Mirzat Taher in April 2016. …


Over the last few weeks, Chinese state media launched a new wave of propaganda related to the human rights crisis in Xinjiang, attempting to accuse overseas Uyghur activists of spreading lies through “testimonial videos” of their family members in Xinjiang. Some activists describe Beijing’s move as its way to cover up the fact that more than one million Uyghurs have been interned in Xinjiang over the last few years.

Mamutjan Abdurehim has been separated from his family members since December 2015, and ever since then, he has been trying to get information about his wife and his two children through…


Reporters Without Borders released their 2021 World Press Freedom Index on Tuesday, highlighting how some authoritarian governments in Asia used the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to impose repressive legislation with provisions that combine propaganda with suppression of dissidents.

“This year’s index shows journalism, which is arguably the best vaccine against the virus of disinformation, is totally blocked or seriously impeded in 73 countries and constrained in 59 others, which together represent 73% of the countries evaluated,” RSF wrote in the report.

This year, China remains at 177 on the index, which means its state of press freedom is only…


Days before seven prominent pro-democracy figures appeared in court to hear the sentences of charges against them, I talked to former pro-democracy legislator Albert Ho about how he thinks about the charges against him and his decades-long experience in fighting for democracy in Hong Kong.

Question: How do you think about the court’s decision to find all of you guilty of the charge of participating in an illegal assembly?

Albert Ho: To be honest, I’m not taken by surprise, because under the pressure of the prosecutors, the court has to deal with all the issues seriously. The judges are entitled…


Leaders from the United States and Japan will be meeting each other in Washington D.C. on April 16, and sources suggest that both leaders will issue a statement to highlight concerns over the human rights situation in China, the growing tension across the Taiwan Strait, and other topics that need to be addressed. Experts think the meeting will highlight Japan’s attempt to seek a balance between its geopolitical and economic interests.

As Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga prepares to meet U.S. President Joe Biden on April 16 in Washington D.C., …


Over the last few weeks, while Beijing launched the Xinjiang cotton initiative, some Chinese media outlets have launched a smear campaign against Australian Chinese journalist Vicky Xu. Some Chinese Australians who have experienced similar attacks from China said they don’t think these smear campaigns can help Beijing achieve its goal.

As the Xinjiang cotton initiative continues to wreak havoc across the world, some Chinese media outlets and social media users have shifted their attention to Vicky Xu, a Chinese Australian journalist, and researcher who has been known for her reporting and research about the human rights crisis in Xinjiang.

In…


The Australian Strategic Policy Institute released a new study last week, which shows that Beijing has been trying to reshape the online narrative about the persecution of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang in 2020. Experts think that democratic countries should learn from Taiwan’s experience in combating propaganda efforts from authoritarian governments.

In a new study published on March 30, the Australian Strategic Institute found that the Chinese government has been trying to use western social media platforms to smear Uyghurs, journalists, academics, and organizations that work on the topic of human rights crises in Xinjiang. …

William Yang

William Yang is a journalist based in Taiwan, where he writes about politics, society, and human rights issues in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

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