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Emily Feng

Emily Feng is NPR's Beijing correspondent.

Feng joined NPR in February 2019. She roves around China, through its big cities and small villages, reporting on social trends as well as economic and political news coming out of Beijing. Feng contributes to NPR's newsmagazines, newscasts, podcasts, and digital platforms.

From 2017 through 2019, Feng served as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times. Based in Beijing, she covered a broad range of topics, including human rights, technology, and the environment. While in this position, Feng made four trips to Xinjiang under difficult reporting circumstances. During these trips, Feng reported extensively on China's detention and surveillance campaign in the western region of Xinjiang, was the first foreign reporter to uncover that China was separating Uighur children from their parents and sending them to state-run orphanages, and uncovered that China was introducing forced labor in Xinjiang's detention camps.

Feng's reporting has also let her nerd out over semiconductors and drones, trek out to coal towns and steel mills, travel to environmental wastelands, and write about girl bands and art.

Prior to her work with the Financial Times, Feng freelanced in Beijing, covering arts, culture, and business for such outlets as The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and The Economist.

For her coverage of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Feng was shortlisted for the Amnesty Media Awards in February 2019 and won a Human Rights Press merit award for breaking news coverage that May. Feng also earned two spots on the October 2018 British Journalism Awards shortlists: Best Foreign Coverage for her work covering Xinjiang, and Young Journalist of the Year for overall reporting excellence.

Feng graduated cum laude from Duke University with a dual B.A. degree from Duke's Sanford School in Asian and Middle Eastern studies and in public policy.

Eye Central Television is a popular satirical TV news show in Taiwan, with an active social media presence. One day in April, it received a Facebook message from someone using the name Tina Hsu, but this was no ordinary fan.

Hsu's Facebook profile was blank; it had just been created that morning.

And Hsu made a surprising proposition: to buy EyeCTV's Facebook admin rights, taking control of the content shared with its more than 420,000 followers.

At a recent election campaign event in Taiwan, a procession of women beat ceremonial drums, dance and wave lotus-shaped umbrellas in celebration. But beyond the slogans promising national security and prosperity, the topic on everyone's mind is what to do about China.

The star of the event is Han Kuo-yu, a pro-Beijing candidate running for president with the opposition Kuomintang, who poses a stark contrast with the current leaders.

President Trump has signed a bill signaling support for Hong Kong's protests, prompting Beijing to issue a sharp response and summon the U.S. ambassador to China.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 allows the United States to level sanctions on individuals who carry out human rights violations in Hong Kong, which has been rocked by mass protests for more than five months.

Living quietly in Taiwan are several dozen young Hong Kong protesters who, one night in July, vandalized Hong Kong's legislature during ongoing anti-government protests.

Their arrival in Taiwan has revived a fierce debate on the small, self-ruled island over whether it can — or should — accept Chinese citizens seeking safety.

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

Millions of people turned out to vote in Hong Kong's district elections on Sunday — a peaceful action nonetheless seen by many as an act of protest.

Normally low-key affairs, elections this year for district councilors — akin to community representatives — have been widely seen as a referendum on popular support for anti-government protests that are now in their sixth month.

When Liu, a 31-year-old Chinese insurance firm manager, learned she was pregnant in 2017, she resolved to keep her baby.

She tried to hide the fact that she was unmarried and pregnant from her colleagues at the private insurance firm where she works in Shanghai. She paid her own hospital bills rather than rely on public insurance and risk exposing her secret to the hospital and her employer.

One afternoon last month, Serikjan Bilash went to the watchdog organization he co-founded in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to celebrate the opening of its new office.

Since its founding in 2017, the organization, Atajurt Eriktileri, has publicized thousands of accounts of ethnic Kazakhs who are among the primarily Muslim minorities rounded up in detention centers in Xinjiang, China.

The U.S. ambassador to China is pushing back against Beijing's criticism of a new State Department requirement that Chinese diplomats must report certain meetings they have in the U.S.

The State Department announced Wednesday that it is requiring all Chinese diplomats in the U.S. to notify them of meetings they plan to have with local and state officials as well as educational and research institutions. However, there is no penalty associated yet with failing to report such meetings.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam delivered her first policy address Wednesday since pro-democracy protesters took to the city's streets almost five months ago.

But she had to do so by video, after chanting opposition lawmakers forced her from the chamber.

The annual policy speech was unusually short and focused on the deep social and economic inequalities that have proliferated in Hong Kong. Lam pledged to provide better welfare policies while making substantial increases in affordable housing.

Hundreds of masked protesters peacefully marched through Hong Kong's central business district Saturday afternoon, some linking arms to form human chains, in defiance of a decision to ban face masks at public gatherings only the day before.

They chanted a new demand, adding to a list of five demands reiterated over more than four months of protest: "We have the right to wear face masks."

Updated at 7 a.m. ET

Near Beijing's center, along Chang'an Avenue — the Avenue of Eternal Peace — more than 100,000 performers and soldiers readied for a mass military parade that would unveil China's newest fighting technology, including a hypersonic missile and stealth fighter jets.

At promptly 10 a.m. Tuesday, the parade began with 70 rounds of cannon fire.

Major streets have been cordoned off for hours at a time, leaving restaurant and bar customers stranded overnight. Bomb-sniffing dogs stand guard on busy corners. Teams of hawk-eyed retirees sporting red armbands patrol the sidewalks as part of volunteer neighborhood watch committees, ready to report the smallest sign of a challenge to public security.

Gold-domed mosques and gleaming minarets once broke the monotony of the Ningxia region's vast scrubland every few miles. This countryside here is home to some of China's 10.5 million Hui Muslims, who have practiced Sunni or Sufi forms of Islam within tight-knit communities for centuries, mainly in the northwest and central plains. Concentrated in the Ningxia region, the Hui are China's third-largest ethnic minority.

Twitter and Facebook last month suspended hundreds of thousands of accounts and operations that they said were part of a Chinese state-linked disinformation campaign designed to discredit pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

The Trump administration has shown unwavering support for the Israeli government, except for one major criticism: China's growing influence in the Israeli economy.

Chinese companies have invested in strategic Israeli infrastructure, from shipping to electricity to public transportation, and they have bought up millions of dollars in stakes in cutting-edge technology startups.

Where Israel sees an opportunity to access the world's second-largest economy, the United States sees security threats posed by its main adversary.

Cheng Hao is struggling to understand why his younger brother was arrested.

The 50-year-old retiree and occasional deliveryman says he was living a quiet, unremarkable existence in China's eastern port city of Nanjing. He had only seen his brother sporadically and never took much interest in his advocacy work, he says.

That is until July 24, when he heard that the authorities arrested his younger brother Cheng Yuan, a public interest advocate, two days before and took him into custody in the city of Changsha.

Hong Kong's embattled chief executive, Carrie Lam, is officially withdrawing an extradition bill with China after more than three months of sometimes violent protest.

In a videotaped speech, Lam cited growing clashes between protesters and police and online harassment from both sides as an impetus for backing down regarding the bill.

"For many people, Hong Kong has become an unfamiliar place," Lam said. "We need a common basis to start such a dialogue."

Updated on Sept. 19 at 10:23 a.m. ET

The popular Chinese messaging app WeChat is Zhou Fengsuo's most reliable communication link to China.

That's because he hasn't been back in over two decades. Zhou, a human rights activist, had been a university student in 1989, when the pro-democracy protests broke out in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. After a year in jail and another in political reeducation, he moved to the United States in 1995.

When the White House decided to levy tariffs on goods from China, U.S. leaders were divided on whether a prolonged trade dispute was a wise course of action.

Now, so is Beijing.

As anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong enter their third month, China's leaders face a new challenge: managing perceptions of the protests at home.

China is anxious the protests might inspire similar dissent on the mainland, where huge swathes of territory — including the regions of Xinjiang and Tibet — have also seen numerous instances of opposition to Beijing's governance.

When hundreds of thousands filled Hong Kong's streets on June 9 to protest a controversial extradition bill, the only mainland coverage came from China Daily, an English-language state newspaper geared towards overseas audiences.

It falsely labelled the march as one in support of the bill, which would allow extradition of some criminal defendants in Hong Kong to face trial in China. The state broadcaster, CCTV, kept its coverage to a minimum. China's government was silent.

Last Monday, China let the yuan drop to its lowest value since 2008. The currency is now trading at just over 7 yuan to the dollar.

Later that day, the U.S. Treasury Department promptly labeled China a "currency manipulator."

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter received a late-night call from Beijing. It was from his science adviser saying Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping wanted to send 5,000 students to the United States. "Tell him to send 100,000," Carter recalls parrying back.

Amid weeks of mass anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong that have frequently turned violent, Beijing on Tuesday issued a stark warning to protesters: "those who play with fire will perish by it."

The remarks, at a news conference in Beijing, were made by Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council.

He said China has "tremendous power" to put down the protests and warned that anyone who engages in "violence and crimes ... will be held accountable."

China's yuan plunged to below 7 per U.S. dollar on Monday morning, the lowest valuation for the currency in 11 years.

The slide in value comes as the U.S. and China remain locked in a trade dispute, leading some analysts to surmise that the devaluation is retaliation for additional U.S. tariffs announced on Chinese goods last week.

"The drop suggests that the central bank of China is willing to weaponize the currency in light of the trade war," says Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital Research in Hong Kong.

A sudden knock at one's door. An unexpected call to meet off campus. Surreptitious visits to family members.

When Facebook announced plans in June to launch a new digital currency called Libra, the news sent monetary officials scrambling in China.

That's because since 2014, the People's Bank of China has been looking into building its own, centrally controlled cryptocurrency.

"We will keep a close eye on the new global digital currency," Wang Xin, research director at China's central bank, said of Libra at a conference in early July in Beijing. "We had an early start ... but lots of work is needed to consolidate our lead."

Former Chinese Premier Li Peng, who became known as the "Butcher of Beijing" for playing a major role in the brutal crackdown on the Tiananmen Square student protests in 1989, has died at the age of 90.

University administrators say the FBI, whose headquarters are shown above, has urged them to monitor some Chinese students and scholars.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

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