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.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

OK, let's go to Hong Kong now, where NPR's Emily Feng is on the ground.

Hey, Emily. Thanks for getting up early for us.

EMILY FENG, BYLINE: Of course. Hi, Alisa.

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.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong has been barred from running in local district council elections after an official said his calls for "self-determination" in the territory were inconsistent with pledging an oath of allegiance to the city and its constitution.

Wong, who has been arrested twice since mass protests in the city began in early summer, is the only candidate to have been disqualified from the Nov. 24 poll on grounds of his politics.

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.

In Hong Kong these days, conflicting views of the ongoing anti-government protests are painfully felt in Yuen Long, a town far to the northwest of the glittering skyscrapers on Hong Kong island. It's famed for its cuisine and ancestral temples — and for its pro-Beijing sympathies.

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.

This August, Aibota Zhanibek received a surprising call in Kazakhstan from a relative through Chinese chat app WeChat. It was about her sister, Kunekai Zhanibek.

Aibota, 35, a Kazakh citizen born in China, knew that Kunekai, 33, had been held for about seven months in a detention camp in China's Shawan county, in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. For six of those months, Kunekai was forced to make towels and carpets for no pay, Aibota says. On the call, Aibota was told that Kunekai had been released and assigned a job in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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."

Hong Kong's embattled chief executive, Carrie Lam, says she is invoking emergency powers to ban face masks during public assemblies starting at midnight Friday (12 p.m. ET).

The ban on face masks is an attempt to quell increasingly violent anti-government protests that have racked the city for more than 17 weeks.

"One thing is certain. If lawbreakers are not wearing masks, it is much easier for us to prove the charges and bring them to courts," said Hong Kong's security secretary, John Lee Ka-chiu, at a last-minute news conference held to announce the ban in Hong Kong.

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."

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

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