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.

Hong Kong's Legislative Council has passed a bill making it a crime to poke fun at China's national anthem — a move that puts new limits on anniversary events marking the Tiananmen Square massacre. Under the ban, it is illegal to alter the lyrics of the anthem, or to sing it "in a distorted or disrespectful way."

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So how did the protests in the United States look in China? NPR's Emily Feng is in Beijing. Hi, Emily.

EMILY FENG, BYLINE: Hey, Steve.

INSKEEP: How big a story is this for the state-controlled media where you are?

China is moving closer toward imposing a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong, which activists and pro-democracy lawmakers say would effectively end whatever autonomy the city enjoys from Beijing.

On Thursday, China's national legislature approved a motion to begin drafting the law, which would prohibit four broad categories of activity in Hong Kong: sedition, subversion of state power, foreign interference and terrorism — as defined by China.

The United States put up another major roadblock this month against Huawei, as China's big telecommunications company moves to set up the latest 5G mobile networks worldwide.

On May 19, the Commerce Department issued new export rules to choke off Huawei's access to semiconductor chips it needs to build cellphones and 5G infrastructure.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Thousands of protesters were on the streets of Hong Kong over the weekend.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Singing in non-English language).

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Beijing has signaled it will push through sweeping national security legislation for Hong Kong, its most aggressive effort yet to exert its control over the semi-autonomous city since it was returned to Chinese control in 1997.

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For months, South Korea has been praised as a model and a beacon of hope for the world in its desperate fight to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In early February, China's ruling Communist Party was facing one of its biggest political crises in more than three decades. A rapidly spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus was a "massive risk and challenge" to social stability, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned top party officials in an internal speech that was later published publicly.

China's leaders have declared the coronavirus outbreak largely under control within its borders. Now, the authorities are working to control the narrative of how the country contained the virus by questioning and even detaining people who might possess information that challenges the official line.

Those being questioned include Internet-savvy archivists; families and their legal counsel suing the state for damages from the coronavirus epidemic; and even lauded volunteers who staffed critical emergency services from the epicenter city of Wuhan.

China's economy contracted by 6.8% in the first three months of 2020 from the same period a year ago — its biggest drop in nearly three decades, as the country's factory output and domestic spending ground to a halt amid the unprecedented shock of the coronavirus pandemic.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China on Friday showed that industrial output was down 8.4% from the year before and retail sales fell by a whopping 19% as the country has been on lockdown for weeks in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.

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More than two months after he watched his father die of the new coronavirus, Zhang Hai has yet to bury him. The 50-year-old Wuhan native wants to pay his last respects alone — but that's now against government rules.

"[My father's] work unit called and made it very clear that I have to be accompanied when I retrieve the ashes," Zhang recalled. "Maybe they are well-intentioned, but I just want to collect my father's ashes alone before burying him. I do not want to have strangers around."

Tens of thousands of people streamed out of Wuhan by car, train and plane after a 76-day lockdown was lifted Wednesday from the Chinese city where the global coronavirus pandemic began.

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Beijing's parks are an oasis in an otherwise dense and sprawling city. They provide a rare public space for people to ribbon dance, play checkers and practice tai chi. But in January and February, they were deserted. More than 80,000 people across China were sickened with the virus and strict quarantine measures locked down villages and cities, including Beijing.

In February, China's leader Xi Jinping declared himself the "supreme commander" in a war against the new coronavirus. But the public face of China's efforts to contain the outbreak is not Xi: it is an 83-year-old, weight-lifting doctor.

Dr. Zhong Nanshan has long been a household name in China. The pulmonologist holds no formal office — but over the past three months has become the face of China's virus containment efforts, cutting through public confusion and online disinformation about SARS-CoV-2.

A spate of mysterious second-time infections is calling into question the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnostic tools even as China prepares to lift quarantine measures to allow residents to leave the epicenter of its outbreak next month. It's also raising concerns of a possible second wave of cases.

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China now makes 200 million face masks a day — more than twenty times the amount it made at the start of February. The leap has been spurred by the outbreak of a new coronavirus. The masks include the lightweight ones that people like to wear in the hope of protection against coronavirus as well as the heavy-duty N95 masks used by health-care workers.

But that's still not nearly enough to meet local demands as well as global orders. So a scramble is now underway in China.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As new cases of coronavirus infection slow in China, the country is gradually getting back to work. Authorities and businesses are taking a range of measures: Local governments are chartering buses for workers. Some companies are buying out entire hotels to house quarantined staff. A temporarily shuttered movie studio is even loaning employees to factories that are short on labor.

Now that the spread of COVID-19 appears to be under control, China's vast economy is slowly returning to work.

Victor Yu is not one of the more than 2,500 people who the Chinese government says were killed by the coronavirus. The 47-year-old resident of Wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak, died Feb. 19 from complications related to renal carcinoma, a common type of kidney cancer. But his family believes that his untimely death is likely related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

A well-known Hong Kong bookseller who published critical and sometimes titillating volumes about Chinese leaders and who disappeared in China more than two years ago has been quietly sentenced to a decade in prison for passing on intelligence to people overseas.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

A well-known publisher of political texts in China has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for illegally passing intelligence to unspecified people overseas. It's a complicated story, and NPR's Emily Feng brought it to us.

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