Anthony Kuhn

International Correspondent Anthony Kuhn official base is Jakarta, Indonesia, where he opened NPR's first bureau in that country in 2010. From there, he has covered Southeast Asia, and the gamut of natural and human diversity stretching from Myanmar to Fiji and Vietnam to Tasmania. During 2013-2014, he is covering Beijing, China, as NPR's Louisa Lim is on fellowship.

Prior to Jakarta, Kuhn spent five years based in Beijing as a NPR foreign correspondent reporting on China and Northeast Asia. In that time Kuhn covered stories including the effect of China's resurgence on rest of the world, diplomacy and the environment, the ancient cultural traditions that still exert a profound influence in today's China, and the people's quest for social justice in a period of rapid modernization and uneven development. His beat also included such diverse topics as popular theater in Japan and the New York Philharmonic's 2008 musical diplomacy tour to Pyongyang, North Korea.

In 2004-2005, Kuhn was based in London for NPR. He covered stories ranging from the 2005 terrorist attacks on London's transport system to the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. In the spring of 2005, he reported from Iraq on the formation of the post-election interim government.

Kuhn began contributing reports to NPR from China in 1996. During that time, he also worked as an accredited freelance reporter with the Los Angeles Times, and as Beijing correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review.

In what felt to him a previous incarnation, Kuhn once lived on Manhattan's Lower East Side and walked down Broadway to work in Chinatown as a social worker. He majored in French literature at Washington University in St. Louis. He gravitated to China in the early 1980s, studying first at the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute and later at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing.

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Parallels
6:12 am
Sun July 27, 2014

News Anchor On Losing Side Of China's Anti-Corruption Campaign

China Central Television anchor Rui Chenggang is the latest high-profile person to be arrested in China's massive anti-corruption drive.
Michel Euler AP

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 10:16 am

Chinese often complain that corruption is endemic in every sector of their society. So it may come as no surprise that a government anti-corruption drive has swept up 25,000 officials in the first half of this year.

The drive's victims include everyone from lowly local functionaries to, this month, a young celebrity news anchor named Rui Chenggang.

Authorities showed up at China Central Television headquarters earlier this month, and took away Rui, the 36-year-old news anchor on CCTV's finance channel, watched by millions of viewers.

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Parallels
11:12 am
Wed July 23, 2014

After Two Disasters, Can Malaysia Airlines Still Attract Passengers?

Malaysia Airlines had been struggling even before two of its flights were lost this year. Analysts say the national carrier faces either bankruptcy or privatization.
Mohd Rasfan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 8:36 pm

The year 2014 is well on its way to being Malaysia Airlines' annus horribilis. Flight 17, shot down last week over eastern Ukraine, is the second Boeing 777 the airline has lost in the past five months, after MH370 disappeared, it's believed, somewhere over the Indian Ocean.

But even before the double calamity, Malaysia's national carrier was struggling to adapt to momentous shifts in Asia's aviation industry.

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Asia
2:40 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

In 5 Months, 2 Lost Planes: Malaysians Struggle To Cope

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 5:54 pm

Malaysia is reeling from the loss of a second plane in five months. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports on the reaction from Malaysians in the country's capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Asia
5:12 am
Fri July 18, 2014

On Its Way To Kuala Lumpur, Plane Brought Down Over Ukraine

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:00 am

Many experts question the decision to fly near the fighting in Ukraine. Some airlines have circumvented the country for weeks. In March, a Malaysia Airlines plane went missing on a flight to Beijing.

Parallels
1:28 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Violence And Other Threats Raise Press Freedom Fears In Hong Kong

Police remove a protester during a pro-democracy rally early on July 2 in Hong Kong. Frustration is growing over the influence of Beijing on the city and its press.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:08 am

On the evening of July 1, just hours after Hong Kong's biggest pro-democracy protests in years, the printing presses of the Ming Pao newspaper — long respected for its editorial independence — suddenly ground to a halt.

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Parallels
2:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

After Losing An Only Child, Chinese Parents Face Old Age Alone

A man looks at the painting Better To Have Only One Child at the China National Art Museum in Beijing. More than three decades after China's one-child policy took hold, some bereaved parents are suffering an unintended consequence of the policy: The loss of a child leaves them with no support in their old age.
Wang Zhao AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 5:04 pm

It's been nearly 3 1/2 decades since China's government started limiting most urban families to one child. The family planning policy successfully slowed the nation's population growth, but it has had some unintended consequences.

One is that some parents lose their only children to illness or accidents and end up with no one to care for them in their old age. Now, these parents have gotten together to demand their rights.

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Asia
2:25 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Marchers Take To Streets Of Hong Kong To Protest Eroding Autonomy

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 5:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Asia
1:22 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Clock Is Ticking For Aung San Suu Kyi's Presidential Bid

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks during a public rally in Yangon, Myanmar, on May 17. Democracy activists joined Suu Kyi to call for an amendment to Myanmar's constitution, a move she says is necessary if next year's general elections are to be free and fair.
Gemunu Amarasinghe AP

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 6:31 am

Time is running out for Myanmar's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, in her bid to become president.

The long-serving political prisoner and democracy activist is now 67. If she wins general elections next year, she could become Asia's most famous politician.

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Asia
2:18 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

In Rift Over Interfaith Ban, A New Fault Line For Burmese Politics

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 5:14 pm

Myanmar's parliament is now considering a bill that would restrict marriages of people from different religions. Buddhist nationalists hope it will protect their religion from the spread of Islam and claim it's a way to prevent coerced conversions, but critics lambaste the proposed law as targeting the country's Muslim minority.

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Asia
2:08 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Chinese Authorities Ensure Tiananmen Anniversary Passes Quietly

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 5:18 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

25 years ago today, these were some of the sounds from Tiananmen Square, as Chinese soldiers used rifles and tanks to end nearly two months of pro-democracy protests.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTS)

CORNISH: Hundreds are believed to have died. The White House released a statement today in honor of those who gave their lives, saying we call on Chinese authorities to account for those killed, detained or missing in connection with the events surrounding June 4, 1989.

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Asia
3:11 am
Wed June 4, 2014

25 Years Later, Tiananmen Square Is A Forbidden Subject In China

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:32 am

Immediately following the crackdown, the government began a long-term campaign of suppression. Even today, many believe the government's goal is to erase the historic event from the nation's memory.

Parallels
1:28 am
Wed May 28, 2014

In Buddhist-Majority Myanmar, Muslim Minority Gets Pushed To The Margins

Muslim Rohingya women are pictured at the Thae Chaung camp for internally displaced people in Sittwe, Myanmar, on April 22. The stateless Rohingya in western Myanmar have been confined to the camps since violence erupted with majority Buddhists in 2012. The camps rely on international aid agencies, but still lack adequate food and health care.
Minzayar Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

Thirteen-year-old Zomir Hussein lives with his family in a simple wooden home in a village outside the city of Sittwe, the capital of western Myanmar's Rakhine state. Not long ago, he accidentally overdosed on medicine he was taking to treat his tuberculosis.

Now he lies on the floor, his hands curled into claws, his eyes staring vacantly. He cries out to his parents for help. His mother cradles him, and for a moment, he seems to smile.

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Parallels
1:45 am
Wed May 14, 2014

China Puts Brass On Trial In Fight Against Military Corruption

Chinese sailors stand guard on China's first aircraft carrier as it travels toward a military base in Hainan province. China has been waging a public crackdown on military corruption, perhaps the largest such campaign in more than six decades of communist rule.
China Stringer Network Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 6:04 am

China's ongoing crackdown on military corruption may be the toughest — or at least best publicized — in more than six decades of communist rule. Some top brass are on trial, and teams of inspectors have fanned in search of graft.

But all of that may seem like a distant light at the end of a long tunnel for former navy captain Tan Linshu. Tan and his wife have lived in a tiny, subterranean room for two years as they search for justice in a case that suggests what the crackdown is up against.

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News
2:22 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Obama Offers Support And Condolences In Somber South Korea

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 5:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. In South Korea today, President Obama consoled a nation in mourning over the victims of a ferry disaster. He also assured South Koreans that the U.S. is committed to support and defend the country in the face of North Korea's threats to test yet another nuclear device. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has been following the president in Seoul and joins us to talk about the trip.

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News
2:01 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Obama Raises Curtain On 4-Country East Asia Trip

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama has arrived in Japan on a weeklong trip that will also include stops in South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. Along with trade talk, President Obama will be trying to reassure leaders that the U.S. will not abandon them. That's important because China is becoming more assertive in disputes with its neighbors.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports on the Obama administration's efforts.

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Asia
6:07 am
Sun April 20, 2014

S. Korean Community Waits And Prays For Its Missing Students

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 9:53 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. For the first time since a ferry capsized and sank off the coast of South Korea Wednesday, divers have begun to recover bodies from inside the sunken vessel. The death toll has passed 50 with more than 250 still missing. Most of the passengers were students from a single high school outside the capital city. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports on the community and how they're coping.

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Asia
3:26 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Many Sunken Ferry Victims Believed To Be Trapped Below Deck

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 9:10 am

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Kelly McEvers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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News
2:23 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Search Continues For Nearly 300 Missing In South Korea Ferry Accident

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:06 pm

The search continues for survivors and answers in the South Korean ferry disaster. NPR's Anthony Kuhn offers details on the latest developments.

World
3:10 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Anger Boils Over For Families Of Flight 370 Passengers

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 4:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. It's not often that an airline accident triggers street protests, but that's exactly what happened in the Chinese capital this week. On Monday, Malaysia announced that the flight, MH370, was lost at sea with no survivors. The passengers' families say that there's no evidence of this and many are convinced of a conspiracy.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing on the families' reactions and what it says about Chinese society.

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News
2:16 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

News Of Flight 370's Suspected End Is Met With Relatives' Despair

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:46 pm

Malaysia's prime minister concluded that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 "ended in the southern Indian Ocean," setting off howls of grief and anger among passengers' families. The search continues for debris that would confirm the flight crashed.

World
10:25 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Malaysian Prime Minister Announces Airliner Went Down

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. We have breaking news this morning on the status of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 307. Earlier this hour Malaysia's prime minister announced that the government there now believes the plane is lost.

PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK: It's therefore, with deep sadness and regret, that I must inform you that Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

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Parallels
4:33 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

For Flight 370 Families, Every Day Is 'Torment'

Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight comfort each other as they wait for a news briefing by airline officials at a hotel ballroom in Beijing on Thursday.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:20 pm

Family members of the passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have grown increasingly frustrated in the nearly two weeks since the flight disappeared. Despite the efforts of airline and government officials, many relatives are angry about the lack of information. Some have even threatened to hunger strike in protest against the lack of information.

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News
2:21 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Politics And Power Complicate The Airliner Search

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. We begin this hour with the politics of a vanishing airliner. The search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 now covers well over 2 million square miles. Twenty-six countries are still involved, 10 days after the plane's disappearance. In a few moments, we'll hear from the U.S. Navy about their efforts.

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Asia
5:51 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Search For Malaysian Jet Turns Its Focus To The Crew

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 9:32 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Malaysia is reaching out to dozens of countries as it expands the search for an airliner that went missing almost nine days ago. This comes after new data indicates that the plane flew for hours after it last made contact with civilian radar. But which direction it went after that point remains a mystery.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing that despite evidence that the plane was intentionally diverted, Malaysian authorities have not said the plane was hijacked.

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Asia
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Flight Vanishes With 239 On Board

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

A Malaysian Airlines flight went off the radar on its flight from Kuala Lampur to Beijing with 239 people on board. Three Americans were on board, including an infant.

Asia
2:16 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Chinese Superstar Lifts Ivory Cause Onto His Shoulders

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Chinese leaders and lawmakers are huddled in Beijing for the annual session of parliament, and one man towers above the rest. That's because he's seven feet, six inches tall. The former Houston Rocket center Yao Ming is one of China's best-known athletes. He's also in his second year as a member of China's nominal Upper House of Parliament.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn has this report from Beijing on the former basketball star's foray into law and politics.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Commentary
7:54 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Three Years Later, A Harrowing Visit To Fukushima

A Tokyo Electric Power Company official (center) stands with journalists at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan on Nov. 7. Cleanup efforts at the plant remain ongoing.
Kimimasa Mayama AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 8:46 pm

On Thursday night, I stayed at a motel in the town of Hirono, just outside a restricted zone in Fukushima Prefecture. The motel's residents were all men, all apparently working on the cleanup of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, where three reactors melted down and a fourth caught on fire after a quake and tsunami in 2011.

I was told that, except for a few elderly residents, most of Hirono's inhabitants had left for other places.

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Asia
1:25 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Chinese Flock To The Countryside For A More Authentic New Year

Chinese blacksmiths in Nuanquan (Warm Spring) Town perform a folk custom called "making trees and flowers." They throw ladles of molten iron onto a wall, creating showers of sparks. The centuries-old custom originated with blacksmiths too poor to afford fireworks. In recent years, urban tourists have flocked to this once obscure town over the Chinese New Year holiday to enjoy local folk customs.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:35 am

China goes back to work Friday after a weeklong holiday marking the Year of the Horse. Traditionally, celebrations continue through the first month of the Lunar New Year.

As in years past, some 800 million viewers tuned in this year to the state TV New Year's gala program to watch Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan, French actress and singer Sophie Marceau, and other entertainers.

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Parallels
9:13 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Chinese Red Guards Apologize, Reopening A Dark Chapter

Red Guards — high school and university students — wave copies of Chairman Mao Zedong's Little Red Book during a parade in June 1966 in Beijing's streets at the beginning of China's Cultural Revolution. More than 1 million people are believed to have died during the decade-long upheaval.
Jean Vincent AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

For most of the past half century, China has avoided a full accounting for one of the darkest chapters of its recent history: the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976.

During that time, Chairman Mao Zedong's shock troops — Communist youth known as Red Guards — persecuted, tortured or even killed millions of Chinese, supposed "class enemies."

Now, some Red Guards have issued public apologies to their victims, a rare example of the ruling party allowing public discussion of its historic mistakes.

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Asia
10:22 am
Sun January 26, 2014

A Crusader Against Corruption, Chinese Activist Sentenced To Jail

At a Beijing Courthouse on Sunday, activist Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years in prison.
Goh Chai Hin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

China's government has recently jailed officials and issued a slew of new rules to curb corruption, but it's apparently not an effort that independent citizens groups are welcome to join.

On Sunday, a Chinese court sentenced Xu Zhiyong, a leading proponent of civil society, to four years in jail. Police have also arrested around a dozen other members of his group, called the New Citizens' Movement.

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