"Bringing Free Press to Closed Societies in Asia" with Bay Fang
On July 21, 2022, NBR held its seventeenth President’s Circle dialogue with our special guest Bay Fang, president of Radio Free Asia (RFA).
NBR President Roy Kamphausen began with an overview of the top issues in Asia for the month of July, including the assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, recent protests in China after billions of dollars of savings were frozen by banks in Central China, and turmoil in Sri Lanka following months of anti-government protests amid an increasingly dire economic crisis. Roy also introduced the Biden administration’s “Partners in the Blue Pacific” initiative with Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United Kingdom to increase engagement in the South Pacific, as well as the controversy surrounding speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s upcoming trip to Taiwan in August.
In the second half of the event, Ms. Fang discussed her work as president of RFA and the challenges her organization faces in speaking truth into places where information is suppressed or manipulated to support authoritarian regime interests. Ms. Fang answered questions from the audience on topics ranging from public diplomacy and RFA’s reporting on the ongoing genocide against Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang Province to its recent budget increase to support new efforts at expanding RFA’s China-centric coverage.
Ms. Fang joined the dialogue virtually, with audience members calling in from across the United States and Asia.