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.

Pages

4:28pm

Thu May 21, 2015
Parallels

China Kicks Off 'Great Leap Forward' On The Soccer Field

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

At an elementary school outside the Chinese capital, Beijing, first-graders practice controlling soccer balls under the instruction of American coach Tom Byer.

"When I clap, everybody's going to dribble to the circle, pull it back and go to the right. Go!" he says.

Regular soccer balls would practically come up to the kids' knees, so they practice with miniature ones instead.

But Byer, a native of New York, argues that even at age 6 or 7, the children are already late to the game.

Read more

5:24am

Wed May 20, 2015
Asia

U.S. Charges 6 Chinese Nationals With Stealing Tech Secrets

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 12:09 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more

7:58am

Sat May 16, 2015
Asia

Tensions In South China Sea Loom Over Kerry Visit

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 11:23 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more

4:34pm

Fri May 8, 2015
Parallels

For Chinese Tourists Behaving Badly, A Government Blacklist

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 10:45 am

Not exactly what that's for: Two tourists climb on a statue in Huayin, China, near Huashan, or Mount Hua, a famed tourist destination, in May 2013.
ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

"Ugly Americans" — tourists with appalling manners, loud voices, louder apparel and heaps of cultural insensitivity — have been an enduring stereotype for decades.

They are now facing a major challenge from their increasingly well-traveled Chinese counterparts.

Not only are the Chinese bemoaning their rudeness at home and abroad, the government has responded with new rules that took effect this week, aimed at keeping loutish travelers in check.

Read more

7:45am

Sun May 3, 2015
Goats and Soda

China Promises $46 Billion To Pave The Way For A Brand New Silk Road

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 6:29 pm

Alyson Hurt NPR

Go to Xi'an city in northwest China, and you can still hear amateur musical ensembles playing court music from the Tang Dynasty. One of the tunes is about flowers — tulips imported over the Silk Road from Europe some 1,300 years ago.

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that allowed the exchange of goods and ideas between Asia and Europe, including between the Roman Empire and China's Han Dynasty, towards the end of the first century B.C.

Read more

5:07am

Tue April 21, 2015
Goats and Soda

Palm Oil Plantations Are Blamed For Many Evils. But Change Is Coming

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 3:18 pm

A forest worker fells palm trees on an illegal palm oil plantation in the province of Aceh, Indonesia.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Palm oil is in everything, from pizza dough and chocolate to laundry detergent and lipstick. Nongovernmental organizations blame it for contributing to assorted evils, from global warming to human rights abuses.

But in the past year, this complex global industry has changed, as consumers put pressure on producers to show that they're not destroying forests, killing rare animals, grabbing land or exploiting workers.

Read more

4:56pm

Mon April 13, 2015
Asia

Chinese Women's Rights Activists Released From Jail

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 7:53 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more

3:50pm

Thu April 9, 2015
Parallels

Cultural Revolution-Meets-Aliens: Chinese Writer Takes On Sci-Fi

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 12:37 pm

Best-selling author Liu Cixin's science fiction books are breaking new ground in China's literary world.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

China may have surged ahead in scientific prowess in recent decades, but it still lags behind other countries in science fiction.

Author Liu Cixin is starting to change that. The books in a popular trilogy published in China have each sold more than half a million copies. He has won nine Galaxy Awards, the Chinese equivalent of the Hugo Award. And a recent English-language translation is bringing his science-packed, futuristic vision to new audiences.

Read more

3:28am

Thu April 9, 2015
Parallels

China's 'Barefoot Lawyer' And His Great Escape

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 11:04 am

In February 2006, I traveled to the farmland of eastern Shandong province to interview blind activist Chen Guangcheng. He had been abducted from Beijing by security agents and put under house arrest for the past six months.

When I arrived, Chen was closely guarded by men armed with clubs. I couldn't get into Chen's village, so I stayed with a family of peanut farmers nearby.

Their simple farmhouse was freezing cold on that snowy day. My hosts burned peanut shells in a stove to warm the place and cook us dinner.

Read more

1:29pm

Fri April 3, 2015
The Two-Way

The World According To Xi Jinping (Or At Least His App)

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 4:47 pm

With the Xi Jinping app, you can read about the Chinese president's love of soccer and his recipe for progress in reform, economic development, rule of law and party governance.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

President Xi Jinping is sometimes described in foreign media as China's most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong. Mao may have had a cult of personality, but he didn't have his own app.

Xi does.

The app may not have in-app purchases such as provincial governorships. There are no banners or alerts about the latest officials to fall to anti-graft probes. And it certainly doesn't have any sections on factional intrigues titled "Clash of Clans." It is, however, downloadable in versions for iOS and Android phones and tablets.

Read more

Pages