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Emily Feng

Emily Feng is NPR's Beijing correspondent.

Feng joined NPR in 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.

Previously, Feng served as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times. Based in Beijing, she covered a broad range of topics, including human rights and technology. She also began extensively reporting on the region of Xinjiang during this period, becoming the first foreign reporter to uncover that China was separating Uyghur children from their parents and sending them to state-run orphanages, and discovering that China was introducing forced labor in Xinjiang's detention camps.

Feng's reporting has also let her nerd out over semiconductors and drones, travel to environmental wastelands, and write about girl bands and art. She's filed stories from the bottom of a coal mine; the top of a mosque in Qinghai; and from inside a cave Chairman Mao once lived in.

Her human rights coverage has been shortlisted by the British Journalism Awards in 2018, recognized by the Amnesty Media Awards in February 2019 and won a Human Rights Press merit that May. Her radio coverage of the coronavirus epidemic in China earned her another Human Rights Press Award, was recognized by the National Headliners Award, and won a Gracie Award. She was also named a Livingston Award finalist in 2021.

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.

On a recent October afternoon, wholesale sellers and buyers rush around a shopping complex in Yiwu, China, lugging plastic bags and stuffing their new wares into boxes as tall as they are.

The complex is part of the world's largest consumer wholesale market. Many "Make America Great Again" hats and Biden-Harris T-shirts for the American presidential campaign came from this one coastal city. Vendors here joke that during the last U.S. presidential election in 2016, they knew who was going to win because orders for Trump merchandise far exceeded those for Hillary Clinton.

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China posted 4.9% economic growth in its third quarter compared to the same period last year, keeping it on track to be the only major global economy to record an economic expansion this year in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Chinese port city of Qingdao is under soft lockdown after a cluster of 13 COVID-19 cases was discovered last weekend.

In the past five days, health authorities say they conducted more than 10 million coronavirus tests of all Qingdao residents, all of which came back negative. Still, residents have been asked to remain at home, flights to Beijing have been canceled and travelers from Qingdao to other parts of China must quarantine.

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The electronic dance music scene is back in China with a vengeance after months of COVID-related cancellations. NPR's Emily Feng takes us to a rave attended by thousands of people.

Polls show widespread distrust toward China is growing in the U.S. over how China initially handled its coronavirus outbreak and ongoing human rights abuses.

At the same time, Chinese attitudes toward the U.S. are souring — while popular satisfaction with the Chinese state has grown since the central government quickly brought the pandemic under control through sometimes brutal methods.

China has sentenced an influential property magnate and outspoken critic of the Communist Party and President Xi Jinping to 18 years in prison on corruption charges – a hefty sentence that is likely to further deter dissent among the nation's intellectual and business elite.

On Tuesday, a Beijing court announced that it had found Ren Zhiqiang, 69, guilty of embezzling public funds and taking bribes totaling about $2.9 million over the course of 14 years. He was sentenced in a trial closed to the public. Ren has also been fined $620,000 and his assets seized.

Early this month, parents and students across the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia streamed back to school campuses, not to attend classes, but instead to protest.

They gathered by the hundreds outside dozens of schools in rare acts of civil disobedience, protesting a new policy that sharply reduces their hours of Mongolian-language instruction. For several days, schools across Inner Mongolia stood empty as parents pulled their children out of class, the largest demonstrations in Inner Mongolia in more than three decades.

A visitor to the Beijing People's Art Theatre this past August would have been treated to an unexpected sight on its wooden stage: Chinese actors, rehearsing A Raisin in the Sun, a play that tells the story of an African American family's struggle against racism in 1950s Chicago.

Beijing actor and director Ying Da is mounting the first-ever Chinese-language production of Lorraine Hansberry's play. The thorniest issue at hand: how to convey to a mostly Chinese audience that an all-Chinese cast is portraying an African American family.

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Across China, life has largely returned to normal. Domestic travel is picking back up as a coronavirus pandemic brought under control recedes from memory. Businesses and factories have reopened.

Except in Xinjiang. A sweeping, western region nearly four times the size of California, Xinjiang remains largely cut off from the rest of the country and its some 22 million residents under heavy lockdown, an effort officials say is needed to contain a cluster of more than 800 officially diagnosed cases.

Textbooks censored. Teachers investigated for improper speech. Students arrested and charged with secession for their social media posts.

Just over a month after Beijing imposed a national security law in Hong Kong, authorities are targeting in rapid succession figures at all levels of Hong Kong's civil society and education sectors, despite assurances from Beijing officials and Hong Kong's top leader that the law would only be used to target a small minority of people.

A farmer from Shandong province along China's east coast, Liu recalls how during Chinese Lunar New Year in January, he went out for a walk and came home to discover local officials preparing to demolish his home.

When he called the police on the demolishers, they arrested him instead, saying that the police would "assist the work of the local government."

"To demolish my home, about 100 security officers surrounded and subdued me, and detained me," Liu said on a recent visit to his village, Liushuanglou, near the city of Heze. He was released from detention the next day.

Updated at 9:12 p.m. ET

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and several executives at the media company he founded have been arrested. They're accused of colluding with foreign forces, the highest profile arrests thus far under a sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing just over a month ago.

First China was hit by the novel coronavirus. Now it is dealing with the worst flooding in more than 20 years across vast swaths, from its southwestern interior to its east coast.

Zeng Hailin is one of an estimated 3.7 million people displaced or evacuated because of floods in China largely since June.

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To China now, where vast swaths of the country are being hammered by flooding. It is some of the worst China has seen in more than two decades. NPR's Emily Feng looks into why this year's flooding is worse than usual.

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Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

The Chinese government ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu in retaliation for the U.S. shutting down China's consulate in Houston. Ties between the two countries have plummeted to their lowest point in more than 30 years.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. has ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, in what China called an "unprecedented escalation."

In a statement early Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said: "We have directed the closure of [People's Republic of China] Consulate General Houston, in order to protect American intellectual property and American's (sic) private information."

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A Uighur family has been imprisoned in their own home for the last year. They're in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang. NPR's Emily Feng managed to make a rare visit to the family before the coronavirus pandemic.

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