Anthony Kuhn

Foreign Correspondent Anthony Kuhn is currently based in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he opened NPR’s first bureau in that country in 2010. From there, he covers Southeast Asia, and the gamut of natural and human diversity stretching from Myanmar to Fiji and Vietnam to Tasmania.

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 affect 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.



Mon June 20, 2011

Thailand To Tattoo Tourists: Think Before You Ink

A disciple of Master Noo Ganpai tattoos elaborate Buddhist designs onto the back of a customer.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Many of Thailand's tattoo tourists find their way to Bangkok's Khao San Road, where tattoo parlors are nestled among the Internet cafes, noodle stalls and other backpacker hangouts. A visitor along this road might pick up a tattoo, along with some beads and dreadlocks, and perhaps even a nose ring.

The Thais are famously welcoming to visitors. But last month, Thai Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat called for a ban on foreigners getting religious tattoos that offend Thai people.

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Tue June 14, 2011
China: Beyond Borders

Full Steam Ahead For China's Rail Links Abroad?

The CRH2 China Railways high-speed bullet train, departing a Shanghai station in February 2007, is capable of speeds of more than 150 mph.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world — through investments, infrastructure, military power and more.

After a generation of absorbing foreign capital and technology, China is now beginning to export them. It has found the export of infrastructure especially profitable, both economically and politically. China is building high-speed rail links in Turkey, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, and has expressed interest in bidding for projects in the United States.

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Tue May 17, 2011

Southeast Asian Slums Network For Housing Rights

Filipino children sit in front of their slum homes in Manila, Philippines. Activists are trying to organize slum dwellers in order to provide them with a political voice.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Fast economic growth in many countries often carries a high price for some of the poorest residents: Vast slums are cleared by urban planners and commercial developers, sometimes by force.

But there's a growing international movement of activists who are fighting for slum-dwellers' housing rights.

Phnom Penh: A Rising Lake

Workers pump sand and water into Phnom Penh's Boeung Kak Lake in the heart of the Cambodian capital. Residents say developers are doing this to force them out of their ramshackle homes in exchange for minimal compensation.

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Mon April 11, 2011
Japan In Crisis

Japan's Public Broadcaster Responds, Reports Crisis

Of all the Japanese institutions that respond to emergencies, few are so crucial in saving lives as the broadcasters who warn ordinary citizens of the impending calamity.

Much of that task falls to NHK, the nation's public broadcaster.

Every night, NHK journalists rehearse emergency broadcasts so that they respond to disasters instinctively. It's a key part of NHK's journalistic mission, but what happened at 2:46 p.m. on March 11 was no drill.

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Wed March 23, 2011

Japan Relief Update

Elderly residents of northern Japan have been especially hard hit by the twin disasters that struck Japan earlier this month. Many old people died in the tsunami and earthquake. Survivors are staying in temporary shelters and are having trouble getting adequate heat, food or medicine.


Sat March 19, 2011
Japan In Crisis

Japan's Survivors Bid Dignified Farewell To Deceased

The earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan's northeast has torn the social fabric of many communities wrought havoc on the normal cycles of life and death. In the northern city of Kesennuma, where at least 300 people were killed by the tsunami, communities are struggling to maintain dignity and respect as they send off the deceased.

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