Main news of the last weeks


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17 AUGUST 2019

Serikjan Bilash, fiery critic of Xinjiang crackdown, spared jail in Kazakhstan but must end anti-China activism

Serikjan Bilash, whose activism in defence of Muslim and Turkic minorities in Xinjiang earned him global media attention, said he struck a plea bargain with the court that allowed him freedom but will end his activism

India’s Modi holds talks with Bhutan counterpart

Thimphu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering held wide ranging talks on Saturday during which they discussed steps to further expand the bilateral partnership across several sectors as the two nations signed 10 MoUs to infuse new energy in their ties

16 AUGUST 2019

Protests erupt in India-administered Kashmir after Friday prayers

Protests erupted in Srinagar city of India-administered Kashmir on Friday as people took to the streets in large numbers against New Delhi’s decision of revoking its special status

North Korea rejects South Korea Moon’s dialogue pledge, says they will never have talks again

North Korea said on Friday (Aug 16) that it would never sit down with South Korea for talks again, rejecting a vow by the South’s President Moon Jae-in to pursue dialogue with Pyongyang made the previous day as he pledged to bring in unification by 2045

India issues veiled nuclear threat to Pakistan with hint it could abandon ‘no first use’ policy

India appears to have issued a veiled threat to Pakistan when its defence minister said the country’s continued nuclear commitment to « no first use » would « depend on the circumstances »

15 AUGUST 2019

Kashmir cross-border fire ‘kills 3 Pakistani, 5 Indian soldiers’

Pakistan’s army has said at least three Pakistani and five Indian soldiers have been killed after a cross-border exchange of fire in the disputed region of Kashmir, prompting a denial by New Delhi that there were fatalities among its forces

Taiwan Sharply Boosts Defense Budget Amid China Tension

Taiwan unveiled its largest defense spending increase in more than a decade on Aug. 15 amid rising military tensions with its giant neighbor China, which considers the self-ruled island its own and has not renounced the use of force against it

15 Myanmar Soldiers, Police and Civilians Dead in Coordinated Attacks

At least 15 have died and three have been injured in coordinated rebel attacks across in Mandalay Region and neighboring northern Shan State on Thursday, a day that began with the first attack on the Myanmar military’s Defense Service Technological Academy (DSTA) in decades

Chinese documentary director Zhu Yu defies Beijing’s boycott of Taiwan’s Golden Horse awards

A mainland Chinese director has vowed to ignore a Beijing boycott and keep her documentary in the running for a high-profile Taiwanese film festival because of her faith

14 AUGUST 2019

US-China trade war takes a breather as Beijing sees ‘positive signal’ in Donald Trump’s tariff delay

Escalating trade tensions between China and the United States eased slightly on Wednesday as Beijing hailed the decision by US President Donald Trump to delay or remove some planned tariffs against Chinese products as a “positive signal”

Thai court acquits Red Shirts of terrorism for 2010 protests

A court in Thailand on Wednesday dismissed terrorism and other charges against 24 leaders of an extended street protest in 2010 that saw key areas of central Bangkok closed off and random violence that was ended by military force

13 AUGUST 2019

Chinese Ship Returns to Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone

A Chinese survey ship returned to Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone off its coast on Aug. 13, ship tracking data showed, less than a week after it left the area where vessels from the two countries were locked in a month-long standoff

Check-in at Hong Kong airport suspended for second day as protesters block terminal

Authorities at Hong Kong airport suspended check-ins on Tuesday after pro-democracy protesters blocked the terminal for a second day, but reversed a previous statement saying that all departing flights had been cancelled

PM Mahathir accuses Chinese schools association of racism over khat controversy

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has hit out again at the Chinese schools association over its opposition to the teaching of khat calligraphy, saying that legal action could be taken if the association instigates negative racial sentiment

India, Russia exchange MoUs in key areas

About 200 Russian companies, Investment Agencies and Funds took part from the Russian side

12 AUGUST 2019

Korea to exclude Japan from trade whitelist in September

South Korea is set to drop Japan as a preferred trading partner in September in response to Tokyo’s recent decision to exclude Seoul from its whitelist, officials said Monday

11 AUGUST 2019

Sri Lanka election: former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa is running for president

Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was a live wire in Sri Lanka’s  military campaign to end a long civil war but faces allegations of human rights violations, was nominated on Sunday as the opposition’s candidate for the presidential election scheduled for later this year

Sonia Gandhi replaces son as leader of India’s opposition Congress party

India’s main opposition Congress party has selected former President Sonia Gandhi as its interim leader while it searches for a successor to her son Rahul Gandhi, who quit following a second straight election drubbing by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

10 AUGUST 2019

Japan downgrades South Korea as security partner in defence white paper as ties fray

Japan will effectively lower South Korea’s standing as an important security cooperation partner in this year’s white paper on defence, a Defence Ministry source said on Friday, reflecting the worsening of bilateral ties

China says it will support Pakistan ‘upholding its rights’ in Kashmir row with India

China has said it would support Pakistan defending its “legitimate rights and interests” in the Kashmir crisis during an emergency visit by the country’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday night

Article 370: Tear gas and gunfire at Kashmir protest

The BBC witnessed the police opening fire and using tear gas to disperse the crowd, despite the Indian government saying the protest never took place

US worried about ‘the Chinese invasion’ of Israel’s ports

US concern is centred on Haifa Port, which will be run by Chinese interests in 2021. In 2018, Beijing has promised US$ 23 billion in loans and aid to Mideast countries and plans to invest another 28 in infrastructure. The Pentagon warns that the region’s countries risk falling into Beijing’s orbit

Taiwan urges citizens to stay on alert for China-backed media ‘infiltration’

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen urged citizens to stay on alert for Chinese-financed media « infiltration » after a Reuters report of a Beijing-backed media campaign in the self-ruled island which China considers its own

9 AUGUST 2019

Seoul and Tokyo’s trade war puts military pact at stake

The General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, went into effect in November 2016 as the two neighbours agreed to step up cooperation in the face of North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat

8 AUGUST 2019

Vietnam Confirms China Ship Left its Waters, Ending Month-Long Standoff

A Chinese survey ship embroiled in a tense month-long standoff with Vietnamese vessels has left Vietnam’s continental shelf, the Southeast Asian nation’s foreign ministry confirmed on Aug. 8

Japan OKs first S Korea high-tech export since curbs, but with a warning

Japan has approved shipment of a high-tech material to South Korea for the first time since imposing export curbs last month, but doubled down on political pressure and warned it could broaden restrictions on deliveries to its Asian neighbor

Pakistan’s outspoken opposition leader Mariam Nawaz Sharif detained by anti-graft body

Pakistan’s outspoken opposition leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif who is daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has been arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB)- country’s anti-graft body

Kashmir dispute: Hundreds detained as anger grows

Politicians, activists, business leaders and professors were reportedly among those being held in makeshift detention centres

7 AUGUST 2019

Pakistan downgrades diplomatic ties, suspends trade with India over Kashmir

Pakistan has announced it will downgrade diplomatic relations and suspend bilateral trade with India after New Delhi stripped the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status

Hong Kong lawyers march in silence to support anti-government protesters

Hong Kong lawyers held a silent march on Wednesday (Aug 7) in support of anti-government protesters and to call on the government to safeguard the independence of the city’s department of justice

Mainland China to boycott Golden Horse awards in latest attempt to squeeze Taiwan

Mainland China will not take part in the film awards dubbed the “Chinese-language Oscars”, held in Taiwan, Beijing’s film administrators announced on Wednesday, reflecting tensions across the strait

6 AUGUST 2019

Sushma Swaraj: India’s popular former foreign minister dies

Ms Swaraj, who served as foreign minister for five years, suffered a cardiac arrest on Tuesday, the Press Trust of India said

Popular Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je offers ‘another choice’ with launch of new political party, the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP)

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, 60, said he wanted to change Taiwan’s political culture and offer people “another choice” beside the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT)

China warns US against Asia missile deployment

Beijing « will be forced to take countermeasures, » if the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in the region. A senior official also called on neighboring countries to « exercise prudence » about hosting any missiles

Another sea trial for China’s first home-grown aircraft carrier ‘suggests technical problems’

China’s first home-grown aircraft carrier is undergoing another sea trial, straight after four days of testing, suggesting the navy may have identified technical problems that require immediate attention, military observers said

Beijing says India’s Kashmir move ‘undermines’ China sovereignty

Beijing has criticised India’s decision to change the status of Jammu & Kashmir, a state that borders China, accusing New Delhi of undermining its territorial sovereignty

5 AUGUST 2019

India abolishes special status for Kashmir

India removed Kashmir’s special autonomous status from its constitution with a presidential decree on Monday. It also moved a bill to divide the Indian-administered part of Kashmir into two regions directly ruled by New Delhi

US and South Korea start joint war games a week after Kim Jong-un fired six missiles and warned of ‘consequences’ if Trump holds military drills

Seoul and Washington began annual joint military exercises on Monday (Aug 5), defying warnings from Pyongyang that the war games will jeopardise nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea

China halts US agriculture purchases as trade war heats up

China announced on Tuesday that it would suspend purchases of US agricultural products in retaliation for a “serious violation” of agreements between its President Xi Jinping and his counterpart Donald Trump

4 AUGUST 2019

Khmer Rouge ‘Brother Number Two’ Nuon Chea dies in Cambodia aged 93

Nuon Chea, the chief ideologue of the communist Khmer Rouge regime that destroyed a generation of Cambodians, died on Sunday, the country’s UN-assisted genocide tribunal said. He was 93

Kashmir tensions intensify amid India, Pakistan skirmishes

The Indian military on Sunday (Aug 4) claimed to have killed several Pakistani attackers trying to cross the de facto border in Kashmir, as tensions ratcheted up in the disputed region and sent thousands of tourists fleeing

3 AUGUST 2019

China suspends cooperation with France on police affairs, says report

Action comes after France gave asylum to wife of jailed former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei

New Singapore opposition party backed by PM’s brother launched

Politician Tan Cheng Bock, a 79-year-old retired medical doctor, on Saturday launched the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), which is backed by the estranged brother of the country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Maldives arrests ex-vice president and ‘assassin plot organiser’ Ahmed Adeeb after India denies entry

Maldives police on Saturday said they had arrested former vice-president Ahmed Adeeb and were bringing him to the capital Male after he was refused entry to India

2 AUGUST 2019

Blasts in Bangkok as Thai capital hosts regional summit

Several small bombs exploded across Bangkok on Friday, rattling the Thai capital as it hosted a regional summit attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and leaving three people wounded

Japan Drops South Korea From Favored Trade List As Long-Simmering Tensions Flare

Japan downgraded its trading relationship with South Korea on Friday, escalating a simmering trade feud that some experts worry could undermine U.S. security ties with chief Asian allies and hinder their cooperation on the North Korean nuclear issue

Hong Kong civil servants attend rally to voice dissent over extradition Bill

Thousands of civil servants filled Chater Garden in the heart of the business district on Friday (Aug 2) night to protest the government’s handling of a contentious extradition bill in a rare show of dissent

North Korea Conducts 3rd Missile Test Since Last Week Amid Stalled Talks With U.S.

North Korea has reportedly conducted a third test launch in just over a week, firing what appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles, according to South Korean officials

1 AUGUST 2019

Ahmed Adeeb – Maldives ex-vice president arrested in India

Former vice president Maldives, Ahmed Adeeb has been arrested and detained by Indian agencies in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu on Thursday, while trying to enter the country illegally as a crew member of a tug boat

Japan, S.Korea FMs meet amid souring relations

Relations between Japan and South Korea appear to be at a stalemate as the countries’ foreign ministers mainly repeated their stances on thorny current issues at a meeting Thursday’s-white-list.html

31 JULY 2019

China bans individual travelers from visiting Taiwan

China on Wednesday announced that individual travelers from that country will be banned from visiting Taiwan starting August, citing the current strained cross-strait relations, five-months before Taiwan holds a presidential election in January 2020

US, China to hold more trade talks after ‘constructive’ meeting

US and Chinese negotiators agreed to meet again in the United States in September after holding « frank » and « constructive » talks in Shanghai on Wednesday (Jul 31), state media said

30 JULY 2019

Muslim practice of instant divorce made illegal in India after historic vote

The practice, which can only be implemented by men, has already been made illegal in more than 20 Muslim countries. India has followed suit after lawmakers voted 99 to 84 in favor of the new law

Sultan Abdullah installed as the 16th king of Malaysia

The ceremony was attended by about 700 guests including nine Malay rulers, government ministers and foreign dignitaries. Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign performs a largely ceremonial function. The king is elected in rotation: the throne passes from hand to hand every five years

Top diplomats gather in Bangkok for key Asia-Pacific talks

Top diplomats from the Asia-Pacific region started gathering Tuesday in the Thai capital to discuss issues of concern to the area, including security on the Korean peninsula and China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea

29 JULY 2019

China-Philippines military ties ‘vital to bilateral relations’ says Chinese ambassador

The military-to-military relationship between China and the Philippines has become an important part of the bilateral relations, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said on Monday

Muslims rejoin Sri Lanka Cabinet after Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s Muslim ministers who resigned en masse in the wake of the deadly Easter Sunday bombings have rejoined the government, officials said Tuesday (July 30), after police cleared them of any involvement with Islamists

Australia Ratifies Maritime Boundaries with East Timor

Australia passed a legislation that sets down maritime boundaries with East Timor on Monday, providing a framework for the two countries to split revenue from the offshore Greater Sunrise natural gas field

Cambodia set to buy US$40 million more arms from China, prime minister says

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that US$40 million would be spent on weapons from China. That includes tens of thousands of guns to replace old stock that were already being shipped, he said

China’s first ‘cyber-dissident’ Huang Qi given 12-year jail term

China’s first « cyber-dissident », whose website reported on sensitive topics including human rights, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday (Jul 29) for leaking state secrets, a court said

Afghan V-P candidate injured as Kabul blast kills two, wounds 25

A powerful explosion hit central Kabul on Sunday (July 28), wounding Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s running mate on the first day of official campaigning for a presidential election and killing at least two others, officials said

Singapore PM’s brother Lee Hsien Yang backs opposition party in election twist

The Singapore prime minister’s estranged brother Lee Hsien Yang has thrown his support behind a newly-formed opposition party in an intriguing twist ahead of elections expected to be held as soon as this year

South Korea to send naval unit to Strait of Hormuz: Report

On Monday, a local daily reported that Korea has decided to send the Cheonghae Unit that operates in waters off Somalia, citing an unnamed senior government official. However, Seoul’s Defense Ministry said it has not made a decision

28 JULY 2019

President Joko Widodo says Islam in Indonesia is ‘tolerant’ as rights groups warn of rising fundamentalism

In his first international television interview since being re-elected in May, Indonesian President Joko Widodo denied being concerned about the rise of fundamentalism in his country, saying that the Islam practiced there is tolerant and progressive

27 JULY 2019

US approves support for Pakistan’s F-16s amid Afghanistan outreach

The US State Department announced on Friday that the Trump administration is set to approve $125 million for Pakistan to provide technical support to its fleet of F-16 aircraft

China deploys J-20 stealth fighter ‘to keep tabs on Taiwan’

China’s J-20 stealth fighter has been officially deployed to the country’s Eastern Theatre Command, suggesting it will be focused on the Taiwan Strait and military activities between Japan and the United States, observers said

India deploys 10,000 troops in insurgency-hit Kashmir

The Indian government is moving 10,000 paramilitary forces to the troubled northern state of Jammu and Kashmir to strengthen anti-insurgency operations, media reports said on Saturday (July 27)

26 JULY 2019

Thai govt urged not to buy power from Laos dam

The Thai government must suspend plans to buy electricity from a dam in Laos, conservationists said on Friday (July 26), as water levels along the kingdom’s section of Mekong river plummet to near-record lows

Espionage trial of two former RFA journalists starts in Cambodia

The trial of two Cambodian journalists charged with espionage has begun in the capital, Phnom Penh, in a case human rights groups say should never have been brought to court

North Korea says missile test was ‘solemn warning’ to South

A day after two North Korean missile launches rattled Asia, the nation announced Friday that it had tested a “new-type tactical guided weapon” that was meant to be a “solemn warning” about South Korean weapons development and its rival’s plans to hold military exercises

Tan Cheng Bock says new party will be ‘unifying alternative’ for Singapore

There has been an “erosion” of transparency, independence and accountability within the Government, said Dr Tan Cheng Bock on Friday (Jul 26), explaining the reasons behind his decision to set up a new political party

25 JULY 2019

North Korea Fires New Ballistic Missile in Likely Pressure Tactic

North Korea fired a new type of short-range ballistic missile in two launches into the sea on Thursday, July 25.They were North Korea’s first weapons launches in more than two months and appeared to be a pressuring tactic as Pyongyang and Washington struggle to restart nuclear negotiations

Chinese private firm makes history with successful orbital mission

A private Chinese company used its own carrier rocket to send two satellites and several experimental payloads into space on Thursday, marking the first successful orbital mission by the country’s commercial space industry

24 JULY 2019

China’s New 2019 Defense White Paper: An Open Strategic Challenge to the United States, But One Which Does Not Have to Lead to Conflict

China’s National Defense in the New Era is a clear and detailed 51-page response to the massive shift in U.S. strategy from a focus on counterterrorism and extremism to competition and possible conflict with China and Russia

23 JULY 2019

Russia and South Korea give conflicting claims over airspace spat

South Korean air force jets fired 360 rounds of warning shots Tuesday after a Russian military plane twice violated South Korea’s airspace off the country’s eastern coast, Seoul officials said in an announcement that was quickly disputed by Russia

22 JULY 2019

Li Peng, hardline Chinese premier who backed Tiananmen massacre, dies

Former premier Li Peng died of illness in Beijing at the age of 91 at 11:11 pm on Monday 22, an official statement said on Tuesday

India launches second lunar mission, aiming for Moon’s South Pole

India launched a bid to become a leading space power Monday, sending up a rocket to put a craft on the surface of the Moon in what it called a « historic day » for the nation

Cambodia, China ink secret naval port deal: report

Chinese armed forces will be allowed 30 years of exclusive access to a Cambodian naval base on the Gulf of Thailand, according to a Wall Street Journal report that quoted anonymous US officials

Trump wants Pakistan’s help in Afghanistan exit, offers to mediate Kashmir

US is working with Pakistan to find a way out of the war in Afghanistan and is ready to mediate on Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, President Donald Trump, speaking at a White House meeting with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, said on Monday

Huawei secretly helped North Korea build wireless network, Washington Post reports

The Chinese telecommunications giant partnered with a state-owned Chinese firm, Panda International Information Technology, on a number of projects in North Korea over at least eight years, the Post reported

21 JULY 2019

Uygurs in Xinjiang didn’t choose to be Muslims, China says in white paper

Uygurs became Muslims not by choice but by force, and Islam is not their only religion, Beijing said in a white paper published on Sunday, as it continued its propaganda campaign to justify its controversial policies in the far western province of Xinjiang

Japan’s ruling bloc secures upper house majority – exit polls

NHK public television said that Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its partner Komei were sure to win from 67 to 77 seats in the upper house, and that the two-thirds majority needed for constitutional revision could be within reach if the bloc is joined by supporters from another party

20 JULY 2019

Hong Kong police make ‘largest ever’ seizure of explosives on eve of protests

Police in Hong Kong have seized what is thought to be the largest ever cache of high-powered explosives uncovered in the city, in a raid Friday night on a suspected bomb-making factory

Pakistan tribal regions hold first provincial polls

Voters in turbulent former tribal zones of northwestern Pakistan vote in first provincial elections after the region lost semi-autonomous status it had held since British colonial era

Veteran Indian politician Sheila Dikshit dies at 81

Sheila Dikshit, an Indian politician who was New Delhi’s longest-serving chief minister, died after a prolonged illness. She was 81. Dikshit died Saturday at a hospital in New Delhi, where she had been admitted for treatment for a heart ailment

Pro-independence Formosa Alliance forms political party

The pro-independence Formosa Alliance formed a political party on Saturday, saying that it hoped to field at least 10 candidates in the legislative election next January and give independence-leaning voters an alternative to the current ruling party

US House Passes Bill to Sanction Cambodia’s Top Officials

U.S. lawmakers have sent a clear signal to Cambodian leaders that they have to reverse course on limiting democracy or face consequences

19 JULY 2019

South Korean man dies after setting himself on fire outside Japanese embassy in Seoul

A man in his seventies has died after self-immolating inside his car in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, authorities in the South Korean capital said Friday

Vietnam demands China withdraws vessel from South China Sea

Vietnam has called on China to remove an oil exploration ship from disputed waters near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea

18 JULY 2019

Former Pakistani PM Abbasi arrested on corruption charges

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been arrested on corruption charges, according to an official from his Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party

Cambodian police arrested several activists and prevented public commemoration of the third anniversary of prominent political analyst Kem Ley’s murder

7,800 police in Philippines punished for deadly drug raids

Thousands of Philippine police officers have received administrative punishments with more than 2,000 dismissed for wrongdoings during raids where drug suspects were killed under the president’s crackdown, officials said Thursday

17 JULY 2019

Pakistan arrests alleged Mumbai attacks mastermind on terror charges

Pakistani authorities have detained Hafiz Saeed, the leader of a militant group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The radical cleric is a designated terrorist in the US, where there’s a $10-million bounty on his head

Vietnam, China embroiled in South China Sea stand-off

Vietnamese and Chinese ships have been embroiled in a weeks-long stand-off near an offshore oil block in disputed waters of the South China Sea which fall within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, two Washington-based think-tanks said on Wednesday (July 17)

ASEAN now China’s no.2 trade partner

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has replaced the United States to become China’s second top trade partner

16 JULY 2019

Executed’ North Korean negotiator Kim Hyok Chol is alive, says South Korea’s spy agency

North Korean nuclear negotiator who was reported to have been executed over the failure of the February Hanoi summit between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump is still alive, South Korean intelligence said on Tuesday

Pakistan reopens airspace for civil aviation after five month

Pakistan has opened its airspace to civil aviation with immediate effect, the Civil Aviation Authority said on Tuesday, following five months of restrictions imposed in the wake of a standoff with neighboring India earlier this year

Malaysia’s parliament approves Bill to lower voting age to 18

After several hours of debate, 211 out of 222 members of parliament voted in favour of amending Malaysia’s federal constitution, allowing the changes to be introduced. No objections were recorded

Japan won’t send troops to Middle East as part of US coalition against Iran

Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said on Tuesday he has “no plan” to send the Self-Defence Forces to the Middle East to join a military coalition envisioned by the United States to safeguard commercial shipping from Iranian threats in the region

Thailand’s King Swears in Prayuth, Cabinet

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha and his cabinet were sworn in by the Thai king on Tuesday, marking an official end to five years of military rule although the new government will retain some of the junta’s strict executive orders

15 JULY 2019

Taiwan KMT party picks mayor Han Kuo-yu over ex-Foxconn chief for 2020 run

Taiwan’s main opposition party picked a pro-China populist mayor Monday as its candidate for the 2020 presidential race against an incumbent who often bashes Beijing

Thai prime minister declares end of military rule

Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha formally resigned as the head of the military government on Monday (July 15), saying the country would function as a normal democracy after five years of military rule

Malaysia Seized Over $240 Million From Chinese Company Over Pipeline Project: PM Mahathir

Malaysia seized more than 1 billion ringgit ($243.5 million) from a bank account of state-owned China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering (CPP) over incomplete pipeline projects, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on July 15

India aborts Chandrayaan-2 Moon mission launch less than an hour before lift-off

With less than an hour before lift-off, India has aborted the launch of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the Moon

China’s GDP growth slumps to 27-year low amid trade war with US

The Chinese economy has suffered a loss of momentum in the second quarter, with the GDP falling to 6.2 % from a 6.4 % expansion in the first three months of the year, figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday

14 JULY 2019

H.M. Ershad, who became Bangladesh president after seizing power in 1982 coup, dies aged 89

Ershad ruled the country from 1982 to 1990. He was the leader of the opposition in the current parliament. He assumed power as the military chief in 1982 and declared himself president the following year. He later floated his own Jatiya Party and won a controversial election in 1986

China’s investigative journalists warn they are ‘almost extinct’ under Xi Jinping’s strict censorship regime

She was once one of China’s most feared journalists, roaming the country uncovering stories about police brutality, wrongful convictions and environmental disasters. But these days, Zhang Wenmin struggles to be heard

13 JULY 2019

Thailand’s Pheu Thai Party picks new leadership

The Pheu Thai Party on Friday elected Sompong Amornwiwat as its new leader with the urgent mission of spearheading a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during the current parliament session

More than 35 countries defend China over mass detention of Uighur Muslims in UN letter

Ambassadors of 37 states from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America praised China’s “contribution to the international human rights cause” in the letter sent to the UN‘s Human Rights Council on Friday

12 JULY 2019

Anti-China protests in the Philippines mark third anniversary of Manila’s South China Sea legal victory

Dozens of protesters on Friday staged a rally in front of the Chinese consulate in Manila as the Philippines marked the third anniversary of its arbitral victory over China at The Hague, which rejected Beijing’s historical claims to resources in the South China Sea

Beijing’s anger boils as Taiwan’s president visits New York

Beijing is furious with Washington for a second time this week after Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen stopped by New York on her way to two of Taiwan’s last diplomatic friends on earth: Haiti and Dominican Republic. It comes as the US decided it would sell $2.2 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan

11 JULY 2019

Sri Lanka PM says still in talks with US on military cooperation pact

Sri Lanka is still in talks with the United States on a status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) for visiting US military personnel, the Prime Minister said, disregarding a warning by the President that it would undermine sovereignty

North Korea makes Kim Jong Un head of state

North Korea has revised its Constitution to make Kim Jong Un head of state, a promotion that could help normalise the isolated country’s diplomatic relations with the rest of the world

North Korea vows to respond to South’s deployment of F-35 jets

North Korea slammed South Korea over its ongoing deployment of high-tech U.S. fighter jets, warning Thursday that it will respond by developing and testing unspecified special weapons of its own to “destroy” the aircraft.

10 JULY 2019

New Thai cabinet ministers appointed

The new cabinet line-up published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday evening is a mix of members of the military government he headed after leading a 2014 coup and key politicians who helped him assemble a majority in the House of Representatives after March elections

9 JULY 2019

US approves arms sale to Taiwan despite Beijing’s objections

The US Department of State has approved the sale of US$2.22 billion in weapons to Taiwan that includes M1A2T Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles

Hong Kong’s Lam Says Extradition Bill is ‘Dead,’ Campaigners Skeptical

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam appeared to extend an olive branch to the city’s mass anti-extradition movement on Tuesday, promising that widely hated amendments to existing extradition laws were « dead. »

8 JULY 2019

Amnesty seeks international probe to end Philippine killings

Amnesty International urgently called for international pressure and an immediate UN investigation to help end what it says are possible crimes against humanity in the Philippine president’s bloody anti-drug crackdown

Moon urges Japan to reconsider export restrictions on Korean tech firms

President Moon Jae-in on Monday urged Japan to withdraw restrictions on exports of hi-tech materials to South Korea, while calling on government agencies to work closely with the business community to deal with the “unprecedented emergency.”

Son of South Korea’s former foreign minister defects to the North, state media reports

Choe In-guk said he had decided to “permanently resettle”in North Korea to honour his parents’ wish that he live there and devote himself to the unification of the Korean peninsula, according to North Korea’s propaganda website Uriminzokkiri

7 JULY 2019

Nepal denies Tibetans’ request to hold Dalai Lama birthday celebration

The Tibetan community in Nepal called off plans to mark the birthday of their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama after their request for a public celebration was rejected over security concerns, a government official said on Sunday (July 7)

Hong Kong protesters flood West Kowloon train station in rally against controversial extradition Bill

Protesters on Sunday (Jul 7) amassed outside Hong Kong’s West Kowloon station, where high-speed trains depart for the Chinese mainland, as they try to turn up pressure on the city’s pro-Beijing leaders

6 JULY 2019

Sri Lanka president vetoes military deal with the US

Sri Lanka’s President Saturday (Jul 6) announced he will not allow his government to conclude a proposed military deal that would allow US troops free access to the island’s ports

ASEAN considering inviting North Korean foreign minister to its ‘plus-3’ meeting in Bangkok next month

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is considering inviting North Korea’s foreign minister as a special guest to an upcoming ASEAN-plus-three meeting of ministers and their counterparts from Japan, China and South Korea, ASEAN sources have said

5 JULY 2019

China, Bangladesh to bolster ties

China and Bangladesh should enhance cooperation in areas including trade, investment, energy, transport, telecommunication, infra­structure and agriculture, President Xi Jinping said on Friday

4 JULY 2019

Alek Sigley: Australian student released from North Korea

Early on Thursday morning, Australian man Alek Sigley — who had unexpectedly disappeared a week earlier in North Korea — was released from detention, landing safely in China—how-and-why-with-alek-sigley-release/11279572

Korea warns of retaliatory steps against Japan’s export curbs

South Korea on Thursday delivered a stern warning to Japan regarding restrictions on exports of high-tech materials to Korea, calling Japan’s decision a breach of international law and vowing “corresponding steps” if necessary

3 JULY 2019

Bangladesh Court Sentences 9 to Death for 1994 Attempt to Kill Hasina

A court sentenced nine BNP party members to death and handed life imprisonments to 25 others Wednesday after convicting them over a 1994 train attack aimed at killing Sheikh Hasina, leader of the rival Awami League who now rules Bangladesh, a prosecutor said

Rahul Gandhi quits as India opposition leader

In his resignation letter, which he tweeted on Wednesday he took responsibility for the party’s defeat in the recent general election

Malaysia’s Mahathir bans sea sand exports to Singapore, in major blow to city state’s expansion plans

Malaysia, Singapore’s biggest source for sea sand, has banned the export of the commodity, according to officials in Kuala Lumpur, a move that traders said could complicate the city state’s ambitious expansion plans on reclaimed land

2 JULY 2019

Turkey, China seek to expand economic ties despite political differences

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Beijing on Tuesday to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, as the two countries seek to build on budding economic and political ties at a time both are experiencing a low point in their relations with the United States

Sri Lanka police chief arrested over failure to prevent bombings

Sri Lankan police on Tuesday arrested their own chief and the former defence secretary for failing to prevent attacks on churches and luxury hotels that killed more than 250 people in April, a police spokesman said

Chinese navy tests new Z-20 helicopter for use on its warships

China’s navy is testing a ship-based model of the new Z-20 helicopter for its advanced destroyers, mainland media reported, as it seeks to boost the combat capability of its warships

Indonesia arrests alleged Jemaah Islamiah terrorist network leader Para Wijayanto

Indonesian police say they have arrested a man believed to be the leader of the Al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiah terror network who has eluded capture since 2003

1 JULY 2019

Hong Kong protesters storm parliament and graffiti the walls

Hundreds of protesters stormed Hong Kong’s parliament late on Monday, ransacking the building and spraying graffiti on the walls