Main news of the last weeks

MAIN NEWS OF THE LAST WEEKS IN ASIA

Much more news and analysis if you see by countries or by topics

20 FEBRUARY 2018

India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile

India says it has successfully tested a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads with a range of 2,000 kilometers
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/20/553017/India-test-fire
http://www.livemint.com/Science/b3k6C9rvy8dJcgw7C7YXgO/India-test-fires-medium-range-nuclear-capable-AgniII-missil.html

Malaysian artist Fahmi Reza jailed for mocking Prime Minister Najib Razak

Fahmi Reza’s picture of the premier wearing powder-white clown make-up, with evilly arched eyebrows went viral and the image was widely used in demonstrations against Najib
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43127199
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2133990/malaysian-artist-jailed-clown-face-caricature-pm-najib
https://www.nst.com.my/news/crime-courts/2018/02/337249/fahmi-reza-gets-jail-fined-rm30000-over-clown-caricature#cxrecs_s

19 FEBRUARY 2018

Philippines arrests suspected former leader of Daesh Takfiri

Philippine police have arrested a suspected former leader of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group during a raid on his apartment in the capital Manila
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/19/552901/Philippines-Daesh-leader-arrest
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2133859/philippine-forces-arrest-egyptian-ex-islamic-state
https://beta.philstar.com/headlines/2018/02/20/1789586/arrested-foreigner-tagged-recruiter

Vatican and China to sign agreement on bishop appointments in March

Delegation from Beijing expected to travel to Rome in March to finalise details, Italian newspaper reports
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2133854/china-and-vatican-close-deal-appointment-catholic
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3366999
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Underground-Catholic:-We-are-excluded-from-dialogue-between-China-and-the-Holy-See-43141.html

18 FEBRUARY 2018

China rolls out three-year plan to tackle poverty in Xinjiang

China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang is planning a poverty relief scheme targeting its 22 poorest counties, state-run Xinhua reported on Sunday
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2133730/china-rolls-out-three-year-plan-tackle-poverty-xinjiang
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/china-launches-anti-poverty-drive-restive-xinjiang-180218150517058.html

17 FEBRUARY 2018

Indonesia inks deal to buy 11 Sukhoi Su-35 jets from Russia

According to Indonesian Defense Ministry spokesman Totok Sugiharto on Saturday, the contract, worth a total of $1.14 billion, was finalized by representatives from both countries in Jakarta
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/18/552745/russia-indonesia-sukhoi-billion-dollar

Fire hits Jokhang temple, one of Tibet’s most sacred

A fire broke out Saturday at one of the most sacred sites for Tibetan Buddhism, Lhasa’s revered Jokhang temple, state media said, but no casualties were reported and the extent of the damage remained unclear
https://www.tibetsun.com/news/2018/02/18/fire-hits-jokhang-temple-one-of-tibets-most-sacred
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201802171061765206-buddhist-temple-fire-lhasa/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/18/jokhang-temple-fire-engulfs-ancient-heart-of-tibetan-buddhism

Iran, India finalize deal over control of Chabahar port

Iran has awarded a much-awaited agreement to India over the management of part of its strategic Chabahar port – a move that could enable India to dodge Pakistan and reach markets in Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/17/552691/Iran-India-finalize-deal-over-control-of-Chabahar-port
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-to-get-control-of-key-port-in-iran-for-18-months/articleshow/62963561.cms
http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/india-and-iran-ink-nine-pacts-including-dta-visa-liberalisation-118021700347_1.html

16 FEBRUARY 2018

Thai junta charges 50 anti-government activists

Thailand’s military government has filed criminal charges against 50 activists over a recent protest in which they demanded the army give up power and restore civilian rule through elections
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/02/16/thai-junta-charges-50-anti-government-activists.html
https://www.voanews.com/a/thailand-anti-government-activists-charges/4257516.html
http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2018/02/16/veteran-activists-targeted-prosecution-protests/

15 FEBRUARY 2018

N.Korea vows to promote nuclear program

North Korea has pledged to advance its nuclear and missile programs on the eve of the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un’s late father
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180216_01/

China slams Indian PM Modi’s trip to disputed region

Indian PM Narendra Modi paid a low-key visit to the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, but the trip was quickly criticised by China, which also claims the area
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/china-slams-indian-pm-modi-s-trip-to-disputed-region-15204
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/198/100/162/1518690304715.html

Jokowi cements ties with Indonesia military in political shift  

Standing before thousands of soldiers, Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto delivered a blunt message intended to resonate far beyond the army’s strategic command headquarters in East Java
http://www.todayonline.com/world/jokowi-cements-ties-indonesia-military-political-shift

Chinese Lawyers pen open letter in protest of professional persecution

Dozens of Chinese lawyers have signed an open letter calling on the ruling Chinese Communist Party to respect their professional rights and release all detained human rights lawyers immediately
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/chinese-lawyers-pen-open-letter-in-protest-of-professional-persecution-02152018094213.html

South China Sea, US Navy: ‘Seven new bases built by Beijing’

Beijing has unilaterally built seven new military bases in the South China Sea, Admiral Harry Harris, head of the United States Pacific Command, reported today
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/South-China-Sea,-US-Navy:-‘Seven-new-bases-built-by-Beijing’-43107.html

China-friendly communist K.P. Sharma Oli appointed Nepal’s new prime minister after landmark polls

Oli’s left-wing alliance is considered to be closer to China while outgoing leader Sher Bahadur Deuba is widely seen as being closer to India
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2133512/china-friendly-communist-kp-sharma-oli-appointed-nepals-new
http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2018-02-15/pm-kp-sharma-olis-oath-taking-ceremony-begins.html
http://nepalforeignaffairs.com/uml-chairman-oli-sworn-in-as-prime-minister/

14 FEBRUARY 2018

Singapore economy clocks faster-than-expected growth of 3.6% in 2017

The Singapore economy grew 3.6 per cent last year, faster than initial estimates of 3.5 per cent, according to data released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday (Feb 14)
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-economy-clocks-faster-than-expected-growth-of-3-6-in-9958302

Taliban publish letter calling on US to start Afghan peace talks

In an unexpected overture at a time of increasing bloodshed in Afghanistan, the Taliban have published an open letter expressing a desire for peace talks and calling on the “American people” and “peace-loving congressmen” to pressurise the Donald Trump administration into negotiations
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/14/taliban-publish-letter-calling-us-start-afghan-peace-talks
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/13/552224/Afghanistan-government-Taliban-secret-talks-AP

Winter Olympics 2018: South Korea to pay for North’s delegation

South Korea has approved a record budget of more than two and a half million dollars to bankroll the hosting of hundreds of North Koreans during the Winter Olympics
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/14/552312/South-Korea-fund-hosting-North-Korea-Olympics
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43054453

13 FEBRUARY 2018

Disgraced ex-South Korean leader Park’s secret confidante Choi Soon-sil jailed for 20 years

The secret confidante of ousted South Korean president Park Geun-hye was convicted on Tuesday and jailed for 20 years for her key role in the scandal that brought down the head of state
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2133191/ex-south-korean-leaders-confident-choi-soon-sil-jailed-20-years
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=214040
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/korea-choi-soon-sil-jailed-20-years-corruption-180213140807619.html

Pakistan bans UN-listed Mumbai attacks suspects

Pakistan has quietly amended its anti-terror laws to ban those listed as terrorists by the United Nations, a move which paves the way for Islamabad to proceed against suspected masterminds of the 2008 Mumbai attacks
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/pakistan-bans-un-listed-mumbai-attacks-suspects-1.2173027
https://nation.com.pk/13-Feb-2018/government-bans-jamat-ud-dawa-head-hafiz-saeed

Myanmar signs ceasefire with two rebel groups amid decades of conflict

Two ethnic armed groups in Myanmar signed a ceasefire with the government on Tuesday, as leader Aung San Suu Kyi seeks to revive a stuttering peace process to end decades of conflict
http://www.radio.gov.pk/13-02-2018/myanmar-signs-ceasefire-with-two-rebel-groups-amid-decades-of-conflict
https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/nmsp-ldu-formally-sign-nationwide-ceasefire-agreement
https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/analysis-win-peace-commission-mon-lahu-groups-sign-nca.html
http://www.mizzima.com/news-domestic/anc-not-certain-sign-nca-says-nai-han-thar

11 FEBRUARY 2018

Pakistani rights activist Asma Jahangir dies at 66

The family of respected Pakistani rights advocate Asma Jahangir has confirmed her death from cardiac arrest. She had recently won Sweden’s alternative Nobel Prize for her work defending and promoting human rights
http://www.dw.com/en/pakistani-rights-activist-asma-jahangir-dies-at-66/a-42536180
https://thewire.in/223099/asma-jahangir-lawyer-activist-and-a-brave-fighter/
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1632167/1-asma-jahangir-passes-away-lahore/

Sri Lanka coalition suffers humiliation at local vote

The party of former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse is on track for a shock landslide victory amid disarray in the ranks of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ruling alliance
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/sri-lanka-coalition-suffers-humiliation-at-local-vote-15071
http://www.economynext.com/Sri_Lanka%E2%80%99s_ruling_coalition_in_deep_crisis_after_shock_defeat-3-9839-10.html
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/sri-lanka-opposition-calls-government-resignation-180211182754969.html

British Foreign secretary Boris Johnson pushes Aung San Suu Kyi on Rohingya refugees

Boris Johnson has told Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi the UN refugee agency must be allowed to supervise the return of Rohingya refugees, saying it was clear many were terrified to return home
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/11/boris-johnson-pushes-aung-san-suu-kyi-on-rohingya-refugees
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/11/552033/UK-Myanmar-Rohingya
http://www.euronews.com/2018/02/11/boris-johnson-and-aung-san-suu-kyi-discuss-rohingya-crisis

10 FEBRUARY 2018

Modi becomes first Indian PM to visit the occupied West Bank

Narendra Modi on Saturday became the first Indian prime minister to visit the occupied West Bank, where he held talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as part of a Middle East tour
http://www.scmp.com/news/world/middle-east/article/2132872/modi-becomes-first-indian-pm-visit-occupied-west-bank
http://www.euronews.com/2018/02/10/india-s-modi-on-historic-west-bank-visit
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-pm-modi-hopes-to-see-independent-palestine-soon-prez-mahmoud-abbas-says-we-rely-on-india-s-role-for-peace-2583304

Indian PM Narendra Modi arrives in Abu Dhabi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi for a two-day official visit on Saturday evening
http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/government/indian-pm-narendra-modi-arrives-in-abu-dhabi-1.2171265
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-pm-modi-arrives-in-abu-dhabi-received-by-crown-prince-members-of-the-royal-family-2583355

N.Korean leader invites S.Korea’s Moon to the North

A rare invitation to Pyongyang for the South Korean president marked Day Two of the North Korean Kim dynasty’s southern road tour Saturday, part of a new and accelerated diplomatic warming between the two countries
http://www.france24.com/en/20180210-nkorean-leader-invites-skoreas-moon-north-says-skorea
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43014269
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/kim-jong-un-invites-south-korea-s-president-moon-to-pyongyang-9947748

Ishimure, key figure in Minamata battle, dies at 90

Japanese activist Michiko Ishimure, who won acclaim for her literary works about Minamata mercury poisoning disease patients, died of complications from Parkinson’s disease here Feb. 10. She was 90
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201802100053.html
http://apjjf.org/2016/13/Thornber.html

9 FEBRUARY 2018

Winter Olympics in South Korea kicks off with colourful opening ceremony of fire and ice

The Winter Olympics sparks to life in a vivid, colourful ceremony of fire and ice in South Korea, and the diplomacy is just as choreographed in the stadium where leaders from nations that are sworn enemies sat close together
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-02-09/winter-olympics-in-south-korea-kicks-off-with-colourful-opening-ceremony-of-fire-and-ice/1735116
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/sports/2018/02/702_243916.html
https://www.newsday.com/sports/olympics/winter-olympics-opening-ceremony-pyeongchang-1.16656904
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHyg0KcpDWw

8 FEBRUARY 2018

Violent protests as opposition leader Khaleda Zia is jailed in Bangladesh

A judge in Bangladesh has convicted the opposition leader Khaleda Zia of corruption and sentenced her to five years in jail as police clashed with thousands of her supporters outside the court
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/08/violent-protests-opposition-leader-jailed-bangladesh-khaleda-zia
http://www.atimes.com/article/former-bangladesh-pm-khaleda-zia-found-guilty-graft-case/
https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2018/02/08/live-eyes-on-khaleda-verdict

ICC examining complaint against Duterte over drug war deaths

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has informed the Philippines that it has begun a preliminary examination of a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte that accuses him of crimes against humanity, his spokesman said on Thursday
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/icc-examining-complaint-against-duterte-over-drug-war-deaths-14980
http://www.manilatimes.net/icc-begins-probe-war-drugs/379107/
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/02/duterte-ready-personally-defend-international-criminal-court/#PvV2UvZ2UMgArDeq.97

China dismisses accusations that it is ‘buying up the Maldives’

China dismissed accusations from the former leader of the Maldives that it is attempting to effectively buy up the Indian Ocean island state, while the Maldives government said on Thursday it is sending envoys to three countries to explain its ongoing political crisis
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2132626/china-dismisses-accusations-it-buying-maldives
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/maldives-embattled-president-abdulla-yameen-sends-envoys-to-china-saudi-for-support

7 FEBRUARY 2018

Philippines President Duterte slams European Union as ‘stupid’, refuses summit invite after criticism of bloody drug war

President Rodrigo Duterte has angrily turned down an invitation to an Asia-Europe summit in Brussels as he again lashed out at the EU and accused the bloc of insulting him over his deadly war on drugs
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2132426/philippines-president-duterte-slams-europoean-union-stupid

Abe, Pence confirm pressure on N. Korea

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence confirmed on Wednesday that their two countries will continue to apply “maximum pressure” on North Korea, in cooperation with South Korea, to foil Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004230644
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180207_38/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/07/mike-pence-announces-toughest-sanctions-ever-north-korea-vows/

6 FEBRUARY 2018

Three Hong Kong protest leaders’ jail terms quashed on appeal

Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal on Tuesday revoked the prison sentences handed down to three former student activists for their role in the city’s 2014 pro-democracy movement, but warned that protesters may now expect harsher sentences in future
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/three-hong-kong-protest-leaders-jail-terms-quashed-on-appeal-02062018100830.html
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/2132248/hong-kong-democracy-activist-joshua-wong-wins-appea

Vietnamese activist Hoang Duc Binh jailed for 14 years for live-streaming protest against steel plant’s pollution

A court in central Vietnam sentenced an activist to 14 years in jail on Tuesday for live-streaming fishermen marching to file a lawsuit against a Taiwan-owned steel plant’s spill of toxins into the ocean
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2132288/vietnamese-activist-jailed-14-years-live-streaming-protest
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Blogger-Ho%C3%A0ng-%C4%90%E1%BB%A9c-Binh-sentenced-to-14-years-in-prison-43030.html

China says publisher Gui Minhai held under criminal law, amid protests from Sweden

China acknowledged Tuesday that Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai was in custody under criminal law, brushing aside Stockholm’s protests after he was seized under the eyes of Swedish diplomats last month
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/02/06/china-says-publisher-gui-minhai-held-criminal-law-amid-protests-sweden/
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/china-confirms-arrest-bookseller-gui-minhai-180206090723234.html

Indonesian terrorist gets 10 years’ jail for buying guns in Philippines

An Indonesian court has sentenced hardened terrorist Suryadi Mas’ud to 10 years in jail for procuring firearms in the Philippines and for his involvement in funding terrorism
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/veteran-indonesian-terrorist-gets-10-years-jail-for-buying-guns-in-philippines

As the Political Game of Chess Continues in Maldives, India Still Stuck in Decision-Making Mode

Even as the Indian government issued its first public statement on Tuesday condemning the island nation’s government for declaring a state of emergency, it has yet to decide what role it will play in the ongoing Maldives crisis
https://thewire.in/221711/political-game-chess-continues-maldives-india-still-stuck-decision-making-mode/
https://www.oneindia.com/india/maldives-crisis-india-keep-troops-ready-2636239.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/06/maldives-opposition-pleads-india-send-troops-countrys-president/

5 FEBRUARY 2018

Maldives President Yameen declares 15-day state of emergency

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Monday declared a 15-day state of emergency, his aide Azima Shukoor announced, deepening the political crisis in the Indian Ocean nation
http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-maldives-president-yameen-declares-15-day-state-of-emergency-2581739
https://www.oneindia.com/international/president-abdulla-yameen-declares-15-days-state-of-emergency-in-maldives-2635337.html

Pakistan’s PM urges politicians to continue support for struggle of Kashmiri people

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in an address to the Legislative Assembly of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Kashmir Day, urged politicians to continue supporting the struggle of people across the border in Jammu and Kashmir
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/pm-urges-politicians-to-continue-support-for-struggle-of-kashmiri-people-1.2168916
http://www.radio.gov.pk/05-02-2018/people-of-indian-occupied-kashmir-never-have-nor-will-accept-indian-occupation-president
https://www.dawn.com/news/1387465/this-kashmir-day-who-will-stand-up-for-azad-kashmiris

North Korea sends Winter Olympics propaganda posters featuring mascots to Seoul

Propaganda leaflets from North Korea marking the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics have been found in the mountains in the South Korean capital, Seoul
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-05/north-korea-sends-propaganda-fliers-to-seoul/9397842?section=world

Japan’s Abe reiterates pledge to transfer U.S. base in Okinawa

In Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, a candidate backed by the ruling coalition won the Feb. 4 mayoral election here, as voters choose local economic revitalization measures over anti-U.S. military base sentiment
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201802050024.html
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-02/05/c_136950991.htm

China prohibits export of more dual-use goods to North Korea

China has released yet another list of commodities prohibited from export to North Korea, saying the items could likely be used to develop weapons of mass destruction, amid a persisting standoff between the North and the US over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/05/551370/China-N-Korea-list-banned-goods-UN-sanctions-US-nuclear
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2132139/china-bans-exports-more-dual-use-goods-north-korea

Philippines on China military build-up: No war option

The Philippines has declared that war is not an option in resolving its dispute with China, which was found to have continued its military build-up in disputed South China Sea areas, declared by a UN arbitration court to belong to Manila
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/philippines-china-military-build-war-option-180205080825411.html#
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/163814/palace-duterte-roque-south-china-sea-militarization-disputed-sea-island-military-reef
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/02/06/1785089/palace-downplays-chinas-almost-done-militarization-south-china-sea

4 FEBRUARY 2018

German spy chief: Pyongyang procures missile parts via Berlin embassy

Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency has said that North Korea has been purchasing parts for its missile program via its embassy in Berlin
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/03/551183/north-korea-germany-missile
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42935761

3 FEBRUARY 2018

UN reports says North Korea earned $200M from banned exports

North Korea « continued to export almost all the commodities prohibited in the resolutions, generating nearly $200 million in revenue between January and September 2017, » said the report by the experts
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/un-reports-says-north-korea-earned-200m-from-banned-exports-14835
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/north-korea-earned-us-200-million-from-banned-exports-sends-arms-9923290
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=213643

Maldives shuts parliament, resists order to free political prisoners

Maldivian authorities announced an indefinite postponement of parliament as President Abdulla Yameen’s regime resisted international pressure to comply with a landmark Supreme Court order to free political prisoners
http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2018/feb/03/maldives-shuts-parliament-resists-order-to-free-political-prisoners-1767806.html
http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-maldives-president-fires-2nd-police-chief-in-3-days-2581153
http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2018/feb/03/maldives-president-yameen-abdul-gayoom-not-attempting-to-flee-country-spokesperson-1767835.html

2 FEBRUARY 2018

Maldives court orders release and retrial of ex-president Mohamed Nasheed

The Maldives Supreme Court has ordered the release and a new trial for former president Mohamed Nasheed. The ruling could allow Nasheed to challenge current President Yameen Abdul Gayoom in this year’s election
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/maldives-court-throws-case-mohamed-nasheed-180201154603414.html
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/maldives-overturned-conviction-former-president-must-mark-turning-point
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/02/maldives-regime-threatened-exiled-leader-says-will-run-president/

China in talks to help build base in Afghanistan’

China has been in talks with neighboring Afghanistan to help build a military base there, amid concerns about militants slipping into Chinese territory from the war-torn country, Afghan officials say
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/02/550987/China-Afghanistan-military-base-Wakhan-Corridor

Cambodia criminalises criticism of king

Cambodia’s government on Friday approved the country’s first lese majeste law handing a five year sentence to anyone found guilty of insulting the king, a move rights groups fear will be used to target dissent
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2131761/cambodia-criminalises-criticism-king-lese-majeste-law
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/cambodia-criminalises-criticism-of-king

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves China with over 7 billion euros of trade deals

Her visit has yielded new trade deals worth seven and half billion dollars to Britain which is trying to reinvent itself as a global trading nation after a 2016 referendum decision to leave the European Union
http://www.euronews.com/2018/02/02/british-prime-minister-theresa-may-leaves-china-with-over-7-billion-euros-of-trade-deals
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180202_09/

1 FEBRUARY 2018

India unveils ‘world’s largest’ public healthcare scheme

India has announced an ambitious health insurance scheme, which is designed to be a safety net for millions of people who struggle to afford medical care
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42899402

Bangladesh’s new digital security law alarms journalists

Bangladesh’s government has approved the draft of a contentious digital security law aimed at tackling digital crimes. But journalists fear the proposed law could be used to muzzle freedom of expression in the country
http://www.dw.com/en/bangladeshs-new-digital-security-law-alarms-journalists/a-42377844

Opposition leader Kem Sokha denied bail after rare Cambodia court appearance

Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha was denied bail by the Appeal Court on Thursday (Feb 1), after being allowed to leave jail for the first time since being held in September
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/opposition-leader-kem-sokha-denied-bail-after-rare-cambodia-9916512
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2131622/jailed-cambodian-opposition-leader-kem-sokhas-bail-denied

Joshua Wong and other Occupy leaders nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by US congressmen

A US congressional group known for its criticism of China has nominated Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung and two allies who led the 2014 Occupy protests for the Nobel Peace Prize, in a highly controversial move likely to anger Beijing
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2131544/joshua-wong-and-other-occupy-leaders-nominated-nobel-peace
https://newpaper24.com/joshua-wong-and-other-occupy-leaders-nominated-for-nobel-peace-prize-by-us-congressmen-newpaper24/

Philippine security forces capture top Maoist guerilla leader following the failure of peace talks

Philippine security forces arrested the head of the Communist movement’s armed wing following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to target guerilla leaders after peace talks collapsed, police and human rights lawyers said on Thursday
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2131506/philippine-security-forces-capture-top-maoist-guerilla
http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/02/01/18/baylosis-undergoes-inquest-after-arrest-in-qc
http://www.manilatimes.net/ndf-consultant-peace-talks-govt-arrested/377677/

31 JANUARY 2018

India slips to 42nd place on EIU Democracy Index; US at 21st

India has slipped to 42nd place on an annual Global Democracy Index amid “rise of conservative religious ideologies” and increase in vigilantism and violence against minorities as well as other dissenting voices
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/SBf9tTUhoG29zuJ3rKrqoO/India-slips-to-42nd-place-on-EIU-Democracy-Index-US-at-21st.html
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/india/india-slips-to-42nd-place-on-eiu-democracy-index-us-at-21st-1.2166402

Malaysia rejects proposal by Philippine government committee to claim Sabah as ’13th federal state’

Malaysia on Wednesday (Jan 31) rejected a proposal by a member of a Filipino government committee to amend the Philippine Constitution to include Sabah as the « 13th federal state » of the Philippines
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/malaysia-rejects-proposal-by-philippine-government-committee-to-9913514
https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/01/330566/malaysia-will-not-budge-sabah-claim-philippines#cxrecs_s
https://www.rappler.com/nation/194962-malaysia-sabah-philippines-state-charter-change

30 JANUARY 2018

Pope looks into China bishop reshuffle

Pope Francis has promised to examine the case of two recognized Chinese bishops who were asked by the Holy See to step down and make way for illicit ones
https://international.la-croix.com/news/pope-looks-into-china-bishop-reshuffle/6830?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=e-mail&utm_content=30-01-2018&utm_campaign=newsletter__crx_lci&PMID=9756cdd3097436f90d2825640460ab99
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Card.-Zen-on-the-bishops-of-Shantou-and-Mindong-42951.html

South Korean ambassador to Singapore dismissed

South Korea’s ambassador to Singapore Lee Sang-deok has been dismissed from his post, the Korea Times reported on Jan 30
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/south-korean-ambassador-to-singapore-dismissed-report-9911316
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/01/356_243310.html

UN warns sanctions starving North Korea children to death

The United Nations Children’s Fund has warned that hundreds of thousands of children could starve as a result of sanctions on North Korea. UNICEF said the inability of humanitarian staff to deliver aid there had put many children in lethal malnutrition condition
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/01/30/550718/North-Korea-sanctions-starvation

Thai student activist flees to avoid lese majeste charge

A student activist has become the latest political dissident to flee Thailand, explaining on her Facebook page that she made a snap decision to leave after learning she had been charged with insulting the monarchy because she shared a BBC article about the country’s new king
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2131119/thai-student-activist-flees-avoid-lese-majeste-charge

29 JANUARY 2018

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte suspends anti-graft official after bank records ‘leak’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday punished an anti-graft prosecutor suspected of leaking his bank records after an opposition politician had accused Duterte of corruption
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2131061/philippines-president-rodrigo-duterte-suspends-anti-graft
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/01/30/1782688/palace-suspends-deputy-ombudsman-melchor-arthur-carandang
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/641373/suspension-of-deputy-ombudsman-an-impeachable-offense-says-trillanes/story/

Chinese rights lawyer Yu Wensheng charged with ‘subversion’

Prominent legal activist Yu Wensheng has been charged with « inciting subversion of state power, » according to his lawyer. Yu was detained at his apartment two weeks ago after calling for democratic reforms in China
http://www.dw.com/en/chinese-rights-lawyer-yu-wensheng-charged-with-subversion/a-42351556
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/01/29/chinese-lawyer-yu-wensheng-held-secret-location-subversion-charges-urging-constitutional-reform/

North Korea has cancelled joint cultural performance with South Korea ahead of Winter Olympics

North Korea has cancelled a joint cultural performance with South Korea, accusing southern media of encouraging “insulting” public sentiment towards the North, South Korea’s unification ministry said
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-south-joint-ceremony-pyeongchang-2018-winter-olympics-unification-ministry-a8183656.html
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3043985
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/01/29/550600/North-Korea-South-Korea-Winter-Olympics-

Opposition seeks to oust Maldives leader

Opposition leaders in the Maldives, including two former heads of state, have asked the Supreme Court to remove the President and investigate corruption allegations against him
http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/opposition-seeks-to-oust-maldives-leader/article22577607.ece?homepage=true
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/236/178/181/1517210462129.html

28 JANUARY 2018

Japan, China agree to resume leaders’ visits

Japan and China agreed Sunday to resume reciprocal visits by the two countries’ leaders, underscoring that Asia’s two biggest economies are eager to mend ties in the year marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of a bilateral friendship treaty
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/update1-japan’s-kono-proposes-to-china-resuming-leaders’-visits
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/137/12/161/1517133146493.html
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/japan/japan-calls-on-china-to-up-north-korea-cooperation-1.2164058

27 JANUARY 2018

Kabul suicide attack: At least 95 killed by ambulance bomb claimed by Taliban

An ambulance packed with explosives blew up in a crowded area of Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 others, a health ministry official said, in an attack claimed by the Taliban
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/at-least-95-killed-158-wounded-in-kabul-car-bombing-14650
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42843897

Hong Kong government bans legislative election hopeful Agnes Chow from running as she ‘advocated self-determination’

Agnes Chow, 21, a former leader of the mass Umbrella Movement protests of 2014 that called for political reform, had her nomination rejected because she supports self-determination for the semi-autonomous city, the government said
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/china/leading-hong-kong-democracy-activist-banned-from-vote-1.2163732
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/01/27/breaking-hong-kong-govt-bans-legislative-election-hopeful-running-advocated-self-determination/
http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1377608-20180127.htm

Japan, France reaffirm closer defense cooperation

The Japanese and French defense ministers reaffirmed closer defense cooperation in a meeting Saturday after agreeing the previous day to hold the countries’ first joint maritime defense exercises next month
https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Japan-France-reaffirm-closer-defense-cooperation
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180127_15/
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201801250039.html

26 JANUARY 2018

East Timor president calls for new election amid political impasse

East Timor President Francisco « Lu Olo » Guterres said on Friday he would dissolve parliament and call new elections in a bid to end a prolonged political impasse in the tiny country since polls last year
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/east-timor-president-calls-for-new-election-amid-political-impasse-14621
http://www.smh.com.au/world/east-timor-dissolves-parliament-in-effort-to-solve-political-standoff-20180126-p4yyx3.html

Kim Jong-un’s young sister elevated to powerful position controlling North Korea state security

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may have put his younger sister Kim Yo-jong in charge of the pariah nation’s powerful state security apparatus, it has emerged
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/26/kim-jong-uns-young-sister-elevated-powerful-position-controlling/
http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2018/01/25/2018012501295.html

Thailand: Election delay inevitable as NLA passes MPs bill

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) late on Thursday passed the MPs election bill with a clause that delays it coming into effect for 90 days after its promulgation
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30337200

Ma Zhaoxu: China’s next man at the UN

Former foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu will become China’s ambassador to the United Nations headquarters in New York, one of the country’s most prestigious overseas posts, according to diplomatic sources
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/world/2018/01/672_242839.html

First F-35 stealth fighter arrives at Misawa base

An F-35 stealth fighter has arrived at an airbase in Misawa in Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan. It is the first of 10 F-35s that will be deployed at the base
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180126_21/
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2130703/japan-deploys-first-f-35a-stealth-fighter-mission-keep-tabs

25 JANUARY 2018

U.S. and Russia wage new arms race to counter China as Mattis seeks influence in Southeast Asia

There are two parts of Defense Secretary James Mattis’s trip to the Far East this week to woo countries away from Russia and China: charm and arms
http://www.newsweek.com/russia-china-and-us-are-fighting-over-southeast-asia-again-time-using-arms-790276?piano_t=1

Rohingya crisis: US diplomat quits Myanmar panel over Aung San Suu Kyi ‘whitewashing’

Bill Richardson, an old friend of Myanmar’s leader, has said he will not be a « cheerleader » for her government. Myanmar has hit back at what it called a « personal attack » on Aung San Suu Kyi
http://www.dw.com/en/rohingya-crisis-us-diplomat-quits-myanmar-panel-over-aung-san-suu-kyi-whitewashing/a-42300103
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42810776

US to send aircraft carrier to Vietnam as ties between old foes deepen in response to rising threat of China

In a post-war first, the United States will send an aircraft carrier to Vietnam, Hanoi’s defence ministry said on Thursday, a major demonstration of deepening military ties between the former enemies more than four decades after the Vietnam war
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/diplomacy/article/2130581/us-send-aircraft-carrier-vietnam-ties-between-old-foes-deepen
http://blog.vietnam-aujourdhui.info/post/2018/01/25/Russia-Vietnam-military-ties-in-the-spotlight-with-defense-minister%E2%80%99s-visit

ASEAN, India leaders vow to push forward economic partnership

India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders vowed Thursday to push forward the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP)
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/26/c_136924999.htm
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-calls-for-greater-economic-integration-asean-india-9896476
http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/india-shares-asean-vision-for-rule-based-societies-values-of-peace-modi-118012501757_1.html

24 JANUARY 2018

Afghanistan attack: Save the Children suspends programmes

The UK charity Save the Children has temporarily suspended its programmes in Afghanistan after an attack on its offices in the city of Jalalabad
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42808342
http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/24/bomb-blast-near-save-the-children-office-in-afghanistan

India: Rampage in Ahmedabad against controversial film

Hundreds of protesters went on a rampage vandalising malls and torching vehicles in the Indian city of Ahmedabad in a bid to stop the release of a controversial Bollywood film
https://www.trtworld.com/art-culture/right-wing-groups-in-india-step-up-violence-ahead-of-padmaavat-release-14569
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/padmaavaat-protest-mob-vandalises-malls-torch-vehicles-in-ahmedabad/article22500633.ece?homepage=true
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2130408/bollywood-epic-padmavati-about-14th-century-hindu-queen-has

China Will Surprise World With Reforms in 2018, Xi Adviser Says

China will introduce more reform measures to open up its economy this year, according to Liu He, the top financial and economic adviser to President Xi Jinping
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-24/china-will-surprise-world-with-reforms-in-2018-xi-adviser-says
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/china-s-economic-mastermind-pledges-more-reform-at-davos-9892514

23 JANUARY 2018

Major investments planned, says PM Lee as Singapore signs FTA with Sri Lanka

While Sri Lanka is in the process of negotiating free trade agreements (FTA) with several partners, Singapore is the first to complete one with them and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he is “very glad” that negotiations went smoothly
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/major-investments-planned-says-pm-lee-as-singapore-signs-fta-9888114
http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/spore-and-sri-lanka-sign-fta-facilitate-greater-trade-flows
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-and-sri-lanka-sign-free-trade-agreement-9886990

Taiwan president says does not exclude possibility of China attack

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said that she does not exclude the possibility of China attacking the self-ruled island, amid heightened tensions between the two sides including an increasing number of Chinese military drills near Taiwan
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/taiwan-president-says-does-not-exclude-possibility-of-china-attack-9887256
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3347886
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2130196/taiwans-president-says-she-does-not-rule-out-chance

North Korea to change military founding day to Feb. 8

North Korea says it will change the founding anniversary of its military to February 8th, the day before the PyeongChang Winter Olympics open in South Korea
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3043713
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2130151/north-korea-plans-military-parade-eve-winter-olympics
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180123_18/

DPRK accuses S. Korea of torching national flag, leader’s photo

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday accused South Korean conservative forces of torching the DPRK flag and a photograph of its top leader Kim Jong Un
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/23/c_136918298.htm
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/01/103_242930.html

22 JANUARY 2018

Exiled Maldives leader says Chinese deals on islands are ‘land grabs’

Exiled Maldives opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed on Monday accused China of seizing land in the politically-troubled Indian Ocean archipelago and undermining its sovereignty
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2130055/exiled-maldives-leader-says-chinese-deals-islands-are-land

Bangladesh announces delay in refugee return

The repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled violence in Myanmar will not begin as planned, Bangladesh said Monday, with authorities admitting « a lot of preparation » was still needed
https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/bangladesh-announces-delay-in-refugee-return
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/01/rohingya-repatriation-delayed-burma/#Qe0Lvp6iA867iXxU.97

Vietnam jails most senior Communist Party official in decades

Former Politburo member Dinh La Thang was found guilty of economic mismanagement over losses in state oil firm PetroVietnam
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42770847
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180123_06/

Bomb in Thailand’s southern province kills 3, wounds at least 18 says security official

A bomb has gone off in a market in Thailand’s southern Yala province on Monday (January 22), killing 3 people and injuring 18 said a spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC)
http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/22/bomb-in-thailand-s-southern-province-kills-3-wounds-at-least-18-says-security-official
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201801221060950574-thailand-market-blast/

Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai ‘snatched’ by mainland Chinese authorities from train to Beijing

Hong Kong-based publisher Gui Minhai, one of the Causeway Bay booksellers whose disappearance two years ago caused an international storm, was snatched again by mainland Chinese authorities from a train heading for Beijing over the weekend, his daughter reported on Monday
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/article/2130085/hong-kong-bookseller-gui-minhai-snatched-mainland-chinese
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking-news.php?id=101888&sid=4
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/22/swedish-bookseller-allegedly-snatched-by-chinese-agents-from-train-gui-minhai

21 JANUARY 2018

Kabul attack: 14 foreign nationals and four Afghans dead after Taliban assault on Intercontinental Hotel

18 people have been killed in an attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan. Gunmen, who were reportedly wearing suicide vests, entered the hotel on Saturday evening and began shooting before taking a number of staff and guests hostage. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack
http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/21/afghan-armed-forces-end-deadly-siege
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42766623
https://www.khaama.com/taliban-finally-claims-kabul-hotel-attack-as-all-5-assailants-killed-04309

20 JANUARY 2018

Winter Olympics 2018: North Korea will send 22 athletes to Pyeongchang

North Korea will send 22 athletes to compete in three sports at the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February
http://www.bbc.com/sport/winter-olympics/42759924
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=213075
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-21/north-korea-to-send-22-athletes-to-winter-olympics/9346166?section=world

South China Sea: China accuses US warship of ‘violating its sovereignty’

China’s foreign ministry has accused a US warship of entering its territorial waters without permission and said it would take « necessary measures » to ensure its sovereignty was protected
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-20/south-china-sea:-china-accuses-us-ship-of-violating-sovereignty/9346108?section=world
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/32/195/114/1516440160804.html

Beijing hits back at US defence strategy and ‘cold war mindset’

Beijing and Moscow have criticised the US military’s move to put countering China and Russia at the centre of its latest national defence strategy, with China again hitting back at America’s “cold war and zero-sum game mindset”
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2129828/beijing-hits-back-us-defence-strategy-and-cold-war

19 JANUARY 2018

Pakistan closes U.S.-funded radio station, citing ‘hostile’ agenda

Pakistani authorities on Friday closed the offices of a U.S. government-funded radio station whose broadcasts it said were “against the interests of Pakistan,” dealing another blow to relations with the United States
http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-pakistan-us-radio-20180119-story.html
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201801201060902834-pakistan-closes-us-funded-radio-station/
http://www.arabnews.com/node/1229411/world

China’s birth rate drops despite end of one-child policy

China’s family planning commission has revealed the country’s birth rate dropped by 3.5 per cent last year, despite moves over the past couple of years to fully end the one-child policy
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-19/chinas-birth-rate-drops-despite-end-of-one-child-policy/9344634?section=world
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/23/chinas-birth-rate-soars-after-relaxation-of-one-child-policy

Taiwan stymies 176 new China flights for lunar new year amid route row

Taiwan’s aviation regulator has stalled applications for new flights from China Eastern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines amid a row between Beijing and the self-ruled island over air routes, a regulatory official said on Friday
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-taiwan-flights/taiwan-stymies-new-china-flights-amid-route-row-official-says-idUSKBN1F80Q4
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3344767
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/acs/201801180023.aspx

18 JANUARY 2018

India tests-fires Agni-V, nuclear-capable most advanced ICBM

The nuclear-capable Agni-V is believed to be India’s most advanced ICBM. It was fired Thursday morning India time from Abdul Kalam island off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha, the ministry said in a tweet
http://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/18/asia/india-icbm-tests/index.html
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/01/18/549359/India-Agni5-nuclearcapable-ICBM-Pakistan-China

Japan, Australia push for defence pact amid regional tension

Tokyo and Canberra are taking steps to reinforce their security arrangements, with both governments concerned about an unstable and nuclear-armed North Korea and an assertive China
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/japan-australia-push-for-defence-pact-amid-regional-tension-14362
http://www.dw.com/en/japan-australia-eye-deeper-defense-alliance/a-42198311

17 JANUARY 2018

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong jailed over 2014 pro-democracy protest

A court in Hong Kong has sentenced Joshua Wong to three months in prison for playing a « leading role » in pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014. It’s the second time the 21-year-old has been jailed
http://www.dw.com/en/hong-kong-activist-joshua-wong-jailed-over-2014-pro-democracy-protest/a-42174045
http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1375617-20180117.htm
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/01/joshua-wong-jailed-hong-kong/#9J47cfUEcv16iwZ5.97

Two Koreas agree to march together at Winter Olympics opening

The two Koreas agreed on Wednesday (Jan 17) to march together under a single flag at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony and field a united women’s ice hockey team for the Games in a further sign of easing tensions on the peninsula
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/two-koreas-agree-to-march-together-at-winter-olympics-opening-9870332
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/01/356_242637.html
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/koreas-to-form-first-joint-olympic-team-march-under-single-flag-14331

Seven ethnic Rakhine Buddhists killed as Myanmar police fire on riot

Myanmar police opened fire on a crowd of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists as they tried to seize a government office, in unrest that left seven dead in a state already scored by violence and bitter divisions
http://www.mizzima.com/news-domestic/seven-ethnic-rakhine-killed-myanmar-police-fire-riot
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/rohingya/myanmar-police-shoot-dead-seven-protesters-in-troubled-rakhine-1.2158943

China’s aircraft carrier sails by Taiwan as tensions grow

China’s sole operational aircraft carrier passed through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday (Jan 17), the island’s Defence Ministry said, as Beijing steps up pressure on its democratic rival
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/chinas-aircraft-carrier-sails-by-taiwan-as-tensions-grow
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/acs/201801170022.aspx

16 JANUARY 2018

China rights lawyer Yu Wensheng loses licence

A senior Chinese human rights lawyer and activist, Yu Wensheng, said he has had his licence to practice law revoked, three months after he wrote an open letter criticising President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/asia-pacific/chinese-rights-lawyer-yu-wensheng-says-legal-licence-revoked-1.3357854
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-42702731

China says foreign direct investment up 7.9% in 2017

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland posted steady growth in 2017, through further opening-up and improved structure of foreign investment
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/31/64/228/1516113060640.html

Philippine news Rappler website’s licence revoked after Duterte threat

The Philippine government has revoked the operating license of leading news website Rappler, in a ruling denounced by President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics as the latest blow to press freedom
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/philippine-news-websites-licence-revoked-after-duterte-threat
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/philippine-government-seeks-close-rappler-website-180115084959311.html
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2128513/direct-assault-freedom-press-philippine-government-presses

Bangladesh, Myanmar agree on Rohingya repatriation plan in two-year period

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to repatriate the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled a recent army crackdown in Myanmar within a period of two years
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/01/16/549097/Bangladesh-Myanmar-Rohingya-Muslims-repatriate-two-years
http://www.france24.com/en/20180116-myanmar-rohingya-bangladesh-deal-agrees-complete-rohingya-return-two-years
http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/16/-major-challenges-face-repatriation-of-rohingya-muslims

Singapore, Malaysia ink bilateral agreement to build Rapid Transit System Link by 2024

Singapore and Malaysia have inked a legally binding bilateral agreement to build a cross-border MRT line that will let commuters travel seamlessly between Woodlands North and Johor Baru
http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-malaysia-ink-bilateral-agreement-to-build-rts-link-by-2024
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-malaysia-sign-bilateral-agreement-on-jb-singapore-9864584

14 JANUARY 2018

Sam Rainsy and exiled Cambodian opposition leaders set up new political movement

Foreign-based members of Cambodia’s dissolved opposition party have launched a movement to demand the release of its detained leader, call for free and fair elections and possibly start protests
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-01-14/sam-rainsy-and-exiled-cambodian-opposition-leaders-set-up-new-political-movement/1729068

Benjamin Netanyahu begins landmark tour, calls India a global power

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on Sunday on a landmark visit to India that will see emphasis given to forging technology and innovation partnerships to elevate ties as the two countries mark 25 years of diplomatic relations
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/WtBEZkXlxxl5i5HhKKXKnM/Narendra-Modi-receives-Israel-PM-Benjamin-Netanyahu-at-airpo.html
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/WtBEZkXlxxl5i5HhKKXKnM/Narendra-Modi-receives-Israel-PM-Benjamin-Netanyahu-at-airpo.html
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/one-un-vote-cant-change-our-relations-netanyahu/article22441554.ece?homepage=true

13 JANUARY 2018

Pakistan’s Baluchistan region elects new chief minister amid turmoil

Pakistan’s volatile Baluchistan province elected a new chief minister on Saturday, days after the previous leader was ousted in a blow to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party ahead of the 2018 polls
https://in.reuters.com/article/pakistan-politics-baluchistan/pakistans-baluchistan-region-elects-new-chief-minister-amid-turmoil-idINKBN1F20JB?rpc=401&
http://www.radio.gov.pk/13-01-2018/abdul-quddus-bizenjo-elected-as-new-cm-of-balochistan
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1607537/1-thrice-elected-lawmaker/

12 JANUARY 2018

North Korea steps up tunnelling at nuclear test site

North Korea has stepped up tunnelling at its main nuclear test site, a US think tank said, even as tensions cool on the peninsula following the resumption of long-stalled inter-Korean dialogue
https://www.theepochtimes.com/satellite-photos-reveal-north-korea-developing-nuclear-test-site_2411717.html
http://www.asiapacificstar.com/news/256063232/north-korea-steps-up-tunnelling-at-nuclear-test-site
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/01/103_242338.html

Four on five judges of India’s top Suprem Court criticise its functioning in rare public spat

Four justices of India’s top court on Friday criticised its distribution of cases to judges and raised concerns about judicial appointments, in an unprecedented public airing of problems at one of the country’s most respected institutions
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/india/four-judges-of-india-s-top-court-criticise-its-functioning-in-rare-public-spat-1.2155914
http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2018/jan/12/supreme-court-not-in-order-democracy-at-stake-four-apex-court-judges-in-letter-to-cji-dipak-mishra-1751751.html
https://www.dailyo.in/politics/supreme-court-top-four-judges-press-conference-cji-dipak-misra-impeachment-medical-council-row/story/1/21701.html

China pre-election aid for Hun Sen

Cambodia and China signed 19 aid and investment pacts yesterday, in the latest sign of their strengthening relationship as Cambodia turns further away from Western donors
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=191678&story_id=50004249&d_str=20180112&sid=3
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/analysis-cambodia-signing-chinese-billions-price

11 JANUARY 2018

Afghan president pardons 75 prisoners loyal to former warlord Hekmatyar

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has granted clemency to 75 prisoners loyal to former warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who reached a landmark peace deal with the government in Kabul in 2016
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/01/11/548579/Afghanistan-Ashraf-Ghani-Gulbuddin-Hekmatyar-prisoners-PuleCharkhi
http://ariananews.af/government-frees-75-prisoners-of-hezb-e-islami-from-prisons/

China and Mekong countries adopt new river plan

In a summit big on fanfare but light on detail this week, China pushed through a five-year development plan with the countries along of one Asia’s most critical and embattled rivers – the Mekong
https://www.voanews.com/a/asian-leaders-start-a-new-plan-for-shared-river/4203046.html
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/asian-leaders-discuss-mekong-rivers-future-180111075106150.html
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/11/c_136888801.htm

China, Japan trade accusations after Chinese warship seen near disputed Diaoyu Islands

China and Japan traded accusations on Thursday after a Chinese navy vessel was detected in waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea, adding fresh uncertainty as the two sides try to improve bilateral ties
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2127856/china-japan-trade-accusations-after-chinese-warship
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42651067
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180111_20/

10 JANUARY 2018

India Eases Rules to Lure Foreign Investors

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi eased restrictions on foreign direct investment across several sectors, including allowing overseas airlines to invest in state carrier Air India Ltd., in a bid to revive growth in Asia’s third largest economy
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-10/modi-eases-rules-to-lure-foreign-investors-as-india-growth-slows

Myanmar court charges Reuters journalists under Official Secrets Act

Journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been charged with violating the Official Secrets Act, after almost a month behind bars. They were reporting on the persecution of Rohingya in Rakhine state
http://www.dw.com/en/myanmar-court-charges-reuters-journalists-under-official-secrets-act/a-42089691
http://www.dw.com/en/myanmar-police-charge-reuters-journalists/av-42094207
http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/10/reuters-journalists-charged
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180110_39/

Pakistani journalist critical of military escapes kidnap attempt

A Pakistani journalist, known for criticising his country’s military establishment, said on Wednesday he had narrowly escaped being kidnapped by armed men, in an incident that came months after he complained of being harassed by security services
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/pakistani-journalist-critical-of-military-escapes-kidnap-attempt-1.2155098
http://www.france24.com/en/20180110-pakistan-journalist-escapes-abductors-kidnap-press
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/journalist-taha-siddiqui-escapes-abduction-attempt-180110114031762.html

Pakistan: Defense, intelligence cooperation with US suspended

Pakistani Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan disclosed Tuesday that the country has suspended defense and intelligence cooperation with the United States amid growing tensions over US suspension of military aid to Pakistan
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/139/18/184/1515550727977.html
https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/01/10/pakistan-has-not-suspended-military-intelligence-cooperation-with-washington-us/

9 JANUARY 2018

 France’s Emmanuel Macron secures strategic access to Chinese markets

From high-end wine to the new « Silk Road, » France and China have agreed to enhance economic relations. For Beijing, that meant providing French companies better access to Chinese markets
http://www.dw.com/en/frances-emmanuel-macron-secures-strategic-access-to-chinese-markets/a-42084077
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/124/251/119/1515511101612.html
http://www.france24.com/en/20180109-france-china-macron-trade-markets-protectionism

Koreas agree military talks to defuse border tension

North and South Korea have agreed to hold military talks to defuse border tension, after their first high-level meeting in two years
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42622588
https://www.theepochtimes.com/north-south-korea-agree-to-resolve-issues-through-dialogue_2408477.html
http://www.dw.com/en/do-korea-talks-put-initiative-back-with-seoul-and-pyongyang/a-42083164

Chinese military to prosecute former top general for graft

State-run news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday that former chief of joint staff Fang Fenghui was suspected of taking and giving bribes and would be handed over to military prosecutors
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2127513/chinese-military-prosecute-former-top-general-graft

8 JANUARY 2018

 Duterte’s pastor takes over Catholic leadership, signalling better ties

Strained relations between President Rodrigo Duterte and the Catholic Church are likely to improve with the top Catholic religious leaders in Davao City – Duterte’s hometown – taking over the helm of one of the institutions staunchly critical of Duterte
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/01/dutertes-pastor-takes-catholic-leadership-role-starting-2018-better-terms-church/#q4uwkxRfEPYZREaL.97

Bangladesh court upholds ban on Rohingya marriage

A Bangladesh court on Monday (Jan 8) upheld a government ruling banning marriage between its citizens and refugees from Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya minority, who have fled ethnic violence in the neighbouring country
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/bangladesh-court-upholds-ban-on-rohingya-marriage-9843400
http://www.thedailystar.net/rohingya-crisis/plea-seeking-legality-marrying-myanmar-rohingya-girl-rejected-1516816

7 JANUARY 2018

Mahathir named Malaysian opposition’s prime minister pick

Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister could once again helm the country, with the opposition coalition naming Mahathir Mohamad as its interim PM pick should it emerge victorious in the elections
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/mahathir-named-malaysian-opposition-s-prime-minister-pick-9840014
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/malaysia-pm-mahathir-tapped-election-run-180107160224615.html

Trump ‘absolutely’ willing to talk to Kim Jong-un

US President Donald Trump said he would be willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on the phone, but not without conditions
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/trump-absolutely-talk-kim-jong-180107072125596.html

5 JANUARY 2018

Macron’s upcoming China visit ‘of great significance’

French President Emmanuel Macron’s upcoming visit to China, scheduled from January 8 to 10, is of great significance to bilateral ties, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/232/187/241/1515152590848.html
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180105_11/

US suspends security assistance to Pakistan following Donald Trump ‘lies and deceit’ tweet

The United States has announced it will suspend security assistance to Pakistan for failing to take « decisive action » against Taliban militants targeting US personnel in neighbouring Afghanistan
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-05/us-cuts-pakistan-security-spending-following-trump-tweet/9305544?section=world
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/01/05/547926/Pakistan-US-security-aid
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistan-slams-us-suspension-of-military-aid-accuses-it-of-betrayal/2018/01/05/fb564c92-f1bc-11e7-95e3-eff284e71c8d_story.html?utm_term=.73e290f0fc41

Koreas Agree to High-Level Talks, Meeting Scheduled for Jan 9

North and South Korea have officially announced they will hold bilateral talks on improving relations next week. They will be the first such talks between the two nations since December 2015
http://edition.cnn.com/2018/01/04/asia/north-korea-south-korea-talks-intl/index.html
http://www.dw.com/en/north-and-south-korea-agree-to-hold-talks/a-42034484

4 JANUARY 2018

Malaysia says unlikely to meet 2020 balanced budget goal

Malaysia is unlikely to meet earlier targets it set for a balanced budget by 2020 and will need another two to three years to reach the goal, the country’s second finance minister said on Thursday (Jan 4)
http://www.todayonline.com/world/malaysia-says-unlikely-meet-2020-balanced-budget-goal

Pakistan gives over a million Afghan refugees 30 days to leave country

Pakistan has given over a million Afghan refugees until the end of the month to leave the country, in an announcement on Wednesday, following US accusations that Islamabad shelters some of the fiercest factions of the Taliban fighting US and Afghan soldiers in neighbouring Afghanistan
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/pakistan-gives-over-a-million-afghan-refugees-30-days-to-leave-country-13892

Taipei protests after Beijing opens new aviation corridors over Taiwan Strait

Beijing opened four new aviation corridors over the Taiwan Strait for use on Thursday, prompting Taiwan to strongly protest and demand immediate negotiations with Beijing
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2126902/taipei-protests-after-beijing-opens-new-aviation
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/acs/201801040018.aspx

China has started building its third aircraft carrier, military sources say

China started building its third aircraft carrier – with a hi-tech launch system – at a Shanghai shipyard last year, according to sources close to the People’s Liberation Army
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2126883/china-has-started-building-its-third-aircraft-carrier

Japan faces greatest danger since World War due to North Korea: PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday North Korea was engaging in continued provocations that were « absolutely unacceptable » and said he would work with the international community to counter its nuclear and missiles development
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/japan-faces-greatest-danger-since-world-war-due-to-north-korea-9831950
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180104_27/

3 JANUARY 2018

North Korea restores hotline with South Korea

North Korea has reopened a suspended border hotline with South Korea, a day after Seoul offered high-level talks to discuss Pyongyang’s participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=212505
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3042854

2 JANUARY 2018

South Korea proposes high-level talks with North on Olympics cooperation

South Korea has proposed holding high-level talks with Pyongyang on January 9, after North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un called for a breakthrough in relations and said Pyongyang might attend the Winter Olympics
http://www.france24.com/en/20180102-south-korea-talks-north-korea-discuss-olympics-cooperation-kim-jong-un-moon-jae
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/south-korea-proposes-high-level-talks-with-north-korea-on-jan-9-9826052

1 JANUARY 2018

Japan eyes aircraft carriers to counter North Korea, China

Concerns over N. Korea’s unpredictable regime and China’s expansionist policies have forced Japan to seek reinterpretation of parts of the constitution that ban the nation from having an offensive military capability
http://www.dw.com/en/japan-eyes-aircraft-carriers-to-counter-north-korea-china/a-41990036

Trump threatens to cut Pakistan aid

President Donald Trump suggested Monday he would cut off foreign aid to Pakistan, accusing Islamabad of harboring violent extremists and lying about it
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/01/01/547485/US-Trump-Pakistan-Afghanistan
https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/263185-trump-threatens-to-cut-pakistan-aid
http://zeenews.india.com/world/pakistan-reacts-to-trumps-no-more-aid-tweet-says-will-let-the-world-know-the-truth-2071206.html
https://nation.com.pk/01-Jan-2018/trump-s-no-more-holds-no-importance-khawaja-asif

North Korea leader says he has ‘nuclear button’ on his desk

Kim Jong-un used a New Year’s Day speech to warn the United States that he was now able to hit all of the US mainland with his country’s nuclear weapons
http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/01/kim-jong-un-warns-unted-states-i-have-a-nuclear-button-on-my-desk-
https://www.voanews.com/a/kim-jong-un-nuclear-threat/4187244.html

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un says ‘open to dialogue’ with South Korea, will only use nukes if threatened

Kim Jong Un on Monday (Jan 1) warned the United States that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk ready for use if North Korea is threatened, but offered an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was “open to dialogue” with Seoul
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/north-korean-leader-kim-jong-un-says-nuclear-launch-button-on-his-desk
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/01/103_241761.html

30 DECEMBER 2017

North Korea ‘to continue nuclear development’

North Korea’s state-run news agency says Pyongyang will continue to develop its nuclear program, declaring the country as an “invincible” nuclear power
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/12/30/547232/North-Korea-invincible-nuclear-program
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/north-korea-vows-not-to-alter-its-nuclear-policy-in-2018

China launches website to inform on those ‘fabricating information’ about army and communist party

China has announced plans for an anonymous tip-off website that offers rewards to members of the public for reporting those who criticise the ruling communist party or the army
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/30/china-launches-website-inform-fabricating-information-army-communist/

29 DECEMBER 2017

Cambodian court fines exiled former opposition leader US$1 million for defamation

A court in Cambodia on Friday ordered an exiled former opposition leader to pay US$1 million for defaming Prime Minister Hun Sen in a Facebook post
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2126133/cambodian-court-fines-exiled-former-opposition-leader-us1
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/168/62/61/1514537737179.html
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national-politics/rainsy-and-sokha-would-already-be-dead-pm

Myanmar frees journalists after two months in prison for filming with drone

Two journalists and their two local staff have been released from a Myanmar prison, two months after their arrest for allegedly flying a drone over the parliament
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-29/myanmar-releases-journalists-and-staff-arrested-over-drone/9292710?section=world
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/myanmar-releases-trt-world-journalists-and-fixer-arrested-over-drone-13726

Nine jailed in Vietnam for ‘attempt to overthrow state’

A Vietnamese court has jailed nine people for « attempting to overthrow the state », official media reported on Friday (Dec 29), the latest heavy sentence doled out in a harsh crackdown this year against activists in the one-party state
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/nine-jailed-in-vietnam-for-attempt-to-overthrow-state
http://www.vietnamtribune.com/news/255893239/dozens-sentenced-in-vietnam-bombing-subversion-trials

Tibetan filmmaker welcomed in US after ‘risky’ escape from China

Dhondup Wangchen, who had been convicted of subversion, has been reunited with wife and children and is ‘enjoying the feeling of safety and freedom’
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/29/tibetan-filmmaker-welcomed-in-us-after-risky-escape-from-china
https://www.tibetsun.com/news/2017/12/28/dhondup-wangchen-free-joins-family-in-us

Taiwan defense budget will rise each year: President Tsai

The defense budget will rise each year, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said at her year-end news conference Friday
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201712290017.aspx
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201712290028.aspx
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3330706

28 DECEMBER 2017

Triple talaq is a criminal act in India now

The Lok Sabha pass a bill that criminalises instant divorce with three years of imprisonment for Muslim husbands
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/india/triple-talaq-is-a-criminal-act-in-india-now-1.2148699
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/N0NPC0t3glXEoxjbqZNwHP/Triple-talaq-bill-tabled-in-Lok-Sabha-after-Narendra-Modi-ap.html

Afghanistan suicide bomb attack: Dozens killed in Kabul

A Shia cultural organisation was the target but the Afghan Voice news agency was also hit. So-called Islamic State said it was behind the attack
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42500769
http://www.dw.com/en/why-is-islamic-state-targeting-shiites-in-afghanistan/a-41958793

27 DECEMBER 2017

Chinese ships spotted by satellites ‘selling oil to North Korea’ 30 times since October, despite sanctions

American reconnaissance satellites have reportedly spotted Chinese ships suspected of selling oil to North Korean vessels about 30 times since October
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/27/chinese-ships-spotted-satellites-selling-oil-north-korea-30/
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20171227_03/

‘Comfort women’ row with Japan unresolved despite 2015 deal, S Korea says

South Korea says 2015 agreement with Japan over South Korean women forced to work in Japan’s wartime military brothels fails to meet the victims’ needs
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/-comfort-women-row-with-japan-unresolved-despite-2015-deal-s-korea-says-13651
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=212263
http://www.euronews.com/2017/12/27/a-comfort-women-deal-with-japan-failed-to-meet-the-victims-needs-says-south-korea

Vietnam unveils 10,000-strong cyber unit to combat ‘wrong views’

Vietnam has unveiled a new, 10,000-strong military cyber warfare unit to counter « wrong » views on the Internet, local media reported, amid a widening crackdown on critics of the one-party state
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/vietnam-unveils-10000-strong-cyber-unit-combat-wrong-views
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42494113
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20171226/vietnam-has-10000strong-cyber-troop-general/43326.html

26 DECEMBER 2017

China jails activist Wu Gan for 8 years for ‘subverting state power’

Ahuman rights activist nicknamed ‘Super Vulgar Butcher’ has been jailed in China for eight years for “subversion” – the harshest sentence given in a crackdown on activists that began in the country in 2015
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/12/26/china-jails-activist-wu-gan-8-years-subverting-state-power/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/26/china-jails-human-rights-lawyer-known-super-vulgar-butcher/
https://www.voanews.com/a/wu-gan-sentenced-to-8-years-in-chinese-prison/4179270.html

India to overtake UK, France to become fifth-largest economy in 2018

Moving past the global economic powerhouses like the UK, Germany and France, the Indian economy would become the world’s fifth largest by 2018 – a major jump from its 10th rank currently, a report has said
https://www.oneindia.com/international/india-to-overtake-uk-france-to-become-fifth-largest-economy-2018-report-2609283.html
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/v0N1vMSOdiUsZBwlimoICJ/Indian-economy-to-leapfrog-UK-and-France-in-2018-Cebr.html

Incursions of Chinese aircraft and navy ships reached nearly 30 times since last August

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense published a report on Tuesday which shows that Chinese aircraft and navy ships have moved close to Taiwan during drills for nearly 30 times since August 2016
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3328413
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/12/26/546849/Taiwan-China-military-drills-Feng-Shihkuan
http://www.todayonline.com/world/taiwan-warns-chinese-military-drills-pose-enormous-threat

China claims South China Sea expansion is reasonable

China – Slamming critics, China has now claimed that all of the controversial construction and expansion work it has carried out in the disputed South China Sea islands is “reasonable.”
http://www.asiapacificstar.com/news/255868632/china-claims-south-china-sea-expansion-is-reasonable

25 DECEMBER 2017

China and Russia oppose UN resolution on Rohingya

The UN general assembly has urged Myanmar to end a military campaign against Muslim Rohingya and called for the appointment of a UN special envoy, despite opposition from China, Russia and some regional countries
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/24/china-russia-oppose-un-resolution-myanmar-rohingya-muslims
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/china-russia-oppose-un-resolution-to-appoint-a-special-envoy-to-myanmar-13607

24 DECEMBER 2017

China’s first domestic large amphibious aircraft makes maiden flight

China’s first home-grown large amphibious aircraft AG600 takes off at the Jinwan Civil Aviation Airport in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, Dec. 24, 2017. AG600, code named « Kunlong », completed its maiden flight on Sunday. (Xinhua/Liang Xu)
http://english.chinamil.com.cn/view/2017-12/25/content_7881967.htm
http://www.euronews.com/2017/12/24/maiden-flight-of-amphibious-plane
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-42471045

22 DECEMBER 2017

UN slaps new sanctions on North Korea in 15-0 vote

The resolution severely limits petroleum supplies to Pyongyang and demands that North Koreans working for Kim Jong Un’s regime abroad return home. The crippling sanctions follow North Korea’s latest missile test
http://www.dw.com/en/un-slaps-new-sanctions-on-north-korea-in-15-0-vote/a-41913360
http://www.france24.com/en/20171222-un-security-council-unanimously-votes-new-sanctions-north-korea
https://usun.state.gov/remarks/8238

India, China hold first border talks after Doklam standoff

India and China agree that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas, and exchanged ideas on various confidence building measures (CBMs) in this regard as the two sides tried to put behind them the Doklam episode
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-nsa-ajit-doval-meets-chinese-state-councillor-yang-jiechi-as-india-china-hold-firts-border-talks-after-doklam-standoff-2569814
http://zeenews.india.com/india/post-doklam-india-china-commit-to-resolve-boundary-issues-2068922.html

France couple in China unreachable after Liu Xiaobo tribute

Two artists from France have been unreachable in China after they painted a tribute to the late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, sparking concern over their whereabouts
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-42454865
http://en.rfi.fr/asia-pacific/20171222-Franco-Chinese%20pair%20missing%20after%20Liu%20Xiaobo%20tribute

21 DECEMBER 2017

South Korea to create special ‘dronebot combat’ team in 2018 that could target Kim Jong Un

South Korea’s army is preparing a special unit that would use drone swarms in combat, and it is expected to become operational next year and could target the North’s missile, nuclear and other military activities
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/south-korea-create-special-dronebot-combat-team-2018-could-target-kim-jong-un
http://www.asiapacificstar.com/news/255819712/plot-to-assassinate-kim-jong-un-unveiled-by-south-korea

20 DECEMBER 2017

Pakistan Army reaffirms support to democracy

In his first appearance before the political leadership, Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa reaffirmed his commitment to democracy and rule of law
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/pakistan-army-reaffirms-support-to-democracy-1.2144690

China outcry as Taiwan arrests pro-Beijing party members accused of spying

China has accused Taiwanese authorities of “persecution” after four members of a pro-Beijing political party were detained in connection with a spying case
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/20/china-outcry-taiwan-arrests-pro-beijing-party-members-accused/
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/12/20/beijing-condemns-taiwan-probe-pro-unification-partys-suspected-ties-china/
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3323671
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201712200017.aspx

Burma bans UN human rights investigator from probing anti-Rohingya atrocities

Burma has banned a UN special investigator on human rights from visiting the country, triggering widespread condemnation and raising new concerns about its apparent refusal to address allegations of ethnic cleaning of a Muslim minority
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/burma-un-human-rights-investigator-ban-rohingya-muslims-killings-yanghee-lee-rakhine-state-a8120646.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42425217

Philippine President Duterte declares unilateral Christmas ceasefire with communist rebels

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Mr Duterte ordered the army and police to suspend offensive operations from December 24 to January 2 « to lessen the apprehension of the public this Christmas season »
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-20/philippine-leader-declares-unilateral-ceasefire-for-christmas/9277050?section=world
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/637134/duterte-orders-holiday-ceasefire-palace-expects-reds-to-do-the-same/story/

19 DECEMBER 2017

China condemns US ‘Cold War mentality’ on national security

China has condemned the « Cold War mentality » of the White House after the publication of a new US national security policy
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42409148
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/16/221/37/1513695501743.html
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2124858/donald-trumps-security-strategy-fuels-era-more

Philippine Navy chief sacked over P16-B frigate contract

Navy Flag Officer in Command (FOIC) Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado was sacked on Tuesday amid controversy involving a weapons system procurement plan
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/953624/afp-relieves-ph-navy-chief-afp-mercado-navy-relief-weapons-system-procurement-empedrad#ixzz51k5cnnWB
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/12/20/1770151/navy-chief-vice-admiral-ronald-joseph-mercado-sacked
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/philippine-navy-chief-sacked-in-surprise-move-13441

US and UK blame North Korea for WannaCry cyberattack

The UK has joined the US in publicly blaming North Korea for the devastating WannaCry hacking attack earlier this year. The cyberattack took down computer systems in 150 countries and caused widespread chaos
http://www.dw.com/en/us-and-uk-blame-north-korea-for-wannacry-cyberattack/a-41852493
http://www.france24.com/en/20171219-usa-says-north-korea-directly-responsible-massive-cyber-attack-wannacry
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/19/wannacry-cyberattack-us-says-it-has-evidence-north-korea-was-directly-responsible

16 DECEMBER 2017

India’s Rahul Gandhi takes over as president of opposition party

India’s Rahul Gandhi took over on Saturday as president of the main opposition Indian National Congress party (INC), becoming the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to head the party that has ruled the country for much of its independent history
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/india-s-rahul-gandhi-takes-over-as-president-of-opposition-party-13355
https://www.dailyo.in/politics/rahul-gandhi-acceptance-speech-new-congress-president-aicc-sonia-gujarat-elections/story/1/21189.html
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-ray-of-hope-wishes-pour-in-from-politicos-for-rahul-gandhi-as-he-becomes-congress-president-2568170

Japan eyes US$46 billion defence budget to counter North Korea: Report

Japan plans a record US$46 billion defence budget for the next fiscal year to strengthen its missile defence against the threat posed by North Korea, a report said Saturday (Dec 16)
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/japan-eyes-us-46-billion-defence-budget-to-counter-north-korea-9503674
http://www.mod.go.jp/e/d_budget/pdf/291121.pdf

15 DECEMBER 2017

China hails year of ‘remarkable progress’ in human rights as US and EU warn situation is worsening

A white paper issued by China’s State Council Information Office on Friday lauded « remarkable progress » in the law-based protection of human rights over the past five years
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2124561/china-hails-year-remarkable-progress-human-rights-us
https://search.chinadailyasia.com/articles/165/9/61/1513330628857.html
http://www.asiapacificstar.com/news/255748947/china-has-41-journalists-behind-bars-amid-ever-widening-media-controls

China tells Australia off over South China Sea stance

China’s naval chief has told his Australian counterpart that his country’s actions on the South China Sea run counter to the general trend of peace and stability in the disputed waterway
http://www.todayonline.com/world/china-tells-australia-over-south-china-sea-stance
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-12-15/china-says-australia-disrupting-stability-and-peace-in-south-china-sea-buildup-on-islands-continues/1723800

14 DECEMBER 2017

China, South Korea Leaders Reset Bilateral Ties

The leaders of China and South Korea pledged to work together to counter North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear program, resetting relations that had soured over Seoul’s deployment of an American missile-defense system
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=211819
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/china-south-korea-eye-warmer-ties-following-tensions-13304
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/chinese-president-xi-jinping-says-war-must-not-be-allowed-on-9499912

Aung San Suu Kyi has Freedom of Dublin award revoked

Dublin councillors have voted to revoke an award given to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to protest her handling of violence against Rohingya Muslims in her country, Irish media reported
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/14/aung-san-suu-kyi-has-freedom-of-dublin-award-revoked
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/councillors-vote-to-revoke-aung-san-suu-kyis-freedom-of-dublin-36406369.html

13 DECEMBER 2017

2 journalists, including Reuters reporter, arrested in Yangon

Two reporters, including a correspondent from the Yangon bureau of the Reuters news service, were arrested on the northern outskirts of the commercial capital last night and will face charges under Myanmar’s colonial-era Official Secrets Act
https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/2-journalists-including-reuters-reporter-arrested-in-yangon
http://www.elevenmyanmar.com/local/12776
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42335097

Philippines: Martial law extended in Mindanao for another year

The Philippine Congress on Wednesday approved President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in the entire Mindanao island for one year, enraging civil society, church and militant groups
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2017/12/martial-law-philippines-extended/#cKAh2splrRIUzKu2.99
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/12/13/545458/Philippines-martial-law-Mindanao-Daesh-Duterte
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/12/14/1768251/duterte-wont-rule-out-nationwide-martial-law

12 DECEMBER 2017

EU withdraws support for Cambodia election authority after opposition dissolved

The EU on Tuesday pulled support for Cambodia’s election authority, questioning the legitimacy of upcoming polls after the dissolution of the opposition transformed the kingdom into a virtual one-party state under strongman Hun Sen
http://www.france24.com/en/20171212-cambodia-european-union-eu-withdraws-support-election-authority-opposition-dissolved
http://www.dw.com/en/eu-cuts-off-funds-for-cambodia-election-after-opposition-party-dissolved/a-41751427

A massive victory: On Left Alliance landslide in Nepal

the Left Alliance wins more than 70% of the 165 parliamentary seats being decided by the FPTP system. In the 110 seats allocated based on proportional representation, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) won, with its ally, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre), not far behind
http://nepalforeignaffairs.com/a-massive-victory-on-left-alliance-landslide-in-nepal-editorial-of-the-hindu-on-nepals-election-result/
http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2017-12-12/election-overview-uml-victorious-in-77-federal-constituencies-leading-in-4.html

11 DECEMBER 2017

UN warns tough North Korea sanctions risk hurting millions in need of aid

The UN rights chief told the security council on Monday that tough sanctions imposed on North Korea are complicating the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid and called for an assessment
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/11/north-korea-sanctions-human-rights-toll-united-nations
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004122631

EU resumes official contacts with Thai junta

The EU on Monday agreed to resume political contacts « at all levels » with Thailand, more than three years after suspending them in protest at the military coup in Bangkok
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30333724
https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Policy-Politics/EU-to-resume-political-dealings-with-Thailand-following-election-promise?page=1

India’s Rahul Gandhi appointed president of Congress party

In a long-awaited move, Gandhi, the great-grandson of India’s founding prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was elected unopposed to head the party. He will take the reins from his mother Sonia, the party’s longest-serving president, since 1998
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/india/rahul-gandhi-takes-helm-of-congress-party-to-challenge-modi-1.2139035
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42079137
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-from-reluctant-politician-to-congress-president-a-timeline-of-rahul-gandhi-s-political-journey-2566796

US, Japan and South Korea host joint missile tracking drills

The US, South Korea and Japan have started joint exercises to track missiles from North Korea, Seoul’s military has said. The two-day drills come just weeks after Pyongyang launched its most advanced missile to date
http://www.dw.com/en/us-japan-and-south-korea-host-joint-missile-tracking-drills/a-41732866
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/us-south-korea-japan-start-missile-tracking-drill-9487808

China, Taiwan spar over Chinese diplomat’s invasion threat

A threat by a senior Chinese diplomat to invade Taiwan the instant any U.S. warship visits the self-ruled island has sparked a war of words, with Taipei accusing Beijing of failing to understand what democracy means
http://zeenews.india.com/world/china-taiwan-spar-over-chinese-diplomats-invasion-threat-2064955.html
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3316709
https://sentinel.tw/prc-envoy-threatens-war-tw-port-calls/

9 DECEMBER 2017

Sri Lanka approves 2018 budget, aims for more investment

Sri Lanka’s coalition government on Saturday won the final vote on its 2018 budget which aims to boost investments and small businesses and cut the fiscal deficit to 4.8 percent of GDP from this year’s 5.2 percent
https://in.reuters.com/article/sri-lanka-budget/sri-lanka-approves-2018-budget-aims-for-more-investment-idINKBN1E30IU?rpc=401&
https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/third-reading-of-budget-2018-full-text-of-the-finance-ministers-speech/

8 DECEMBER 2017

Japan to purchase offensive missiles capable of striking North Korea

Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on Friday announced plans to buy offensive air-to-surface missiles, in a move likely to cause controversy considering the country’s decades-long pacifist history
http://www.dw.com/en/japan-to-purchase-offensive-missiles-capable-of-striking-north-korea/a-41707708
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/08/asia/japan-missiles-purchase-intl/index.html
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004117987

China unhappy as Philippines signs investment deal with Taiwan

China said on Friday it was seriously concerned about the Philippines signing a bilateral investment agreement with self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by China as its own with no right to any official foreign ties
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2123556/china-unhappy-philippines-signs-investment-deal-taiwan
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/193/107/214/1512743441979.html

Japan and EU reach free trade deal

Tokyo and Brussels have agreed a free trade accord, opening up the EU to Japanese cars and Japan to European cheese. Japan’s economy meanwhile has recorderd its longest uninterrupted growth since 1994
http://www.dw.com/en/japan-and-eu-reach-free-trade-deal/a-41708191
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/12/08/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-eu-reach-final-accord-trade-pact-eye-implementation-early-2019/#.Wiq8oUriY2w
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20171208_35/

7 DECEMBER 2017

Leaders in South-east Asia condemn move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Leaders of countries in South-east Asia on Thursday (Dec 7) reacted strongly to US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to reverse a decades-old American policy and recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/leaders-in-south-east-asia-condemn-move-to-recognise-jerusalem-as-israels-capital

6 DECEMBER 2017

South Korea to build unit of swarming drones to counter nuclear-armed North

The South Korean army plans to create a combat unit of weaponised drones next year that would be capable of swarming nuclear-armed North Korea in the event of a conflict
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/06/south-korea-build-unit-swarming-drones-counter-nuclear-armed/

Taiwanese writer Chang Tieh-chih says he was denied entry to Hong Kong

Taiwanese writer and former Hong Kong resident, Chang Tieh-chi, has been denied entry to into the SAR
http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/author-12062017105126.html
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/12/06/taiwanese-writer-chang-tieh-chih-says-denied-entry-hong-kong/
http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1368718-20171206.htm?spTabChangeable=0

Pakistani activist Raza Khan reported missing

A Pakistani peace activist has been abducted in the eastern city of Lahore, prompting fears for his safety, his family and fellow activists confirmed on Wednesday
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/12/pakistani-activist-raza-khan-reported-missing-171206091156178.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42249090

5 DECEMBER 2917

Duterte declares CPP, NPA as terrorist organizations

Rodrigo Duterte has signed a proclamation declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/950017/duterte-declares-cpp-npa-as-terrorist-organizations#ixzz50VGDEsrr
https://www.theepochtimes.com/philippine-government-classifies-communists-as-terrorists_2380913.html

4 DECEMBER 2017

Bollywood icon Shashi Kapoor dies at 79

Bollywood icon Shashi Kapoor – a star of 1970s Indian cinema and a member of the Hindi film industry’s famous Kapoor family – died on Monday (Dec 4) aged 79 after a long illness
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/bollywood-icon-shashi-kapoor-dies-at-79-9468318
http://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/shashi-kapoor-b-towns-ultimate-charmer-takes-final-bow/article21261699.ece?homepage=true
http://gulfnews.com/life-style/celebrity/desi-news/bollywood/veteran-indian-actor-shashi-kapoor-dies-1.2135198

Macau’s youngest pro-democracy lawmaker suspended

Macau’s youngest-ever lawmaker, a leading pro-democracy advocate, has been suspended from the city’s legislature in an echo of the disqualification of rebel Hong Kong legislators as China’s pressure on political opponents grows
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/macaus-youngest-pro-democracy-lawmaker-suspended
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/12/04/macaus-youngest-ever-pro-democracy-lawmaker-suspended-aggravated-disobedience-charge/

US, South Korea launch massive joint air exercise

Hundreds of aircraft including two dozen stealth jets began training Monday as the United States and South Korea launched a massive combined air force exercise
http://www.france24.com/en/20171204-usa-south-korea-launch-massive-joint-air-force-exercise
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/03/asia/north-korean-us-tensions-wargames-intl/index.html

2 DECEMBER 2017

Cambodian PM pulls back on threat to shut rights group founded by rival

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has pulled back from a threat to close a human rights group founded by the detained Opposition Leader Kem Sokha, a pro-government website says
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-12-02/cambodian-pm-pulls-back-on-threat-to-shut-rights-group-founded-by-rival/1720800
http://en.freshnewsasia.com/index.php/6216-pm-hun-sen-allows-cchr-to-continue-its-function.html

1 DECEMBER 2017

North Korea skips China’s first political parties summit

China launched its first World Political Parties Dialogue, with representatives from more than 120 countries in attendance, including Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi. But in a sign of the testy relationship between Beijing and Pyongyang, North Korea did not send a delegation
https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/12/01/North-Korea-skips-Chinas-first-political-parties-summit/1841512154601/?utm_source=sec&utm_campaign=sl&utm_medium=6

Japan’s Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April 30, 2019, government announces

Akihito, who will be succeeded by Crown Prince Naruhito, will be the first emperor to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne in about 200 years
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2122399/japans-emperor-akihito-will-abdicate-april-30-2019-government
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/12/01/national/emperors-abdication-date-confirmed-april-30-2019/#.WiGRgUriY2w

 



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