Main news of the last weeks

MAIN NEWS OF THE LAST WEEKS IN ASIA

Much more news and analysis if you see by countries

25 JUNE 2019

Malaysia accepts ruling on Pedra Branca, says PM Mahathir

Malaysia accepts the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) 2008 ruling which awarded Pedra Branca to Singapore, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday (June 25), as he cited the case to show how Asean member states can cooperate despite not seeing eye to eye on every issue
https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/malaysia-accepts-ruling-on-pedra-branca-says-pm-mahathir

UN: Internet Blackout in Western Myanmar May Be Hiding Human Rights Abuses

The United Nations special human rights investigator for Myanmar says the military may be carrying out « gross human rights violations » in western Myanmar under the cover of an Internet blackout
https://www.voanews.com/asia-pacific/un-internet-blackout-western-myanmar-may-be-hiding-human-rights-abuses
https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/06/1041161

24 JUNE 2019

American jailed in Vietnam for 12 years for ‘attempting to overthrow state’

A court in Vietnam has sentenced a US citizen to 12 years in prison after finding him guilty of « attempting to overthrow the state », the man’s lawyer said
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/american-jailed-in-vietnam-for-12-years-for-attempting-to-overthrow-state
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/vietnam-jails-man-12-years-overthrow-state-190624082305389.html

23 JUNE 2019

Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Donald Trump, North Korean media reports

« Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content, » the agency said
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-23/kim-jong-un-receives-letter-from-donald-trump-state-media-says/11238850
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190623000148

France’s Carrefour takes step to exit China with Suning.com deal

Carrefour, Europe’s largest retailer, took a decisive step on Sunday towards a full exit of the Chinese market by selling a majority stake of its activities in the country to Suning.com
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-carrefour-m-a-suning-com/frances-carrefour-takes-step-to-exit-china-with-suning-com-deal-idUKKCN1TO0AD?rpc=401&

Qu Dongyu becomes first Chinese national to head UN food and agriculture agency

Qu Dongyu on Sunday became the first Chinese national to be elected to head the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, clinching the post in the first round of voting
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3015748/qu-dongyu-becomes-first-chinese-national-head-un-food-and

22 JUNE 2019

Sri Lanka extends state of emergency in surprise move

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday extended the state of emergency in the country for another month, allowing security agencies to continue to exercise extra powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders
https://www.dw.com/en/sri-lanka-extends-state-of-emergency-after-easter-bombings/a-49306687
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/sri-lanka-extends-state-of-emergency-in-surprise-move

Former RFA Reporters in Cambodian Lose Appeal as Lawyer Asks For Prompt Trial

Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin were taken into custody in November 2017 and charged with “illegally collecting information for a foreign source” under article 445 of the Criminal Code, an offense punishable by a prison term of 7 to 15 years
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/reporters-appeal-06212019160901.html
https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/drop-journalists-espionage-charges-urges-rights-group

Malaysia calls for ‘justice’ for Rohingya Muslims in ASEAN summit

Malaysia on Saturday said the perpetrators of violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority must « be brought to justice, » in sharp comments delivered at a normally tame regional summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/malaysia-calls-for-justice-for-rohingya-muslims-in-asean-summit-27697

Russia has no plans to « pull down the flag » over the South Kurils – Putin

The Russian authorities intend to develop the Far East, including the South Kuril Islands, and there are no plans to lessen attention to that region, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with anchorman of the program « Vesti v Subbotu » (« News on Saturday »)
https://tass.com/politics/1065107

21 JUNE 2019

Philippines to Monitor China Telecom For Spying, Cybersecurity Threats

The Philippines will be monitoring China Telecom’s upcoming operations in the country for spying and other cybersecurity threats, Nikkei Asian Review reported on June 20
https://www.theepochtimes.com/philippines-to-monitor-china-telecom-for-spying-cybersecurity-threats_2971570.html

China could build 30 ‘Belt and Road’ nuclear reactors by 2030: Official

China could build as many as 30 overseas nuclear reactors through its involvement in the « Belt and Road » Initiative over the next decade, a senior industry official told a meeting of China’s political advisory body this week
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/china-could-build-30-belt-and-road-nuclear-reactors-by-2030-official

South China Sea: Satellite image shows Chinese fighter jets deployed to contested island

A satellite image obtained by CNN shows China has deployed at least four J-10 fighter jets to the contested Woody Island in the South China Sea, the first known deployment of fighter jets there since 2017
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/20/asia/china-fighters-satellite-image-woody-island-intl-hnk/index.html

Former Indian top cop Sanjiv Bhatt sentenced to life imprisonment

Will Indians now get arrested and convicted for raising a voice? This is the question Indian Twitter users asked after news came in today from the Indian state of Gujarat that the Jamnagar Court had sentenced Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt and co-accused to life imprisonment in a 1989 custodial death case
https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/india/former-indian-top-cop-sanjiv-bhatt-sentenced-to-life-imprisonment-1.64732544

How yoga diplomacy helps India assert its rising global influence

On International Yoga Day, Modi uses one of India’s most popular exports to mark his nation’s rising place in the world
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/yoga-diplomacy-helps-india-assert-rising-global-influence-190621104210036.html
https://www.dnaindia.com/india/photo-gallery-cong-only-stands-for-negativity-amit-shah-flays-rahul-gandhi-for-mocking-yoga-day-and-insulting-our-forces-2763584

20 JUNE 2019

China’s Xi and North Korea’s Kim in Pyongyang talks as both face standoffs with Trump

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Pyongyang on Thursday (Jun 20) during a historic visit to burnish an uneasy alliance, with both facing challenges of their own with US President Donald Trump
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/china-s-xi-and-north-korea-s-kim-in-pyongyang-talks-as-both-face-11643546
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/99/58/248/1561035838252.html?newsId=86394
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48672306

US Warns India It Could Limit H-1B Visas for Indian Workers amid Trade Tensions – Reports

Ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to New Delhi, the United States has reportedly warned India it will consider capping quotas for the widely popular H-1B work visas on nations pressuring American firms to store data locally in their territories
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201906201075978171-us-capping-h-1b-visas-indian-workers-trade-tensions/
https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/us-tells-india-it-is-mulling-caps-on-h-1b-visas-to-deter-data-rules/cid/1692796?ref=top-stories_home-template

Vietnam calls in Russian experts to help preserve corpse of Ho Chi Minh

Vietnam has formed a special team of experts, including four Russian scientists, to help preserve the embalmed body of the Communist-ruled state’s founding leader, Ho Chi Minh, according to a written copy of the official decision seen by Reuters
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/vietnam-asks-russian-preserve-ho-chi-minh-corpse-190620065504121.html

Sri Lanka seeks US$1 billion loan from China as it struggles to recover from Easter Sunday attacks

Talks are underway with China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to raise the new loan in addition to the US$1.2 billion obtained from international agencies this year, the ministry said
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/3015428/sri-lanka-seeks-us1-billion-loan-china-it-struggles-recover

19 JUNE 2019

Hundreds of Chinese and Bangladeshi labourers in deadly clashes at Beijing-backed power plant near Dhaka

Hundreds of Chinese and Bangladeshi labourers clashed at the site of a power plant being built south of Dhaka, police said on Wednesday, leaving a Chinese worker dead and more than a dozen others injured
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/3015182/hundreds-chinese-and-bangladeshi-labourers-deadly-clashes
http://www.theindependentbd.com/post/203986

Korea to provide 50,000 tons of rice as food aid to N. Korea via WFP

South Korea said on Wednesday it would send 50,000 tonnes of rice to the North through the UN’s World Food Programme – the second such aid package to be announced in recent weeks
https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/3015240/you-cant-turn-rice-nuclear-weapons-south-korea-send-50000
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=239222

Taiwan increases penalties for spying for China

An amendment to the National Security Act cleared the legislative floor Wednesday, with heavier punishments for practices that jeopardize national security or social order, including developing organizations and collecting confidential information for China
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201906190016.aspx
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2019/06/20/2003717240

Thousands in Nepal protest against cultural ‘guthi’ bill

Thousands of Nepalis took to the streets on Wednesday demanding the government scrap a bill that stands to interfere with a centuries-old trust system integral to the Himalayan country’s cultural heritage
http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2019-06-19/thousands-protest-against-the-guthi-bill-in-kathmandu.html
https://www.nepalitimes.com/banner/street-vs-guthi-bill/

18 JUNE 2019

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologises for extradition crisis but refuses to step down

Speaking Tuesday, two days after protest organizers estimated 2 million people took to the streets to demand the bill be fully withdrawn and that she step down, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she wanted to offer the city her « most sincere apology. »
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/18/asia/hong-kong-protests-extradition-carrie-lam-intl-hnk/index.html
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/hong-kong-protests-carrie-lam-speech-apology-extradition-bill-11638710?cid=h3_referral_inarticlelinks_24082018_cna
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/06/18/live-hong-kong-leader-carrie-lam-sincerely-apologises-extradition-row/

Filipinos burn Chinese flags in protest against Duterte’s ‘weak’ response to South China Sea sinking

Demonstrators in Manila on Tuesday burned Chinese flags in protest over what they said was a “weak” response by President Rodrigo Duterte to the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat in the South China Sea
https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/3015058/filipinos-burn-chinese-flags-protest-against-dutertes-weak
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/06/18/1927531/palace-we-cant-and-wont-summon-chinese-envoy-over-boat-sinking

17 JUNE 2019

Chinese President to make first trip to North Korea in 14 years

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit to North Korea this week, state media announced Monday, as US talks with North Korea on its nuclear program are at an apparent standstill
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/chinese-president-to-make-first-trip-to-north-korea-in-14-years
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/179/25/100/1560778764769.html?newsId=86096

Japan protests Chinese activity near disputed East China Sea islands

Japan has protested what is says was an unauthorised Chinese maritime survey within its economic waters near disputed East China Sea islands, officials said on Monday
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/3014892/japan-protests-chinese-activity-near-disputed-east-china-sea

Japan, France to unveil road map for cooperation amid China’s rise

Japan and France are planning to unveil a five-year road map in late June that deepens cooperation in areas ranging from maritime security to infrastructure assistance amid China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region, government sources said Monday
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/18/national/politics-diplomacy/japan-france-unveil-road-map-cooperation-amid-chinas-rise/#.XQfouIgzY2w

16 JUNE 2019

India’s retaliatory tariffs on US goods go into effect

India will impose higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products including almonds, apples, and walnuts from Sunday, following Washington’s withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi
https://www.trtworld.com/business/india-s-retaliatory-tariffs-on-us-goods-go-into-effect-27526
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201906161075898071-us-imports-india-hurt-most-delhi-retaliates-trade-tensions/

Pakistan: Lt Gen Faiz Hameed is new ISI chief

Hameed was appointed as the Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI) in place of Lt Gen Asim Munir, who was transferred and appointed as Corps Commander Gujranwala
https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/06/16/gen-faiz-hameed-to-head-isi-reports/
https://www.dawn.com/news/1488568/lt-gen-faiz-hameed-named-new-dg-isi-govt-spokesperson

15 JUNE 2019

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam suspends extradition bill following mass protests

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Saturday delayed indefinitely a proposed law to allow extraditions to mainland China, in a dramatic retreat after widespread anger over the bill sparked violent protests in the Asian finance hub
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/15/hong-kong-leader-suspends-extradition-bill-following-mass-protests/
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/06/15/breaking-hong-kong-suspends-controversial-extradition-bill-months-protest-criticism/
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-48645342

14 JUNE 2019

China-Malaysia industrial park project draws US$4.8 billion in investments, fuelled partly by trade war

After a period of slowdown, the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) is picking up steam and expected to attract almost 20 billion ringgit (US$4.8 billion) in investments, a senior Malaysian trade official said on Friday, in a further sign of strengthening economic ties after the stalled East Coast Rail Link project resumed progress in April
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3014584/china-malaysia-industrial-park-project-draws-us48-billion

Southeast Asian VCs pledge $425m in investments for early-stage startups in Vietnam

Venture capital firms from across Southeast Asia have pledged to collectively invest roughly US$425 million into early-stage startups in Vietnam by 2020, according to a statement
https://www.techinasia.com/southeast-asian-vcs-pledge-425m-investments-earlystage-startups-vietnam

13 JUNE 2019

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen wins ruling party’s nomination for 2020 election

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to represent the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the 2020 presidential election after beating by 8.2 percentage points her sole challenger, former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德), in the party’s primary, the result of which was released Thursday
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201906130005.aspx
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190613_49/

17 nations to join China’s space station

The China Space Station is set to welcome aboard nine international scientific projects from 17 countries covering a wide range of research areas, the China Manned Space Agency and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs announced on June 12, 2019 in Vienna, Austria
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/0/148/229/1560401201469.html?newsId=85677

Thailand speaker submits bid to disqualify 30 MPs

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai yesterday forwarded to the Constitutional Court for a ruling one of two petitions against dozens of MPs accused of breaching media shareholding rules
https://www.asiaone.com/asia/thailand-speaker-submits-bid-disqualify-30-mps
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1694060/chuan-sends-media-shares-petition-to-charter-court

12 JUNE 2019

Japan’s Shinzo Abe in Tehran for talks amid US-Iran tensions

Japan’s prime minister is on a mediation mission in Iran aimed at deescalating regional tensions caused by the United States pulling out of the 2015 nuclear agreement
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48578314
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190613_06/
https://www.trtworld.com/middle-east/us-iran-accidental-conflict-possible-japan-pm-27433

Kim Jong-un’s sister expresses condolences to South Korea after the death of their former First Lady in highest-level meeting between the two countries for four months

The condolences offered by Kim Yo-jong in Panmunjom marked the highest-level meeting between North and South since the failure of Kim’s second summit with Donald Trump in February
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7132887/Kim-Jong-uns-sister-delivers-flowers-South-Korea.html
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190612_37/
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190612000668

Philippines slams suspected Chinese vessel for ‘contemptible’ sinking of fishing boat

The boat hit an anchored Filipino craft, the F/B GIMVER 1, on Sunday near Recto Bank – claimed by both Manila and Beijing causing it to sink and leaving 22 crewmen “to the mercy of the elements”, said Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3014237/philippines-slams-suspected-chinese-vessel-sinking-fishing
https://www.rappler.com/nation/232914-sinking-filipino-vessel-first-philippines-china-dispute

11 JUNE 2019

India’s top court orders release of journalist Prashant Kanojia jailed for defamation amid media outcry

The Indian Supreme Court has ordered the immediate release on bail of a freelance journalist arrested for a tweet on powerful Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, amid concerns about curbs on free speech
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/indias-top-court-orders-release-of-journalist-jailed-for-defamation-amid-media
http://www.sify.com/news/supreme-court-release-scribe-arrested-for-yogi-video-news-national-tglmX0jcdjagi.html
https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/journalist-prashant-kanojia-gets-bail-in-supreme-court/cid/1692209?ref=top-stories_home-template

China’s new high-frequency radar system could spot stealth aircraft from long distances, says creator

China has developed a radar system that could detect stealth fighters from a long distance, its creator has told state media
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3014084/chinas-new-high-frequency-radar-system-could-spot-stealth
http://english.chinamil.com.cn/view/2019-06/11/content_9527054.htm

Lee Hee-ho: S. Korean ex-first lady, women’s rights activist and Nobel Laureate dies

The widow of late South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, known for her women’s rights activism and involvement in her husband’s « sunshine » policy of engagement with the isolated North, has died at the age of 96
https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/lee-hee-ho-s-korean-ex-first-lady-womens-rights-activist-and-nobel-laureate-dies-1.1560222558423
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190611000650

Pakistan MQM founder Altaf Hussain arrested in London

Fugitive head of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, who was arrested from his residence by a team of Scotland Yard, is also wanted in Pakistan in murder, terrorism, hate-speech and many other cases
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/pakistan-mqm-founder-altaf-hussain-arrested-in-london-27396
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48591974

10 JUNE 2019

Bangladesh PM attacks Myanmar over Rohingya deadlock

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has slammed Myanmar for delays in the repatriation of Rohingya refugees who fled violence in the neighbouring country
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/bangladesh-pm-attacks-myanmar-over-rohingya-deadlock
https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/myanmar-doesnt-want-repatriate-rohingya-bangladeshi-pm-says.html

Former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari arrested in fake bank accounts case

Former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was arrested on corruption charges on Monday in a blow to the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party over what media said was an investigation into false bank accounts and money laundering
https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/former-pakistan-president-asif-ali-zardari-arrested-in-fake-bank-accounts-case-1.64511834
https://www.dawn.com/news/1487308/zardari-arrested-by-nab-after-ihc-rejects-bail-plea-taken-to-rawalpindi
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1988942/1-fake-accounts-case-ihc-reserves-verdict-zardari-talpurs-per-arrest-bail-petitions/

9 JUNE 2019

Hundreds of thousands of protesters march through Hong Kong against China extradition bill

Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched on the streets of central Hong Kong on Sunday showing their dislike for a proposed law that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face charges — sparking the biggest public backlash against the city’s pro-Beijing leadership in years
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/more-than-a-million-protest-in-hong-kong-over-extradition-laws-which-could-let-china-target-political-opponents
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-48572130
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/09/vast-protest-in-hong-kong-against-extradition-law-china
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/06/09/just-no-china-extradition-tens-thousands-hong-kong-protest-controversial-new-law/

8 JUNE 2019

Việt Nam economy to grow at 6.7%: report

The Vietnamese economy is expected to grow at around 6.7 per cent this year, the fastest rate in South East Asia, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ recent Economic Insight: South East Asia report
http://bizhub.vn/news/viet-nam-economy-to-grow-at-67-report_306346.html

Modi launches coastal radar system in Maldives

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated a coastal radar system and military training centre in the Maldives, as New Delhi seeks to fend off Chinese influence in the strategically-placed nation
https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/india/modi-launches-coastal-radar-system-in-maldives-1.64477507
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-maldives-sign-six-key-agreements/article27698918.ece?homepage=true
https://www.oneindia.com/international/in-a-first-ferry-service-to-connect-india-and-maldives-2902071.html

North Korean, Russian officials discuss cooperation to enhance economic, trade relations

North Korea’s Minister for External Economic Affairs Kim Yong-jae met his Russian counterpart, Alexander Kozlov, who was visiting Pyongyang, according to the Korean Central News Agency
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190607000542
https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/n-korea-russia-discuss-cooperation-in-economy-trade20190608054138/

7 JUNE 2019

UN rights experts seek inquiry into Philippines killings

United Nations human rights experts called for an international investigation into « a staggering number » of police killings linked to a crackdown on drugs in the Philippines
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/rights-experts-seek-inquiry-philippines-killings-190607085340077.html

6 JUNE 2019

Vietnam blogger jailed for six years for Facebook posts calling for peaceful protests

Nguyen Ngoc Anh, a shrimp farming engineer, was sentenced to six years in jail for “making, storing, disseminating or propagandising materials and products that aim to oppose the state of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, related to a series of Facebook posts from last year
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/07/vietnam-blogger-jailed-for-six-years-for-facebook-posts-calling-for-peaceful-protests
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/vietnam/nguyen-ngoc-anh-06062019163754.html

‘Record 3,000’ Hong Kong lawyers in silent march against controversial extradition bill

Thousands of Hong Kong’s legal professionals, including top lawyers, took to the streets on Thursday in a silent protest against the government’s controversial extradition bill, ramping up pressure on officials to avoid rushing it through the legislature
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3013461/thousands-hong-kong-lawyers-launch-silent-march-against
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/thousands-of-hong-kong-lawyers-march-against-china-extradition-plans

China, Russia commemorate 70th anniversary of ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, attended on Wednesday a gathering marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries
https://www.chinadailyhk.com/articles/159/95/250/1559815782161.html?newsId=85093
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48537663

Taiwan confirms request for US tanks, air defense systems

Taiwan’s proposed purchase of billions of dollars worth of US arms has met with a speedy response from China. Beijing has said more American weapons in Taiwan could damage US-China ties and security the Taiwan Strait
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201906060006.aspx
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3718443
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/china-concern-taiwan-confirms-arms-purchase-request-190606065452370.html
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190606_45/

5 JUNE 2019

House, Senate elect Prayut Thailand’s new prime minister

MPs and senators overwhelmingly voted for Prayut Chan-o-cha to be prime minister of Thailand late on Wednesday night. Gen Prayut will be the head of a coalition government led by the Palang Pracharath
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1689860/house-senate-elect-prayut-thailands-new-prime-minister
https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3013141/prayuth-chan-ocha-poised-retain-top-job-thai-parliament-prepares

In rare move, Pakistan military agrees to budget cut amid economic woes, PM says

Pakistan’s powerful military has agreed in a rare move to cut its hefty budget for a year to help ease the South Asian country’s “critical financial situation”, Prime Minister Imran Khan said
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/in-rare-move-pakistan-military-agrees-to-budget-cut-amid-economic-woes-pm-says
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1987181/1-pm-imran-appreciates-militarys-unprecedented-cuts-defence-spending/

China launches rocket from Yellow Sea platform for first time

China has launched a rocket from a mobile platform at sea for the first time, sending five commercial satellites and two others containing experimental technology into space
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/05/china-launches-rocket-from-yellow-sea-platform-for-first-time
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-05/china-space-launch-from-the-sea/11183722

4 JUNE 2019

Thailand’s Democrats to vote to join coup leader’s coalition

The Democrat Party, the country’s oldest, announced Tuesday that it will vote to join a coalition government led by Prayuth Chan-ocha, candidate of the military-backed Palang Pracharath party
https://www.foxnews.com/world/thailands-democrats-to-vote-to-join-coup-leaders-coalition
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1689252/democrats-vote-to-join-palang-pracharath

Mike Pompeo’s ‘arrogance’ condemned by China on 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre

China on Tuesday slammed Mike Pompeo for « lunatic ravings and babbling nonsense » after the US secretary of state criticised Beijing’s human rights record in a statement issued on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square carackdown
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/04/china-condemns-pompeo-arrogance-tiananmen-anniversary/
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/china-condemns-us-secretary-of-state-pompeos-prejudice-arrogance-on-tiananmen

Tiananmen Square massacre marked with Hong Kong vigil

More than 100,000 people have gathered in Hong Kong for a candlelight vigil to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/04/tiananmen-square-massacre-marked-with-hong-kong-vigil
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/06/04/live-english-thousands-gather-hong-kong-candlelit-vigil-mark-30-years-since-tiananmen-massacre/

China rises but 30 years after Tiananmen, crackdown remains taboo

Beijing has not apologised or revealed death toll, but calls for accountability increase as its global profile grows
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/china-rises-30-years-tiananmen-crackdown-remains-taboo-190603075028075.html

3 JUNE 2019

‘Purged’ North Korean diplomat Kim Yong Chol appears in state media

High-ranking North Korean diplomat Kim Yong Chol was identified attending an art performance alongside leader Kim Jong Un in the country’s state media on Sunday — two days after one of South Korea’s biggest newspapers said he had been banished and sentenced to hard labor and his deputy executed
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/03/asia/north-korea-kim-yong-chol-intl/index.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48493702
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3063825

Sri Lanka’s Muslim government leaders resign over allegations

Nine Cabinet and junior ministers and two provincial governors resigned after Buddhist monks accused three Muslim leaders of supporting the militants responsible for the Easter Sunday bombings that killed over 250 people
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/sri-lanka-s-muslim-government-leaders-resign-over-allegations-27232
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka-muslim-ministers-resign-en-masse-over-easter-bombings

2 JUNE 2019

Tiananmen Square: China Defence minister defends 1989 crackdown

Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe, speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday, called the seven weeks of protests by students and workers demanding democratic changes and the eradication of corruption in 1989, political « turbulence »
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-48489002
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/china-defends-bloody-crackdown-tiananmen-protests-190602083719934.html

White paper: China doesn’t want, but isn’t afraid of a trade war

China published a white paper Sunday denouncing US unilateral and protectionist measures, criticizing its backtracking on Sino-US trade talks, and demonstrating China’s stance on trade consultations and pursuit of reasonable solutions
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/64/197/31/1559470398662.html?newsId=84536
http://en.people.cn/NMediaFile/2019/0602/FOREIGN201906021223000329216674614.doc

1 JUNE 2019

US President Donald Trump terminates preferential trade status for India

Washington accuses New Delhi of deploying a wide range of trade barriers that negatively affect US commerce. Media reports say that India could impose higher import duties on US goods in response to Trump’s latest move
https://gulfnews.com/business/us-cuts-off-india-preferential-trade-access-1.1559374102399
https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-trump-to-withdraw-indias-benefits-under-select-trade-programme-5760385/
https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/us-preferential-trade-status-india-says-will-continue-to-work-towards-strong-bilateral-ties-119060100637_1.html

Aceh independence call triggers fears of renewed conflict in Indonesia’s restive province

Muzakir Manaf, the former leader of GAM who is known as Mualem, warned foreigners would “colonise” Indonesia, and Aceh should therefore be ready to stand alone
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3012729/aceh-independence-call-triggers-fears-renewed-conflict
https://en.tempo.co/read/1211176/wiranto-on-aceh-referendum-no-longer-relevant-in-indonesia?BeritaUtama&campaign=BeritaUtama_Click_5
https://en.antaranews.com/news/126580/referendum-denies-history-indonesia-ulema-council

31 MAY 2019

India’s Modi begins second term as PM, Cabinet ministers sworn in

BJP president Amit Shah is the new Union Home Minister and former Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman the Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister. Former Home Minister Rajnath Singh takes over Defence and former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will take care of External Affairs
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/narendra-modi-cabinet-ministers-and-portfolios/article27375561.ece?homepage=true
https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/india/cabinet-of-narendra-modi-2019-full-list-of-indian-ministers-portfolios-and-profiles-1.1559234073702

Admiral Karambir Singh takes charge as new Indian Navy chief

Force modernisation and maintaining the high operational tempo will be the two main challenges for new Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh, who took over from Admiral Sunil Lanba on Friday with a pledge to “work on the path of predecessors”
https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/india/admiral-karambir-singh-takes-charge-as-new-navy-chief-1.64310825

North Korea executed Kim Hyok-chol and other officials after failed Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, South Korean media claims

North Korea executed Kim Hyok-chol, its special envoy to the United States, and foreign ministry officials who carried out working-level negotiations for the second US-North Korea summit in February, holding them responsible for its collapse, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/3012536/north-korea-executed-top-us-envoy-and-officials-after-failed
http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2019/05/31/2019053101126.html
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/30/north-koreas-kim-jong-un-executes-envoy-hanoi-summit-trump-amid/

30 MAY 2019

Modi sworn in for second term as Indian prime minister

Narendra Modi has been sworn in for a second term as India’s prime minister after an overwhelming election victory for his Hindu nationalist party in a country of 1.3 billion people seeking swift economic change
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-48455829
https://www.dnaindia.com/india/pm-modi-swearing-in-live-updates-tributes-paid-to-mahatma-gandhi-vajpayee-at-national-war-memorial-2755127

Japan, Russia accuse each other of military buildups

Russia and Japan have accused each other of military buildups as their foreign and defense ministers met in Tokyo for talks that failed to make progress on decades-long island disputes
https://www.foxnews.com/world/japan-russia-accuse-each-other-of-military-buildups
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190530_43/
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/105/79/80/1559219887612.html?newsId=84358

Malaysia’s Mahathir Proposes Common East Asia Currency Pegged to Gold

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday mooted the idea of a common trading currency for East Asia that would be pegged to gold, describing the existing currency trading in the region as manipulative
https://www.theepochtimes.com/malaysias-mahathir-proposes-common-east-asia-currency-pegged-to-gold_2943360.html

29 MAY 2019

Myanmar: Arrest warrant issued for anti-Muslim monk Wirathu

A court in Myanmar has issued an arrest warrant against Wirathu, a notorious Buddhist monk whose hate-preaching sermons against the Rohingya and other minority Muslims have stoked religious tensions
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/myanmar-arrest-warrant-issued-anti-muslim-monk-wirathu-190529051810338.html
https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/wanted-myanmar-firebrand-monk-not-afraid-of-arrest-1.64264440

Maldives ex-president Mohamed Nasheed elected parliament speaker

Mohamed Nasheed received 67 votes from among 87 members. His rival received 17 votes past midnight Tuesday
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/150/84/225/1559105695441.html?newsId=84171
https://maldivesindependent.com/politics/nasheed-chosen-as-mdps-consensus-candidate-for-speaker-145615

28 MAY 2019

People in North Korea trapped in vicious cycle of deprivation, corruption and repression – UN human rights report

North Koreans are forced to pay bribes to officials to survive in their isolated country, where corruption is « endemic » and repression rife, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday (May 28)
https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24651&LangID=E
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/north-korea-stuck-in-a-vicious-cycle-of-deprivation-corruption-and-repression-un
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48432690

Chinese Vice-President wraps up Pakistan visit on ‘highly successful’ note

China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan on Tuesday concluded his three-day “highly successful” visit to Pakistan, setting a tone for future trajectory of mutual engagement between the two countries
https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/chinese-vice-president-wraps-up-pakistan-visit-on-highly-successful-note-1.64241434
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/31/3/177/1559031095229.html?newsId=84082
http://www.app.com.pk/china-pakistan-cooperation-in-next-phase-to-focus-on-benefiting-people-through-local-development-projects-expert/

27 MAY 2019

Rare meeting between Taiwanese, US security officials angers Beijing

China responded angrily on Monday as Taiwan confirmed the first meeting in more than four decades between senior US and Taiwanese security officials
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3011978/rare-meeting-between-taiwanese-us-security-officials-angers
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3710564
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/china-bridles-at-rare-meeting-between-taiwan-and-us-security-officials-27018

Myanmar soldiers jailed 10 years for Rohingya massacre freed after months

Myanmar has granted early release to seven soldiers jailed for the killing of 10 Rohingya men and boys during a 2017 military crackdown in the western state of Rakhine, two prison officials, two former fellow inmates and one of the soldiers told Reuters news agency
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/myanmar-soldiers-jailed-rohingya-massacre-freed-months-190527060218714.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48419595

Four shot dead by police in Indonesia’s Papua province as post-election riots spread

A 16-year-old boy was one of at least four people shot dead by police during a riot triggered by dissatisfaction over the election result in the restive province of Papua, an official said
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3012031/four-shot-dead-police-indonesias-papua-province-post

Trump meets with Japan’s Abe to defuse tensions with Iran and North Korea

The United States does not seek « regime change » in Iran, Donald Trump, the US president, said in Tokyo on Monday while defending Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, as a “very smart guy” who was focussed on the economic growth of his country
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/27/trump-meets-japans-abe-defuse-tensions-iran-north-korea/

26 MAY 2019

Narendra Modi to be sworn in as Prime Minister for second term on May 30

“The President (Ram Nath Kovind) will administer the Oath of Office and Secrecy to the Prime Minister and other members of Union Council of Ministers on 30.05.2019 at 07.00 p.m. at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” the communiqué issued by President’s press secretary Ashok Malik said.
https://zeenews.india.com/lok-sabha-general-elections-2019/narendra-modi-will-take-oath-as-prime-minister-on-may-30-at-7-pm-at-rashtrapati-bhavan-2206687.html
https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/india/narendra-modi-invited-to-form-government-by-indias-president-1.1558802690777

Prem Tinsulanonda, Thai king’s top adviser and ex-PM, dies aged 98

Prem Tinsulanonda, Thailand’s former prime minister and a long-time power broker in the country’s tumultuous politics, has died at age 98
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1684176/gen-prem-dies-of-heart-failure-at-98
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3011853/prem-tinsulanonda-thai-kings-top-adviser-and-ex-pm-dies

25 MAY 2019

Bong Joon-ho: 1st Korean winner of Cannes’ top prize with savage satire Parasite

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho won the Palme d’Or top prize at Cannes Film Festival Saturday with Parasite, a bravura satirical morality tale about the widening gap between rich and poor in his homeland
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/3011833/cannes-2019-south-koreas-bong-joon-ho-wins-palme-dor-savage
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=237896
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/art/2019/05/689_269493.html

24 MAY 2019

Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn urges post-election parliament to focus on national stability

King Maha Vajiralongkorn opened parliament Friday five years after a 2014 coup, stressing the importance of « national security » and « people’s well-being » as the junta moves within striking distance of cementing its grip on power
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3011729/thailands-king-vajiralongkorn-urges-post-election
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190524_49/
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30369944

India kills Kashmir’s ‘most wanted militant’ Zakir Musa

Zakir Musa, 25, was part of a new generation of young militants with large followings on social media and more affinity with global jihadist groups such as al-Qaida than with Pakistan, the traditional patron of anti-India fighters in the region
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/24/fears-of-unrest-after-india-kills-kashmirs-most-wanted-militant
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-48392851
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/india-kills-top-militant-in-disputed-kashmir-26944

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam voices ‘strong objection’ to Germany granting asylum to Mong Kok riot fugitives Ray Wong and Alan Li

Hong Kong’s leader has made a strongly worded official complaint to Germany’s top diplomat in the city, nearly three days after the news broke that the European nation had granted asylum to two local fugitives wanted by police on rioting charges
https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3011735/hong-kong-leader-carrie-lam-voices-strong-objection-germany
https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1459201-20190524.htm
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/05/24/chinese-officials-tell-germany-stay-hong-kong-affairs-wanted-activists-gain-refugee-status/

23 MAY 2019

India election results 2019: Narendra Modi takes landslide win

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has secured another five-year term after winning a landslide general election victory
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-48347081
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/3011408/india-election-moment-truth-arrives-narendra-modi-and-bjp-vote

Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile

Pakistan says it has successfully conducted a “training launch” of a ballistic missile capable of carrying both nuclear and conventional warheads up to 1,500 kilometers
https://www.voanews.com/a/pakistan-tests-nuclear-capable-ballistic-missile/4929203.html
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/pakistan-military-test-fired-ballistic-missile-shaheen-ii-190523080246734.html

India elections: Rahul Gandhi concedes defeat, loses seat in family bastion

Rahul Gandhi, president of India’s main opposition Congress party, conceded on Thursday he had lost his seat in the famous family’s long-held home constituency
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/rahul-gandhi-loses-amethi-seat-biggest-upset-2019-polls-190523134545989.html
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/india-elections-rahul-gandhi-concedes-defeat-loses-seat-in-family-bastion

Thailand’s constitutional court blocks Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit’s bid for prime minister role

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party and a former business tycoon, is accused of holding shares in a media company when he registered in February to run in the country’s March 24 election
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3011554/thailands-constitutional-court-blocks-upstart-politician
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1682696/court-suspends-thanathorn-from-mp

US, Japan, South Korea, Australia hold first naval drills in Western Pacific

US Navy ships conducted joint drills with warships from allies Japan, Australia and South Korea in their first combined exercise in the Western Pacific, the US Navy said on Thursday (May 23)
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/us-japan-south-korea-australia-hold-first-naval-drills-in-western-pacific
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/japan-south-korea-australia-hold-joint-naval-drills-190523074352346.html

22 MAY 2019

Six Die In Jakarta Riots After President Joko Widodo’s Election Win Is Confirmed

Confirmation of Indonesian President Joko « Jokowi » Widodo’s reelection win has set off violence in Jakarta, where officials say at least six people died after protests morphed into riots in the capital. Widodo’s challenger, former military general Prabowo Subianto, is refusing to concede the race
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48361782
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/deadly-protests-continue-indonesia-jokowi-election-win-190522090804312.html
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-22/jakarta-protests-joko-widodo-re-election-turn-deadly/11138636

21 MAY 2019

Singapore agrees to suspend construction of RTS Link at Malaysia’s request

Singapore has agreed to suspend the construction of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link until Sep 30 at Malaysia’s request, Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Tuesday (May 21)
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/rts-link-singapore-malaysia-suspends-johor-bahru-11542908
https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/singapore-and-malaysia-to-defer-johor-baru-woodlands-rts-link-till-sept-30

Indonesia’s President Jokowi re-elected with 55.5 per cent of votes

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has, as expected, defeated his old rival Prabowo Subianto at the polls again – this time by more than double the votes he had garnered at their last presidential race in 2014
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/21/asia/indonesia-election-jokowi-intl/index.html
https://jakartaglobe.id/context/jokowi-wins-reelection-pdip-wins-most-seats
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/prabowo-after-defeat-says-will-not-accept-indonesia-election-result

20 MAY 2019

Taiwanese President. Tsai determined to seek 2nd term

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen reiterated on Monday that she aims to win a second term in next year’s presidential election. But her party is in disarray over selecting a candidate
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190520_31/
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3706106
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2019/05/21/2003715519

Kashmir group seeks UN probe into torture by India troops

International rights groups accuse Indian troops of using systematic abuse and unjustified arrests to intimidate residents opposing India’s rule in disputed Kashmir. New Delhi denies its forces strategically use abuses to control the population
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/kashmir-group-seeks-un-probe-into-torture-by-india-troops-26780

Philippines prefers Chinese cash rather than US ‘strategic confusion’ in South China Sea, says foreign minister

The US is projecting “strategic confusion” in the South China Sea, the Philippines’ top diplomat said, prompting the country to deepen its ties with China
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3010996/philippines-prefers-chinese-cash-rather-us-strategic-confusion

18 MAY 2019

Stateless Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh Receive Identity Documents for First Time

Bangladeshi authorities and the U.N. refugee agency have registered more than a quarter million Rohingya refugees and presented them with identity documents that grant them a number of rights and safeguards
https://www.newdelhitimes.com/stateless-rohingya-refugees-in-bangladesh-receive-identity-documents-for-first-time/

North Korea Begins Crackdown on Falun Gong

Falun Gong, controversial spiritual movement with recent origins in China, is reportedly spreading in the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang, even as North Korean and Chinese authorities have launched crackdowns to eliminate it, sources say
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/korea/nk-falun-gong-05172019164536.html

Sri Lanka Marks 10 Years Since Civil War’s End

On May 18, 2009, government forces brought their no-holds-barred military offensive to an end at a lagoon in the northern coastal district of Mullaittivu with the killing of Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the rebel Tamil Tigers
https://www.voanews.com/a/sri-lanka-marks-10-years-since-civil-wars-end/4922731.html
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/sri-lanka-anniversary-10-years-civil-war-ended-190518160221811.html
http://www.colombopage.com/archive_19A/May18_1558200172CH.php

US State Dep’t approves possible sale of SM-2 missiles to S. Korea: DSCA

The US State Department has approved a possible sale of SM-2 Block IIIB ship-to-air missiles to South Korea for an estimated cost of $313.9 million, according to a US defense agency
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190518000056
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/us-state-dept-approves-possible-314m-sale-of-missiles-to-south-korea

17 MAY 2019

Former CIA officer sentenced to 20 years for disclosing state secrets to Chinese for $25G

An ex-CIA officer was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison for revealing military secrets to China and potentially seeking to expose human assets who were once his responsibility
https://www.foxnews.com/us/former-cia-officer-jailed-state-secrets-china
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48319058

Taiwan becomes first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage

The law was approved today. Starting on 24 May, gay couples, aged 18 and over, will be able to register their union, adopt their partner’s biological children, have access to the same medical coverage, and inherit. Marriage is not allowed with people from countries where same-sex unions are not recognised
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/afav/201905170008.aspx
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/17/taiwan-becomes-first-asian-county-to-legalise-same-sex-marriage
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/taiwan-gay-marriage-rights-law-debate-11541324

16 MAY 2019

Architect I.M. Pei dies at age 102

I.M. Pei, whose modern designs and high-profile projects made him one of the best-known and most prolific architects of the 20th century, has died at the age of 102
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/16/architect-im-pei-dies-at-age-102.html
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-48303529
https://www.chinadailyhk.com/articles/127/80/22/1558086529400.html?newsId=83090

15 MAY 2019

Thailand’s oldest political party, the Democratic Party founded in 1946, has named Jurin Laksanawisit as its new leader

Mr Jurin garnered 160 votes from 291 members selected to vote, followed by Pirapan Salirathvibhaga (102), Korn Chatikavanij (19) and Apirak Kosayodhin (10)
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/1678276/jurin-wins-democrat-leadership-contest-in-landslide
http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2019/05/15/11-time-mp-chosen-as-new-democrat-leader/

Wikipedia blocked in China ahead of Tiananmen Square anniversary

Authorities in mainland China have blocked Wikipedia, its owner said on Wednesday
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3010361/wikipedia-blocked-china-ahead-tiananmen-square-anniversary
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48269608

Malaysia Extradites Thai Woman Wanted Over Anti-Monarchy Activities

Praphan Pipithnamporn, who was registered as an asylum seeker by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), was repatriated to Bangkok on May 10, 2019, in violation of Malaysia’s international legal obligations, and detained by Thai authorities
https://www.malaysiasun.com/news/261028671/malaysia-thai-asylum-seeker-forcibly-returned
https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/malaysian/malaysia-thailand-05142019162414.html

UN Mission Urges Financial Isolation of Myanmar’s Military

A United Nations fact-finding mission is urging that countries cut off all business with Myanmar’s military as part of efforts to hold the army accountable for human rights abuses
https://www.newdelhitimes.com/un-mission-urges-financial-isolation-of-myanmars-military/
https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/05/1038501

Duterte’s children elected as Philippines President consolidates power in midterms

Three of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s children posted resounding victories in the country’s midterm elections this week as voters responded to what was largely seen as a referendum on the controversial leader’s first three years in office with a strong vote of support
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/15/asia/duterte-loyalists-sweep-philippines-midterms-intl/index.html

Putin calls for framework to denuclearize N.Korea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for the creation of a multilateral framework to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190515_45/

14 MAY 2019

Nepal probes journalists for Dalai Lama news

Three Nepali journalists are being probed for circulating a news item on the Dalai Lama, officials said Tuesday (May 14), in a sign of growing Chinese influence on its small Himalayan neighbour
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/nepal-probes-journalists-for-dalai-lama-news-11533194

Thailand’s next parliament to convene on May 22

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn approved the 250 members of the upper chamber in a royal gazette statement Tuesday, saying the parliament is due to meet on May 22
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/123/69/231/1557837727318.html?newsId=82731

End of a dynasty? House of Estrada the biggest loser in Philippine midterm elections

In Manila, disgraced former president Joseph Estrada, 82, lost his bid for a third term as mayor – a defeat that looked set to be shared by all the rest of his family members contesting in the elections
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3010221/end-dynasty-house-estrada-biggest-loser-philippine-midterm
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/05/15/1917988/political-dynasties-crumble-estrada-clan-shut-out

At least 128 prisoners of conscience in Vietnam: Amnesty

The number of prisoners of conscience in Vietnam has risen by a third over the past year amid a continuing crackdown on freedom of expression in the Southeast Asian nation, Amnesty International has said
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/128-prisoners-conscience-vietnam-amnesty-190513034714570.html

13 MAY 2019

Sri Lanka blocks social media after worst anti-Muslim violence since Easter Sunday attacks

Sri Lanka blocked social media and enforced a police curfew on Sunday after some of the worst anti-Muslim violence since terror attacks on April 21 on Easter Sunday that killed more than 250 people
https://www.thenational.ae/world/asia/sri-lanka-blocks-social-media-after-worst-anti-muslim-violence-since-easter-sunday-attacks-1.860859

South China Sea: Beijing unveils US$23.5 million contract for coastguard ship to patrol Paracel Islands

China has announced an expansion of its non-naval presence in the disputed South China Sea with a 161.4 million yuan (US$23.5 million) contract for a coastguard vessel that will patrol the Paracel Islands
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3010058/south-china-sea-beijing-announces-us235-million-contract

Thailand’s 11 one-seat parties support Prayut as new PM

Eleven Thai political parties which won one seat each in Thailand’s March 24 elections said on Monday that they would vote for incumbent Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to be elected as new prime minister
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/149/144/19/1557743016872.html?newsId=82589
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/small-parties-back-thai-junta-chief-prayut-chan-o-cha-after-rule-change-gave-them-seats

Philippines votes in election expected to deliver greater power for Duterte

Filipinos headed to the polls on Monday in a vote that is expected to strengthen President Rodrigo Duterte’s grip on power, opening the way for him to deliver on pledges to restore the death penalty and rewrite the constitution
https://www.france24.com/en/20190513-philippines-votes-election-expected-deliver-greater-power-duterte
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/philippines-midterms-voters-head-polls-test-duterte-190512233206479.html

Ex-Interpol chief’s wife gets asylum in France

The wife of Meng Hongwei, the former Interpol president jailed in China for what she believes are political reasons, said Monday that France has saved her life and the lives of their two young boys by granting her asylum request
https://www.foxnews.com/world/ap-exclusive-ex-interpol-chiefs-wife-gets-asylum-in-france

China to impose tariffs on US goods despite Trump warning

China’s finance ministry said it plans to set import tariffs ranging from five percent to 25 percent on 5,140 US products on a target list worth about $60 billion. It said the tariffs will take effect on June 1
https://www.trtworld.com/business/china-to-impose-tariffs-on-us-goods-despite-trump-warning-26595
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/13/china-is-raising-tariffs-on-60-billion-of-us-goods-starting-june-1.html

Pakistan secures $6bn bailout from IMF to help avert economic crisis

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund reached an agreement on a loan of about $6 billion designed to help the South Asian nation avert an economic crisis
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/pakistan-imf-loan-bailout-imran-khan-reza-baqir-a8911146.html
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/what-to-know-about-the-pakistan-imf-deal-26611

11 MAY 2019

Hong Kong lawmakers brawl over controversial extradition bill

A fight broke out between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing lawmakers in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. The proposed law would permit extraditions to China despite the Chinese government’s poor human rights record
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/11/hong-kong-lawmakers-scuffle-in-parliament
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2019/05/11/pictures-physical-clashes-injuries-hong-kongs-legislature-amid-uproar-china-extradition-bill/
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48237316

US-China trade talks break up after US raises tariffs

Trade talks between the US and China end without a deal, but negotiators from both sides say they held « constructive » talks that went « fairly well » after the US raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods and Beijing promised to retaliate
https://www.trtworld.com/business/us-china-trade-talks-break-up-after-us-raises-tariffs-26523
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/china-state-media-says-three-main-differences-remain-in-us-trade-talks
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/china-vows-compromise-principles-trade-talks-190511114350726.html

70 countries urge North Korea to scrap nuclear, ballistic weapons

Seventy countries urged North Korea on Friday to scrap its nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and related programs, decrying the « undiminished threat » posed to world peace
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/70-countries-urge-north-korea-to-scrap-nuclear–ballistic-weapons-11524234

Vietnam jails two activists for ‘spreading propaganda’ on Facebook

A Vietnamese court has jailed two activists on charges of publishing damaging anti-state propaganda about the communist-run country, state media reported Saturday, the latest convictions under a hardline leadership intolerant of dissent
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/vietnam-jails-two-activists-for-spreading-propaganda-on-facebook

10 MAY 2019

Korean tourist freed by French commando after kidnapping in Burkina Faso

A South Korean tourist being held captive by an unidentified armed gang in Burkina Faso has been released following a rescue operation by France’s special forces, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Friday
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190510000667

China expresses regret over US tariff hike, vows countermeasures

China on Friday (May 10) said it « deeply regrets » the United States’ decision to increase tariffs on US$200 billion (S$273 billion) worth of Chinese goods to 25 per cent from 10 per cent, adding without elaborating that it would take necessary countermeasures
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/china-expresses-regret-over-us-tariff-hike-vows-countermeasures
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-05/10/c_138048346.htm
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190510/p2g/00m/0bu/075000c

China has stepped up efforts to infiltrate Taiwan – president

Tsai, speaking to reporters on Friday after a national security meeting, said China’s operations to influence opinion included attempts to interfere with elections and conduct fake news campaigns
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/china-stepped-efforts-infiltrate-taiwan-president-190510040347277.html

Three Thai activists accused of insulting the king have disappeared, rights groups claim

Three Thai activists facing charges of insulting the monarchy have disappeared after reportedly being arrested in Vietnam, rights groups said on Friday, months after two exiled critics of the military and monarchy turned up dead
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3009772/three-thai-activists-accused-insulting-king-have
https://www.dw.com/en/thai-activists-accused-of-defaming-king-disappear/a-48684637
http://www.khaosodenglish.com/politics/2019/05/10/junta-denies-knowledge-of-missing-republican-activists/

India and France hold biggest naval exercises with an eye on China

With the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle at the centre, France and India on Friday (May 10) stepped up their biggest naval exercises as the Indian Ocean’s strategic shipping lanes draw ever more envious eyes
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/india-and-france-hold-biggest-naval-exercises-with-an-eye-on-china

Japanese, Russian foreign ministers discuss territorial row

The Japanese and Russian foreign ministers met Friday in Moscow to negotiate a way through a long-standing territorial dispute that has prevented the countries from signing a postwar peace treaty
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190510/p2g/00m/0fp/097000c
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190510_48/

9 MAY 2019

Singapore passes new law to police fake news despite concerns

After an intense debate, Singapore’s parliament has passed a sweeping « anti-fake news » bill despite concerns raised by journalists, academics and global technology companies over free speech and abuse of power
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/singapore-passes-law-police-fake-news-concerns-190509000809073.html
https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Bills-Supp/10-2019/Published/20190401?DocDate=20190401
https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3009597/singapores-fake-news-law-lesson-asia-stifling-dissent

North Korea fires two short-range missiles in second test in a week

North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Thursday, the South’s military said, less than a week after its leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the test-firing of multiple rockets and a missile
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/north-korea-fires-two-short-range-missiles-in-second-test-in-a-week-26512
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-south-missiles-short-range-tests-disarmament-talks-trump-latest-a8906156.html

Malaysian PM says no timetable for handing over power

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad defended his government’s record on the anniversary of its election victory Thursday and reiterated he will hand over power to his successor Anwar Ibrahim though he wasn’t clear on when
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/221/12/160/1557391380337.html?newsId=82299
https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/05/09/i-am-an-interim-pm-dr-m-says-may-stay-on-for-three-years-before-anwar-takes/1751355

US, Japan, India and Philippines challenge Beijing with naval drills in the South China Sea

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/us-japan-india-and-philippines-challenge-beijing-with-naval-drills-in-the-south-china
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/05/10/1916676/philippines-warship-quadrilateral-drill-scs

8 MAY 2019

2 Russian aircraft breach S Korea’s air defence zone

South Korea scrambled multiple jets in response to its air defence identification zone (KADIZ) being allegedly violated by two Russian Tupolev Tu-142s last week
https://www.asiapacificstar.com/news/260929484/2-russian-aircraft-breach-s-korea-air-defence-zone

Thailand’s election results put Prayut closer to premiership

Thailand’s election agency on Wednesday (May 8) released results that relegated a coalition led by the former ruling Pheu Thai Party to a Lower House minority, giving a leg-up to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s chances of returning as premier
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/thailands-election-results-put-prayut-closer-to-premiership
https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/thai/election-results-05072019160913.html

Asia Bibi, Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after years on death row, has left Pakistan

Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi has left the country, bound for Canada to join her daughters, sources told DW. She was sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy but was later acquitted by the country’s Supreme Court
https://www.dw.com/en/asia-bibi-leaves-pakistan-for-canada/a-48646259
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-48198340
https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/pakistan-asia-bibi-freedom-great-relief-blasphemy-laws-must-be-repealed

7 MAY 2019

Pressured over press rights, Myanmar frees Reuters reporters after more than 500 days for reporting abuses of Rohingya

Two Reuters journalists whose reporting on the Myanmar military’s abuses of Rohingya Muslims got them imprisoned and drew the world’s attention to curbs on freedom of the press were freed Tuesday as part of a mass presidential pardon
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-journalists-idUSKCN1SD056
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/myanmar-frees-two-reuters-journalists-in-amnesty-26442

China refuses to join nuclear talks with US and Russia in blow for Trump

China won’t take part in three-way nuclear talks with the United States and Russia, a government spokesman said Monday, potentially scuttling plans by the Trump administration for a grand nuclear deal between the three nations
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-nuclear-weapons-us-russia-trump-putin-xi-president-a8902571.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/06/asia/us-china-russia-nuclear-deal-intl/index.html

6 MAY 2019

Recognise Taiwan’s title and then we’ll talk, Foxconn billionaire Terry Gou tells Beijing

Foxconn’s billionaire chairman and aspiring Taiwanese presidential candidate Terry Gou has called on Beijing to recognise the “Republic of China”, Taiwan’s official title
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3009087/recognise-taiwans-title-and-then-well-talk-billionaire-terry
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3695588

Brunei halts plan to punish gay sex with death by stoning

Brunei’s sultan has extended a moratorium on the death penalty to new laws prohibiting gay sex and adultery after a global backlash against the punishments
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/brunei-halts-plan-punish-gay-sex-adultery-death-190505181513614.html
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/05/asia/brunei-lgbt-death-penalty-intl/index.html

Sri Lanka deploys troops after communal violence breaks out in wake of Easter Sunday bombings

The Sri Lankan government has deployed troops and imposed a curfew after clashes broke out between religious communities in Negambo, one of the sites of the Easter Sunday bombings
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/06/sri-lanka-deploys-troops-communal-violence-breaks-wake-easter/
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/christian-muslim-clashes-rock-sri-lanka-town-hit-by-easter-11507756

Thai king greets subjects, praises ‘unity’ on final day of coronation

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn greeted thousands of his subjects from a balcony of his Grand Palace on Monday (May 6), the third and final day of coronation ceremonies
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/thai-king-maha-vajiralongkorn-coronation-final-day-11507180
https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1672908/king-queen-give-public-audience

5 MAY 2019

Sri Lanka expels 200 clerics after attacks as Catholics celebrate Mass in private

Sri Lanka has banned around 200 Islamic clerics as a security operation and investigation following the Easter Sunday massacre that killed more than 250 people continues
https://www.thenational.ae/world/asia/sri-lanka-expels-200-clerics-after-attacks-as-catholics-celebrate-mass-in-private-1.857395
http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Sri-Lanka-expels-200-Islamic-clerics-after-Easter-attacks/108-166475

China-Russia joint naval exercise concludes in Qingdao

A six-day joint naval exercise held by Chinese and Russian navies concluded Saturday in Qingdao east China’s Shandong province
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/38/35/63/1557051931671.html?newsId=81830

4 MAY 2019

Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn is crowned as three-day coronation begins

Thailand has crowned its new King Maha Vajiralongkorn, marking the first ascension of a new monarch in seven decades
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/04/thailands-king-vajiralongkorn-is-crowned-as-three-day-coronation-begins
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/thai-king-vajiralongkorn-formally-crowned-as-divine-monarch
https://www.euronews.com/2019/05/04/watch-thailand-s-king-maha-vajiralongkorn-is-crowned-on-the-first-day-of-coronation-rites

North fires short-range projectiles into East Sea

North Korea fired a barrage of unidentified short-range projectiles into the East Sea on Saturday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, in apparent saber-rattling amid stalled nuclear talks with the United States
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3062654
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/north-korea-fires-short-range-missile-seoul
https://www.france24.com/en/20190504-north-korea-ballistic-missle-fail-nuclear-talks-us-sanctions-kim-jong-un-trump-weapon

3 MAY 2019

North Korean food rations at record low after worst harvest in decade: UN

North Korea has cut public food rations to 300g per day, the lowest level ever for this time of year, with further cuts likely after the lowest agricultural production in a decade, the United Nations said on Friday (May 3)
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/north-korean-food-rations-at-record-low-after-worst-harvest-in-decade-un
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/3008803/10-million-north-koreans-face-food-shortages-after-worst
https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000104948/download/?_ga=2.168556514.213588580.1556911385-581506702.1556911385

Pentagon says China plans to build military bases around the world to protect Belt & Road project

The US Defense Department expects China to add military bases around the world to protect its investments in it ambitious One Belt One Road global infrastructure program, according to an official report released Thursday
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/03/pentagon-says-china-plans-build-military-bases-around-world/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/03/china-will-build-string-of-military-bases-around-world-says-pentagon
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/china-increase-overseas-military-bases-pentagon-report-190503065146243.html

2 MAY 2019

Cambodian Court Summons 12 CNRP Members Over ‘Banned’ Activities

Authorities in northwestern Cambodia’s Battambang province summoned 12 members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party to court this week to answer charges they were still active in the opposition group dissolved by court order almost two years ago
https://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/summons-05012019170148.html

1 MAY 2019

Thailand announces new queen three days before coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn

The new royal is General Suthida Vajiralongkorn, whom the King wedded at the Dusit Palace on Wednesday “legally and according to tradition”, according to a royal decree
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3008469/thailand-announces-new-queen-three-days-coronation-king
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30368702

Naruhito formally invested as Japan’s new emperor

Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito formally ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on Wednesday, a day after his father’s historic abdication, and vowed to stand with the people as the country begins a new imperial era
https://www.france24.com/en/20190501-naruhito-formally-invested-japan-new-emperor-akihito-abdicates
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190501_24/
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0005710470