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

24 APRIL 2018

China to launch Chang’e-5 lunar probe in 2019

China plans to launch the Chang’e-5 lunar probe next year, which is expected to bring lunar samples back to the Earth, according to Pei Zhaoyu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration (CNSA)
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/123/180/20/1524583595933.html

Setya Novanto, Indonesia’s former speaker of parliament, jailed for 15 years over corruption charges

A senior Indonesian politician has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for his role in the theft of $170 million of public money, a victory for police fighting corruption in Indonesia
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-24/indonesias-former-speaker-of-parliament-jailed-for-corruption/9693818?section=world

Singapore cabinet reshuffle: Younger ministers to head two-thirds of ministries, says PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that the « extensive » reshuffle to the Cabinet announced on Tuesday (Apr 24) means that the Singapore Government’s leadership transition is well underway
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/cabinet-reshuffle-younger-ministers-head-two-thirds-ministries-10171084
http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2143147/what-singapores-cabinet-shake-reveals-about-plans-life-after-lee

22 APRIL 2018

Blast at voter centre kills dozens in Afghanistan’s Kabul

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside the building in Kabul, killing at least 63 and injuring more than 100 others. Daesh has claimed responsibility for the attack
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/blast-at-voter-centre-kills-dozens-in-afghanistan-s-kabul-16921
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-04-22/islamic-state-claims-responsibility-for-attack-in-kabul-killing-more-than-50/1751308

21 APRIL 2018

India approves death penalty for rape of girls under 12

India’s cabinet on Saturday approved the death penalty for rapists of girls below the age of 12, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an emergency meeting in response to nationwide outrage in the wake of a series of cases
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/india-approves-death-penalty-for-rape-of-girls-under-12-16906
http://www.dw.com/en/india-prescribes-death-penalty-for-child-rape/a-43480914
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/india-death-penalty-child-rape-sentencing-rapists-a8315716.html

North Korea suspends missile launches and shuts down nuclear test site ahead of key summits

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has announced Pyongyang will carry out no more ballistic missile tests and will shut down its nuclear test site, the latest olive branch from the regime as diplomacy in the region ramps up
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/20/kim-jong-un-says-north-korea-has-suspended-nuclear-long-range/
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/north-korea-says-it-has-suspended-nuclear-and-missile-testing-16893
http://eurasiadiary.com/en/news/world/272180-north-korea-halts-missile-and-nuclear-tests-says-kim-jong-un

20 APRIL 2018

Australian warships challenged by Chinese military in South China Sea

Three Australian warships were challenged by the Chinese military as they travelled through the disputed South China Sea earlier this month, the ABC can reveal
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-20/south-china-sea-australian-warships-challenged-by-chinese/9677908?section=world
https://www.todayonline.com/world/china-challenged-australian-warships-south-china-sea-australian-media
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/235/114/123/1524229235518.html

19 APRIL 2018

Talks underway to officially end Korean War

South and North Korea as well as the United States will discuss signing peace treaties to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War during next week’s inter-Korean summit and the following one between Washington and Pyongyang, a senior Cheong Wa Dae official said
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/content/n-korea-s-korea-officially-open-channels-end-korean-war
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_northkorea/841283.html

Philippine-US war games expanded to include Japan, Australia

Annual US-Philippine military exercises involving thousands of troops will be expanded for the first time to include other countries, with Japanese and Australian forces invited to join what will be the 34th edition of the war games
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/philippine-us-war-games-expanded-to-include-japan-australia

North Korea no longer demanding withdrawal of U.S. troops as condition of denuclearization, Moon says

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that his rival, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, isn’t asking for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula as a precondition for abandoning his nuclear weapons. If true, this would seem to remove a major sticking point to a potential nuclear disarmament deal
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-north-korea-us-troops-20180419-story.html
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3047197

18 APRIL 2018

CIA boss Mike Pompeo held secret meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend and met with Kim Jong Un, according to media reports. Donald Trump said the meeting « went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. »
http://www.dw.com/en/cia-boss-mike-pompeo-held-secret-meeting-with-north-korean-leader-kim-jong-un-us-media/a-43429344
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-04-18/north-korea-cia-boss-in-secret-talks-with-kim-jongun-ahead-of-possible-summit-with-donald-trump/1750338

China calls on India to get on board with Nepal projects

Foreign minister says Beijing and New Delhi should support the Himalayan country’s development, and the three are ‘natural friends and partners’
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2142329/china-calls-india-get-board-nepal-projects
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-moots-india-nepal-china-economic-corridor-through-himalayas/articleshow/63815372.cms

India journalist threatened over anti-rape cartoon

Swathi Vadlamudi’s cartoon depicts a conversation between Hindu god Ram and his wife, Sita, to criticise right-wing support for the accused
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-43806970
https://feminisminindia.com/2018/04/18/cartoonist-swati-vadlamudi-fir-filed/

China’s Live-Fire Drill in the Taiwan Strait: A Case Study in Psychological Warfare

Despite claims by Chinese hawks that the live-fire military exercise is aimed at Taiwan and that the aircraft carrier ‘Liaoning’ could be involved, there is every indication that the drills are little more than a routine artillery exercise
https://sentinel.tw/china-drill-psych-warfare/
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2142336/chinas-live-fire-taiwan-strait-drill-turns-out-be-damp

17 APRIL 2018

Maldives unrest: Ex-President banned from election despite UN demands

The Maldives rejected a demand by the UN Human Rights Committee on Monday that former president Mohamed Nasheed be allowed to stand for office, including in a presidential election later this year
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/04/maldives-unrest-ex-president-banned-from-election-despite-un-demands/#mkHRcywTg3XWzx5Y.97

Burma frees 8,500 prisoners in holiday amnesty

Burma announced the release of 8,500 prisoners in a mass pardoning on Tuesday, including dozens of political prisoners and two Christian pastors from an ethnic minority
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/17/burma-frees-8500-prisoners-holiday-amnesty/
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/04/burma-new-president-releases-over-8000-prisoners-in-new-year-amnesty/#mmHW4tpldAyG7pbu.97

Trump and Japan’s Abe meet over North Korea and global trade

US President Donald Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meet shortly to discuss North Korea and trade, with both men battling pressure at home
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/update-4-trump-says-u.s.-having-direct-talks-with-north-korea-about-summit
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43792658
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180418/p2g/00m/0dm/002000c

16 APRIL 2018

South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee, who was abducted by North Korea’s Kim Jong-il with her ex-husband, dies aged 91

South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee, who once escaped North Korea with her film-director ex-husband Shin Sang-ok after the pair were kidnapped on the orders of Kim Jong-il in 1978, has died aged 91 after an illness, according to local media
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2142004/south-korean-actress-choi-eun-hee-who-was-abducted-north-korea
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/04/121_247380.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31628415

China, Japan hail new beginning at bilateral summit

China and Japan on Monday pledged a « new starting point » for bilateral ties. The statement was made during a three-day visit by Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi to Japan. During the visit, Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe called for warmer relations
http://en.rfi.fr/20180416-china-japan-summit-new-beginning/
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2141970/japan-and-china-try-reset-relations-shadow-trumps-trade
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180416/p2g/00m/0fp/099000c

13 APRIL 2018

Pakistan court bars former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office for life

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday (April 13) issued a lifetime ban on politicians holding office after legal disqualification – a ruling that will bar former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from ever holding an elected position following a corruption probe against him last year
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/pakistan-court-bars-former-prime-minister-nawaz-sharif-from-holding-public-office
http://www.dw.com/en/pakistan-bars-ex-premier-nawaz-sharif-from-politics-for-life/a-43368800
https://www.dawn.com/news/1401362/disqualification-under-article-62-1f-is-for-life-sc-rules-in-historic-verdict

12 APRIL 2018

Sri Lanka president moves to suspend parliament

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday suspended parliament until May in a shock move amid a deepening power struggle between him and his unity government’s prime minister
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/sri-lanka/sri-lanka-president-moves-to-suspend-parliament-1.2204677

Prabowo Subianto named as Gerindra’s candidate in Indonesia’s 2019 presidential election

Controversial former special forces commander Prabowo Subianto has accepted his party’s nomination to run for president in next year’s Indonesian elections
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-12/jokowi-rival-prabowo-to-stand-for-indonesian-president/9645650?section=world
http://jakartaglobe.id/news/indonesia-set-repeat-contest-2019-presidential-poll/

Bangladesh scraps quota system in govt jobs amid mounting protests

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said she has decided to scrap the quota system in government services after thousands of students marched across the country in protest against a controversial policy of setting aside jobs for special groups
http://zeenews.india.com/asia/bangladesh-scraps-quota-system-in-govt-jobs-amid-mounting-protests-2099421.html
https://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/quota-system-reformation–sought-reform-got-abolition-1561603

11 APRIL 2018

Korea-Japan foreign ministers hold talks on bilateral ties and N. Korea’s nuclear issue

The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan have reaffirmed their mutual goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and agreed to develop peaceful and progressive Seoul-Tokyo ties
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=216158
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2141315/south-korea-japan-vow-cooperate-resolving-issues-north-remain
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180411/p2g/00m/0dm/057000c

Seven Myanmar soldiers jailed with hard labour for massacre of Rohingya civilians

Seven Myanmar soldiers have been sentenced to jail with hard labour for their part in the extrajudicial killings of 10 Rohingya Muslim men last year
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2141171/seven-myanmar-soldiers-sentenced-10-years-rohingya-massacre
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/10/myanmar-rohingya-muslims-massacre-burma-soldiers-sentenced-jailed

Li Wenzu, wife of detained Chinese rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, under house arrest

The wife of a detained Chinese human rights lawyer who had nearly completed a 100-km (60-mile) march to highlight her husband’s plight said she had been placed under house arrest on Wednesday
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/?post_type=news&p=1391039&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+japantimes+%28The+Japan+Times%3A+All+Stories%29#.Ws7T0CYh02w
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/-Li-Wenzu-under-house-arrest%3A-%26ldquo%3BIf-you-dare-to-come-out%2C-we%27ll-kill-you%26rdquo%3B-43605.html

10 APRIL 2018

Malaysia to hold general elections on May 9

Malaysia is set to hold a general election on May 9, the Elections Commission said, in what could be the toughest test of the ruling coalition’s 61-year grip on power
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/malaysia-hold-general-elections-9-180410115525833.html
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2141021/malaysia-hold-general-election-may-9

9 APRIL 2018

Duterte urges Congress to ‘fast-track’ impeachment of top judge

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told members of parliament they must « fast-track » the impeachment of the country’s top judge after she hinted that he might be behind the moves to sack her
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/duterte-urges-congress-fast-track-impeachment-top-judge-180409150254908.html
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/04/10/1804532/sereno-must-be-out-supreme-court-duterte

South Korea’s ex-president Lee indicted for corruption

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was formally indicted for corruption Monday, becoming the latest of the country’s ex-leaders to face criminal charges
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/04/09/557898/South-Korea-Lee-Myungbak-Court
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=216067

8 APRIL 2018

Modi rules out India’s participation in Saarc summit in Pakistan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli India’s firm opposition to the staging of the SAARC Summit by Islamabad, given the fact that Pakistan continued to support cross-border terrorism from its territory
http://www.thedailystar.net/politics/modi-rules-out-indias-participation-south-asian-association-for-regional-cooperation-saarc-summit-pakistan-cross-border-terrorism-1559755
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1680503/9-india-hints-sabotaging-saarc-summit-scheduled-pakistan/

Singapore, China sign MOU to boost collaboration in Belt and Road Initiative

Singapore and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Third-party Market Cooperation in Beijing on Sunday (Apr 8) to promote greater collaboration between Singapore and Chinese companies in third-party markets along the Belt and Road
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-china-sign-mou-collaboration-belt-and-road-initiative-10117042
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/singapore-and-china-sign-deal-to-boost-cooperation-on-belt-and-road-initiative

7 APRIL 2018

Japan activates first marines since WW2

Japan has activated its first marine unit since World War Two, trained to counter invaders occupying Japanese islands along the edge of the East China Sea that Tokyo fears are vulnerable to attack by China
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/japan-activates-first-marines-since-ww2
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180407/p2g/00m/0dm/072000c

6 APRIL 2018

Former S. Korean president Park Geun-hye sentenced to 24 years for corruption

South Korea’s disgraced former president Park Geun-hye was jailed for 24 years Friday (Apr 6) for corruption, closing out a dramatic fall from grace for the country’s first woman leader who became a figure of public fury and ridicule
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/former-south-korean-president-park-jailed-24-years-for-10109782
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=215980
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/06/korean-rasputin-68m-horse-park-geun-hye-fell-grace/

Malaysian PM dissolves parliament, calls for election

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Friday that the parliament will be dissolved on Saturday, paving way for the next general election to be held within 60 days in which he is seeking another mandate after holding the position for nine years
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/63/182/213/1523006929547.html
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/malaysia-dissolve-parliament-elections-najib-razak-10110052
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/parliament-dissolves-today

Legendary Japanese animator Isao Takahata dies at age 82

Oscar-nominated Japanese anime director Isao Takahata, who co-founded Studio Ghibli and was best known for his work Grave of the Fireflies, has died aged 82, the studio said on Friday
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2140533/legendary-japanese-animator-isao-takahata-dies-age-82
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180406/p2g/00m/0et/044000c
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43664515

5 APRIL 2018

Sri Lankan PM survives no confidence vote

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who leads Sri Lanka’s United National Party (UNP), won the support of 122 members of the 225-member parliament, with 76 voting against him
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/sri-lankan-pm-survives-no-confidence-vote-16496
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/sri-lanka-pm-ranil-wickremesinghe-survives-confidence-motion-180404173714092.html
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/148/131/212/1522911816263.html

Vietnam ‘jails prominent human rights lawyer’ Nguyen Van Dai

Nguyen Van Dai, the Vietnamese human rights lawyer and activist, has been jailed for 15 years, along with five other activists who have been given prison terms of 7-12 years
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/vietnam-jails-prominent-human-rights-lawyer-nguyen-van-dai-180405160020661.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43659830
https://en.vietnamplus.vn/six-jailed-for-trying-to-overthrow-peoples-administration/129123.vnp

Mahathir Mohamad’s political party provisionally dissolved

The Malaysian opposition party formed by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), has been provisionally dissolved by the Registrar of Societies over its alleged failure to provide necessary documents
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/mahathir-mohamad-political-party-ppbm-provisionally-dissolved-10106970
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/mahathir-party-temporarily-dissolved-polls-180405135324035.html
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/04/06/ppbm-still-a-functioning-party-says-dr-mahathir/

4 APRIL 2018

China targets US soybeans, cars, planes with new 25 per cent tariffs, but leaves room for negotiation

Beijing wasted little time in firing back at Washington’s latest trade action by unveiling plans to slap additional 25 per cent of tariffs on a range of goods it imports from the US, including soybeans, cars and planes, as the world’s two largest economies edge ever closer towards an all-out trade war
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2140263/china-strikes-back-25pc-tariffs-106-us-imports-all-out
http://www.dw.com/en/us-proposes-punitive-tariffs-targeting-50-billion-worth-of-chinese-imports/a-43243114
http://www.france24.com/en/20180404-china-raise-tariffs-billions-us-products-retaliation

Bibles pulled from China’s online bookstores as Beijing releases white paper on religious policy

Bibles have reportedly been pulled from sale through online bookstores across China, sparking confusion and outrage from frustrated Chinese-Christians on social media amid a tenuous split between the Vatican and Beijing
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-04/bibles-allegedly-pulled-from-chinas-online-book-stores/9616560?section=world
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/04/china-cracks-sale-bible-amid-vatican-talks/

2 APRIL 2018

Violent protests by India’s lowest-caste Dalit against law changes leave at least 7 dead

At least seven people were killed when India’s lowest-caste Dalits took to the streets in widespread violent protests on Monday (April 2) against changes to a law that provides them with special protection
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/violent-protests-by-indias-low-caste-dalit-against-law-changes-leave-at-least-7-dead

Philippines: Detained senator De Lima calls for greater protection of rights defenders under Duterte

Detained senator Leila de Lima renewed her call for greater protection for human rights defenders in the Philippines as the threat number of attacks against continues to rise under President Rodrigo Duterte
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/04/philippines-de-lima-calls-for-greater-protection-of-rights-defenders-under-duterte/#2y9YfxEMxZF7ULXK.99

China hits back at Trump with retaliatory tariffs on 128 US imports, worth US$3 billion a year

China on Monday imposed tariffs of up to 25 per cent on 128 US imports worth US$3 billion a year, including fruits and pork, in retaliation to US duties on steel and aluminium, fuelling fears of a trade war
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43614400
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2139858/china-hits-back-trump-retaliatory-tariffs-128-us
http://www.dw.com/en/china-targets-us-meat-fruit-in-retaliation-against-tariffs-on-chinese-goods/a-43222342

Malaysia approves anti-fake news bill ahead of elections

Malaysia’s lawmakers approved an anti-fake news law on Monday (April 2) despite numerous protests from opposition lawmakers and civil society groups that it would be misused to muffle dissent ahead of a general election expected within weeks
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysia-votes-in-anti-fake-news-law
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/04/02/557197/Malaysia-fake-news-law-freedoms

1 APRIL 2018

South Korea and US launch lower key army drills as tensions ease

An annual joint military exercise involving US and South Korean troops has kicked off. But the drill is not as high-profile as usual, amid an easing of diplomatic tensions on the Korean Peninsula
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/04/356_246548.html
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=215747

At least 20 killed in fighting and anti-India protests in disputed Kashmir

Massive anti-India protests erupt in India-administered Kashmir after fierce fighting between rebels and Indian soldiers leave at least 13 rebels, three army soldiers and four civilians dead
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/at-least-20-killed-in-fighting-and-anti-india-protests-in-disputed-kashmir-16389
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/massive-anti-india-protests-erupt-southern-kashmir-180401091342157.html
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/12-militants-killed-in-multiple-operations-in-south-kashmir/article23405648.ece?homepage=true
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-eight-militants-killed-in-three-separate-anti-terror-operations-in-restive-south-kashmir-2599946

Beijing, Hanoi promise to keep peace in South China Sea

China and Vietnam vowed Sunday to keep the peace in the South China Sea, the resource-rich waterway that has long been a source of tension between Hanoi and its powerhouse communist neighbor
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/04/01/557123/China-Vietnam-South-China-Sea-tension-oil-and-gas-Wang-Yi–
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2139849/beijing-and-hanoi-promise-keep-peace-south-china-sea-where

31 MARCH 2018

North Korea: UN Security Council blacklists dozens of ships, companies over illegal smuggling

Shipping companies, individual ships and a Taiwanese man are named in the largest ever sanctions package agreed by the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee, accused of helping smuggle oil and coal
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-03-31/north-korea-un-security-council-blacklists-dozens-of-ships-companies-over-illegal-smuggling/1746410
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-31/un-blacklists-dozens-of-ships-companies-over-north-korea/9607202?section=world

30 MARCH 2018

Myanmar president pledges to amend army-scripted constitution

Myanmar’s new president promised to amend the country’s army-written constitution in an inaugural speech Friday, challenging a charter that bans Aung San Suu Kyi from top office and gives the military major powers
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/myanmar-president-pledges-to-amend-army-scripted-constitution
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/myanmar-president-pledges-to-amend-army-scripted-constitution-10090378
https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/u-win-myint-myanmars-likely-new-president.html

Seoul protests over disputed island claims in Japan’s textbooks

South Korea summoned Tokyo’s ambassador on Friday to protest over new educational guidelines requiring high school students to be taught that disputed islands belong to Japan
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/Seoul-protests-over-disputed-island-claims-in-Japan’s-textbooks
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=215712

29 MARCH 2018

Nobel winner Malala Yousafzai makes emotional return to Pakistan after 2012 Taliban attack

Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai returned to Pakistan Thursday, saying tearfully that it was “a dream” to come home for the first time since she was airlifted to Britain after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman more than five years ago
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/28/malala-yousafzai-pakistan-visit
http://www.dw.com/en/malala-yousafzai-loved-abroad-maligned-at-home/a-17932794
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1672156/1-malalalalala/

28 MARCH 2018

North Korea’s Kim pledges ‘denuclearisation’ in China visit

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has made his first-ever foreign trip as leader to meet China’s president, vowing he is « committed to denuclearisation » and willing to hold summits with the South and the US
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/27/asia/north-korea-kim-jong-un-china-visit/index.html
http://www.france24.com/en/20180328-china-confirms-kim-jong-un-visit-beijing-north-korea
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180328_13/
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3046206

Aung San Suu Kyi loyalist Win Myint elected Myanmar president

The Union Parliament on Wednesday elected former Lower House Speaker U Win Myint the country’s 10th president after U Htin Kyaw left the post last week citing the need to rest
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/myanmar-president-win-myint-aung-san-suu-kyi-ally-10083324
https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/parliament-elects-ex-house-speaker-myanmars-next-president.html
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/22/67/11/1522249345942.html

27 MARCH 2018

Vietnam dissident singer Mai Khoi detained at Hanoi airport after Europe tour

Vietnamese singer and activist Do Nguyen Mai Khoi, an outspoken campaigner for free speech, was detained in the capital Hanoi on Tuesday after flying home from Europe, her husband said
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2139104/vietnam-dissident-singer-mai-khoi-detained-hanoi-airport
http://blog.vietnam-aujourdhui.info/post/2018/03/27/Vietnamese-pop-star-held-in-crackdown-on-dissent

Vietnam, France mark 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam’s (CPV’s) Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng and French National Assembly (NA) President Francois de Rugy marked the anniversary of Vietnam-France ties
http://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/425208/vn-france-mark-45th-anniversary-of-diplomatic-ties.html#fTJlw10Brl3YfuSF.99
http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/government/197968/party-chief-expects-french-enterprises-to-succeed-in-vietnam.html
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-france-vietnam-deals/frances-bouygues-edf-sign-deals-during-vietnam-leader-visit-idUKKBN1H320Q?rpc=401&

Indonesia’s Supreme Court rejects Ahok’s blasphemy appeal

Indonesia’s Supreme Court has rejected former Jakarta governor Basuki « Ahok » Tjahaja Purnama’s case review petition against his blasphemy conviction, an official with the court has said
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/indonesias-supreme-court-rejects-ahoks-blasphemy-appeal
http://jakartaglobe.id/news/supreme-court-rejects-ahoks-case-review-petition/

26 MARCH 2018

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in proposes weaker presidential powers as jail looms for ex-leaders

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday proposed weakening the powers of his office and lowering the voting age in a package of constitutional reforms, while allowing the head of state to be re-elected
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2138958/south-koreas-moon-jae-proposes-weaker-presidential-powers-jail
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=215547
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3046098

North Korea: Kim Jong-un in China for ‘unannounced state visit’

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is believed to be in Beijing on an unannounced trip, in what would be his first foreign state visit since taking power in 2011, according to reports
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/26/north-korea-kim-jong-un-in-china-for-first-foreign-state-visit
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/north-koreas-kim-jong-un-is-said-to-make-surprise-china-visit

Malaysia proposes 10 years’ jail for ‘fake news’

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government tabled a bill in parliament on Monday outlawing “fake news,” with hefty fines and up to 10 years in jail, raising more concerns about media freedom in the wake of a multi-billion dollar graft scandal
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/26/556543/Malaysia-PM-Press-Freedom
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/malaysias-bill-to-fight-fake-news-tabled-in-parliament

25 MARCH 2018

Police and politicians accused of joining Sri Lanka’s anti-Muslim riots

Police and politicians backed by the country’s former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa joined anti-Muslim riots that rocked Sri Lanka’s Kandy district this month, according to witnesses, officials and CCTV footage reviewed by Reuters
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/police-and-politicians-accused-of-joining-sri-lanka-s-anti-muslim-riots-16207

Japan PM Shinzo Abe apologises amid cronyism scandal, vows to revise constitution

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his ratings in a slump amid a scandal over suspected cronyism and a cover-up, has apologised again for causing anxiety and loss of confidence in his Government
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-25/japan-shinzo-abe-apologises-amid-cronyism-scandal/9585158?section=world
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2138810/japan-prime-minister-shinzo-abe-pledges-amend-pacifist

Russia to build bridge to North Korea

Russia is connected with North Korea’s territory by the railway link over the Tuman River on the border. The construction of the new bridge is important for transporting goods without entering China
https://112.international/ukraine-top-news/russia-to-build-bridge-to-north-korea-26928.html

Korea, UAE pledges cooperation in defense

President Moon Jae-in and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan agreed, Sunday, that defense cooperation is the core of relations between Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/03/120_246169.html

23 MARCH 2018

China announces retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, deepening fears of a trade war

China on Friday unveiled plans to impose tariffs on 128 products, or $3 billion worth of American goods, including California staples such as wine, fruit and almonds
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-china-tariffs-20180323-story.html
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/china-targets-3-billion-in-us-goods-over-trump-s-steel-tariffs-16154
https://www.voanews.com/a/china-warns-us-actions-could-push-ties-danger-zone/4312973.html

22 MARCH 2018

Dalai Lama cuts foreign travel due to age, exhaustion

The Dalai Lama, the globe-trotting Tibetan spiritual leader, will do no more traveling this year, a spokesman said, saying the 82-year-old is aging and « exhausted. »
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/22/world/dalai-lama-cuts-down-schedule-age-exhaustion-tibet-india/index.html

Ex-South Korean president Lee Myung-bak arrested ‘for taking US$10.2 million in bribes while in office’

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak has been arrested for allegedly taking 11 billion won (around US$10.2 million) in bribes while in office – making him the last of the country’s four living ex-leaders to be embroiled in a criminal inquiry
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2138505/arrest-warranted-reportedly-issued-former-south-korean-president
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3045997
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/837090.html

Donald Trump hits China with $50 billion in tariffs, raising fears of new trade war

Donald Trump has announced $50 billion of tariffs on China to punish the country for forcefully acquiring US intellectual property, triggering fears of a new trade war
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/22/china-says-will-not-hide-trade-war-donald-trump-prepares-announce/
http://www.todayonline.com/world/trump-hits-china-trade-measures-white-house-exempts-allies-tariffs
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/22/china-us-sanctions-trade-war

Cambodia urged to release opposition leader, hold fair election by 45 nations

45 nations have called upon Cambodia at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to hold a free and fair elections this year, as well as release jailed opposition leader Kem Sokha
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/03/cambodia-urged-to-release-opposition-leader-hold-fair-election-by-45-nations/#ScjL90D16ex4Tc0w.97
https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/joint-un-statement-condemns-cambodias-political-repression

Pakistan senate gets first woman Leader of Opposition

Former Pakistan Information Minister Senator Sherry Rehman was elected on Thursday as the first woman leader of the opposition in the Senate — the Upper House of the Parliament
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/pakistan-gets-first-woman-leader-of-opposition-1.2193035
https://www.dawn.com/news/1396881/sherry-rehman-becomes-the-first-female-leader-of-the-opposition-in-senate

China provides tracking system for Pakistan’s missile programme

China has sold Pakistan a powerful tracking system in an unprecedented deal that could speed up the Pakistani military’s development of multi-warhead missiles
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2137643/china-provides-tracking-system-pakistans-missile-programme

Maldives lifts state of emergency after 45 days

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen on Thursday lifted a 45-day state of emergency which had outlawed protests amid political upheaval on the Muslim-majority Indian Ocean island chain
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/22/556223/Maldives-Abdulla-Yameen-state-of-emergency-protest-opposition-prison-Supreme-Court
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2138497/maldives-president-abdulla-yameen-lifts-state-emergency

India to open 18 diplomatic missions in Africa to enhance cooperation

Most of the new diplomatic missions will be in the western part of Africa, while China has operationalized its first ever overseas military base in Djibouti
https://sputniknews.com/asia/201803221062792557-india-open-diplomatic-missions-africa/

21 MARCH 2018

Maldives ex-leader Gayoom and eight others charged with terrorism

The nine people charged at the criminal court included Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the 30-year ruler of the Indian Ocean archipelago state; Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed; four lawmakers including Gayoom’s son; and a former police commissioner
https://www.newdelhitimes.com/maldives-former-dictator-judges-charged-with-terrorism/
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2138212/more-trouble-paradise-maldives-ex-dictator-charged-terrorism
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/34/173/1/1521605346559.html

Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw resigns ‘to take rest from duties’

Myanmar’s civilian President, Htin Kyaw, resigns with immediate effect « in order to take rest from the current duties and responsibilities », and is likely to be replaced by Win Myint, a Suu Kyi loyalist
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-03-21/myanmars-president-htin-kyaw-resigns-to-take-rest-from-duties/1744174
https://frontiermyanmar.net/en/president-u-htin-kyaw-resigns-u-win-myint-tipped-as-replacement
http://www.dw.com/en/myanmar-president-htin-kyaw-resigns/a-43058749

Tensions mount as China sends warship through Taiwan Strait

China has sent its sole operational aircraft carrier the Liaoning through the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates China from the self-ruled island, just one day after President Xi Jinping warned that Taiwan would face the “punishment of history” for any attempt at separatism
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2018/03/22/2003689778/1
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/03/tensions-mount-as-china-send-warship-through-taiwan-straits/#3mdCb7AAgdtu5lVW.99

20 MARCH 2018

Taiwan to face ‘punishment of history’ over any separatist move: Xi

In his strongest warning yet to Taiwan, China’s President Xi Jinping says the self-ruled island will face the “punishment of history” for any attempt to split the mainland
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/20/556036/China-Taiwan-Xi-Jinping-Tsai-Ingwen-Trump-United-States
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/20/asia/taiwan-china-xi-jinping-intl/index.html

Indo-French naval exercise Varuna kicks off

The Indian and the French navies have launched Varuna 2018, a joint naval exercise, in Goa, India
https://navaltoday.com/2018/03/19/indo-french-naval-exercise-varuna-kicks-off-2/#.WrEsN6hDYM4.linkedin

 19 MARCH 2018

Aung San Suu Kyi cancels rare public speech during Australia visit

Controversial State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has canceled a rare public appearance in Australia due to ill health, where she was expected to face questions from the audience
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/19/asia/aung-san-suu-kyi-rohingya-turnbull-intl/index.html
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/myanmar-s-suu-kyi-cancels-speech-at-think-tank-event-in-australia-16021

China’s new cabinet members endorsed

13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature, held the seventh plenary meeting of its first session Monday morning and endorsed the new lineup of the State Council. 
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/181/204/226/1521456648343.html

Top court cancels bail for Bangladesh opposition chief Zia

The decision to suspend Khaleda Zia’s bail prompted a sharp reaction from her lawyers, who said it was part of a campaign by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to silence the opposition
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/top-court-cancels-bail-for-bangladesh-opposition-chief-zia-16026
http://www.theindependentbd.com/post/142151

18 MARCH 2018

Sri Lankan president lifts nationwide state of emergency

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena Sunday signed a notification to lift a nationwide state of emergency which was imposed on March 6 following communal riots in the central regions of the island country
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/104/170/30/1521359852276.html
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/south-asia/article/2137698/sri-lanka-ends-state-emergency-tensions-between-buddhists-and

China’s parliament gives Premier Li second term

China’s parliament gave Premier Li Keqiang a second five-year term on Sunday (Mar 18), but he faces a tenure deeper in the shadow of the country’s powerful leader Xi Jinping
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/china-s-parliament-gives-premier-li-second-term-10053894
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/76/175/135/1521366927159.html

ASEAN-Australia Special Summit ends with commitments on cybersecurity, free trade

“The summit has given us an opportunity to confirm Australia’s steadfast commitment to ASEAN, the centrality of ASEAN and Australia as an all-weather friend, now and into the future,” said Mr Turnbull
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/asean-australia-special-summit-commitment-cybersecurity-trade-10054114
https://aseanaustralia.pmc.gov.au/Declaration
https://www.voanews.com/a/southeast-asia-north-korea-australia/4303660.html

Renowned Taiwan writer Li Ao dies, aged 83

Taiwan’s famous writer and political commentator Li Ao died of brain cancer at the age of 83
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/renowned-taiwan-writer-li-ao-dies-aged-83
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43458915
http://www.theindependent.sg/li-ao-writer-of-96-banned-books-in-taiwan-dies-at-82/

17 MARCH 2018

Xi Jinping gets second term, with ally Wang Qishan as vice-president

China’s legislature formally endorsed Xi Jinping’s second five-year presidential term on Saturday, and voted in Wang Qishan as the country’s new vice-president
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2137615/wang-qishan-chinas-new-vice-president-after
http://www.france24.com/en/20180317-china-xi-jinping-reappointed-second-term-president
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-43440877

U.S. president signs Taiwan Travel Act despite warnings from China

After President Trump’s approval of the Taiwan Travel Act on March 16, the Office of the President released an official statement expressing gratitude for all of the support shown by US Congress and President Trump to the people of Taiwan
http://www.dw.com/en/donald-trump-signs-taiwan-travel-act-drawing-chinas-ire/a-43018787
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/china-says-it-is-resolutely-opposed-to-new-us-law-on-ties-with-taiwan-15994
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3384344

Vietnam’s reformist ex-PM Phan Van Khai dies at age 84

Khai was the architect of Vietnam’s Business Law that transformed the economy by creating a private sector. He was also Vietnam’s first post-war leader to pay an official visit to Washington
http://www.dw.com/en/vietnams-reformist-ex-pm-phan-van-khai-dies-at-age-84/a-43020787
https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20180317/former-vietnamese-premier-phan-van-khai-dies-aged-85/44577.html
http://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/424640/state-funeral-for-former-pm-phan-van-khai.html#o16ToGKzh2HbtzmD.97

Mass arrests in Maldives as activists defy emergency

Maldivian authorities arrested more than 140 activists who defied a ban on rallies and demonstrated against a state of emergency imposed by President Abdulla Yameen, the opposition said Saturday (March 17)
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/mass-arrests-in-maldives-as-activists-defy-emergency

16 MARCH 2018

North Korea’s foreign minister visits Sweden amid Trump-Kim summit speculation

North Korea’s top diplomat met with his Swedish counterpart in a surprise visit to Stockholm. The visit has led to speculation that the talks could lay the groundwork for a meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/15/asia/north-korea-sweden-intl/index.html
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/north-korea-s-top-diplomat-in-surprise-visit-to-sweden-15967
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2137562/sweden-says-we-dont-think-we-can-solve-worlds-problems-after

Key regional party TDP quits India’s ruling coalition

An ally of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has walked out of the ruling coalition headed by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleging Modi « neglected » the southern state of Andhra Pradesh
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/key-regional-party-tdp-quits-india-ruling-coalition-180316105432725.html
http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2018/mar/16/centre-endlessly-waiting-for-andhra-pradesh-to-revert-on-special-package-arun-jaitley-1788298.html
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/after-pulling-out-naidu-changes-strategy/article23274956.ece?homepage=true

Hong Kong mulls three years’ jail for disrespect to Chinese national anthem

Hong Kong announced plans on Friday (March 16) to punish anyone who disrespects the Chinese national anthem with up to three years’ imprisonment as Beijing ups pressure on the semi-autonomous city to fall into line
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/hong-kong-mulls-three-years-jail-disrespect-chinese-national-anthem
https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/03/16/govt-suggests-maximum-penalty-hk50k-fine-3-years-jail-time-breaking-upcoming-national-anthem-law/
http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1386265-20180316.htm

15 MARCH 2018

Australia and Vietnam sign strategic partnership pact

Australia and Vietnam signed a new strategic partnership Thursday, in an apparent move to counter China’s growing assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region
https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Australia-and-Vietnam-sign-strategic-partnership-pact
http://blog.vietnam-aujourdhui.info/post/2018/03/15/Vietnam-and-Australia-deepen-ties
http://vovworld.vn/en-US/news/vietnam-australia-elevate-ties-to-strategic-partnership-627407.vov

Pakistan, Russia discuss security and defence partnership

Pakistan and Russia took yet another step forward to increase security and defence cooperation with high level discussions in Islamabad between the visiting Russian envoy and senior Pakistani officials
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/pakistan-russia-discuss-security-and-defence-partnership-1.2188784

New vice-chairpersons of 13th CPPCC National Committee

A total of 24 people were elected vice-chairpersons of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at a plenary meeting of its first session on Wednesday
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/171/57/30/1521108753889.html

14 MARCH 2018

Duterte withdraws Philippines from International Criminal Court

Outspoken Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte made the controversial decision to withdraw his country from the International Criminal Court amid a probe into alleged crimes against humanity in his brutal anti-drug crackdown that has killed thousands
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/03/14/duterte-withdraws-philippines-from-international-criminal-court.html
https://www.rappler.com/nation/198171-full-text-philippines-rodrigo-duterte-statement-international-criminal-court-withdrawal
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/646641/amnesty-international-phl-s-withdrawal-from-icc-too-late-to-stop-probe-vs-alleged-ejks/story/
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/philippines-moves-to-quit-icc-what-does-it-mean-10043370

A ‘long march’ by India’s farmers forces government to act

About 40,000 farmers camp in Mumbai, country’s financial hub, to demand land rights and support for the farm sector
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/long-march-india-farmers-forces-government-act-180314124401687.html
http://www.sify.com/news/how-farmers-woke-up-the-maharashtra-government-news-columns-sdopgvdghgfjb.html

Wang Yang elected chairman of China’s top political advisory body

Wang Yang was elected chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top political advisory body, Wednesday afternoon
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/28/235/75/1521018096117.html
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2137217/wang-yang-down-earth-liberal-taking-chinas-top-advisory

Taiwan ranked world’s 26th happiest country

Taiwan has been ranked as the world’s 26th happiest country and the happiest country in East Asia, in a report released Wednesday that compares the happiness level of 156 countries, assessing factors including average life span, social support and corruption
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201803140031.aspx

The Japanese will become adults at 18 in 2022

The Japanese government yesterday approved a bill to lower the adulthood age from 20 to 18, which would enable 18- and 19-year-olds to sign contracts and get married without the consent of their parents
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/The-Japanese-will-become-adults-at-18-in-2022-43356.html
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180314/p2a/00m/0na/017000c

13 MARCH 2018

Bidya Devi Bhandari elected Nepal President for 2nd term

President Bidya Bhandari got re-elected on Tuesday as the Head of the State, but the euphoria with which Nepalis celebrated her emergence as the country’s first female President two years ago is somewhat muted
https://www.nepalitimes.com/uncategorized/president-bhandari-again/
http://nepalforeignaffairs.com/bidya-devi-bhandari-elected-nepal-president-for-2nd-term/

Japan sending military adviser to Malaysia, boosting regional presence in face of assertive China

Japan is beefing up its military and diplomatic presence in Southeast Asia by sending an extra defence attaché to its embassy in Kuala Lumpur, adding to military officers sent to embassies in the Philippines and Vietnam last year
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2136981/japan-sending-military-adviser-malaysia-boosting-regional

Muslim Cyber Army: a ‘fake news’ operation designed to derail Indonesia’s leader

Police in Indonesia believe they have uncovered a clandestine fake news operation designed to corrupt the political process and destabilise the government
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/13/muslim-cyber-army-a-fake-news-operation-designed-to-bring-down-indonesias-leader

Ousted Pakistan PM’s brother takes charge of ruling party

The brother of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif formally took charge of the country’s ruling party Tuesday, a day after being outmanoeuvred in elections for Senate chairman
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/ousted-pakistan-pm-s-brother-takes-charge-of-ruling-party-1.2187537
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/13/555349/Pakistan-Nawaz-Sharif-Shahbaz-PMLN-PTI-PPP
http://www.dw.com/en/why-ousted-pakistani-pm-nawaz-sharif-turned-against-the-powerful-military/a-42953631

12 MARCH 2018

Japan: Shinzo Abe’s political future in doubt as wife linked to cronyism scandal

A spiralling cronyism scandal linked to the Japanese prime minister and his wife has reached fever pitch after the finance ministry admitted to tampering with records to remove references to the pair
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/12/japan-shinzo-abes-political-future-in-doubt-as-wife-linked-to-cronyism-scandal
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-12/japanese-pm-alleged-cronyism-documents-reportedly-altered/9540246?section=world
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004299142

Survey: Abe Cabinet approval rating sinks to 48%

The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet stood at 48 percent in a Yomiuri Shimbun survey, the first time the rating has dipped below 50 percent since the House of Representatives election in October last year
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004298619

North Korea silent on meeting with Donald Trump

North Korea has yet to respond publicly or privately to the decision by Donald Trump to attend a summit with its leader Kim Jong-un
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/12/north-korea-silent-meeting-trump/
http://www.todayonline.com/world/north-korea-cautious-announce-stance-summits
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43368110

Blow for Hong Kong democrats in key elections

Hong Kong’s democracy camp failed to claw back all their lost seats Monday (March 12) in controversial by-elections as the city’s pro-Beijing establishment further cements its grip
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/hong-kong-democratic-opposition-fails-to-regain-veto-power-in-legislature
http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2136762/pan-democrats-look-set-regain-power-veto-rivals-moves-hong

French Navy ship visit to Philippines shows France commitment to security, freedom of navigation

The visit of a French Navy’s light patrol frigate to the Philippines shows France as a “Pacific power” that is committed to “security” and adherence to the principle of freedom of navigation in Southeast Asia, officials said after the Vendmiaire docked at a port in Manila on Monday
http://www.manilatimes.net/french-navy-ship-visit-to-ph-shows-france-commitment-to-security-freedom-of-navigation/385691
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/164912/philippines-france-south-china-sea-west-philippine-sea-military-cooperation-dispute-southeast-asia-defense-peace

Duterte goes to war with UN as he threatens to throw rights team to the crocodiles

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fuelled an extraordinary war of words with the United Nations by saying that their human rights team should be fed to crocodiles if they came to investigate his controversial war on drugs
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/12/duterte-goes-war-un-threatens-throw-rights-team-crocodiles/
https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/03/13/1796217/palace-dutertes-crocodile-response-united-nations-appropriate

11 MARCH 2018

China: Trade war with US would be disastrous

China says it does not want to initiate a trade war with the US following Trump’s decision to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum. It, however, vows to defend its national interests amid American protectionism
http://www.dw.com/en/china-trade-war-with-us-would-be-disastrous/a-42925378
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=214947
http://www.atimes.com/article/china-will-try-avoid-trade-war-us-will-retaliate-must/

Japan offers to pay £2m for inspections of North Korea nuclear facilities

Japan will provide Y300 million (£2.03 million) to fund inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency of North Korea’s nuclear facilities if Pyongyang follows through with its vow to scrap its arsenal of atomic weapons
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/11/japan-offers-pay-2m-inspections-north-korea-nuclear-facilities/
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803100035.html
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=214947

Shoe thrown at Nawaz Sharif during seminar in Lahore

A former Jamia Neemia student, reportedly a member of Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR), on Sunday hurled a shoe at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif, while the former premier was about to address the event members at the seminary in Garhi Shahu
https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/03/11/shoe-thrown-at-nawaz-sharif-during-seminar-in-lahore/
https://www.dawn.com/news/1394594/shoe-thrown-at-nawaz-sharif-at-jamia-naeemia-lahore
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1657021/1-shoe-hurled-nawaz-sharif-lahore-madrassa/

At least 44 militants killed in clash with Philippines troops

At least 44 pro-Daesh militants were killed and 26 more were wounded when Philippine soldiers shelled positions held by the rebels in southern Maguindanao province, the army said on Sunday
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/11/555102/Philippines-Daesh-militants-soldiers-military-Marawi-Abu-Sayyaf
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/974381/biff-casulaties-in-battle-with-army-maguindanao

China’s Congress votes to abolish presidential term limits, allowing Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely

China’s Congress has passed a constitutional amendment that removes presidential term limits, allowing President Xi Jinping to remain in office indefinitely and confirming his status as the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong died more than 40 years ago
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-11/china-abolishes-presidential-term-limits/9537166?section=world
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-43361276
http://www.euronews.com/2018/03/11/china-s-parliament-lifts-time-limit-on-presidency

10 MARCH 2018

Amid row over Rafale deal, India, France sign strategic defence pact on use of each other’s military bases

French President Emmanuel Macron has said defence ties with India had reached a new high after the two nations signed a key security accord for the Indian Ocean to counter China’s growing influence in the region
http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2018/mar/10/amid-row-over-rafale-deal-india-france-sign-strategic-defence-pact-on-use-of-each-others-military-1785092.html
https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/emmanuel-macron-india-visit-india-france-release-joint-statement-on-french-presidents-state-visit-1822217
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/india-france-security-accord-has-china-in-mind-10032788
http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2018/mar/09/rafale-deal-win-win-but-details-cant-be-revealed-french-president-emmanuel-macron-1784174.html

Narendra Modi, Emmanuel Macron look to broaden ties as India, France ink 14 deals

India and France sign 14 pacts in areas ranging from defence to nuclear energy after extensive talks between PM Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/lLHqPt12U2iD0H4GKNCq6M/Emmanuel-Macron-India-visit-Indian-French-firms-sign-16-b.html
http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/modi-macron-ink-14-pacts-to-boost-india-france-ties-cos-sign-16-bn-deals-118031000463_1.html
http://www.freepressjournal.in/india/want-our-youth-to-recognise-indo-french-ties-pm-narendra-modi/1235515

Hundreds join anti-junta rally in Thailand as calls for democracy grow

Hundreds of pro-democracy Thais rallied in Bangkok on Saturday (March 10) to rail against the ruling junta with T-shirts, signs and speeches, as activists grow bolder in their defiance of a ban on protests
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/hundreds-join-anti-junta-rally-in-bangkok-as-calls-for-democracy-grow-10033098
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/hundreds-join-anti-junta-rally-in-thailand-as-calls-for-democracy-grow
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30340662

9 MARCH 2018

Pakistan court orders Pervez Musharraf’s arrest

A special Pakistani tribunal has ordered the government to arrest former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and confiscate all his properties as it heard the high treason case against the « proclaimed offender » for imposing emergency rule in the country in 2007
http://zeenews.india.com/asia/pakistan-court-orders-pervez-musharrafs-arrest-2088235.html

Abe to visit U.S. in April to discuss North Korea with Trump

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that he and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to meet in the United States next month, following Washington’s announcement that Trump is ready to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/09/national/politics-diplomacy/abe-visit-u-s-april-discuss-north-korea-trump/#.WqLL8ejOU2w
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201803090030.html
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/update1-abe-to-visit-u.s.-in-april-to-discuss-n.-korea-with-trump

Paralympics start in PyeongChang

The Winter Paralympic Games have kicked off in PyeongChang. South Korea is hosting the Games for the first time
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180310_02/
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20180309000702
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/north-korea-in-focus-as-biggest-paralympics-opens-15799

Donald Trump to meet Kim Jong-un after pledge to halt missile and nuclear tests

North Korea has offered to enter negotiations and halt nuclear and missile tests, South Korea’s national security director said in Washington after meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday
http://www.dw.com/en/north-koreas-kim-jong-un-and-donald-trump-to-meet/a-42899476
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-03-09/donald-trump-to-meet-kim-jongun-after-pledge-to-halt-missile-and-nuclear-tests/1741302
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/03/103_245357.html
https://www.cogitasia.com/first-summit-between-donald-trump-kim-jong-un/

8 MARCH 2018

Paralympic Games: ‘No joint Korean march’ amid flag dispute

The two Koreas will not march together at the opening ceremony of the Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang on Friday, officials in the South have said
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43327934
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/235/17/145/1520521604319.html

US Holocaust Museum strips rights award from Myanmar’s Suu Kyi

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum says it is rescinding the award due to Aung San Suu Kyi’s inaction over what it called « mounting evidence of genocide » committed by the Myanmar military against civilians from the Rohingya minority
https://www.trtworld.com/americas/us-holocaust-museum-strips-rights-award-from-myanmar-s-suu-kyi-15763
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2018/03/us-holocaust-museum-strips-aung-san-suu-kyi-of-human-rights-award/#o2WtaELgwXw1MY8u.97
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-holocaust-museum-suu-kyi-20180308-story.html

Beijing needs to build defensive structures on South China Sea islands: Army general

A leading Chinese military general says his country needs to build defensive structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea to assert its sovereignty over nearly the entire region amid tensions between Beijing and Washington
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/08/554789/China-Lt-Gen-He-Lei-Wang-Yi-US-South-China-Sea

China urges Taiwan’s few allies to follow ‘irresistible trend’ of recognizing Beijing  

China said on Thursday it was in the best interests of self-ruled Taiwan’s few remaining diplomatic allies to recognize an « irresistible trend » and ditch Taipei in favor « one China » ruled by Beijing
http://www.todayonline.com/world/taiwans-allies-ditching-taipei-irresistible-trend-china-says

7 MARCH 2018

Indonesian Islamic university bans students who wear burqas from graduating

An Islamic university in Indonesia has been criticised after announcing it will not allow female students who continue to wear face veils on campus to graduate
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indonesia-islamic-university-burqa-ban-female-students-graduation-java-yogyakarta-city-a8243726.html

South Korea’s Moon says sanctions on North to stay, too early to be optimistic

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday (Mar 7) sanctions on North Korea will not be eased for the sake of a summit between the two sides as Chinese state media repeated Beijing’s line that talks are the only way to end the nuclear standoff
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/south-korea-s-moon-says-sanctions-on-north-to-stay-too-early-to-10021026
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=214801
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180307_38/

Australia and East Timor sign historic maritime border deal

Timor Leste and Australia have signed a treaty at the United Nations in New York to resolve a long-running dispute over their maritime border and struck a deal on how to share billions in revenue from oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-43296488
http://www.todayonline.com/world/un-east-timor-and-australia-sign-deal-maritime-border

Europe renews tariffs on Chinese steel pipes as high as 72%

As the world watches breathlessly if Trump will follow through with his threat to slap steel and aluminum import tariffs, Europe continues to quietly ratchet up its own trade war with China and nobody seems to mind
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-06/europe-renews-tariffs-chinese-steel-pipes-high-72

6 MARCH 2018

Sri Lanka declares state of emergency after Buddhist-Muslim clashes

Sri Lanka declared a nationwide state of emergency for 10 days on Tuesday to stop the spread of communal violence, a government spokesman said, after confrontations erupted between majority Buddhists and members of the minority Muslim community
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/sri-lanka-declares-state-of-emergency-after-buddhist-muslim-clashes-15723
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/06/554576/Sri-Lanka-President-Maithripala-Sirisena-Buddhist-Sinhalese-Muslims
http://asiantribune.com/node/91657
http://www.euronews.com/2018/03/06/sri-lanka-declares-state-of-emergency-as-mobs-attack-muslim-communities

North Korea willing to denuclearise if security guaranteed, says South

North Korea is willing to hold talks with the United States on denuclearisation and will suspend nuclear tests while those talks are under way, the South said on Tuesday after a delegation returned from the North where it met leader Kim Jong-un
https://www.trtworld.com/asia/north-korea-willing-to-denuclearise-if-security-guaranteed-says-south-15725
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20180306000954
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=214752

5 MARS 2018

China Announces Largest Military Spending Increase In Three Years

China on Monday announced the largest increase in three years to its defense budget, saying it would spend 8.1 percent more than the previous year as the country continues a push to modernize its military and expand its air and naval capabilities
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/05/590845672/china-announces-largest-military-spending-increase-in-three-years
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-03/05/c_137018039.htm
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1091926.shtml

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un meets South Korean envoys

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has hosted a dinner for senior South Korean delegates – the first time officials from Seoul have met the young leader since he took office in 2011
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43282807
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=214701
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/03/103_245149.html

China sets 2018 GDP growth target at around 6.5 pct

China has set its GDP growth target at around 6.5 percent for 2018, unchanged from that for 2017, according to a government work report released Monday
http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0305/c90000-9432825.html
https://gbtimes.com/china-reduces-annual-gdp-growth-target-for-2018

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to skip Asean summit in Australia amid backlash over human rights record

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is skipping a regional summit in Australia this month, his spokesman said Monday, as he faces international censure for Manila’s deadly drug war
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/diplomacy/article/2135765/philippine-president-rodrigo-duterte-skip-asean-summit-australia

4 MARCH 2018

Charges against Kandipur Daily Nepal journalists ‘attack on press freedom’

Journalists from Nepal’s largest newspaper have been charged with contempt of court after publishing critical stories about the country’s chief justice. The case against The Kantipur Daily is being seen by government critics as an attack on press freedom
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/charges-nepal-journalists-attack-press-freedom-180304154802551.html
http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2018-03-04/contempt-of-court-case-kantipur-team-to-reach-sc-at-11am-to-record-statements.html

3 MARCH 2018

Bangladesh: Top secular writer Zafar Iqbal attacked at university

Writer Zafar Iqbal was reportedly stabbed in the head while taking part in a university event in Bangladesh. The well-known secular activist and science fiction author has faced death threats from radical Islamists
http://www.dw.com/en/bangladesh-top-secular-writer-zafar-iqbal-attacked-at-university/a-42813525
https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2018/03/03/prof-zafar-iqbal-stabbed-on-shahjalal-university-campus
http://www.observerbd.com/details.php?id=125419

Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N wins big in Parliament’s upper house polls

Pakistan’s ruling PML-N of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday won 15 seats in Senate and became the largest party in the upper house of Parliament, according to provisional results
http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/nawaz-sharifs-pml-n-wins-big-in-parliaments-upper-house-polls/article22921775.ece?homepage=true

Modi’s BJP party wins key election in India’s northern state

Results announced for most of the 59-seat regional chamber showed that the BJP had won a majority in Tripura and would replace the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPI (M), to form a regional government on its own
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/03/554257/India-Modi-BJP-Tripura-victory
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/4g2uj5Eps4nHE4YCUVyeIO/BJP-demolishes-Left-citadel-in-Tripura-certain-to-be-part-o.html
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/column-tripura-election-2018-5-reasons-behind-bjp-s-historic-win-2590341

India, Vietnam to enhance cooperation in defence production: PM Narendra Modi

« We have decided that we will enhance cooperation in defence production and explore opportunities in transfer of technology. We will jointly work for an open, independent and prosperous Indo Pacific area where sovereignty and international law is respected, » he said
http://www.freepressjournal.in/india/india-vietnam-to-enhance-cooperation-in-defence-production-pm-narendra-modi/1231130
http://en.qdnd.vn/foreign-affairs/bilateral-relations/president-tran-dai-quang-holds-talks-with-indian-pm-narendra-modi-490440
http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/india/india-vietnam-vow-to-cooperate-on-region-s-security-1.2182037

China, Russia sign deal on lunar exploration at global space agency meeting

The space agencies of China and Russia have signed a deal on lunar exploration, including possible cooperation on orbital and south pole Moon missions and a joint data centre
https://gbtimes.com/china-russia-sign-deal-on-lunar-exploration-at-global-space-agency-meeting

2 MARCH 2018

No need for Singapore to raise defence spending to ‘play catch-up’: Ng Eng Hen  

While Singapore has been outspent militarily in the last decade by its neighbours in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the Government does not foresee a spike in defence expenditure in the next 10 years, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Friday (March 2)
http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/no-need-spore-raise-defence-spending-play-catch-ng-eng-hen
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/defence-spending-kept-steady-despite-new-threats-ng-eng-hen-10005140

Taiwan receives direct threats of war from China over US passage of Travel Act

The Chinese Government has warned Taiwan it will get burnt if it seeks to rely on foreigners, adding to warnings from state media that China could go to war if the United States passes into law a bill promoting closer ties with the self-ruled island
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-02/china-threatens-regional-war-over-us-taiwan-bill/9503126?section=world
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/02/554067/China-Taiwan-bill-war-with-US-descent-into-hell
https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3375136

Cambodia PM’s son assumes senior military post as joint chief of staff of Cambodia’s Armed Forces

The eldest son of Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has assumed a position as joint chief of staff of Cambodia’s Armed Forces, the latest promotion of one of Mr Hun Sen’s family members to a senior post aimed at apparently consolidating his grip on power
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/cambodia-pms-son-assumes-senior-military-post
http://www.khmertimeskh.com/50111450/hun-manet-assumes-role-rcafs-chief-joint-staff/

Dozens of new political parties register in run-up to Thai poll

Nearly 40 new Thai political parties submitted names and logos on the opening day of party registration in Bangkok on Friday, an early step in the junta-ruled kingdom’s halting return to democracy
http://www.asiaone.com/asia/dozens-new-political-parties-register-run-thai-poll
http://www.khaosodenglish.com/featured/2018/03/02/new-parties-want-defend-monarchy-reconcile-nation-fight-corruption/

1 MARCH 2018

Vietnamese activist Pham Doan Trang interrogated for pro-democracy book in hiding after ‘miracle’ escape

Former journalist Pham Doan Trang said she was held for questioning for several hours on Saturday over her most recent work Politics for the Masses, which is outlawed in the country
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2135331/vietnamese-activist-interrogated-pro-democracy-book-hiding

Beijing makes it easier for Taiwanese to work and study in China, and Taipei is freaking out over it

Some Taiwanese have long feared that China would try to take back the island by force. This week China tried a far gentler approach: measures to make it easier for Taiwanese to invest, work and study on the mainland
http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-taiwan-china-tension-20180301-story.html
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2135291/taiwanese-given-equal-status-chinas-mainland-beijing
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/acs/201803010021.aspx

China angered as U.S. passes Taiwan travel bill

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a bill promoting closer U.S. ties with Taiwan, which China has warned could threaten stability in the Taiwan Strait, but drew praise from the self-ruled island, which pledged to deepen cooperation
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004276250
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201803010020.aspx
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/03/01/553988/China-US-bill-Taiwan-strong-dissatisfaction

 



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