• Chinese Ambitions in South China Sea Must Be Resisted, Think Tank Says

    Chinese Ambitions in South China Sea Must Be Resisted, Think Tank Says

    The professionalism displayed by China’s navy in some of the world’s most contested seas is masking an underlying challenge to the existing order in the East China Sea and South China Sea that must be resisted, according to a report by an Australian security think tank. “Beijing’s newly acquired taste for maritime ‘rules of the [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 6:00 AM
  • Clampdown in China Restricts 7000 Foreign Organisations

    Clampdown in China Restricts 7000 Foreign Organisations

    China took a major step on Thursday in President Xi Jinping’s drive to impose greater control and limit Western influences on Chinese society, as it passed a new law restricting the work of foreign organisations and their local partners, mainly through police supervision. More than 7,000 foreign nongovernment groups will be affected, according to state [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | NY Times | 6:00 AM
  • UN Security Council readies N. Korea missile test reply

    UN Security Council readies N. Korea missile test reply

    UN Security Council diplomats warned North Korea to expect a response after Pyongyang’s repeated failed attempts to test-fire a powerful ballistic missile, the latest defiance of UN resolutions. At the request of the United States, the council held urgent closed-door consultations after North Korea’s unsuccessful launch earlier in the day of two medium-range missiles, as [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Two N Korea missile tests fail: South

    Two N Korea missile tests fail: South

    North Korea on Thursday made two failed bids to test fire a powerful, new medium-range ballistic missile, in a thwarted display of military strength ahead of a landmark ruling party congress. South Korea’s defence ministry said an initial morning launch of what was understood to be a Musudan missile saw the rocket plunge back to [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • UN Court To Decide On South China Sea Dispute…So What’s Next?

    UN Court To Decide On South China Sea Dispute…So What’s Next?

    A United Nations arbitration court will rule in in May or June on a fractious maritime dispute between China and the Philippines. The five-person Permanent Court of Arbitration, after seven hearings, is studying now whether China’s claim to a giant tropical ocean flouts UN conventions. Manila said that when it filed the case in 2013. [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | Forbes | 6:00 AM
  • Philippines’ Pacquiao now a political heavyweight

    Philippines’ Pacquiao now a political heavyweight

    The legend boxer hit the campaign trail this week in a bid to secure a seat in the Senate when Filipinos go to the polls on May 9. Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao smiles as he soaks up the sounds of adoring fans screaming his name, their cheers heralding a new career as one of the [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | CNA | 6:00 AM
  • China’s Xi Jinping reasserts sovereignty over South China Sea

    China’s Xi Jinping reasserts sovereignty over South China Sea

    The dispute over the South China Sea has been a major issue in several countries that declare the same right to the territory. President Xi is keen on firmly safeguarding the disputed area but is willing to peacefully resolve all maritime issues with other states. President Xi Jinping said in a conference that China is [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | Lawyerherald | 6:00 AM
  • China, Russia urge US to drop Korea missile defense proposal

    China, Russia urge US to drop Korea missile defense proposal

    China and Russia urged the United States on Friday not to install a new anti-missile system in South Korea, after Washington said it was in talks with Seoul in the wake of nuclear arms and missile tests by North Korea. The United States and South Korea have begun talks on possible deployment of the Terminal [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • China intensifies lobbying of other nations ahead of South China Sea court ruling

    China intensifies lobbying of other nations ahead of South China Sea court ruling

    China is intensifying its global diplomatic campaign to win support ahead of an imminent international court ruling over the South China Sea disputes. The development came yesterday as Beijing vowed greater cooperation and to proceed with multinational military exercises with Southeast Asian nations, but also called on countries to back its stance on the territorial [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | CNBC | 6:00 AM
  • N Korea sentences Korean American to 10 years hard labour: Xinhua

    N Korea sentences Korean American to 10 years hard labour: Xinhua

    North Korea’s Supreme Court on Friday sentenced a Korean American man to 10 years of hard labour for subversion, North Korean media reported, in the latest conviction of a foreigner for crimes against the isolated state. Kim Dong Chul, 62, was arrested in North Korea in October and had admitted to committing “unpardonable espionage” including [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • After hostage beheading, is Philippines facing IS threat?

    After hostage beheading, is Philippines facing IS threat?

    Months before Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded retired Canadian mining executive John Ridsdel in the tropical jungles of the southern Philippines, they showed him pleading for life in a video with three other hostages that demanded a record-high ransom. The scene was all too familiar in a Southeast Asian nation that has struggled with ransom kidnappings [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • China imposes controversial controls on foreign NGOs

    China imposes controversial controls on foreign NGOs

    China’s Communist-controlled legislature passed a controversial law Thursday imposing new restrictions on foreign non-governmental organisations – a measure met with “deep concern” in Washington. The law gives police wide-ranging powers over overseas charities and bans them from recruiting members or raising funds in the country. “The United States is deeply concerned that China’s new Law [...]

    30-Apr-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM

Society

Tonnes of clams die in Vietnam in same area where dead fish washed up, fears mount over possible toxic leak

More than 100 tonnes of clams have perished in central Vietnam, state media reported on Thursday (April 28), as public outrage mounts over a possible toxic leak into the sea near an industrial zone. Piles of dead molluscs have been found in the same coastal region where dead fish began washing up on beaches earlier [...]

Comcast buy of ‘Kung Fu Panda’ producer aids Asia strategy

Comcast Corp’s planned purchase of DreamWorks Animation would increase the media giant’s foothold in Asia, particularly China, as it competes in an increasingly global battle for entertainment dollars. DreamWorks, producer of the “Kung Fu Panda” and “Shrek” franchises, was one of the first Hollywood studios to open a production studio in China. It formed a [...]

Gangs of transsexual sex workers are attacking tourists in Thailand

Thai transgender women are embroiled in a running battle with police after a spate of attacks and robberies of Western tourists. A German tourist was the latest visitor to feel the wrath of the sex workers when he was clubbed around the head with a rock and had his money and valuables stolen in the [...]

Health

Newborn disease outbreaks push Korea to stiffen care centre oversight

Like more than half of South Korean mothers, Kim Ju-yeon spent two weeks recuperating and relaxing in a health care centre with her newborn after she gave birth last June. But her baby boy caught latent tuberculosis during their stay, one of 30 infants who was infected by a nursing assistant. “I never thought my [...]

Thailand Is Used to Hot Aprils, but Not This Hot!

Animals at Bangkok’s zoo are being fed special frozen fruit pops. People are flocking to shopping malls just to soak up the air-conditioning. Authorities are telling people to stay out of the blazing sun to avoid heat stroke. April in Thailand is typically hot and sweaty, but this year’s scorching weather has set a record [...]

Dengue cases in Singapore rose to 232 last week

There are now 54 active dengue clusters in Singapore, including 11 classified as high-risk. The number of new dengue cases in Singapore rose to 232 in the week ending April 23, eight more cases than the previous week, according to latest figures published on the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) dengue website. Another 34 cases were [...]

FinanceAsia

Asia shares, FX rise after Fed; oil eyed

Asian stocks surrendered early gains in chaotic trade on Thursday and the yen surged against the dollar after the Bank of Japan defied market expectations for more monetary stimulus even as prices slipped deeper into deflationary territory. The near 3 percent fall in dollar/yen was its biggest daily drop since August 2015 and the second [...]

Asian stocks mixed on oil price rally, central banks watch

Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday after an overnight surge in oil prices raised questions about the outlook for the energy sector. Investors are watching for the outcome of policy meetings by the US Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 0.4 percent to 17,276.52. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell [...]

Asia stocks slip with central banks in focus, oil holds gains

Asian stocks were mostly lower on Wednesday, as investors stayed cautious ahead of US and Japanese central bank policy decisions, while crude oil prices hovered near 2016 highs. Spreadbetters expected Europe to behave similarly, forecasting Britain’s FTSE (.FTSE), Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI) and France’s CAC (.FCHI) to open little changed. Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) lost 0.4 percent [...]

Regional

Vietnam, grappling with mass fish deaths, clamps down on seafood sales

Vietnam on Thursday banned the sale and distribution of non-living aquatic products in its central region, following inconclusive efforts to explain why huge numbers of dead fish washed ashore. The ban tackles fears of a health threat along 200 km (124 miles) of the coast, after the government said the fish could have been killed [...]

UN Court To Decide On South China Sea Dispute…So What’s Next?

UN Court To Decide On South China Sea Dispute…So What’s Next?

A United Nations arbitration court will rule in in May or June on a fractious maritime dispute between China and the Philippines. The five-person Permanent Court of Arbitration, after seven hearings, is studying now whether China’s claim to a giant tropical ocean flouts UN conventions. Manila said that when it filed the case in 2013. [...]

Burma Launches First Report on Extractive Industries Revenue

On Friday, March 18 several hundred people gathered in Yangon, Myanmar for the launch of the country’s first EITI report, which provides the most comprehensive data to date on Myanmar’s revenues from extractives; traditionally opaque sectors in the country. Dr Maung Maung Thein, outgoing chair of the Multi Stakeholder Group that implements EITI locally, highlighted [...]

China

Baidu shares rise on quarterly revenue jump

Shares in Baidu jumped on Thursday after the company often referred to as China’s version of Google reported that revenue climbed as ads flowed into its search engine. Revenue during the first quarter tallied $2.45 billion (RMB15.821 billion) in a 31.2 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, profit slipped 19 percent [...]

White House ‘deeply’ concerned about China law on foreign NGOs

The White House said on Thursday the United States is “deeply concerned” that China’s new law on management of the activities of foreign non-governmental organisations will narrow the space for civil society in China. China’s parliament passed a law governing foreign NGOs, state news agency Xinhua reported. The law is part of a raft of [...]

Vote for SUPP if you want to see Chinese representation in govt: Adenan

Chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem called on the people to vote for Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) if they want to see Chinese representatives in the government. Adenan, who is the state BN chair, said he would consider bringing in Chinese representatives in his cabinet. “If they want to be in the government then [...]

Malaysia

Najib wants BN to win Sarawak polls by significant majority

Barisan Nasional chair Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants BN to win the state polls with a significant majority. Speaking at Kampung Pinang Jawa tonight to rally the BN election machinery for the state seat of Tupong, Najib said everyone must do their best to ensure the coalition’s win. “I want BN to win with a [...]

Suing lying politicians doesn’t protect journalists, media group tells AG

The Attorney-General’s suggestion that journalists sue politicians who lie about being misquoted does not protect the media from police investigations when they are instead accused of inaccuracy, a press freedom group said. The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) highlighted the case of Malaysiakini reporter Kow Gah Chie, who is being investigated under Section 505(c) of [...]

Najib wants BN to win Sarawak polls by significant majority

Barisan Nasional chair Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants BN to win the state polls with a significant majority. Speaking at Kampung Pinang Jawa tonight to rally the BN election machinery for the state seat of Tupong, Najib said everyone must do their best to ensure the coalition’s win. “I want BN to win with a [...]

Indonesia

Indonesia to host talks on maritime security after kidnappings

Indonesia hopes next week to secure an agreement with Malaysia and the Philippines on conducting joint military patrols on the high seas where Islamic militants have been on a kidnapping spree, an official said Thursday. The plight of hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf militant group could also be on the agenda when the foreign [...]

Indonesian online retailer Bhinneka plans IPO to fund expansion

Indonesian online retailer PT Bhinneka Mentari Dimensi is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in 2018 to widen its reach, one of its directors said on Thursday, as the e-commerce battleground heats up in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The e-commerce market in the country of 250 million people is ripe with potential but it is [...]

Philippines Seeks Coordinated Naval Patrols With Indonesia, Malaysia After Abu Sayaff Beheading

The Philippines is negotiating coordinated naval patrols with Indonesia and Malaysia to protect its ships from attacks and kidnappings from Islamic militants, a senior Filipino official said Thursday, according to Reuters. Philippine Foreign Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said that separate but coordinated patrols would aim to determine routes safe for travel. Islamist rebels are currently [...]

Singapore

Former BSI Singapore banker hit with new charges in 1MDB-linked case

Singapore on Thursday charged a former wealth manager at Swiss-based private bank BSI with cheating and obstructing justice, in a case related to a money laundering investigation linked to Malaysia’s troubled state fund 1MDB. Singapore’s investigation is looking at bank accounts linked to 1Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB), which is at the centre of a multi [...]

Samsung’s 360-degree camera is out on Friday, but only in Korea and Singapore

The Gear 360, Samsung’s 360-degree camera announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, is set to go on-sale on Friday, but only in Korea and Singapore. In fact, much mystery remains around when or even if the camera will reach the UK – a price for the device is still yet to be confirmed [...]

Visa opens innovation centre in Singapore

The new innovation centre is the first in Asia, and is designed to be a collaborative space for partners to work with Visa to create new payment and commerce solutions, particularly for mobile and digital platforms. Visa opened its Singapore innovation centre – a 7,000-square-foot facility that will allow the firm to work with its [...]

Thailand

Eight charged with sedition in Thailand over Facebook criticism of draft charter

Thai police charged eight people with sedition and computer crimes on Thursday, part of fresh wave of arrests as Thailand cracks down on online dissent before a referendum on a military-backed draft constitution. The eight were detained by troops on Wednesday over Facebook comments criticising the draft, which has been denounced by groups on both [...]

Woman arrested for defying referendum law

The first offender of the Referendum Law 2016 was arrested yesterday by soldiers at her home in Khon Kaen and escorted to Bangkok to face charges. She is the manager of a local admistration fund in which its Facebook page was accused by the Election Commission of posting violent, rude, and aggressive messages that were [...]

Current heatwave claims 21 lives in Thailand

The current heatwave in Thailand, with temperatures rising above 40 degrees Celsius in certain parts of country, has claimed 21 lives so far during March until April. According to the director of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, Dr Amnuay Kajina, 20 of the victims were men while one was a woman. Last year, he [...]

Philippines

Philippines’ Pacquiao now a political heavyweight

Philippines’ Pacquiao now a political heavyweight

The legend boxer hit the campaign trail this week in a bid to secure a seat in the Senate when Filipinos go to the polls on May 9. Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao smiles as he soaks up the sounds of adoring fans screaming his name, their cheers heralding a new career as one of the [...]

After hostage beheading, is Philippines facing IS threat?

After hostage beheading, is Philippines facing IS threat?

Months before Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded retired Canadian mining executive John Ridsdel in the tropical jungles of the southern Philippines, they showed him pleading for life in a video with three other hostages that demanded a record-high ransom. The scene was all too familiar in a Southeast Asian nation that has struggled with ransom kidnappings [...]

Philippine troops attack Islamic militants holding foreign hostages

Philippine warplanes on Thursday attacked Islamic militants holding 20 foreign hostages on a remote southern island, but there was no sign of the captives, the military said. Government forces said they rained artillery fire on Abu Sayyaf gunmen on a mountainous area of Jolo island, as planes and helicopters flew low over the jungle terrain [...]

Japan

Ahead of Kishida visit, Beijing says ties with Japan improving

With Japan’s top diplomat making a rare visit to Beijing later this week, China’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that frequently tense relations with Tokyo have been getting better. Spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Wednesday that Fumio Kishida’s visit starting Friday comes as ties “have shown signs of improvement, yet in the meantime are still facing [...]

Japan’s Abenomics ‘dead in the water’ after US currency warnings

The Bank of Japan has been forced to retreat from further emergency stimulus after a blizzard of criticism at home and abroad, and warnings that extreme measures may now be doing more harm than good. The climb-down by the world’s most radical central bank is the latest sign that the monetary experiments since Lehman crisis [...]

How has Japan reacted to its failed bid to build Australia’s new submarines?

The decision on who would build Australia’s next generation of submarines carried just as much anticipation in Japan as it did in Australia. A successful tender would embolden Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to enhance his brand of “active pacifism”. This is a more assertive approach to defence but “with Japanese characteristics”. It was [...]

Korea

Election Defeat Complicates Park’s Plans in Korea

South Korea’s ruling conservative Saenuri Party is looking for answers after a crushing loss earlier this month in legislative elections. Led by President Park Geun-hye, the Saenuri Party managed to win only 122 of the National Assembly’s 300 seats, falling far short of the majority that many predicted. The opposition fared well, with the liberal [...]

UN Security Council readies N. Korea missile test reply

UN Security Council readies N. Korea missile test reply

UN Security Council diplomats warned North Korea to expect a response after Pyongyang’s repeated failed attempts to test-fire a powerful ballistic missile, the latest defiance of UN resolutions. At the request of the United States, the council held urgent closed-door consultations after North Korea’s unsuccessful launch earlier in the day of two medium-range missiles, as [...]

What is the N Korea Workers’ Party congress, and why does it matter?

North Korea has announced the opening date of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea’s Seventh Congress, a rare and potentially significant gathering. The party hasn’t held one since 1980, and that one peaked with the announcement that Kim Jong Il, the father of the country’s current leader, would succeed Kim Il Sung, the regime’s founder, [...]

Hong Kong

Why HK is still seen as good regional hub for global media

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, the popular watering hole for journalists in Hong Kong, may need to give a serious thought about moving into larger premises. Yes, the press club may soon have more people lining up for membership. Consider these facts: BBC will move a part of its operation here, so will the International New [...]

HK’s Biggest Retail Rival Is on Its Doorstep

Luxury-watch retailer Halewinner will almost double its store count in the Chinese gambling hub of Macau, where casinos want time to be irrelevant, dealing another blow to Hong Kong’s staggering retail market. Halewinner Watches Group will open at least nine more shops in Macau while closing two in Hong Kong, Chair Karson Choi said in [...]

HK March home prices fall for 6th straight month amid rising supply

Hong Kong’s home prices posted their sixth consecutive month of decline in March, government data showed, with housing supply expected to hit a record high over the next few years. Home prices fell 3.5 points from February and 21.3 points from a year earlier, according to a government index published by the Rating and Valuation [...]

Taiwan

US looking forward to working with Tsai: AIT director

The United States sees Taiwan as a vital partner and looks forward to working with President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (???) and her incoming administration to build on the foundation established during the past eight years, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director Kin Moy (???) said Thursday. With Tsai’s May 20 inauguration, Taiwan will witness its third [...]

Taiwan economy shrinks more than expected in Q1, more rate cuts seen

Taiwan’s trade-reliant economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter as exports tumbled, pressuring the new government to come up with stimulus measures and cementing views the central bank will cut interest rates again in coming months. The island’s economy is clearly struggling to shake off last year’s recession as prolonged weakness in global [...]

Taiwan ups the ante in protest against seizure of fishing boat

Taiwan’s Foreign minister David Lin (???) on Friday summoned Japan’s de facto ambassador in Taipei to lodge a formal protest against the seizure earlier this week of a Taiwanese fishing boat on the high seas near a Japanese-controlled atoll. Taiwan’s Legislature, meanwhile, was planning to issue a strong condemnation of Japan’s action, which the Legislature [...]

Vietnam

Wages for senior managers soar this year

Wages for senior managers in a number of sectors have risen by 53 percent this year compared to last year as demand outpaces supply, according to the latest report of JobStreet.com. The report provides a list of the top 10 sectors in terms of wagepaymentin 2016. Of them, enterprises in the real estate and health [...]

VN’s economic growth expected to reach 6.9pct

Vietnam’s economic growth is expected to edge up further to 6.8-6.9 per cent in 2016 and 2017, thanks to the continued strong performance of domestic private demand, according to an economic and social survey for Asia and Pacific 2016. The survey, released yesterday by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [...]

VCCI: Firms in dire need of capital

Businesses are now in dire need of capital but grappling with a slew of difficulties to gain access to bank loans, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). Limited access to bank loans and high interest rates are among the problems that business executives could raise at a dialogue with prime minister [...]