• China eyes new cruise link to disputed South China Sea islands

    China eyes new cruise link to disputed South China Sea islands

    Chinese authorities plan to start a second cruise ship link to the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, state media reported on Monday, in a move that may irk Vietnam, which also claims the islets. China began cruises on the Coconut Princess on a trial basis from the southern island province of Hainan [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | Reuters | 4:00 AM
  • Philippine Build-Up At Subic Relies On US Air, Navy To Stop Chinese

    Philippine Build-Up At Subic Relies On US Air, Navy To Stop Chinese

    Mysterious containment booms with Chinese markings on them have ratcheted up tensions in the South China Sea while the Philippines plans to return Subic Bay to its historic mission as a military base. Local fishermen describe the booms, painted orange, linked in a string one kilometer long, as buoys intended to mark off oil spills. [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | Forbes | 4:00 AM
  • Taiwan Navy Eyes New US Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopters

    Taiwan Navy Eyes New US Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopters

    Taiwan’s Navy is seeking to procure new anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters via the US Foreign Military Sales programme, DefenseNews reported citing a local defense industry source. According to sources, the Taipei is looking to get eight to 10 MH-60R Seahawk ASW helicopters to replace its aging MD500 “Defender” helicopters in a deal estimated at $700 [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | The Diplomat | 4:00 AM
  • Thailand’s move to return Uighurs to China is a massive moral failure

    Thailand’s move to return Uighurs to China is a massive moral failure

    AFTER A military coup in May 2014 that converted Thailand from democracy to dictatorship, the country bade farewell to free expression and fair elections. Now, it’s saying goodbye to its international obligations, too. There’s no starker example of Thailand’s legal and moral failures than its decision this month to send 109 refugee Uighurs – an [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | | 4:00 AM
  • Activist known for brash tactics among dozens held in China

    Activist known for brash tactics among dozens held in China

    Bearded, bald and burly ex-soldier Wu Gan calls himself The Ultra Vulgar Butcher. He poses for online portraits brandishing knives in both hands that he says he’ll use to “slaughter the pigs” among local officials who’ve done wrong. Since 2009, he championed a confrontational approach to compel police, local officials or the courts to address [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | AP | 4:00 AM
  • Don’t give up MH370 search, next of kin tell government

    Don’t give up MH370 search, next of kin tell government

    Though more than a year has passed, the husband of a flight attendant who was on board missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 wants the government not to give up search efforts to locate the aircraft. The husband, who asked to be identified only by his surname, Lee when sharing his plight, said both his [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | Bernama | 4:00 AM
  • British PM heads to Southeast Asia with trade, IS on agenda

    British PM heads to Southeast Asia with trade, IS on agenda

    British prime minister David Cameron begins a visit to Southeast Asia on Monday, seeking greater cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group and to strengthen trade ties with the region’s booming economies. Cameron will arrive in Indonesia on the first stop of a four-day trip, accompanied by 30 British business leaders and the [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 4:00 AM
  • Abe’s move to beef up military role brings Asia closer to war

    Abe’s move to beef up military role brings Asia closer to war

    Prime minister Shinzo Abe’s choice to beef up Japan’s military role, supposedly made to fulfill a commitment to his American ally, is emphatically the wrong choice: it enhances the chances of war. To see why, let us recall the historical context: Japan was engaged in constant military expeditions and wars against its Asian neighbours from [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | Japan Times | 4:00 AM
  • China sentences 14 ‘Almighty God’ members to jail: Xinhua

    China sentences 14 ‘Almighty God’ members to jail: Xinhua

    A total of 14 members of a Chinese religious cult have been jailed for up to three years, state media said Sunday, the latest sentences after two members were executed this year for killing a woman. Nine members of the banned Quannengshen group were convicted of “undermining the implementation of laws by making use of [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 4:00 AM
  • Three dead as small plane crashes into Tokyo suburb

    Three dead as small plane crashes into Tokyo suburb

    Three people were killed Sunday when a small plane crashed into a Tokyo suburb shortly after takeoff, police said, leaving nearby homes and cars ablaze and the charred remains of the fuselage lying in a burnt-out residence. The single-engine propeller aircraft with a 36-year-old pilot and four passengers on board crashed at around 11:00 am [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | AFP | 4:00 AM
  • South China Sea tensions: Kevin Rudd rejects fears of regional war

    South China Sea tensions: Kevin Rudd rejects fears of regional war

    A popular theory that communist rule in China has started to collapse is wrong and a regional conflict starting in the South China Sea is also unlikely, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd said. Rudd, speaking during a panel discussion on US TV news channel CNN, bluntly rejected respected China expert David Shambaugh’s argument Chinese [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | AAP | 4:00 AM
  • Thai PM Prayuth says may consider cabinet reshuffle

    Thai PM Prayuth says may consider cabinet reshuffle

    Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Monday he might consider a cabinet reshuffle after the current government reaches the end of its one-year working period, set in place by the junta after a coup, in September or earlier. “There may be changes in some cabinet members. The reshuffle may come as the government has [...]

    28-Jul-2015 Intellasia | Reuters | 4:00 AM

Society

Beaches closed after Australia shark sightings

Four beaches on Australia’s east coast were closed Sunday after numerous shark sightings, police said, as authorities patrolled waters off a southern island following a fatal attack on a diver a day earlier. New South Wales police said the beaches at Ballina – where a bodyboarder was severely injured by a shark earlier this month [...]

Eddie Pang on Queenie Chu: I’m working on it!

Hong Kong singer Eddie Pang denied rumours of breakup with former fiancee, Queenie Chu. According to Mingpao News, the singer, who attended Comic Con PS4 preview yesterday, stated that the breakup rumours were only a misunderstanding. “We have never said anything about a breakup. We only changed the relationship, from being engaged to being friends. [...]

Bangladesh discovers only 100 tigers in famed Sundarbans

Bangladesh has only about 100 tigers living in the world’s largest mangrove forest, far fewer of the endangered animals than previously thought, following a recent survey, a top forestry official said Monday. Some 440 tigers were recorded during the previous census conducted in 2004 in the World Heritage-listed Sundarbans, one of the world’s last remaining [...]

Health

Seoul ready to declare end of MERS outbreak – UPI.com

South Korea is preparing to declare an end to the MERS outbreak that led to the quarantine of thousands of people, but the epidemic has taken a toll on the economy. Seoul officials said Friday the country is ready to announce the end of the viral contagion that killed 36 people and infected a total [...]

Indian medical device industry can grow to $7 billion by 2016: USIBC

The Indian medical device industry has a potential to grow from current $4.4 billion to $7 billion by 2016, a premier US-India business body has said as it called for a dialogue with the government to address issues of ease of doing business. The US-India Business Council (USIBC) also stressed on Friday that there is [...]

S. Korea says MERS virtually over

The South Korean government told foreign diplomats here Monday that the MERS outbreak in the nation is effectively over and it’s safe for travel. The Foreign Ministry held another briefing for the diplomatic corps in Seoul about the country’s handling of the viral respiratory illness. It pointed out that no new MERS infections have been [...]

FinanceAsia

Asian shares skid as Fed monetary meeting looms

Asian shares began the week on a plaintive note amid losses on Wall Street and worries over China, while investors braced for a Federal Reserve meeting that might take another small step toward lifting US interest rates. Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 0.3 percent lower, Germany’s to open 0.4 percent down, and France’s CAC [...]

Asia stocks down as China manufacturing weakens

Asian stock markets were rattled Friday by cautious earnings outlooks from US companies and a further deterioration in Chinese manufacturing. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.7 percent at 20,545.98 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.9 percent to 25,178.20. South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1 percent to 2,045.27. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.7 percent [...]

Asia stocks higher, NZ dollar surges after small rate cut

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Thursday after Greece passed another bailout hurdle and New Zealand cut interest rates. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 edged up 0.4 percent to 20,675.04 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7 percent to 25,469.62. The Shanghai Composite index gained 1 percent to 4,066.55. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 inched down [...]

Regional

India’s reforms target labour anarchy, but too late for some

Last month, hundreds of workers went on the rampage at a factory belonging to garment exporter Orient Craft, torching vehicles and smashing windows in the gritty industrial fringes of Gurgaon, a Delhi satellite city. Increasingly common in Indian workplaces, these violent outbursts could become a thing of the past under a bold round of labour [...]

Indian jeweller Rajesh Exports buys refiner Valcambi for $400 million

Indian jewellery firm Rajesh Exports Ltd said on Monday it has bought Valcambi, the world’s largest gold refining company, in an all-cash deal worth $400 million as it looks to secure raw material supplies at competitive prices. After the acquisition, the world’s largest gold jewellery maker will expand capacity at it’s India-based refinery, Rajesh Mehta, [...]

Five dead as attackers storm Indian police station

Indian security forces were Monday battling an armed attack on a police station near the Pakistan border in which at least five people have been killed. Authorities said two police officers and three civilians had been confirmed dead in the ongoing siege in the northern state of Punjab, and at least seven more injured. An [...]

China

China completely lifts 14-year ban on games consoles

China is set to completely lift its long-standing ban on the manufacture and sale of video game consoles in the country, allowing companies like Sony and Microsoft to start tapping the huge potential market. China has previously lifted parts of the ban piecemeal over the last few years. Last year, the ban was lifted, but [...]

China launches two satellites as it builds GPS rival: state media

China launched two new satellites into space Saturday, state media reported, as it builds a homegrown satellite navigation system to rival the US’s Global Positioning System. A rocket carrying the satellites was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch centre in southwestern Sichuan province at 8:29 pm (1229 GMT), the official Xinhua news agency said. The [...]

Rudd rejects China communist collapse | SBS News

A popular theory that communist rule in China has started to collapse is dead wrong, former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd said. Rudd, speaking during a panel discussion on US TV news channel CNN, bluntly rejected respected China expert David Shambaugh’s argument Chinese communist rule was in its final phase. Shambaugh detailed his views in [...]

Malaysia

WSJ taking sides in Malaysian politics, says Anifah

Foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has accused The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) of taking sides in Malaysian politics, after the business paper published a commentary by jailed PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on its website. In an open letter to WSJ today, Anifah criticised it for giving Anwar the “platform to [...]

Malaysian access to Justo likely only after Thais complete probe, minister says

Thailand is likely only able to accommodate Malaysia’s request to interview Xavier Andre Justo after Thai authorities complete their investigation into his alleged attempt to blackmail his former employer, Petrosaudi International (PSI), a Malaysian minister said today. Nancy Shukri, who handles the law portfolio, said it is standard procedure “for any country” to first complete [...]

All is well between me and Najib: Nazir

Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his brother Datuk Seri Nazir Razak celebrated a joyful Hari Raya Aidilfitri together, at the open house hosted by Najib’s predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today. The two were all smiles as they shared a friendly chat at the event, dispelling rumours of a rift stemming from disagreements [...]

Indonesia

Indonesia 2Q FDI Edges Lower on Global Conditions, Slowing Consumer Demand

-Foreign direct investment in Indonesia edged lower in the second quarter, reflecting continued gloomy global business conditions and slowing domestic consumer demand that discouraged companies from building new plants. The official Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board tasked with promoting investment and issuing investment permits said Monday FDI fell to $7.38 billion in the second quarter from [...]

Indonesia floats port expansion to boost faltering economy

Container ships dot the horizon off the coast of Jakarta, as cranes and labourers work on an ambitious, economy-boosting project to expand the port network in the world’s largest archipelago nation. New Priok will be Indonesia’s biggest port once completed, and is one of 24 ports planned to overhaul maritime connections in Southeast Asia’s top [...]

Strong quake hits off Indonesia, but no tsunami warning

A strong earthquake hit off of Indonesia’s main island of Java on Sunday afternoon, causing residents to pour into the streets, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, and no tsunami warning was issued. The US Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.0 undersea quake was centered 58 miles south of the East Java [...]

Singapore

Upbeat Jokowi plans to woo Singapore investors during visit

Indonesia could see growth of more than 5 per cent in the second half of the year, President Joko Widodo said yesterday, forecasting a pick-up from a tepid first half that has seen analysts cut their full-year outlook for South-east Asia’s biggest economy. There is also no fear that the region is facing a situation [...]

Workers’ Party to contest 28 seats, political parties out in full swing

The opposition Workers’ Party (WP) has stated their intention to contest 28 seats in the upcoming Singapore general elections, with the seats located in five Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) and five Single Member Constituencies (SMCs). According to reports, party chair Sylvia Lim confirmed this Sunday. The only time this number of seats was exceeded was [...]

Next Week’s News Today: Singapore Airlines Set To Cruise

The earnings season moves into overdrive with the who’s who of the Straits Times Index (SGX:^STI) pencilled in for results. A swathe of Jardine companies is expected to report numbers next week. They include Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX:C07), Jardine Strategic Holdings (SGX:J37), Jardine Matheson (SGX:J36), Dairy Farm International (SGX:D01), Hongkong Land (SGX:H78) and Mandarin [...]

Thailand

Thailand’s economy in trouble – CNBC.com

Thailand’s worst drought in a decade appears to have ended, but the damage could cast a shadow on the economy for months to come. “Thailand has turned from the land of smiles to the land of frowns. Indeed, deep frowns that are unlikely to cheer anytime soon,” ANZ economists said in a recent note. The [...]

Thai Airways to cut 1,401 jobs, suspend flights to US

Thai Airways International Pcl (THAI.BK) plans to cut 1,401 jobs through voluntary retirement this year and suspend its loss-making flights to Los Angeles and Rome as it pushes ahead with a restructuring plan, its president said on Sunday. Thailand’s national carrier aims to reduce operating costs and capacity by 20 percent under the two-year plan, [...]

Thailand’s Navy needs to get ship-shape – The Nation

JUST IMAGINE these two scenarios: an aircraft falling from the sky into the Gulf of Thailand, or a large liner sinking in the Andaman Sea. What would be the response from the Royal Thai Navy? The answer is clear: nothing. Fortunately, Malaysia’s MH370 and South Korea’s Saewol incidents occurred outside Thai territorial waters. Otherwise, the [...]

Philippines

Philippines’ Aquino struggles with legacy as clout fades

Philippine President Benigno Aquino addresses parliament for the last time on Monday, racing to secure fragile legacies of peace in the war-torn south and a stronger economy. Aquino will make his final “State of the Nation Address” with his political clout fading and struggling to choose a successor for next year’s elections that would continue [...]

Philippines’ Aquino to Tout Wins in Bid to Become 2016 Kingmaker

Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s final speech to Congress on Monday is likely to focus on a message of economic stability and continuity as he prepares to endorse a candidate for next year’s election. Aquino, who has overseen an economic resurgence for the country once known as the sick man of Asia, has been meeting with [...]

Philippines fishermen remove Chinese buoys

Filipino fishermen found several buoys with Chinese markings near Panatag or Scarborough Shoal and towed them back to shore, officials said yesterday. “Yes, there are buoys,” said Desiree Edora, mayor of Masinloc town in Zambales, which has jurisdiction over Panatag Shoal. “I already sent the chief of police to investigate.” Also locally known as Bajo [...]

Japan

BOJ’s Nakaso calls for swift Greek bank recapitalisation

Europe should take swift action to recapitalise Greek banks for the sake of economic stability in the region, Bank of Japan deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso said on Monday. “The situation surrounding Greece remains highly uncertain,” Nakaso told a news conference after meeting with business leaders in Kumamoto, southern Japan. “It’s very important that Greek banks [...]

BOJ’s Nakaso warns of China slowdown impact on exports

Japanese policymakers must be mindful of the potential negative impact that China’s economic slowdown could have on Japanese exports, central bank deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso said on Monday. He also warned of the risk that an expected interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve could heighten global market volatility and hurt emerging markets vulnerable [...]

Mitsubishi Motors plans Japan, South East Asia, Russia output focus after US pullout

The president of Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) said Japan, SouthEast Asia and Russia will become the automaker’s principal production hubs after it calls time on making cars in the United States later this year because of dwindling output there. “Japan, Asean (countries), and Russia will be the main points of production for our company,” said [...]

Korea

Bank of Korea Board Member Advocates Lowering Inflation Target

The Bank of Korea needs to be “realistic” when it sets its new inflation goal and should lower the mid-point of the target band to 2 percent or 2.5 percent, said board member Moon Woo Sik. It’s among central banks from Tokyo to Wellington that are wrestling with inflation targets and how best to measure [...]

Hanwha Emerges as Korea’s Defense Giant

From a gunpowder producer to an all-round defense firm, Hanwha Corp. has emerged as the new defense giant in South Korea. Founded in 1952 during the Korean War, the company is the root for Hanwha Group, the nation’s 9th largest conglomerate. The corporation completed its acquisition of Samsung Techwin and Samsung Thales on June 29. [...]

Not Forte: Bank of Korea Poor at Gold Investment | BusinessKorea

Justice Party lawmaker Park Won-seok, who is a member of the Strategy and Finance Committee of the National Assembly, said on July 26 that the gold that the Bank of Korea purchased between 2011 and 2013 has incurred losses of approximately 1.8 trillion won (US$1.5 billion), which is equivalent to 33 percent of the price [...]

Hong Kong

HK Is Feeling China’s Pain

For Hong Kong, it’s been one thing after another. A series of anti-China and pro-democracy protests last year prompted stores to close and mainland tour groups to cancel bookings. Meanwhile, a slowing Chinese economy and President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption and austerity campaigns have also made the Chinese more wary of buying pricey cognac and Gucci [...]

‘Snubbed’ British minister meets HK leader

A senior British foreign office minister met with Hong Kong’s leader Friday after reportedly being snubbed in the wake of mass street protests over a Beijing-backed electoral reform package. The meeting between foreign office minister Hugo Swire and embattled Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying comes in the same week the UK released a report [...]

HK retailers feel China’s pain – Financial Review

For Hong Kong, it’s been one thing after another. A series of anti-China and pro-democracy protests last year prompted stores to close and mainland tour groups to cancel bookings. Meanwhile, a slowing Chinese economy and President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption and austerity campaigns have also made the Chinese more wary of buying pricey cognac and Gucci [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan police release protesters held over ministry break-in

Police released 30 protesters, most of them students, Friday who were held after they broke into the education ministry in the capital Taipei to oppose “China-centric” changes to the school curriculum. Increasing fears in Taiwan over Beijing’s influence sparked a three-week occupation of parliament last year by student-led protesters opposing a trade pact with China. [...]

Taiwan president rues lack of progress with China

The president of Taiwan has said that political progress in mainland China is unstable. Speaking in a rare interview with the BBC, Ma Ying-jeou said he was disappointed that despite improvements in the economic relationship during his two terms as president, there had been no meeting between himself and President Xi Jinping of China. “Mainland [...]

Taiwan expected to join tariff programme – Taipei Times

Bureau of Foreign Trade director-General Yang Jen-ni said it is not likely that Taiwan would insist on the addition of flat panels, with a meeting set today Taiwan is expected to join the expanded tariff elimination programme of the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement (ITA) tomorrow after the nation completes a consultation process with local industrial [...]

Vietnam

Economic forum opens in Germany

Vietnam was one of the main participants at the 12th Asia-Pacific Economic Forum held in the German state of Bayern last week as the two countries celebrated 40 years of diplomatic ties. Nearly 200 businesses featured at the event. Vietnam was chosen to attend this year’s Asia-Pacific Forum following the success of the Asia-Pacific Conference [...]

Ministry asked to correct false tax debt information

Nguyen Kim Trading Joint Stock Co. has requested the Ministry of Finance to correct the inaccurate information about its tax debt the ministry announced on its website. In a document sent to the ministry and the general Department of Taxation, Nguyen Kim asked for a removal of its name from the list of tax debtors [...]

Door closes on VN tax debtors

Business representatives with large amounts of tax debt will not be allowed to leave Vietnam under a new Ministry of Finance draft decision. The ban applies to chairmans, directors and director generals who have owed VND1 billion (US$45,850) or more in taxes – or VND50 million ($2,300) or more in individual owning taxes – for [...]