• Vietnam says it prefers bilateral talks with China on SCS

    Vietnam says it prefers bilateral talks with China on SCS

    Vietnam’s deputy foreign minister says the country aims to settle its territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiations even though it doesn’t rule out applying international laws, as the Philippines did in its recent arbitration victory. Le Hoai Trung spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the sidelines of [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Indonesia: Executions will put Jokowi on the wrong side of history

    Indonesia: Executions will put Jokowi on the wrong side of history

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as ‘Jokowi’, will be putting his government on the wrong side of history if he proceeds with a fresh round of executions, Amnesty International said today. Amnesty International received credible reports that at least 14 people could be executed this week, who consist of four Indonesian and ten foreign [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | Amnesty | 6:00 AM
  • Thai rights activists charged over report on army torture

    Thai rights activists charged over report on army torture

    Three prominent Thai rights defenders were charged Tuesday with criminal defamation over a rare report describing torture suffered by detainees in the restive south, police said. Thailand’s southern tip is a hotbed of violence, with more than 6,500 people – mostly civilians – killed in a 12-year insurgency by Muslim rebels against the Buddhist-majority state. [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • China-Philippines should ‘turn page’ on sea row: Kerry

    China-Philippines should ‘turn page’ on sea row: Kerry

    The Philippines and China should “turn the page” and hold talks over contested areas of the South China Sea after a tribunal shot down Beijing’s claims to the strategic waterway, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday. Relations between China and the Philippines hit a nadir earlier this month after Beijing refused to recognise [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • US tells Beijing sea patrols will continue

    US tells Beijing sea patrols will continue

    The US will continue naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea, Washington’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice told Chinese representatives during a series of meetings in Beijing, a senior American official said Tuesday. Rice is among the highest-level US officials to visit China since an international tribunal this month rejected its vast territorial claims [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Chinese demolitions at Buddhist institute draw fire

    Chinese demolitions at Buddhist institute draw fire

    Rights groups on Tuesday called for Chinese authorities to stop forced demolitions at one of the world’s biggest Tibetan Buddhist institutes, saying the move was an attempt to “severely restrict” religious freedoms. Authorities began destroying living quarters at Larung Gar Institute in the southwestern province of Sichuan last week, according to a statement by the [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Are Russia, China and the US Headed Toward a New Cold War?

    Are Russia, China and the US Headed Toward a New Cold War?

    As Russian President Vladimir Putin last month wrapped up his fourth trip to China since Xi Jinping assumed the Chinese presidency back in 2013, he boasted of nearly 60 deals that were in the works between Moscow and Beijing, reportedly worth upward of $50 billion. “Russia and China stick to points of view which are [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | Usnews | 6:00 AM
  • US, N Korea trade barbs over nuclear weapon tests

    US, N Korea trade barbs over nuclear weapon tests

    North Korea said any decision to conduct another nuclear test depends entirely on the behaviour of the United States as the two sides traded blame Tuesday over tensions on the Korean peninsula. Ri Yong-Ho, Pyongyang’s newly appointed foreign minister, accused the US of being behind the failure of the long-dormant six-party talks on the country’s [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • HK journalists jailed on mainland over ‘illegal business’

    HK journalists jailed on mainland over ‘illegal business’

    Two Hong Kong journalists have been jailed in China for running an “illegal business” that sent political magazines to the mainland, one of their lawyers said Tuesday, as Beijing cracks down on press freedoms in the semi-autonomous territory. Publisher Wang Jianmin, 62, was jailed for five years and three months and editor-in-chief Guo Zhongxiao was [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Philippines says Asean omission of arbitration case not a Chinese victory

    Philippines says Asean omission of arbitration case not a Chinese victory

    The Philippines “vigorously pushed” for the inclusion of comment on an arbitration ruling in a joint statement from Southeast Asian countries but its failure to secure that was no diplomatic win for China, Manila’s foreign minister said on Wednesday. The Philippines had not sought support from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) or the [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • N. Korea Floats Propaganda Leaflets in River for 1st Time

    N. Korea Floats Propaganda Leaflets in River for 1st Time

    South Korea on Wednesday accused rival North Korea of floating propaganda leaflets down a river in the first such incident. South Korea’s military discovered dozens of plastic bags, each carrying about 20 leaflets, near the estuary of Seoul’s Han River close to the tense Korean border last Friday, according to the South’s Defense Ministry. Seoul [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Japan PM unveils more than $266 bn stimulus: media

    Japan PM unveils more than $266 bn stimulus: media

    Japan launched an economic stimulus package worth more than 28 trillion yen ($266 billion) Wednesday, days before the central bank is expected to unveil its own growth-boosting measures. Prime minister Shinzo Abe announced the programme in a speech in southwestern Japan, giving few details except to say it would include about 13 trillion yen in [...]

    28-Jul-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM

Society

The High-Heeled Shoe church formally opens in Taiwan village

A woman who lived out her days in a church after her legs were amputated reportedly inspired this new church. Shaped like Cinderella’s glass slipper, the church on Taiwan’s west coast formally opened on Saturday but the public have been allowed inside since February. The High-Heeled Shoe church in the fishing village Budai has been [...]

Nagasaki church among Christian sites Japan selects as World Heritage candidate

A Japanese government panel on Monday selected Christian sites in southwestern Japan including the country’s oldest church in Nagasaki as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site candidate for 2018. It is the second time the panel has picked the sites in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures, including Nagasaki’s Oura Church, which is designated as a national [...]

Selena Gomez sizzles in maiden performance in Malaysia

Despite a protest by PAS Youth to have it cancelled, Selena Gomez’s first ever concert in Malaysia went on as planned tonight. Gomez sizzled and thrilled about 4,000 Selenators (what Gomez’s fans call themselves), who thronged the Stadium Malawati to see the artiste perform. The 22-year-old singer-actress appeared on stage donning a long-sleeved black turtleneck [...]

Health

Nearly 10000 dengue cases reported in Singapore this year

Nearly 10,000 dengue cases have been reported in Singapore since the start of the year, with more than 200 new cases reported each week for the past five weeks, according to latest figures published on the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) dengue website. There were 266 dengue cases in the week ending July 23, up from [...]

Membaca Rapor Merah Penanganan HIV di Indonesia

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) bisa jadi adalah penyakit yang paling ditakuti di dunia. Perang melawan penyakit mematikan tersebut terus digencarkan di seluruh negara, termasuk di Indonesia. Sayangnya, Indonesia tercatat masih tertinggal dibandingkan negara-negara lain dalam hal penanganan penderita HIV. Hal itu tercermin dari rendahnya cakupan antiretroviral (ART) yang berbanding lurus dengan peningkatan jumlah penderita HIV [...]

China confirms first Rift Valley Fever case

The first imported case of the deadly Rift Valley Fever has been confirmed in China in a middle-aged man who had returned from Angola, officials said today. The 45-year-old man surnamed Tang from Henan Province got fever and headache and suffered pain in his joints and muscles on July 14 in Angola, the National Health [...]

FinanceAsia

Asia stocks settle near one-year highs on Japan stimulus

Asian stocks settled near one-year highs on Wednesday while the safe-haven yen slumped after Japan’s government announced a larger-than-expected economic stimulus package, which led most of the region’s bourses higher. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1 percent, reversing earlier gains, having previously climbed to its highest level since August 11, [...]

Asia’s Best Bond Rally Quickens as Philippine Central Bank Eases

Philippine bonds are outpacing Asian peers as the nation’s central bank considers cutting lenders’ reserve ratios for the first time in four years, a move that investors estimate would inject at least $1.5 billion into the financial system. Government bonds are poised for the strongest two-month rally since at least 2013, Bloomberg bond indexes show, [...]

Asia markets rise ahead of US, Japan bank decisions

Asian markets mostly rose on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve prepares to wrap up a key policy meeting, while Tokyo rallied days before an expected Bank of Japan stimulus announcement. Promises of support from governments and central banks around the world since Britain’s shock EU exit vote last month have provided the foundation for big [...]

Regional

If Trump Wins, Asia Loses

Investors say there’s a low chance Donald Trump will build a wall on the US border with Mexico if he becomes president. But they think it’s highly likely he’ll slap tariffs on Asian imports, triggering a currency war. An investor survey conducted earlier this month by Nomura Holdings Inc. flags a long list of worries [...]

Vietnam says it prefers bilateral talks with China on SCS

Vietnam says it prefers bilateral talks with China on SCS

Vietnam’s deputy foreign minister says the country aims to settle its territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiations even though it doesn’t rule out applying international laws, as the Philippines did in its recent arbitration victory. Le Hoai Trung spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the sidelines of [...]

Kerry: US avoiding ‘confrontation’ in sea row

Kerry: US avoiding ‘confrontation’ in sea row

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said Washington wanted to avoid “confrontation” in the South China Sea, after an international tribunal rejected Beijing’s claims to most of the waters. Kerry made the remarks after meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay in Manila where they discussed the Southeast Asian nation’s sweeping victory in [...]

China

China’s LeEco to buy US TV maker Vizio for $2 billion

China’s Le Holdings Co Ltd , also known as LeEco, said on Tuesday it would buy US consumer electronics company Vizio Inc (VZIO.O) for $2 billion. Irvine, California-based Vizio makes affordable flat screen televisions, soundbars and LCD monitors. Founded in 2002, the company is now one of the largest manufacturers of TV sets in the [...]

Morgan Stanley Says China Remains as Key Risk to India Investors

India has overtaken China as the world’s fastest-growing major economy, but its northeastern neighbour remains the biggest risk for investors in rupee assets, says Morgan Stanley Investment Management. A case in point: the local market’s reaction to Brexit. The rupee dropped more than 1 percent to 67.97 per dollar on June 24 when it was [...]

China Monetary Gauge at 5-Year High Aids Fiscal Boost, HSBC Says

Easier money in China should help policy makers increase their fiscal support for the world’s second-largest economy amid signs of growth slowing further, HSBC Holdings Plc said. HSBC’s China Monetary Conditions Indicator rose to a five-year high in June, aided by improved bank lending and a more “market-aligned” yuan. That should help support further fiscal [...]

Malaysia

Malaysia’s Najib gets new powers amid planned protests over fund scandal

Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak will get sweeping security powers on Monday amid planned protests calling for his resignation over US allegations that millions of dollars from a state fund wound up in his personal bank account. The new National Security Council (NSC) Act, which comes into force on August 1, allows Najib to designate [...]

Malaysia working with US to fight human trafficking

Prosecuting human traffickers and identifying those susceptible to exploitation as forced labourers are among the areas in which Malaysia will work closely with the United States. Deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi discussed the matter with Susan Coppedge, the US Ambassador-at-large for Trafficking in Persons, at his office yesterday. Dr Ahmad Zahid [...]

Malaysia Airlines orders Boeing 737 MAX jets in $5.5 billion deal

Malaysia Airlines said on Wednesday it had ordered 50 Boeing (BA.N) 737 MAX jets, with firm orders for 25 and rights to purchase 25 more. Deliveries will begin in 2019 and the deal is worth $5.5 billion at list prices, the full-service carrier said in a statement. Airlines typically receive a discount off the list [...]

Indonesia

Indonesia’s energy minister to be replaced in cabinet reshuffle – sources

Indonesia’s energy and mining minister Sudirman Said will be replaced as part of a cabinet reshuffle expected to be announced by President Joko Widodo on Wednesday, sources close to the minister told Reuters. Asked whether Said would be replaced, a source, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said: “Yes, [...]

No ‘Free Pass’ for Indonesia on China Sea Disputes, Letter Says

Indonesia should step up and play a greater leadership role in Southeast Asia’s management of maritime disputes with China, a group of foreign policy experts and academics said in an open letter. “We should not forget that an ‘independent and active’ foreign policy does not give Indonesia a free pass to watch a strategic turmoil [...]

Indonesia names controversial ex-general security minister

A controversial former military chief accused of atrocities during Indonesia’s brutal occupation of East Timor was appointed the country’s top security minister on Wednesday (July 27), with activists calling it a step backwards for human rights. Wiranto, named to the powerful post in a cabinet reshuffle, is among senior officers indicted by United Nations prosecutors [...]

Singapore

Singapore June factory output bit weaker than expected

Singapore’s industrial production in June fell slightly more than expected from a year earlier, as sharp falls in marine and offshore engineering output and pharmaceuticals production offset a jump in electronics output. Manufacturing output fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier in June, data from the Singapore Economic Development Board showed on Tuesday. The median [...]

Singapore’s MOU for high-speed railway to Malaysia ‘troubling’: SDP

The signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the high-speed railway (HSR) between Singapore and Malaysia is “troubling” in light of probes into state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), said the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) in a Facebook note on Monday (25 July). The opposition party noted that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) [...]

Singapore tightens conditions for hiring foreign professionals

Singapore will raise the salary criteria for foreign managers and specialists that companies can hire starting next year, a move that may add to the competitive challenges faced by local firms amid slowing economic growth. The qualifying monthly salary for employment passes (EP) will be raised by 9 percent to S$3,600 ($2,650) from S$3,300 starting [...]

Thailand

Thai rights activists charged over report on army torture

Thai rights activists charged over report on army torture

Three prominent Thai rights defenders were charged Tuesday with criminal defamation over a rare report describing torture suffered by detainees in the restive south, police said. Thailand’s southern tip is a hotbed of violence, with more than 6,500 people – mostly civilians – killed in a 12-year insurgency by Muslim rebels against the Buddhist-majority state. [...]

Burma Migrants Found on Fishing Boat in Thai Waters Return Home

Fourteen Myanmar migrants forced to work on an Indonesian fishing boat returned to Myanmar on Tuesday after their government and an international organisation arranged their release, the government said. Government officials and officers from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) welcomed the migrants after they arrived at the airport in the commercial city Yangon, according [...]

Thailand’s Constitution Battle Becomes Theater of the Absurd

With Hello Kitty, Megatron and Optimus prime involved, political showdown resembles a toy story For some in Thailand, posting pictures of toys online is the safest way to register their distaste for their military rulers’ tightening hold on power. Shape-shifting robots such as Optimus prime and Megatron from the Transformers films were among the first [...]

Philippines

Drugs putting Philippines on the brink of suicide

Perhaps readers feel that their correspondent is dwelling overly on the Philippines, given that he lives there a good part of the time. The fact is that the Philippines is at once both the most successful Asean country, and the one hell-bent on self-destruction. A reminder of the facts: the Philippines is the second fastest-growing [...]

Philippines Has a People Problem, Literally

Hmmm, maybe Donald Trump wouldn’t be such a disaster after all. Just kidding! The billionaire-turned-politician would be every bit the disaster economists fear in the White House. But what of Rodrigo Duterte, who’s often called the Filipino Trump? With his disdain for political correctness, copious misogyny and authoritarian tendencies, newly sworn in President Duterte often [...]

US Encouraged to See Direct China-Philippines Dialogue on Maritime Disputes

The US says it is encouraged by the willingness of China and the Philippines to engage in direct dialogue over the South China Sea following a tribunal ruling against Beijing earlier this month. In Manila Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with senior Philippine officials, including new Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. It [...]

Japan

Knife attacker in Japan moved from jail to see prosecutors – NHK

A Japanese man accused of breaking into a facility for the disabled in a small town near Tokyo before stabbing and killing 19 patients was taken from a regional jail to see prosecutors on Wednesday, footage on public broadcaster NHK showed. Satoshi Uematsu, the 26-year-old suspect and former employee of the facility, was sent from [...]

Why Germany And Japan Are Expanding Their Militaries

After WWII, Japan and Germany rewrote their constitutions to limit their militaries. So why have they decided to increase their forces? Germany recently announced a plan to significantly expand its military, a development which would have triggered worldwide alarm not too long ago. Germany’s old World War II ally Japan has also made changes to [...]

Japan urges Pokemon Go players not to hunt in Fukushima disaster zone

Japan has asked the makers of Pokemon go to prevent the animated monsters appearing in the Fukushima disaster zone after at least one was discovered on the site. They are worried Pokemon hunters will put themselves in danger while playing the game if Pokemon continue to appear on the site of power stations in the [...]

Korea

US, N Korea trade barbs over nuclear weapon tests

US, N Korea trade barbs over nuclear weapon tests

North Korea said any decision to conduct another nuclear test depends entirely on the behaviour of the United States as the two sides traded blame Tuesday over tensions on the Korean peninsula. Ri Yong-Ho, Pyongyang’s newly appointed foreign minister, accused the US of being behind the failure of the long-dormant six-party talks on the country’s [...]

N. Korea threatens ‘terrible price’ for US sanctions push

North Korea threatened to restart nuclear tests on the Peninsula after Secretary of State John Kerry called for tightening sanctions on the rogue regime. North Korea has continued to conduct ballistic missile tests in defiance of United Nations mandates. These tests are alarming American allies in the region. “We are ready to show that even [...]

Korea, US hold talks on expanding defense technology cooperation

South Korea and the United States will take steps to expand cooperation in defense technology exchanges and the conventional arms trade, the defense ministry said Wednesday. In the first ever Defense Technology Strategy & Cooperation Group meeting, vice Defense minister Hwang In-moo met his US counterpart David Shear, principal deputy under secretary of defense for [...]

Hong Kong

HK journalists jailed on mainland over ‘illegal business’

HK journalists jailed on mainland over ‘illegal business’

Two Hong Kong journalists have been jailed in China for running an “illegal business” that sent political magazines to the mainland, one of their lawyers said Tuesday, as Beijing cracks down on press freedoms in the semi-autonomous territory. Publisher Wang Jianmin, 62, was jailed for five years and three months and editor-in-chief Guo Zhongxiao was [...]

The politics of a martial arts book fair in HK

Martial arts is theme of a book fair coming to a close in Hong Kong. But in the city home to the five booksellers detained by China for trading in controversial texts there had to be some politics on display, reports Tzu-Wei Liu of BBC Chinese. A book fair in a convention centre in Hong [...]

China hands HK journalists prison terms

A southern Chinese court has sentenced four people, including at least two Hong Kong journalists, to prison on charges of running an illegal business after they reportedly sent copies of their sensitive political magazines to mainland China. A court in Shenzhen said Wednesday the four received prison sentences of up to five years each. The [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan to probe seized assets of parties

Taiwan is to launch an official investigation into the ill-gotten assets of political parties in a move blasted by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) as persecution. The move comes after a Bill passed by Parliament late on Monday authorises the investigation and seizure of allegedly illicit assets from all parties, but to date only the KMT [...]

Taiwan-Japan maritime meet postponed

The first-ever meeting of a Taiwan-Japan maritime affairs dialogue mechanism, originally slated for Thursday, will be postponed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Tuesday. In a statement, MOFA said the meeting, set to take place in Taipei, will be rescheduled due to the fact that there are too many issues up for discussion. [...]

Tropical Storm Mirinae not expected to affect Taiwan

A tropical low pressure system detected in the South China Sea was upgraded to Tropical Storm Mirinae at 2 p.m. Tuesday, but is not expected to affect Taiwan, meteorologists said that day. Mirinae, the third tropical storm to form in the Pacific this year, was forecast to move toward China’s Hainan Island, according to the [...]

Vietnam

With or Without US-Led Trade Pact, Vietnam Is Forging Ahead

For Vietnam’s government, talk of a collapse in a trade pact stretching across the Pacific Ocean from the US to Malaysia is failing to dent confidence. Whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a 12-nation preferential trade agreement that covers about 40 percent of the global economy – is approved by the US Congress or not, authorities [...]

Vietnam may miss GDP target but should retain debt ceiling: expert

Vietnam’s economic performance in the first half of 2016 forecasts a gloomy outlook for the rest of the year, with the government likely to miss its GDP growth target, and possibly breach the inflation and public debt ceilings. The Southeast Asian country’s economy is expected to grow 6.2 percent this year, behind the target of [...]

Government should stick to growth goal: experts

The government should not adjust the economic growth target of 6.7 per cent even though it is unlikely to meet it this year, experts said during a conference in Hanoi yesterday. “I suppose it is good that the government keeps the target intact,” Nguyen Dinh Cung, director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), [...]