• China Sets A ‘Red Line’ For Japan In South China Sea

    China Sets A ‘Red Line’ For Japan In South China Sea

    China is prepared to do whatever it takes to write its own navigation rules in South China Sea, including the setting of “red lines” for neighbourhood countries. Back in June, for instance, China warned Japan “not send Self-Defense Forces to join US operations that test the freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea,” [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | Forbes | 6:00 AM
  • Chinese ships, planes conduct war games in Sea of Japan

    Chinese ships, planes conduct war games in Sea of Japan

    Chinese planes and ships held war games in the Sea of Japan last week, the military said, during which Beijing displayed its latest-generation frigate at a time of bitter territorial disputes with Asian neighbours. The Defense Ministry said in a statement on its website late Saturday that the long-range exercises staged Friday pitted a red [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | Foxnews | 6:00 AM
  • N. Korea state media says diplomat defector ‘criminal’

    N. Korea state media says diplomat defector ‘criminal’

    North Korea’s deputy ambassador to Britain, who defected to South Korea this week, is a criminal who had been ordered to return home for questioning, Pyongyang state media said Saturday. Thae Yong-Ho is one of the highest ranking North Korean diplomats ever to defect to the South – gifting Seoul a major propaganda coup at [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • 7 killed in Vietnam’s typhoon Dianmu

    7 killed in Vietnam’s typhoon Dianmu

    At least seven persons were killed and two went missing as typhoon Dianmu hit Vietnam, authorities said on Sunday. After making landfall in northern Vietnam on Friday, Dianmu weakened into a tropical depression, Xinhua news agency quoted the Natural Disaster Prevention and Control committee as saying. The typhoon left 695 houses damaged and 2,154 in [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | IANS | 6:00 AM
  • Strong 6.0 quake hits northern Japan: USGS

    Strong 6.0 quake hits northern Japan: USGS

    A strong earthquake struck off the coast of northern Japan for a third consecutive day early Sunday though there were no immediate reports of people injured or damage. The shallow 6.0 magnitude quake hit at 00:58 am (1558 GMT Saturday) 170 kilometres (105 miles) east-northeast of Miyako city, the US Geological Survey said. It was [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Protest over election ban on HK pro-independence activists

    Protest over election ban on HK pro-independence activists

    Hundreds of protesters marched through Hong Kong’s main streets on Sunday against a ban on pro-independence candidates from running in an upcoming legislative election, as fears grow over Beijing’s influence in the city. In the last month five candidates who advocate a split from China were rejected from standing in the September 4 vote, with [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Philippines remains committed to the United Nations – foreign minister

    Philippines remains committed to the United Nations – foreign minister

    The Philippines is not leaving the United Nations, the foreign minister said on Monday, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to quit the body after it called for an end to the wave of killings unleashed by his war on drugs. Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said Duterte’s statement “is a statement expressing profound [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Typhoon Hits Tokyo, Bringing Risk of Floods, Landslides

    Typhoon Hits Tokyo, Bringing Risk of Floods, Landslides

    Tokyo was pummeled by rain and winds as Mindulle became the first typhoon to make landfall near the metropolitan region in 11 years on Monday, bringing the risk of floods and landslides. The typhoon’s centre was estimated to have passed the Tokyo area as of 4 p.m. local time, heading north as its maximum gust [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 6:00 AM
  • N. Korea threatens pre-emptive nuke strike over Seoul’s military drill

    N. Korea threatens pre-emptive nuke strike over Seoul’s military drill

    North Korea on Monday threatened to mount a “preemptive nuclear strike” on South Korea and the United States as the allies kicked off their annual military exercise aimed at countering Pyongyang’s potential aggression. The command and control exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian, began its two-week run on Monday, involving tens of thousands of South Korean and [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | Yonhap | 6:00 AM
  • S. Korea, US start drills despite N. Korea’s nuclear threat

    S. Korea, US start drills despite N. Korea’s nuclear threat

    South Korea and the United States began annual military drills Monday despite North Korea’s threat of nuclear strikes in response to the exercises that it calls an invasion rehearsal. Such fiery rhetoric by Pyongyang is not unusual. But the latest warning comes at a time of more tension following the defection of a senior North [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Philippines’ Duterte threatens to quit UN after drugs war censure

    Philippines’ Duterte threatens to quit UN after drugs war censure

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte railed against the United Nations on Sunday after it called for an end to the wave of killings unleashed by his war on drugs, saying he might leave the organisation and invite China and others to form a new one. Two UN human rights experts last week urged Manila to stop [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • National Day rally suspended as PM Lee has taken ill

    National Day rally suspended as PM Lee has taken ill

    Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, who took ill while delivering his National Day Rally speech on Sunday (August 21) night, was feeling unsteady because of prolonged standing, heat and dehydration. His heart is fine and he did not have a stroke, said the prime minister’s Office (PMO). The rally resumed at about 10.40pm. Lee, 64, [...]

    23-Aug-2016 Intellasia | Straits Times | 6:00 AM

Society

Bicycle parade promotes LGBT rights in Vietnam

Hundreds of people on Sunday took part in a colourful bicycle parade through the streets of Hanoi in support of LGBT rights as the country marked its fifth annual Viet Pride event. The parade, which started at 9 a.m, saw members and supporters of the LGBT community ride along a five-km stretch of the Vietnamese [...]

7 killed in Vietnam’s typhoon Dianmu

7 killed in Vietnam’s typhoon Dianmu

At least seven persons were killed and two went missing as typhoon Dianmu hit Vietnam, authorities said on Sunday. After making landfall in northern Vietnam on Friday, Dianmu weakened into a tropical depression, Xinhua news agency quoted the Natural Disaster Prevention and Control committee as saying. The typhoon left 695 houses damaged and 2,154 in [...]

9 cheap and chic places to stay in Tokyo

Where: 1-17-7, Lumiere building 7th floor, Nishi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan 171-0021 Prices: Room rates from JPY 1,500 for a day stay (from 1pm to 5pm) to JPY 4,500 for a bed during peak periods. If a cosy nook filled with shelves of books is all that you need, this hostel might just be your [...]

Health

China over-reliant on hospitals, needs more family doctors: WHO

China’s healthcare system is overly reliant on large, over-burdened hospitals, which will struggle to cope with a spike in diseases linked to the fast-ageing population, the World Health Organization said on Saturday. Even for minor ailments, Chinese patients often shun family doctors or general practitioners in favour of big city general hospitals, a trend that [...]

Chinese scientists discover molecule to repair organs

Chinese scientists have discovered a small molecule that can regenerate tissue, which in the future could potentially eliminate transplants of some organs. The research was led by professor Zhou Dawang and Deng Xianming of the School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, and professor Yun Caihong of Peking University, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday. The [...]

FDA tests confirm hepatitis A in scallops from Philippines

US Food and Drug Administration tests found hepatitis A in scallops from the Philippines, which have been identified as the likely source of an outbreak of the virus in Hawaii. The Hawaii Department of Health announced Thursday the FDA laboratory test results of frozen Sea Port Bay Scallops. They’re produced by De Oro Resources Inc. [...]

FinanceAsia

Asian shares slip, dollar stands tall on Fed hike bets

Asian shares slipped on Monday, while the dollar lifted off last week’s lows on expectations a signal might emerge from a Federal Reserve gathering this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that the US central bank is gearing up to hike interest rates. Global central bankers will join the annual mountain retreat that opens on Thursday, [...]

Hitachi and BTMU Start Proof of Concept Testing for Utilizing Blockchain Technology for Check Digitalization in Singapore

SINGAPORE, Aug 22, 2016 – (JCN Newswire) – Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501, Hitachi) and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU) today announced that they have started Proof of Concept (PoC) testing for using blockchain technology(1) for digitalization of checks in the Republic of Singapore. In this PoC testing, Hitachi and BTMU communally developed a [...]

Modern Land Upgraded to “B+” by Fitch Ratings, Outlook Stable

HONG KONG, Aug 22, 2016 – (ACN Newswire) – A leading real estate developer of green technological properties – Modern Land (China) Co Ltd (“Modern Land,” the “Company,” together with its subsidiaries, the “Group,” HKSE stock code: 1107.HK) — is pleased to announce that Fitch Ratings, an international credit ratings institution, has upgraded Modern Land’s [...]

Regional

H&M factories in Burma employed 14-year-old workers

Fashion retail giant says it has taken action against its two factories after new book in Sweden raises fears about working conditions in the country Swedish fashion chain H&M worked with clothing factories in Myanmar where children as young as 14 toiled for more than 12 hours a day, according to a book being published [...]

Suu Kyi government’s Economic Policy Still a Mystery

Developer Bo San had already sold all the units in his 12-story high-rise in Yangon in Myanmar when he was forced to halt construction. Three months later he faces the task of having to remove two floors to comply with new height regulations, at a cost of $8 million. Since May, the regional government of [...]

Barrier to reform? Suu Kyi sticks with Burma central bank chief

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi is standing by the country’s central bank governor, despite concerns from commercial bankers, government advisors and some of his own officials at the pace of reform on his watch. Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) chief Kyaw Kyaw Maung is one of the last junta-era civilian officials to remain in a [...]

China

Former China boom town learns hard lessons about service economy

At the section of the Great Wall of China that runs through Yulin, tour guide Gao Jing says she tried to learn English in expectation of the increased number of overseas visitors the city planned to attract as part of its economic transformation. But the international tourists haven’t come to Yulin, once a coal, oil [...]

China Is Grappling With Hidden Unemployment

Cracks are starting to show in China’s labour market as struggling industrial firms leave millions of workers in flux. While official jobless numbers haven’t budged, the underemployment rate has jumped to more than 5 percent from near zero in 2010, according to Bai Peiwei, an economics professor at Xiamen University. Bai estimates the rate may [...]

China blasts Australian blocking of grid sale; door open to locals

China voiced anger on Friday over a decision by Australia to rule out on security grounds the preferred Chinese bidders for an energy grid potentially worth more than $7 billion and restart the sale process. Australia’s Treasurer Scott Morrison, who must approve major foreign investments, formally blocked the sale of Ausgrid to State Grid Corp [...]

Malaysia

Growing intolerance of LGBTIQ community due to Islamisation, forum told

Islamisation in Malaysia has contributed to the growing intolerance towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) community in the country which has sometimes resulted in hate crimes as well, panellists said today. Social activist Azrul Mohd Khalib added that those from the LGBTIQ minority group are facing increased persecution on a daily [...]

Singaporean reported missing after entering Malaysia via second link

A Singaporean has been reported missing after entering the country via the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link in Gelang Patah on August 15. Ow Xie En Nathan, 25, entered the country at 11am on that day and has not been heard of since. Iskandar Puteri police chief Supt Noor Hashim Mohamad said the police received a report [...]

NDR 2016: Singapore’s relations with Malaysia and Indonesia ‘sensitive, complex’, but good on the whole

Singapore has worked hard to build its ties with Malaysia and Indonesia, but these are “sensitive, complex relationships,” said prime minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday (August 21). In his National Day Rally speech, Lee said there will be differences from time to time, because of their deep-seated attitudes towards Singapore. Speaking about Indonesia, Lee [...]

Indonesia

Retired Indonesian general ‘interviewed’ at Changi as part of ‘screening procedures’: ICA

Retired Indonesian army general Suryo Prabowo was stopped and interviewed by checkpoint officers at Singapore’s Changi Airport on Wednesday (August 17), as part of “screening procedures”, said the Republic’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). The ICA, in a statement on Saturday (August 20), explained that Suryo was interviewed by its officers for about 30 minutes [...]

Asia Pacific|10 Dead, 5 Missing After Boat Sinks in Indonesia

Ten people died and five were missing after a small wooden boat capsized in rough seas and sank Sunday off Indonesia’s Bintan island, south of Singapore, Indonesian officials said. Search and rescue personnel, maritime police and the navy were searching for survivors of the sinking. Two people were rescued. Two children were among the 10 [...]

Indonesia’s Finance minister Sets Sights on Tax Evaders

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, returning to a role in which she gained rock-star status, is making tax revenue a priority Indonesia’s Finance minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, returned last month from a top post at the World Bank pledging to drill incompetent officials and pursue tax evaders with the same grit and persistence that earned her many [...]

Singapore

PM touches on key growth areas in rally speech

Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday (21 August) delivered his National Day Rally speech where he touched on some of the upcoming developments in Singapore in the coming years. Lee said Singapore’s western region will be transformed through the on-going development of the Jurong Lake District and upcoming Jurong Innovation District, among other [...]

Scare in Singapore as PM faints in televised speech

Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong caused a scare when he fainted briefly while delivering a long televised speech on Sunday, but he resumed speaking after resting. The 64-year-old cancer survivor, son of the city-state’s late founding leader Lee Kuan Yew, suddenly stopped speaking more than two hours into his speech and had to be [...]

High wages flash recession warnings in Singapore

SaladStop owner Adrien Desbaillets has eased off on expansion plans for his organic food chain in Singapore because high wages are pressuring profit margins at a time when the affluent city state is grappling with low growth and slack global demand. Instead Desbaillets is branching out in Manila, Jakarta and even in wealthy Tokyo in [...]

Thailand

Thailand’s Clueless Investigation

Two Chinese nationals will go on trial in Thailand this week for their alleged roles in a deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine one year ago, an attack whose motive remains clouded in mystery following a murky and at times surreal investigation. The trial, which starts tomorrow, is being held at a military court in [...]

Thailand Bombings Expose Guerrillas in the Midst

Attacks raise profile of long-running southern insurgency seeking independent state A series of deadly bombings has brought to the fore a long-simmering conflict not far from some of Thailand’s most popular beaches. For a dozen years, guerrillas in southern Thailand’s three Muslim-majority provinces have waged a brutal campaign to break away from the rest of [...]

Emerging nexus of Burma-Thailand-China

Aung San Suu Kyi’s five-day trip to China confirms the emergence of a new triangular strategic partnership involving Myanmar, Thailand and China. The three share a more than 4,605-kilometre border (Thailand-Myanmar 2,401; China-Myanmar 2,204 km.) Existing cross-border issues – especially ethnic armed conflicts, drug and human trafficking used to be the major sources for violence [...]

Philippines

3 Filipino Sympathisers of IS Killed in Philippines

Philippine forces have killed three suspected sympathisers of the Islamic State group but failed to capture their leader in a clash in the country’s south, an army official said Sunday. Troops seized two rifles and an IS-style black flag of the slain militants, who belonged to a small armed group called the Ansar Al Khilafah [...]

Philippines’ Duterte threatens to quit UN after drugs war censure

Philippines’ Duterte threatens to quit UN after drugs war censure

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte railed against the United Nations on Sunday after it called for an end to the wave of killings unleashed by his war on drugs, saying he might leave the organisation and invite China and others to form a new one. Two UN human rights experts last week urged Manila to stop [...]

Philippines and Separatists Announce Ceasefires

The Philippines federal government and communist separatists agreed on a ceasefire on Friday, ahead of resuming peace talks to start next week in Norway over one of the region’s longest continuing internal conflicts. The government announced that they would restore their unilateral ceasefire on Sunday, after it was previously called off after an alleged ambush [...]

Japan

Flights grounded as typhoon hits near Tokyo

Flights grounded as typhoon hits near Tokyo

A strong typhoon struck near the Japanese capital Tokyo on Monday, with heavy rain and strong winds grounding more than 400 flights as officials warned of possible landslides and flooding. Typhoon Mindulle made landfall at about 12:30 pm (0330 GMT) in Tateyama city, 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. [...]

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda says he won’t rule out deepening negative rates: Report

The Bank of Japan will not rule out deepening a cut to negative rates it introduced in February, the Sankei newspaper quoted Governor Haruhiko Kuroda as saying, even as the controversial policy has failed to spur inflation or economic growth. In an interview with the daily, Kuroda said the BOJ’s negative rate policy has not [...]

Mother in Japan questioned after 4 children found dead

A mother in Japan is under investigation for murder after her four children, including a girl as young as three, were found dead at home, Japanese media reports and police said Monday. Local media reported the victims were killed by their mother before she tried to take her own life. A 10-year-old boy, two six-year-old [...]

Korea

Koreans Are Reluctant to Get Married, Let Alone Have Babies

South Koreans are likely to have fewer weddings and babies this year than ever before, part of a demographic shift that risks hobbling the nation’s economy. The number of marriages and births recorded during the first five months of 2016 hit the lowest levels for the same period in any year since the nation’s statistics [...]

Korea: Bee-keeping trend grows in Seoul

Unused rooftops provide a perfect environment for breeding bees, residents of South Korea’s capital Seoul have discovered. Over the past year, the number of bee hives in the region has almost doubled from 180 to 300. “Urban bee-keeping lets you realise that people don’t exist alone in an urban space, but have to coexist,” says [...]

Singapore lays down sustainable future with Korea

Over the last few years, Singapore has navigated through a rough sea of global financial unpredictability, making structural reforms to secure its footing. The small island state at the foot of Malaysia, acclaimed for international competitiveness and openness, is moving past nearly six decades of guidance under national founder Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away [...]

Hong Kong

BlackRock Says Many HK Firms Ignore Minority Shareholders

Hong Kong-listed companies, often dominated by families with substantial stakes, have been slow to address minority shareholder concerns, according to BlackRock Inc. About one in four companies in the city have fewer than 30 percent of their shares that are tradable, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and about 100 of those have a market [...]

Protest over election ban on HK pro-independence activists

Protest over election ban on HK pro-independence activists

Hundreds of protesters marched through Hong Kong’s main streets on Sunday against a ban on pro-independence candidates from running in an upcoming legislative election, as fears grow over Beijing’s influence in the city. In the last month five candidates who advocate a split from China were rejected from standing in the September 4 vote, with [...]

Milk tea or ‘lai cha’: the fuel for HK’s engine

Some cities are fuelled by coffee. In Hong Kong, it’s milk tea that keeps things running – a potent nostalgia-infused caffeine hit, with fierce competition to brew the best in town. There are thousands of restaurants offering the full gamut of international cuisines, but the city’s no-frills diner-style cafes, some of them decades old, remain [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan-Japan flights may be affected by storm: CAL

China Airlines (CAL), Taiwan’s largest air carrier, said Sunday that seven flights between Taiwan and Japan could be delayed or cancelled the following day to the effect of a tropical storm. The airline said flight CI017 from Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT) to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), and flights CI100/CI101 from TPE to NRT [...]

Tropical storm Lionrock could bring rain to Taiwan this week

Three tropical storms have formed in the Pacific, one of which has been named Lionrock and is expected to bring rain to Taiwan from August 25, the Central Weather Bureau said on Sunday. The weather in most areas of Taiwan will be partly cloudy on Sunday and Monday before precipitation increases the following day, when [...]

Taiwan to hold annual live-fire exercise

The Ministry of National Defense announced Sunday the drafting of reservists ahead of the start of Taiwan’s annual live-fire exercise the following day. An unspecified number of reservists, who recently received draft orders, have been told to report for duty at the time and locations listed on their orders to take part in the Han [...]

Vietnam

Sale of blue chips pulls stocks down

Vietnamese shares on August 22 ended down as investors increased selling assets to earn profits after blue chips posted big gains last week. The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange retreated 0.7 percent to close at 657.68 points, erasing a three-day gain of 0.6 percent. The HNX Index on the Hanoi Stock Exchange [...]

Business Briefs Aug 23

* Vinacomin Minerals Holding Corporation (Vimico) said it would sell 13.45 million shares (99%) in Lao Cai Iron and Steel Investment Company by lot at the reserve price of VND 134.5 billion. The auction will be held on the Hanoi exchange on September 12. Established in 2008, the steel firm has been building a plant [...]

Hanoi aims for 30m visitors by 2020

The capital city plans to welcome 30 million visitors, including 5.7 million foreigners, by 2020, according to the municipal Department of Tourism. The city also hopes to generate VND120 trillion (US$5.36 billion) in tourism revenue by 2020, with an annual growth of 15-17 per cent till then. Head of the tourism department Do Dinh Hong [...]