• Why HK Shouldn’t Rush Toward Independence

    Why HK Shouldn’t Rush Toward Independence

    Nearly 40 years ago, when I visited Moscow for the first time, my initial reaction was surprise. The hotels and restaurants were so poorly run that it seemed shocking that the military could be run competently enough to pose a genuine threat to the Soviet Union’s adversaries. Yet we in the West feared the Red [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | Huffington Post | 9:29 AM
  • Impeachment day for S. Korea’s president

    Impeachment day for S. Korea’s president

    South Korean President Park Geun-Hye woke Friday to what could effectively be her final day in office, with parliament set to vote on an impeachment motion triggered by a devastating political scandal. If the motion is adopted, it would result in the immediate suspension of Park’s substantial executive powers and their transfer to her prime [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • US official warns of N Korean nuclear capabilities

    US official warns of N Korean nuclear capabilities

    North Korea now has the capability to launch a nuclear weapon, a senior US military official said Thursday, adding that while the US believes Pyongyang can mount a warhead on a missile, it’s not clear that it can hit a target. The official said it appears that North Korea can mount a nuclear warhead on [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | AP | 6:00 AM
  • Vietnam dredges reef disputed with China

    Vietnam dredges reef disputed with China

    Activity on Ladd Reef in Spratly Islands runs risk of angering Beijing and Taiwan Vietnam has begun dredging work on a disputed reef in the South China Sea, satellite imagery shows, the latest move by the communist state to bolster its claims in the strategically important waterway. Activity visible on Ladd Reef in the Spratly [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | The Guardian | 6:00 AM
  • Philippines might not let US use its bases to patrol South China Sea

    Philippines might not let US use its bases to patrol South China Sea

    The Philippines said Thursday it likely won’t allow the United States to use its bases to patrol the disputed South China Sea. Instead, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said US ships and aircraft could use bases in Guam, Okinawa or US aircraft carriers. Since taking office in June, President Rodrigo Duterte has tried to improve relations [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | UPI | 6:00 AM
  • Taiwan-US, cross-strait ties equally vital: Tsai

    Taiwan-US, cross-strait ties equally vital: Tsai

    The government attaches an equal amount of importance to Taiwan-US ties and cross-strait relations, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday amid speculation thatTaipei’s relationship withWashingtonmight improve after US president-elect Donald Trump takes office. “The diplomatic efforts Taiwan has made are not only for the interest of the nation, but also for regional peace, stability and [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | Taipei Times | 7:36 AM
  • UN calls on Burma’s Suu Kyi to visit crisis-hit Rakhine

    UN calls on Burma’s Suu Kyi to visit crisis-hit Rakhine

    The UN has urged Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to visit northern Rakhine state, where the army is accused of carrying out a brutal crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority. The Nobel peace prize winner has faced growing international criticism for not stopping the military’s campaign, which has pushed more than 20,000 [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Aceh earthquake: Indonesian President Joko Widodo to visit Pidie Jaya as death toll rises to 102

    Aceh earthquake: Indonesian President Joko Widodo to visit Pidie Jaya as death toll rises to 102

    Authorities expect the death toll to rise further as search and rescue operation continues. The death toll in the powerful 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia, has touched 102, and the figure is likely to rise further, Indonesian authorities said on Thursday, 8 December. Amid aftershocks, President Joko Widodo is scheduled to visit the quake-hit [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | IB Times | 6:00 AM
  • Trial of ousted Thai PM Yingluck to end in July 2017 – lawyer

    Trial of ousted Thai PM Yingluck to end in July 2017 – lawyer

    A criminal negligence trial against ousted former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s first female premier, will end in July 2017, with a verdict expected soon after, her lawyer said on Friday. Yingluck is accused of negligence over a rice-buying scheme that helped sweep her to power in a 2011 general election. The scheme was [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM
  • Japan swinging into 2017 with Trumped-up good luck charm

    Japan swinging into 2017 with Trumped-up good luck charm

    Donald Trump only wants to make America great again, but one Japanese firm hopes that painting his face on a traditional good luck charm will make the whole planet a better place in 2017. The billionaire property magnate is among a string of celebrity faces adorning the special collection of hagoita racquets, which are designed [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • Fukushima costs to double to nearly $190 bn: government

    Fukushima costs to double to nearly $190 bn: government

    The estimated cost of dealing with the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis has doubled to nearly $190 billion, the government said Friday, underlining the challenge Japan faces in overcoming the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Tokyo said it expects the total costs – including compensation, decommissioning and decontamination – to reach 21.5 trillion yen ($188 [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM
  • China’s Xi calls for universities’ allegiance to the Communist Party

    China’s Xi calls for universities’ allegiance to the Communist Party

    China’s President Xi Jinping has called for allegiance to the ruling Communist Party from the country’s colleges and universities, the latest effort by Beijing to tighten its hold on education. The government has campaigned against the spread of “Western values” at universities, and in January officials said the party’s discipline and anti-graft agency had sent [...]

    10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM

Society

Vietnam’s Environment minister and Formosa Spill Victims Meet

Vietnam’s environment minister promised representatives of the fisherman hard-hit by the Formosa chemical spill that the government is toughening safeguards to prevent another disaster and will pay out more money to compensate the victims, RFA’s Vietnamese Service has learned. Environment and Natural Resources minister Tran Hong Ha met with pair of attorneys and a half-dozen [...]

Baby Dinosaur’s 99 Million-Year-Old Tail, Encased In Amber, Surfaces In Burma

Baby Dinosaur’s 99 Million-Year-Old Tail, Encased In Amber, Surfaces In Burma

In 2015, Lida Xing was visiting a market in northern Myanmar when a salesman brought out a piece of amber about the size of a pink rubber eraser. Inside, he could see a couple of ancient ants and a fuzzy brown tuft that the salesman said was a plant. As soon as Xing saw it, [...]

6th EU-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue

On 8 December 2016 in Brussels the European Union and Vietnam held the sixth round of their annual enhanced Human Rights Dialogue, in the context of the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). Both sides consider human rights to be an important component of their bilateral relations, as recognised in the PCA. The EU consulted [...]

Health

HIV alert for male-to-male sex in Philippines

HIV infections among men having sex with men in the Philippines have surged 10-fold in five years, with authorities largely ignoring the problem, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Thursday. The Catholic country has one of the fastest-growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia-Pacific because successive governments have failed to promote contraceptives [...]

Thailand issues Malaria warning to campers

Bangkok Thailand’s disease control department has issued a malaria warning to those planning to take trips or camp out in the country’s forests during the current peak tourist season. ‘Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are commonly found in forests bordering Myanmar, particularly in Kanchanaburi province’, Dr Vichan Pawan, the department’s spokesman, told DPA. Besides Kanchanaburi province, other provinces [...]

Philippine government’s anti-gay policies fuelling HIV epidemic, says human rights group

Policies like restricting gay men from using condoms while having sex are causing an HIV epidemic in the Philippines, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Thursday, 8 December. According to official statistics, there has been a tenfold rise in the prevalence of the sexually transmitted virus in the country, the 46-page report, [...]

FinanceAsia

Asian shares edge down, but on track for weekly gains

Asian shares edged down on Friday but were on track for weekly gains, while the euro became more settled after the volatility seen in the wake of the European Central Bank’s decision to trim the size of its asset purchase programme while also extending it for longer than many analysts had expected. MSCI’s broadest index [...]

Asian shares meander as ECB-inspired rally fades

Asian shares meandered Friday as an overnight rally in US markets helped by the European Central Bank’s decision to extend its bond-buying economic stimulus programme faded. South Korea’s benchmark slipped as lawmakers prepared to vote on whether or not to impeach President Park Geun-hye. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.1 percent to 18,971.24 as [...]

Datacloud Asia 2017 Conference & Awards – Speakers Announced

Feb 23: Datacloud Asia 2017 Conference &amp Awards Ceremony (nominations close Jan 7) SINGAPORE, Dec 9, 2016 – (ACN Newswire) – Having established Datacloud as Europe’s foremost networking and business deal making forum for data center and cloud players, customers, investors and suppliers, the widely acclaimed event is now scheduled to take place in the [...]

Regional

3 fishermen believed abducted in Philippines waters, supposedly released

Three fishermen on a Malaysian registered fishing trawler were purportedly released after being abducted by a group in waters near Baguan Island, Philippines, three days ago. The trio believed to be Indonesians, were crew members onboard a Sandakan-based fishing trawler. According to a Philippines’ source, a twin-engine wooden boat intercepted their vessel at 12.30pm on [...]

Bodies of 9 police found amid fighting in north Burma

Battles between military, 4 ethnic rebel groups continue in restive Shan State along border with China The bodies of nine police officers have been recovered from a town along Myanmar’s northeastern border, with fighting between the military and rebels showing little signs of abating. The nine were among 16 officers reported missing since Friday, when [...]

UN calls on Burma’s Suu Kyi to visit crisis-hit Rakhine

UN calls on Burma’s Suu Kyi to visit crisis-hit Rakhine

The UN has urged Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to visit northern Rakhine state, where the army is accused of carrying out a brutal crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority. The Nobel peace prize winner has faced growing international criticism for not stopping the military’s campaign, which has pushed more than 20,000 [...]

China

Slam Dunk: Michael Jordan Wins Trademark Dispute In China

China’s top court has handed basketball legend Michael Jordan a victory in a long-running trademark dispute over the use of his name by a Chinese company. “Nothing is more important than protecting your own name, and today’s decision shows the importance of that principle,” Jordan said in a statement after the ruling. Here’s more from [...]

Model Farm in China to Highlight Xi’s Ties to Iowa, Donald Trump’s Beijing Envoy

Terry Branstad, whose ties with Xi Jinping date back to the 1980s, is considered an ‘old friend’ of China Donald Trump’s selection of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as the US ambassador to China underlines Iowa’s connections to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who first visited the state more than three decades ago as an up-and-coming leader. [...]

Interview: Chinese cardinal says Vatican must stand up to Beijing

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the most senior Chinese Catholic cleric, says the participation of an excommunicated prelate at two bishop ordinations in China was a “slap in the face” for Pope Francis just as Rome seeks a historic deal with Beijing. Bishop Lei Shiyin, who was excommunicated by the Vatican in 2011 for accepting his appointment [...]

Malaysia

Rohingya in Malaysia seek rights to work and education

Ethnic Rohingya who have no legal right to work or education in Malaysia are hoping for change now that prime minister Najib Razak has vocally taken up their cause. More than 56,000 Rohingya are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia after fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Rahkine state. The Rohingya [...]

Analysts: Dr M won’t add Malay votes for DAP

The controversial alliance between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the DAP, a party he once fought against, will not be enough to help the party win favour with the Malay community, according to analysts. Dr Mahathir’s unprecedented presence at the party’s national convention on Sunday triggered mixed reactions from members, some of whom openly questioned [...]

Thailand to resume peace talks with Muslim separatists in Malaysia

Thailand on Thursday said peace talks with Muslim separatists would resume in Malaysia next week after a round in September ended without progress. Separatists waging a decades-old insurgency in the Muslim-majority southern Thai provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat have stepped up attacks since 2004 with more than 6,500 people killed, according to an independent [...]

Indonesia

Aceh earthquake: Indonesian President Joko Widodo to visit Pidie Jaya as death toll rises to 102

Aceh earthquake: Indonesian President Joko Widodo to visit Pidie Jaya as death toll rises to 102

Authorities expect the death toll to rise further as search and rescue operation continues. The death toll in the powerful 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia, has touched 102, and the figure is likely to rise further, Indonesian authorities said on Thursday, 8 December. Amid aftershocks, President Joko Widodo is scheduled to visit the quake-hit [...]

Indonesia earthquake: Rescuers search for survivors

Indonesia earthquake: Rescuers search for survivors

Rescue efforts resumed in Indonesia’s Aceh province on Thursday after a strong earthquake killed more than 100 people, while medical teams struggled to treat the hundreds of injured as supplies trickled slowly into the area. Wednesday’s 6.5 magnitude quake was the biggest disaster to hit the province on the northern tip of Sumatra island since [...]

Indonesia Continues Evacuation of Aceh Earthquake Victims

The search for victims trapped under the rubbles after an earthquake hit Pidie Jaya District, Aceh, continues. Evacuation team and volunteers are still combing the ruins in several areas in the villages of Keudu Meureudu and Ulee Glee in Pidie Jaya, Aceh. Including the rubbles of the collapsed Meureudu Market Centre, a three stories building [...]

Singapore

Aceh quake: Singapore reaches out to victims

Agencies and individuals in Singapore are making efforts to help victims of Wednesday’s earthquake in Indonesia. The 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck Aceh province in Sumatra has left at least 102 dead, more than 750 injured and more than 11,000 displaced. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) yesterday sent two officers to Indonesia as part of [...]

Bid to understand regional impact of natural disasters

The Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), an institution hosted by Nanyang Technological University (NTU), has plans to set up a research group to understand the potential impact of natural disasters on regional economies. International scientists speaking to The Straits Times at a conference in Mandarin Orchard Hotel on Wednesday said pre-emptive work like this not [...]

Singapore sends condolences to Indonesia on the earthquake in Pidie Jaya Regency, Aceh

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has issued a statement that expresses Singapore’s condolences towards Indonesia for its recent earthquake that struck Pidie Jaya Regency, Aceh on 7 December 2016 at 5.06am. “Singapore is shocked by the tragic loss of lives and serious damage caused by the earthquake that struck Pidie Jaya Regency, Aceh on 7 [...]

Thailand

Thailand attempts to revive weakening economy

The military junta is spending $5.3 billion to appease the rural population and boost the country’s economic fortunes Thailand’s government plans to allocate an additional $5.3 billion this fiscal year to investment projects in provincial areas, in what appears to be a major effort to appeal to the rural population and kickstart economic growth after [...]

Cambodia: Rail link to Thailand on schedule

Cambodia and Thailand will be linked by railway by the end of 2016 as planned, according to a senior official, but some sections of track from Phnom Penh to Banteay Meanchey province remain unrepaired. Minister of Public Works and Transportation Sun Chanthol said this week that the official railway link will be made by the [...]

South Thailand Islamic insurgency: The new king’s nightmare

Now that Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has been officially proclaimed the new king of Thailand, one of his most urgent tasks is to give immediate attention not only to the ensuing power struggle between the military and the civilian government in Bangkok but also to the escalating south Thailand Islamic insurgency. The insurgency is an [...]

Philippines

Fitch monitors political developments in Philippines

Debt-watcher Fitch Ratings said Friday it was “monitoring” political developments in the Philippines, following the resignation of vice President Leni Robredo from the Cabinet. Fitch said in a report this week that political risks and sluggish global trade were among possible deterrents to growth in Asian economies, including the Philippines. “These political developments are important [...]

Philippines might not let US use its bases to patrol South China Sea

Philippines might not let US use its bases to patrol South China Sea

The Philippines said Thursday it likely won’t allow the United States to use its bases to patrol the disputed South China Sea. Instead, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said US ships and aircraft could use bases in Guam, Okinawa or US aircraft carriers. Since taking office in June, President Rodrigo Duterte has tried to improve relations [...]

US use of Philippines for sea patrols unlikely

It is highly unlikely the government would allow the US military to use the Philippines as a springboard for freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed South China Sea to avoid antagonising China. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday US ships and aircraft could use bases in Guam or Okinawa or fly from aircraft carriers [...]

Japan

Missing Marine Pilot Who Ejected off Japan Coast Confirmed Dead

A US Marine pilot who ejected from an F/A-18 fighter jet off the eastern coast of Japan has been confirmed dead after being recovered earlier on Thursday by a Japanese naval vessel, military officials said. The Marine Corps identified Captain Jake Frederick as the pilot who ejected from his F/A-18C+ fighter aircraft after it went [...]

After Trump Meeting, SoftBank Billionaire Masayoshi Son Gains $2 Billion, Becomes Japan’s Richest

Talk about a Trump Bump. SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son became $2 billion richer this week after his technology giant’s stock popped 6.1 percent upon news that SoftBank would invest $50 billion in America’s technology sector. He’s now worth $19.7 billion, making him Japan’s richest person. The commitment was announced in the lobby of Trump Tower [...]

Commentary: Abe’s upcoming visit to Pearl Harbor won’t change Japan’s pursuit of militarism

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s planned trip to Pearl Harbor under the cloak of “peace” and “reconciliation” will not distract the world from his administration’s real pursuit of militarism. During the December 26-27 visit and accompanied by US President Barack Obama, Abe will become the first sitting Japanese prime minister to visit the site of [...]

Korea

Korea To Vote On Impeachment Of Scandal-Stricken President

South Korea’s national legislature is preparing to vote on the possible impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, who has been engulfed in a massive scandal involving allegations of corruption, influence-peddling and ties to a cult. The measure is coming up for a vote on Friday, a week and a half after Park said she would be [...]

Impeachment day for S. Korea’s president

Impeachment day for S. Korea’s president

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye woke Friday to what could effectively be her final day in office, with parliament set to vote on an impeachment motion triggered by a devastating political scandal. If the motion is adopted, it would result in the immediate suspension of Park’s substantial executive powers and their transfer to her prime [...]

US official warns of N Korean nuclear capabilities

US official warns of N Korean nuclear capabilities

North Korea now has the capability to launch a nuclear weapon, a senior US military official said Thursday, adding that while the US believes Pyongyang can mount a warhead on a missile, it’s not clear that it can hit a target. The official said it appears that North Korea can mount a nuclear warhead on [...]

Hong Kong

Why HK Shouldn’t Rush Toward Independence

Why HK Shouldn’t Rush Toward Independence

Nearly 40 years ago, when I visited Moscow for the first time, my initial reaction was surprise. The hotels and restaurants were so poorly run that it seemed shocking that the military could be run competently enough to pose a genuine threat to the Soviet Union’s adversaries. Yet we in the West feared the Red [...]

HK opens the door to China

Florida shipped more than $2.5 billion worth of goods last year to Hong Kong. The semi-autonomous region of China is looking to do more business with the Sunshine State. Hong Kong’s trade representative came to Tallahassee Wednesday looking for business. In meetings around the capital city with business and political leaders, Steve Barclay explained Hong [...]

The new emerging US policy on China: Don’t forget HK

This is about the seven million people here who are not political refugees and don’t want to be. They are nearly all Chinese but, unlike their Taiwan cousins, do not have a freely elected leader who can call an incoming US president. America was once committed to protecting these people’s rights and democratic wishes as [...]

Taiwan

Taiwan-US, cross-strait ties equally vital: Tsai

Taiwan-US, cross-strait ties equally vital: Tsai

The government attaches an equal amount of importance to Taiwan-US ties and cross-strait relations, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday amid speculation thatTaipei’s relationship withWashingtonmight improve after US president-elect Donald Trump takes office. “The diplomatic efforts Taiwan has made are not only for the interest of the nation, but also for regional peace, stability and [...]

Taiwan’s views on Trump-Tsai phone call

It was a phone call that lasted for a little over 10 minutes, but it’s considered “historic” in Taiwan. It has given hopes to many Taiwanese people that relations between Taiwan and the United States, its most important security guarantor, could grow closer under soon-to-be US President Donald Trump. But many people in Taiwan are [...]

Who’s the bigger ‘currency manipulator’ – China or Taiwan?

Late Sunday night President-elect Donald Trump accused China of artificially devaluing its currency to gain an advantage in international trade. The charge of currency manipulation came after Trump’s controversial phone call with Taiwan’s president, a phone call that appears to have been arranged by former Senator Bob Dole, who was acting as a foreign agent [...]

Vietnam

Conference held to boost Vietnam-Malaysia economic links

A Vietnam-Malaysia business roundtable conference was held in Hanoi on December 8, aiming to open up opportunities for the business communities of the two countries to meet and network. Vietnam’s deputy minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai told the event that despite potential and advantages for long-term cooperation, trade exchange between the two [...]

Vietnam warns of return of protectionism if TPP dropped

Vietnam’s prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has warned of the risk of returning protectionism as Southeast Asian nations brace for potentially tighter controls on trade with the US. “The world and Asean region are facing big challenges in various areas, including security, finance, climate change and risk of returning protectionism,” Phuc said at the Bloomberg [...]

Vietnam PM urges closer Asean trade ties as risk of protectionism looms

Vietnam prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday warned of the risk of returning protectionism as South-east Asian nations brace for potentially tighter trade controls in the United States. “The world and Asean region are facing big challenges in various areas, including security, finance, climate change and risk of returning protectionism,” said Phuc at the Bloomberg [...]