• UN says Philippine typhoon destruction ‘badly underestimated’

    UN says Philippine typhoon destruction ‘badly underestimated’

    The United Nations said destruction caused by Typhoon Rai in the Philippines had been “badly underestimated” in initial assessments, tripling the number of people “seriously affected” to nine million. A UN campaign to raise $107.2 million in aid for victims was launched a week after the storm ravaged southern and central regions of the archipelago […]

    22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | AFP | 7:34 AM
  • Biden, Japan’s Kishida to discuss Asia security, Ukraine

    Biden, Japan’s Kishida to discuss Asia security, Ukraine

    US President Joe Biden and Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida will discuss deterrence in the Asia-Pacific region and a “united” Western alliance against Russian threats to Ukraine in a virtual meeting Friday, officials said. Biden has made restoring the importance of the US-Japanese relationship a priority since taking office exactly a year ago, following Donald […]

    22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | AFP | 7:33 AM
  • Exclusive: US seeks way to speed delivery of new fighter jets to Taiwan

    Exclusive: US seeks way to speed delivery of new fighter jets to Taiwan

    The United States is looking for ways to potentially accelerate delivery of Taiwan’s next generation of new-build F-16 fighter jets, US officials said, bolstering the Taiwanese air force’s ability to respond to what Washington and Taipei see as increasing intimidation by China’s military. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they have not yet […]

    22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | Reuters | 5:02 AM
  • European Parliament adopts resolution slamming China’s crackdown on HK press

    European Parliament adopts resolution slamming China’s crackdown on HK press

    The majority of the Members of the European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution against intensified Chinese crackdown on media freedom in Hong Kong. The resolution was welcomed by an overwhelming majority of 586 votes in favour with only 46 against the motion and 41 abstentions. The resolution comes after the Beijing-announced National Security Law […]

    22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | Thestandard | 5:02 AM
  • China, Russia block US push for UN sanctions on N Koreans: Diplomats

    China, Russia block US push for UN sanctions on N Koreans: Diplomats

    China and Russia on Thursday (January 20) blocked a US push to impose United Nations sanctions on five North Koreans in response to recent missile launches by Pyongyang, diplomats told AFP. China’s block came before a new closed-door council meeting on North Korea, also requested by Washington, and was followed by Russia’s decision to similarly […]

    22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | AFP | 5:02 AM
  • Britain warns Putin and Xi: West will stand up to ‘dictatorship’

    Britain warns Putin and Xi: West will stand up to ‘dictatorship’

    Britain on Friday warned Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping that the West would stand together to fight for democracy against dictatorships which it said were more emboldened than at any time since the Cold War. Western leaders say the 21st Century will be defined by a struggle between democracies and rivals […]

    22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | Reuters | 5:02 AM
  • Commentary: Is Cambodia up to the task of chairing Asean?

    Commentary: Is Cambodia up to the task of chairing Asean?

    In October 2021, Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei handed over the chairmanship of Asean to Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen. In 2022, Asean will continue to be preoccupied with Myanmar’s political crisis and the international community’s criticism on the issue. Asean has taken modest but unrivalled measures in this regard. The Asean Summit on April 24, […]

    22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | CNA | 5:02 AM
  • China warns of ‘no mercy’ in corruption and monopoly crackdown

    China warns of ‘no mercy’ in corruption and monopoly crackdown

    China has vowed to ramp up its regulatory crackdown and show “no mercy” against corruption as the ruling Communist Party gears up for a key meeting that could secure President Xi Jinping a third term. The announcement suggests authorities have no plans to rein in investigations that engulfed China’s tech industry last year or an […]

    22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | AFP | 5:02 AM
  • Security cooperation, China to dominate Biden’s talks with Japan’s Kishida

    Security cooperation, China to dominate Biden’s talks with Japan’s Kishida

    The leaders of the United States and Japan will contend with China’s growing might, North Korea’s missiles and Russia’s aims in Ukraine when they hold their first substantial talks since Fumio Kishida became Japanese prime minister in October. The online meeting between US President Joe Biden and Kishida, scheduled for Friday (January 21) Washington time, […]

    22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | CNA | 5:02 AM
  • New leader of HK barristers vows to defend rule of law

    New leader of HK barristers vows to defend rule of law

    The new head of Hong Kong’s Bar Association pledged on Thursday to defend the Chinese-ruled territory’s vaunted rule of law amid concerns over the impact of a Beijing-imposed national security law on the Asian financial hub. Commercial law specialist and senior counsel Victor Dawes was elected unopposed at an annual meeting of the group, which […]

    21-Jan-2022 Intellasia | Reuters | 2:48 PM
  • Burma military arrests more journalists in media crackdown: Editor

    Burma military arrests more journalists in media crackdown: Editor

    Myanmar’s military has arrested three people working for the independent news portal Dawei Watch, an editor at the publication said on Thursday, the latest detentions under a media crackdown that has occurred since last year’s coup. Moe Myint, a 35-year-old journalist and a mother-of-three, was detained on Tuesday in Dawei, a city in southern Myanmar, […]

    21-Jan-2022 Intellasia | Reuters | 12:55 PM
  • Sara Duterte wants military service for all 18-year-olds

    Sara Duterte wants military service for all 18-year-olds

    Philippine vice-presidential candidate Sara Duterte said she will push mandatory military service for the young people if elected, signaling she would continue with advocating a policy that her father had struggled to carry out as president. Sara, President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter and an Army reservist, said she plans to use the vice president’s office to […]

    21-Jan-2022 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 5:02 AM

Society

Dozens of firms to make cheap version of Merck COVID pill for poorer nations

Nearly 30 generic drugmakers in Asia, Africa and the Middle East will make cheap versions of Merck & Co’s (MRK.N) COVID-19 pill, under a landmark UN-backed deal to give poorer nations wider access to a drug seen as a weapon in fighting the pandemic. Merck’s early greenlight to production of its anti-viral pill molnupiravir by […]

Valneva says early studies show COVID-19 vaccine effective against Omicron

French biotech firm Valneva (VLS.PA) said on Wednesday that preliminary studies showed that three doses of its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate neutralised the Omicron variant of the disease. All of the serum samples tested presented neutralising antibodies against the ancestral virus and Delta variant, it said, while 87 percent of samples did so against the […]

Analysis: With Omicron, global economy spots chance to push past COVID

Governments worldwide are easing quarantine rules, reviewing coronavirus curbs and dialling back pandemic-era emergency support as they bid to launch their economies back into some version of normality. The moves, motivated by the lower severity of the Omicron variant and the need to keep workers in work and the global recovery on track, have generated […]

Health

Dozens of firms to make cheap version of Merck COVID pill for poorer nations

Nearly 30 generic drugmakers in Asia, Africa and the Middle East will make cheap versions of Merck & Co’s (MRK.N) COVID-19 pill, under a landmark UN-backed deal to give poorer nations wider access to a drug seen as a weapon in fighting the pandemic. Merck’s early greenlight to production of its anti-viral pill molnupiravir by […]

Valneva says early studies show COVID-19 vaccine effective against Omicron

French biotech firm Valneva (VLS.PA) said on Wednesday that preliminary studies showed that three doses of its inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate neutralised the Omicron variant of the disease. All of the serum samples tested presented neutralising antibodies against the ancestral virus and Delta variant, it said, while 87 percent of samples did so against the […]

Covid-flu joint booster jab possible late 2023: Moderna

Moderna aims to roll out a combined Covid-flu-RSV booster vaccine in late 2023, the US pharmaceutical firm said Monday, hoping a joint jab would encourage people to get an annual shot. The single vaccine for Covid-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus a common virus that causes the cold, but can be more serious for infants […]

FinanceAsia

Sanya Welcomes Travelers this Spring Festival with an Exciting Lineup of Cultural Activities

Sanya Welcomes Travelers this Spring Festival with an Exciting Lineup of Cultural Activities

SANYA, China, Jan. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As the world prepares to ring in the Year of the Tiger, the Sanya Tourism Promotion Board ("STPB") has unveiled its "Fantastic Chinese New Year Sanya Tour&quot…

‘Non Fungible Penny’ A New Gold Penny of Henry III*

SINGAPORE, Jan. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – Metaverse Blockchain Fusion NFT™ company, Coinllectibles™, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cosmos Group Holdings, Inc. (OTC: COSG) is pleased to announce that it has partnered…

Enter the year 2022, feel the taste of the Asian Games

HANGZHOU, China, Jan. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A news report by HaiwaiNet, according to Zjol’s article: At the beginning of 2022, the preparation for the Hangzhou Asian Games has officially entered its decisive phase. …

Regional

Exclusive-Burma junta backs Telenor unit sale after buyer M1 pairs with local firm sources

Lebanon’s M1 Group will partner with a Myanmar firm to take over Norwegian telco Telenor’s business in the Southeast Asian country after its military junta sought a local buyer, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Telenor https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/telenor-sells-myanmar-operations-m1-group-105 million-2021-07-08, one of the biggest foreign investors in Myanmar, said in July it was selling its […]

Cambodia PM chides ‘arrogant’ Malaysia minister for questioning junta visit

Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen on Friday (January 21) took aim at the foreign minister of Malaysia for being “arrogant” and impolite, after its top diplomat voiced concern about the premier’s controversial meeting with Myanmar’s junta. Malaysia’s Foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah last week said some Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) members had reservations about […]

Burma junta approves Telenor sale to M1 and its associate firm

Reuters reported that Lebanon’s M1 Group will join with a Myanmar firm to take over Norwegian telecom giant Telenor in the Southeast Asian country after the country’s military government sought a local bidder. Since the junta is putting pressure on telecom and internet companies to install monitoring technologies, one of Myanmar’s largest foreign investors, Telenor, […]

China

US lawmakers slam Elon Musk after Tesla opens in China despite warnings of slavery and genocide

Democrat lawmakers have joined Republicans in scolding Elon Musk for opening a Tesla showroom in Xinjiang, where China is accused of slavery and genocide against Uighur Muslims. In a rare showing of bipartisan agreement, two Democratic congressmen who oversee trade wrote to Musk demanding to know whether Tesla sourced its materials and products from forced-labour […]

Analysis-German big business piles pressure on Lithuania in China row

Lithuania is under pressure from German companies to back down in a dispute with China to end a blockade of the Baltic state, as European trade officials struggle to defuse the row, people familiar with the matter said. China has pressed multinationals to sever ties with Lithuania or face exclusion from its market, an unusually […]

China state planner says to gradually remove curbs on NEV purchases

China’s state planner said on Friday that restrictions on purchases of new energy vehicles (NEVs) will be gradually removed in various parts of the country in a “vigorous” push to promote NEVs and “green consumption”. Construction of supporting infrastructure to charge and replace batteries, store energy, and refuel hydrogen cells will also be strengthened, the […]

Malaysia

Burma junta backs Telenor unit sale after buyer M1 pairs with local firm, say sources

Lebanon’s M1 Group will partner with a Myanmar firm to take over Norwegian telco Telenor’s business in the South-east Asian country after its military junta sought a local buyer, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Telenor, one of the biggest foreign investors in Myanmar, said in July it was selling its operations there […]

VTL reopens between Malaysia-Singapore, ticket sales halved

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has decided to reopen the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) that was suspended from December 23, 2021 until January 20, 2022. In a statement, MoH said the VTL land and air schemes will resume starting today. “MoH wishes to notify the public that bus and air tickets for both VTL initiatives […]

Amid rumours, Johor Speaker denies state assembly to be dissolved for elections

Johor state legislative assembly Speaker Suhaisan Kaiat tonight denied that he has received a letter for the dissolution of the state assembly. Suhaisan confirmed that there is no such letter, including from Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad, touching on the dissolution of the state assembly. “As of today I have not received any letter, thank […]

Indonesia

G20′s Finance Track moved to Jakarta over Omicron concerns

Two sessions of G20′s Finance Track, initially planned to be held in Bali on January 15-18, 2022, were relocated to Jakarta over rising concerns among delegates about the risk of the Omicron variant. The two sessions of G20′s Finance Track were the 2nd Finance and Central Bank deputy (FCBD) and 1st Finance minister Central Bank […]

Singtel, Grab acquire minority stakes in Indonesian bank

Singapore Telecommunications (STEL.SI), Southeast Asia’s largest telecoms firm, and ridehailing-to-payments firm Grab Holdings Ltd, have each bought a 16.3 percent stake in PT Bank Fama International to pursue banking opportunities in Indonesia. Indonesian conglomerate Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk (EMTK.JK) (Emtek), the majority owner of the bank, said on Friday that it sold the stakes to […]

Indonesia to push for new global health agency, President Joko Widodo says

Indonesia will push for the creation of a new global health agency while the country holds the presidency of the G20, President Joko Widodo said Thursday (January 20) at the virtual Davos forum. Widodo said the agency would strengthen the world’s “health resilience” and help make the global health system more inclusive and more responsive […]

Singapore

Singapore in ‘fog of war’, must ride Omicron wave before next steps: Ong Ye Kung

Singapore’s next steps beyond the current Omicron wave cannot be predicted as it is in the “fog of war”, said Health minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (21 January). Ong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on COVID-19 (MTF), told reporters at a virtual media briefing that it was a matter of juggling three key […]

Customers should not expect banks to reimburse their money lost in a scam, Singapore analysts say

OCBC bank’s move to fully reimburse all its customers who were victims of a recent SMS phishing scam should not set a precedent for the banking industry, professionals in business, law and cybersecurity sectors said. They suggested instead that banks and the authorities could work together to come up with broad guidelines that set out […]

Tickets sales for Malaysia-Singapore travel resume

Tickets for flights and bus journeys between Singapore and Malaysia resumed sales on Friday, as the city-state reported a lower number of new daily Covid-19 cases but a rising infection growth rate. Singapore’s total new Covid cases fell to 1,472 on Thursday, from 1,615 on Wednesday, Ministry of Health data show. However, the Covid-19 infection […]

Thailand

Nippon Steel to buy Thai steelmakers in deal worth up to $763m

Japan’s biggest steelmaker Nippon Steel Corp will buy two electric arc furnace steelmakers in Thailand in a deal worth up to $763 million, it said on Friday, as it seeks to cut its reliance on blast furnaces that use coking coal and emit carbon dioxide. Nippon Steel will pay about $300 million to buy stakes […]

State vows to maintain price controls

The government has pledged to cap the prices of diesel and cooking gas for as long as possible to stabilise the costs of consumer goods. Speaking after a joint meeting with Energy minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, permanent secretary for energy Kulit Sombatsiri, and Wattanasak Sur-iam, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered […]

B1.49tn plan for transport infrastructure

The government has unveiled a plan to invest in various megaprojects worth an estimated 1.49 trillion baht this year, to improve Thailand’s land, sea and air connectivity. Transport minister Saksayam Chidchob announced the plan at a seminar titled “Thailand Future Smart & Sustainable Mobility”, which was organised by the transport ministry on Thursday. He said […]

Philippines

UN says Philippine typhoon destruction ‘badly underestimated’

UN says Philippine typhoon destruction ‘badly underestimated’

The United Nations said destruction caused by Typhoon Rai in the Philippines had been “badly underestimated” in initial assessments, tripling the number of people “seriously affected” to nine million. A UN campaign to raise $107.2 million in aid for victims was launched a week after the storm ravaged southern and central regions of the archipelago […]

PEZA woos more US investors in ecozones

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) wants to see more American firms invest in the country’s economic zones and take part in promoting stronger bilateral relations. PEZA said in a statement it recently held the Global Biz forum focused on US firms as it aims to expand its investment reach and encourage more American investors […]

Solar Philippines plans asset-for-share swap with SPNEC

Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings Inc. (SP), the parent company of Solar Philippines Nueva Ecija Corp. (SPNEC), is looking to swap its 20 solar projects in the pipeline for three times SPNEC’s current outstanding shares or 24.37 billion shares. SPNEC has set a stockholders meeting on March 7 to approve the increase in its authorised […]

Japan

Japan’s inflation hovers around 2-year high, BOJ flags price pressure

Japan’s core consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in December from a year earlier, increasing for a second month in a row at the fastest pace in nearly two years in a sign of broadening inflationary pressure from rising fuel and raw material costs. The recent inflation pick-up drew the attention of Bank of Japan (BOJ) […]

Convenience store sales up in 2021 on stay-home demand

Sales at convenience stores in Japan in 2021 rose 0.6 percent from the previous year to JPY 10.3 trillion on a same-store basis, marking the first growth in two years, the Japan Franchise Association said Thursday. Although people tended to continue refraining from going out for nonessential purposes amid the coronavirus pandemic, sales of frozen […]

Japan’s Kishida says up to BOJ to decide on exit from easy money policy

Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida reiterated on Friday that it was up to the central bank to decide on an exit strategy from its massive stimulus programme, when questioned in parliament about the rising cost of living. “It’s left to the Bank of Japan to decide on specific monetary policy, including the thinking on an […]

Korea

No ‘fire and fury’ yet, but a game of nuclear brinkmanship with N Korea looms

North Korea has already conducted four test launches of ballistic missiles this year, but they could be a mere precursor to more serious provocations, as Kim Jong-un’s regime attempts to break the nuclear stalemate with the US. Superficially, the recent tests were a reminder of the North’s ability to manufacture more sophisticated weapons perhaps including […]

ELS sales in S. Korea gain 4.6pct in 2021

Sales of equity-linked securities (ELS) in South Korea expanded nearly 5 percent in 2021 from a year earlier on greater issuance of products tracking overseas stocks, data showed Friday. The value of ELS products floated in Asia’s fourth-largest economy stood at 72.2 trillion won ($60.5 billion) last year, up 4.6 percent from the prior year, […]

N Korea says it will reconsider its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests

North Korea said it will bolster its defense against the United States and evaluate “restarting all temporally suspended activities,” according to state media KCNA on Thursday. The announcement is a possible reference to its self-imposed moratorium on testing nuclear weapons, which has been in place since 2017. Though Pyongyang is barred from testing ballistic missiles […]

Hong Kong

Govt condemns threats sent to experts over hamsters’ culling

The Hong Kong government condemns the sending of threatening messages to experts after they supported the culling of 2,000 pet hamsters for fighting Covid-19. This comes as government advisor Yuen Kwok-yung said Hong Kong lacks quarantine or isolation facilities for animals, and that the hamsters had to be sacrificed to stop the spread of a […]

HK warns people to stop trying to prevent COVID-19 hamster cull

Hong Kong police will deal with pet lovers who try to stop people giving up their hamsters to be put down, or who offer to care for abandoned hamsters, authorities said, after they ordered a cull of the cuddly rodents to curb the coronavirus. On Tuesday, officials ordered the killing of about 2,000 hamsters from […]

Unvaccinated teachers and visitors to be barred from all schools starting February 24

Unvaccinated teachers, school staff and visitors will be barred from all schools across the city starting February 24, the Education Bureau said on Thursday night. The Education Bureau sent a letter to all schools in Hong Kong on Thursday and announced these arrangements as part of the extension of the “vaccine bubble.” Starting February 24, […]

Taiwan

Guatemalan embassy in Taiwan opens commercial counsellor office

The Guatemalan embassy in Taipei held an opening ceremony for its newly-established commercial counsellor office on Friday morning (January 20). In opening remarks, Guatemalan Ambassador Willy Gomez said that with the new commercial office, bilateral trade and investment relations will be brought to the same level as the steady diplomatic ties between the two nations. […]

Over 40pct of Taiwanese vapors unaware e-cigarettes may contain nicotine

A new study reveals low awareness among some Taiwanese electronic cigarette users they are vaping nicotine. The online study, which received 1,608 valid samples from people aged 15 to 49, found that 5.5 percent are active vapers. The survey found 44.6 percent of them do not realise many vaping cartridges contain nicotine, according to the […]

Foreign investment falls 18.24pct

Foreign direct investment (FDI) fell 18.24 percent to $7.48 billion last year from a year earlier as COVID-19 spread worldwide, the Investment Commission said yesterday. The number of approved applications from foreign investors fell 20.68 percent year-on-year to 2,711, it said. Foreign investment is mainly in financial services and insurance, wholesale and retail trade, real-estate […]

Vietnam

Vietnam expected to be Asean’s fastest-growing economy in 2022: ADB

Strengthening the healthcare system and ensuring effective and timely implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan for 2022-2023 is key for Vietnam to boost growth recovery this year. Vietnam is set to be the fast-growing economy among Asean countries in 2022 with estimated GDP growth of 6.5 percent year-on-year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said today […]

Tobacco giant pursues green growth

The circular economy model helps production and business activities develop sustainably and creates added value in the community, said a representative of British American Tobacco (BAT). A sustainability model Vietnam has been integrating more and more deeply into the global economy through free trade agreements that include provisions on sustainable development and oblige all parties […]

Scale-up seen in key foreign ventures

Vietnam has remained as a bright spot in large-scale investment attraction thanks to drastic actions in pandemic prevention and the selection of foreign-invested partners. Construction is due to start on January 21 on a factory manufacturing electronic products, network equipment, and multimedia audio products for China’s high-tech firm Goertek Group, after Nghe An People’s Committee […]