• Hong Kong’s leader says security laws will not affect city’s rights and freedoms

    Hong Kong’s leader says security laws will not affect city’s rights and freedoms

    Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday added to a raft of attempts by local and Beijing officials to provide reassurance that proposed national security laws would not trample on the city’s rights and freedoms, amid widespread concerns. Lam said those concerned need to wait for the details of the proposed legislation. The comments came […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | Reuters | 10:01 AM
  • WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns

    WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns

    The World Health Organization has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. Hydroxycholoroquine has been touted by Donald Trump and others as a possible treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The US President has said he was […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | Reuters | 8:54 AM
  • Kim Jong Un makes appearance in public for first time since May 1, state media says

    Kim Jong Un makes appearance in public for first time since May 1, state media says

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public appearance in over three weeks Saturday, hosting a military meeting, according to state media reports. “Set forth at the meeting were new policies for further increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country and putting the strategic armed forces on a high alert operation,” the […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | FoxNews | 6:02 AM
  • More than 200 parliamentarians and policymakers from 23 countries condemn Beijing’s proposed national security law for HK

    More than 200 parliamentarians and policymakers from 23 countries condemn Beijing’s proposed national security law for HK

    More than 200 parliamentarians and policymakers from 23 countries have issued a joint statement condemning Beijing’s move to introduce a national security law for Hong Kong and calling for governments to raise a voice against it. They expressed concerns over Beijing’s resolution at the opening of its annual legislative sessions on Friday to “prevent, frustrate […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM
  • China official in HK says some protest acts ‘terrorist in nature’

    China official in HK says some protest acts ‘terrorist in nature’

    China’s foreign ministry office in Hong Kong said on Monday some actions during last year’s pro-democracy protests were “terrorist in nature” and “troublemakers” colluded with foreign forces, posing “imminent danger” to national security. Xie Feng, commissioner of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong, made his remarks during a speech on proposed national security […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | | 7:17 AM
  • HK braces for flash flooding as forecaster issues red and amber rain alerts, and education chiefs suspend afternoon schools

    HK braces for flash flooding as forecaster issues red and amber rain alerts, and education chiefs suspend afternoon schools

    Hong Kong’s Observatory issued a red rainstorm warning signal for the city at 10.35am on Monday. Afternoon sessions in schools have been suspended, and the forecaster said further heavy rain could cause serious road flooding and traffic congestion. “Heavy rain will bring flash floods, and flooding is occurring or is expected to occur in watercourses,” […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM
  • HK police embrace China’s security law plan

    HK police embrace China’s security law plan

    Hong Kong’s security chief on Monday welcomed China’s plans to impose a national security law on the financial hub, saying it was needed to defeat “terrorism” and calls for independence. Beijing plans to write a new security law for Hong Kong that bans treason, subversion and sedition after months of massive, often-violent pro-democracy protests last […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | AFP | 6:02 AM
  • Taiwan rejects Beijing’s reiteration of ‘one China’ principle

    Taiwan rejects Beijing’s reiteration of ‘one China’ principle

    Taiwan is a democratic country, China has no right to make irresponsible remarks: MOFA The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Sunday evening (May 24) responded to Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi’s mention of the “one China principle” during a televised press conference earlier that day. During a press conference for the third plenary session […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | TaiwanNews | 6:02 AM
  • PLA drill in South China Sea about combat readiness, not seizing Taiwanese islands, experts say

    PLA drill in South China Sea about combat readiness, not seizing Taiwanese islands, experts say

    Aircraft carriers from the PLA Navy are set to take part in combat readiness exercises this summer in the South China Sea, and while the drills are likely to raise concerns in Taipei, their aim is not to seize Taiwan-controlled territory, military observers say. Earlier this month, Japan’s Kyodo News reported that the PLA was […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM
  • China threatens US counter measures if punished for HK law

    China threatens US counter measures if punished for HK law

    China on Monday threatened counter measures against the United States if it was punished for plans to impose a sedition law on Hong Kong, that the business hub’s security chief hailed as a new tool that would defeat “terrorism”. Beijing plans to pass a new security law for Hong Kong that bans treason, subversion and […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | AFP | 6:02 AM
  • China plans to start using coronavirus vaccine by end of year even if trials have not been completed

    China plans to start using coronavirus vaccine by end of year even if trials have not been completed

    China is working on a plan to give some groups a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year even if trials are not complete by then, according to the head of the country’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Gao Fu said the National Immunisation Programme was drafting guidelines to determine who would be […]

    26-May-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM
  • Thousands protest in HK over China security law proposal

    Thousands protest in HK over China security law proposal

    Police fired tear gas and water cannon at thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters who gathered Sunday against a controversial security law proposed by China, in the most intense clashes for months. As the demonstrators and police were facing off in the semi-autonomous financial hub, Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi insisted in Beijing that the […]

    25-May-2020 Intellasia | AFP | 10:13 AM

Society

WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns

WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns

The World Health Organization has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. Hydroxycholoroquine has been touted by Donald Trump and others as a possible treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The US President has said he was […]

Scientists fight online virus misinformation war

With cat photos and sometimes scathing irony, Mathieu Rebeaud, a Swiss-based researcher in biochemistry, has nearly tripled his Twitter following since the coronavirus pandemic began. With 14,000 followers, he posts almost daily, giving explanations on the latest scientific research and, in particular, aims to fight misinformation that spreads as fast as the virus itself. He […]

WHO reports record virus cases as Trump proposes face-to-face G7 summit

The World Health Organization on Wednesday reported the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases, as US President Donald Trump proposed hosting world leaders for the annual G7 summit as a sign of “normalisation.” Trump, who is seeking to revive the battered US economy and his political fortunes ahead of the November election, again lashed out […]

Health

WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns

WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns

The World Health Organization has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients due to safety concerns, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. Hydroxycholoroquine has been touted by Donald Trump and others as a possible treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The US President has said he was […]

Scientists fight online virus misinformation war

With cat photos and sometimes scathing irony, Mathieu Rebeaud, a Swiss-based researcher in biochemistry, has nearly tripled his Twitter following since the coronavirus pandemic began. With 14,000 followers, he posts almost daily, giving explanations on the latest scientific research and, in particular, aims to fight misinformation that spreads as fast as the virus itself. He […]

WHO records highest daily number of COVID-19 cases

The World Health Organization said Wednesday it had registered a new daily record number of COVID-19 cases as it quickly neared the “tragic milestone” of five million total infections. The UN agency’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that on Tuesday, there were “106,000 cases reported to WHOthe most in a single day since the outbreak […]

FinanceAsia

Japan shares reach 10-week high, look past Sino-US tension

Asian shares crept ahead on Tuesday following an upbeat session in Europe and further gains in US stock futures as investors looked past Sino-US trade tensions to a re-opening world economy. Japan’s Nikkei <.N225> led the way with a rise of 1 percent to its highest since early March when the economic impact of the […]

Tokyo Metropolitan Government to trial 5G Antenna-equipped Smart Poles in Cooperation with Sumitomo Corporation and NEC

TOKYO, May 25, 2020 – (JCN Newswire) – Sumitomo Corporation has concluded an agreement with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on the preliminary/trial installation and verification of smart poles being carried out by the government. Together with NEC Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation intends to install two types of smart poles in the Nishi-shinjuku area of Tokyo by […]

Asia stocks mostly up on lockdown easing but HK extends losses

Most Asian markets rose Monday as a further opening up of economies from lockdown offset worries over worsening China-US tensions, while Hong Kong sank again after the city was rocked by protests at the weekend over a controversial proposed security law. While Donald Trump has limited travel from Brazil as the Latin American country sees […]

Regional

Asia Today: Korea to require masks on transit, flights

South Koreans will be required to wear masks when using public transportation and taxis nationwide starting Tuesday as health authorities look for more ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus as people increase their public activities. Health Ministry official Yoon Taeho during a virus briefing on Monday said masks also will be enforced on […]

Burma submits first report on Rohingya to UN’s top court

Myanmar has submitted its first report to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), detailing what it has done to protect the minority Rohingya from genocide. The Hague-based court issued a provisional order in January, asking Myanmar to safeguard the mostly Muslim group in western Rakhine state as part of “provisional measures” at the start of […]

Burma army accused of new atrocities in attack on Rakhine village

Less than three years since a crackdown against Rohingya, troops are again accused of war crimes this time against Rakhine Buddhists Kyaw Thu* waited until night fell before taking his family to the bank of a river not far from their village. While millions across the world were told to remain at home to stay […]

China

China central bank resumes reverse repo operations after near two-month hiatus, traders say

China’s central bank will inject 10 billion yuan (1.15 billion pounds) into money markets on Tuesday through seven-day reverse bond repurchase agreements, breaking a near two-month hiatus with no fresh fund injections via the liquidity tool, traders said. With no reverse repos maturing on Tuesday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will inject a net […]

Beijing’s top envoy in HK calls on diplomats and business lobbies to back national security law

Beijing’s top diplomat in Hong Kong has called on envoys and business chambers to avoid doing anything that would undermine their interests as he urged them to back the national legislature’s plans to install a national security law in the city. Xie Feng said on Monday the international community could rest assured that the law, […]

China reports seven new mainland COVID-19 cases versus 11 a day earlier

China reports seven new mainland COVID-19 cases versus 11 a day earlier

China reported 7 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the mainland as of end-May 25, up from 11 a day earlier, the National Health Commission reported. The commission said in a statement all of the new infections were imported cases, involving travellers from overseas. It also reported 29 new asymptomatic casespatients who are infected but do […]

Malaysia

Malaysia’s tourism industry decimated by the shutdown

This year, tourism in Malaysia was supposed to boom like never before. The worldwide advertising drive for Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) was slated to attract about 30 million tourists with expected revenue of RM100 billion. “To ensure the success of VM2020 and strengthen the tourism industry in Malaysia, the government has allocated RM1 billion in […]

Malaysia’s Petronas to cut spending, sees output cuts

Malaysian state-owned oil company Petronas will cut capital expenditure (capex) by 21pc and operating costs by 12pc this year to help weather a collapse in energy demand brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. The cuts come after Petronas invested just 8.5bn ringgit ($1.95bn) of its 50bn ringgit full-year capital budget in the January-March quarter. Most […]

CMCO: Penang releases guidelines to reopen arts, cultural spaces, says state tourism chief

Penang government has released a set of guidelines to reopen arts and cultural spaces, emphasising on social distancing and other public health requirements mandated by the federal and state governments. In a statement today, Penang Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chair Yeoh Soon Hin said the Public Health Safety Operations Guidelines for Arts and […]

Indonesia

Indonesia’s latest official COVID-19 figures

The health ministry announced 479 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 22,750. Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, added that 19 more people had died of the disease, bringing the death toll to 1,391. The total […]

Indonesia looks to domestic innovations to tackle COVID-19

Indonesia is striving to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak with domestically produced innovations, but researchers say the government may face roadblocks in the mass production of such products because of the absence of pro-innovation policies. The government’s research consortium on Wednesday launched nine products, including ventilators, a type of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and rapid […]

Experts slam agriculture reform programme, warn of shortage amid pandemic

Agriculture experts have criticised the government’s agrarian reform programme a lack of progress that led to low production yield and mounting food imports, pointing to possible food shortages if the COVID-19 pandemic continues. University of Indonesia (UI) senior economist Faisal Basri has voiced his concerns over the increasing number of food imports over the years, […]

Singapore

COVID-19: Over 15,000 pre-school staff tested negative ahead of reopening

More then 99 per cent of all pre-school staff who have undergone COVID-19 testing have been tested negative, as pre-schools prepare to reopen on 2 June. In a media statement on Saturday (23 May), the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) said that since testing for pre-school staff members began on 15 May, about 15,300 have […]

200,000 foreign workers treated to special Hari Raya lunch: MOM

Two hundred thousand foreign workers living in purpose-built dormitories were treated to a special lunch to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri on Sunday (May 24), said the Ministry of Manpower on Sunday. The initiative was organised by the Inter-agency Task Force, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) and the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & […]

Singapore to allow crew changes where seafarer contracts have expired

In a move forward in getting crew changes happening again Singapore has broadened “special circumstances” to include the end of the seafarer’s contract and is exploring options with the industry and unions including specially chartered flights. In a Port Marine Circular dated 22 May the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) detailed enhancements to […]

Thailand

THAI picks new board members, Piyasvasti returns

Former Thai Airways International (THAI) president Piyasvasti Amranand, widely recognised for his past success in leading the national flag carrier to recoup losses and begin making profits again, is among the four new directors of THAI’s board. While entering its rehabilitation programme, the debt-ridden airline yesterday submitted to the Stock Exchange of Thailand a letter […]

Tourism and Sports Ministry seeks to lift domestic lockdown

The Tourism and Sports Ministry wants to ask the Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) to lift the domestic tourism lockdown starting in June, as the industry prepared for new national safety and health standards with almost 1,500 operators applying for certification. Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said this Friday the ministry plans to talk with the CCSA […]

Quarantine hotels graft probe begins

The Defence Ministry is tracking down a group of people accused of demanding kickbacks from hoteliers to guarantee that their establishments would be chosen as quarantine centres. Defence spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich said yesterday the claims made by the hotel operators have grounds and authorities have sufficient leads to begin their investigation. “It’s true. I talked […]

Philippines

Duterte urges Muslims: Break barriers that divide us

President Duterte has urged Muslims to be “agents of change” and to help break barriers that divide the nation as they observe the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. In his message for Eid’l Fitr or festival of breaking the fast, Duterte yesterday expressed hope that the Muslims’ time in prayer had nourished […]

Philippines to join Taiwan’s clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine

The Philippines has decided to participate in clinical trials by Taiwanese and Chinese institutions aimed at developing vaccines against COVID-19, according to a resolution issued Saturday by the Philippine government’s coronavirus response team. The Philippine Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the recommendations of its government’s Department of Science […]

Philippines to take part in 2 Taiwanese clinical trails for coronavirus vaccine

The Philippine government has announced that it is going to participate in two Taiwanese organisations’ clinical trials for Wuhan coronavirus vaccines. On Sunday (May 24), presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’s (IATF) passed a resolution that approved a proposal by the Department of Science […]

Japan

Japan gives up approving Avigan drug for COVID-19 by May-end – Kyodo

Japan gives up approving Avigan drug for COVID-19 by May-end – Kyodo

Japan’s government has given up on approving Fujifilm Holdings Corp’s <4901.T> Avigan drug for the treatment of COVID-19 by the end of May, Kyodo News reported late on Monday citing a government official. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said earlier this month he hoped the drug would be approved some time in May if its efficacy […]

Japan’s small clinics driven to brink as virus-wary patients stay home

As Japan eases coronavirus curbs following its first wave of cases, many small medical clinics are scrambling to stay afloat and the doctors who run them are calling for government support as patients keep away for fear of infection. Such clinics are the backbone of a healthcare system short of doctors to care for one […]

Abe’s ‘own goals’ slash support rates even as Japan’s coronavirus emergency set to be lifted

A string of controversial missteps has slashed Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s support to levels that could threaten to end his term early, even as he prepares to lift a state of emergency after the rate of coronavirus infections declined. The slide in ratings, now below 30%, may erode Abe’s clout in his Liberal Democratic […]

Korea

Samsung Group heir questioned by prosecutors over contentious 2015 deal

Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee on Tuesday was summoned and questioned by prosecutors over a controversial 2015 merger of two of the group’s affiliates, Yonhap News Agency said. Lee is in trials over charges that he bribed a friend of former President Park Geun-hye to seek support for the deal that helped tighten his […]

Lotte Shopping to sell 121 stores due to virus impact

Lotte Shopping will sell 121 stores within this year as its retail businesses are taking the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced Sunday. The country’s leading department store operator was scheduled to offload nearly 30 percent or 200 of the 700 stores ? including department stores, supermarkets and large discount stores ? within […]

Korea says long-term visa holders must have medical examinations before returning

Foreign long-term residents of South Korea will need to obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the country, and a medical exam before returning, to help stem coronavirus infections, according to government notices posted online. Some foreign embassies began issuing notices dated Thursday, and the new policies were outlined in Korean on the Ministry of Foreign […]

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s leader says security laws will not affect city’s rights and freedoms

Hong Kong’s leader says security laws will not affect city’s rights and freedoms

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday added to a raft of attempts by local and Beijing officials to provide reassurance that proposed national security laws would not trample on the city’s rights and freedoms, amid widespread concerns. Lam said those concerned need to wait for the details of the proposed legislation. The comments came […]

Hong Kong demand for VPNs surges on heels of China’s plan for national security laws

Demand for virtual private networks in Hong Kong surged more than six-fold last Thursday as Beijing proposed tough new national security laws for the financial hub, reflecting concerns over internet privacy, according to a VPN provider. Atlas VPN said installations of the tool that helps people bypass web restrictions surged again on Friday, up more […]

Beijing’s top envoy in HK calls on diplomats and business lobbies to back national security law

Beijing’s top diplomat in Hong Kong has called on envoys and business chambers to avoid doing anything that would undermine their interests as he urged them to back the national legislature’s plans to install a national security law in the city. Xie Feng said on Monday the international community could rest assured that the law, […]

Taiwan

Taiwan says it ‘isn’t giving up on HK’ as Tsai Ing-wen considers suspending special status

Taiwan’s mainland policymaker on Monday clarified that the self-ruled island would continue to support Hong Kong, after President Tsai Ing-wen said its special status could be revoked if Beijing passed a controversial national security law for the city. Beijing last week unveiled a resolution on the legislation at its annual parliamentary session after months of […]

US urged to ditch illusions, political calculations on Taiwan question

China urges the United States to ditch its illusions and political calculations, and not to make any attempt to challenge China’s red line on the Taiwan question, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign minister Wang Yi said Sunday. The Taiwan question is China’s internal affair, and the one-China principle is the international consensus and the political […]

China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan: spokesperson

China on Sunday strongly urged the US to immediately stop arms sales to Taiwan and cease military contacts with the island, to avoid further damages to the relations between the two countries and the two militaries. Wu Qian, a spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks in an address on the US […]

Vietnam

Data must stay in VN: information and communications minister

Digital economy’s data must stay in Vietnam instead of being stored elsewhere by foreign players, said minister of information and communications Nguyen Manh Hung at a ceremony to promote cloud computing and digitalisation held in Hanoi on Friday. The minister said cloud computing is to play a key role in the future’s digital infrastructure and […]

Banks urged to promote digitalisation

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a serious effect to the economy, but it has helped accelerate the race for banks to go digital. With many people looking for new options to deal with their financial affairs, digitalisation of services and e-payments are becoming crucial. Vu Tien Loc, chair of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry […]

Two Vietnamese businesspeople back on Forbes billionaires list

Fish sauce magnate Nguyen Dang Quang and steel tycoon Tran Dinh Long have reappeared on Forbes’ list of billionaires. Quang, chair and founder of private food producer Masan Group, is 2,109th on the real time billionaires ranking updated by the US magazine on May 22 with a net worth of $1 billion. This data is […]