Asia

A last look back at Asia this year
Asia, China, World

A last look back at Asia this year

A last look back at Asia this year 2022 could not have come fast enough. For many in Thailand and no doubt the rest of the world, new hope based on increased vaccination rates against Covid-19 was overwhelmed by the spread of the Omicron variant at year-end. Thailand's travel and tourism sector continues to be particularly hard hit as entry and quarantine rules continue to change. In a last farewell to 2021 and our annual look back at Asia's winners and losers, we find even the good news was bad. WORST YEAR: AFGHAN WOMEN The chaotic US withdrawal in August brought to an end an era of advancements in Afghanistan, and hunger and misery are on the rise again in one of Asia's poorest nations. The US presence in Afghanistan -- the "graveyard of empires" -- was doomed in part by hubris and ...
USD 500 Million offered to Sri Lanka by India
Asia

USD 500 Million offered to Sri Lanka by India

India has offered a credit line of USD 500 million to Sri Lanka to purchase petroleum products. Critical support by India follows a discussion between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Sri Lanka's Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, said the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka. India extended forex support of USD 900 mn earlier this month, High Commission added.
Virus, unrest highlight AP’s pictures of the year in Asia
Asia, World

Virus, unrest highlight AP’s pictures of the year in Asia

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The second year of the pandemic was remarkably tumultuous for Asia, which continued to be gripped by terrible losses while seeing widespread social and political unrest and fragile democratic gains erased by a rise in autocracy. From a military coup to protests and violence, the horror of surging virus fatalities to a crowd-less Olympic Games held in the specter of COVID-19, the photojournalists of The Associated Press in Asia captured the volatility of 2021 with powerful visuals that will be etched in memories. The year began with optimism surrounding the arrival of vaccines and hope that pandemic sufferings are coming to an end. But global attention shifted quickly toward Myanmar, where military leaders upended years of quasi-democratic rule with a February s
2021 Notebook: A closer look at unrest in Myanmar
Asia, Politics, World

2021 Notebook: A closer look at unrest in Myanmar

THE BACKGROUND: Myanmar had another rough year in 2021. On Feb. 1, the army seized power and prevented Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party from a second term in office. That day, Suu Kyi and top party and government colleagues were detained by the military just before the new session of Parliament was to convene. Elections had been held in November 2020, and Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory. In early December, she was convicted on charges of incitement and violating coronavirus restrictions and sentenced to four years in prison — a sentence that was quickly cut in half. February’s seizure of power was met by nonviolent nationwide demonstrations, which security forces quashed with deadly force. They have killed about 1,300 civilians, according to a detailed tall
China marks 84th anniversary of Nanking Massacre in WWII
Asia, China, World

China marks 84th anniversary of Nanking Massacre in WWII

BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday marked the 84th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre, in which hundreds of thousands of civilians and disarmed soldiers were killed by Japanese troops in and around the former Chinese capital. A People’s Liberation Army honor guard bearing large funeral wreaths marched slowly past a memorial showing the figure 300,000, China’s official death toll in the events of December 1937, as solemn music played. Troops, students and 3,000 attendees then stood at rigid attention to observe a minute of silence. Addressing the gathering, Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan said they had came together to “learn from history and open up a new chapter of our future.” The ceremony aimed to “showcase our lofty commitment to a peaceful development path,” said Sun, the only woman
Immigration rises in Taiwan from Hong Kong
Asia, China

Immigration rises in Taiwan from Hong Kong

Taipei, Taiwan: Taiwan is seeing a rise in the people migrating from Hong Kong in the country.The democratic island of Taiwan is expecting a new wave of arrivals from the former British colony of Hong Kong, where the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is presiding over a city-wide crackdown on civil society, public dissent and political opposition under a draconian national security law, according to Radio Free Asia. The latest statistics from the Taiwan Immigration Department indicate that number of Hong Kong residents emigrating to Taiwan hit a new high in 2021, the island’s Mainland Affairs Commission (MAC) spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng told reporters on Friday. Earlier, the island’s interior ministry handed out 9,772 residence cards to Hong Kong residents between January and Novem
TAIWAN UNIFICATION & PLA MODERNISATION: GOALS TO WHAT END?
Asia, China, Conflict, Politics

TAIWAN UNIFICATION & PLA MODERNISATION: GOALS TO WHAT END?

Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a mobilization order for the training of the armed forces for 2022 sparking off speculation about the fate of Taiwan, even as he addressed the nation on television hoping for reunification with Taiwan under his long-term vision to realize the "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."  The mobilisation of the armed forces is the first order of the new year by the Central Military Commission of which Xi is the chairman. There was a similar order last year as well as part of the modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army forces. The order says the entire rank and file of the armed forces are required to resolutely implement the plans and instructions of the Party leadership and the CMC, and accurately understand the changing landscape of na
China aims to dominate East Asia
Asia, China, Singapore, World

China aims to dominate East Asia

In a recent congressional research Service (CRS) report highlights about the competition of US and China in East Asia region. A recently updated Congressional Research Service (CRS) report shines a new light on the scope of China-U.S. competition in the East Asia region. The 128-page report, authored by Naval Affairs Specialist Ronald O’Rourke, opens with an overview of U.S. interests in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and Yellow Sea. These waters, explains the author, border current and emerging U.S. partners, including Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The document lays out a series of core American policy goals guiding the U.S.-China competition in the SCS and ECS. These include, but are not limited to …fulfilling U.S. security commitments in
Pakistan’s role in supporting the growth of global terrorism
Asia, World

Pakistan’s role in supporting the growth of global terrorism

In the recently released Country Reports on Terrorism 2020, the Bureau of Counterterrorism of the U.S. Department of State has once again underlined Pakistan’s persistence as the fountainhead of terrorism, posing a threat to regional stability and international security. The American report is another evidence of Pakistan’s continued duplicity on the issue of terrorism and its use of terrorist groups as proxies in its geopolitical pursuits. But Pakistani establishment continues to live in a denial mode. The annual report noted that in 2020 terrorist groups targeting Afghanistan — including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated Haqqani Network, and groups targeting India, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its affiliated front organisations Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) — have continued to operat
Chinese spies in Taiwan’s military
Asia, Business, China, Conflict, Singapore, World

Chinese spies in Taiwan’s military

TAIPEI: Hong Kong business man, Xie Xizhang is accused of espionage in Taiwan for China. For more than 20 years he has been doing this.   On one trip in 2006, Xie met a senior retired Taiwanese navy officer, Chang Pei-ning, over a meal, according to official documents accusing the pair of espionage. Chang would become one of Xie's agents, the documents allege, helping him penetrate Taiwan's active military leadership as part of a long-running Chinese operation to build a spy ring among serving and retired military officers. The Taiwanese officers and their families were allegedly lured by Xie's offers of all-expenses-paid trips abroad, thousands of dollars in cash payments, and gifts such as silk scarves and belts for their wives. In June 2019, counter-espionage officers moved ...