China Asia

Latest news and analysis on diplomacy between Asian governments including China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Coverage of ASEAN summits.  
  1. Japan’s annual defence review accuses China of furthering its territorial claims in the East China Sea and is more strongly worded than in previous years, analysts said, highlighting how Beijing has become a longer-term and more serious threat than volatile and nuclear-armed North Korea.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Tuesday approved a white paper that said, among other things, China was “continuing to attempt to alter the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea” and…
  2. Global politics is delicate business in the best of times, but more so in the midst of a deadly pandemic that has claimed well over 500,000 lives. And, as Australia has learned in the last several months, the politics surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are almost as dangerous as the disease.The Australian government proposed in April that there be an international investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. After all, figuring out how the virus came to be is an important part of…
  3. US Army chief of staff General James McConville met with Thailand’s prime minister and its army chief on Friday, in the first high-level visit by a foreign delegation to Thailand since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted international travel.McConville met with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and also Thai army chief Apirat Kongsompong and signed a Strategic Vision Statement, a US Embassy statement said, as Washington looks to reassure allies about its commitment to the region.The text of the…
  4. Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement despite rising political tensions with China – a key supporter of the treaty – possibly paving the way for a new platform for trade-conflict resolution between the two countries.The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also said on Wednesday that there was no change in Australia’s commitment to sign the RCEP.At the 10th RCEP Ministerial Meeting two weeks ago,…
  5. Park Won-soon, the three-term mayor of South Korea’s capital found dead on Friday, was a vocal supporter of China, offering solidarity with Beijing during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. He was also a fierce critic of his own country’s economic inequality and was considered a potential presidential candidate in 2022.Police said Park’s body was found near a restaurant nestled in wooded hills stretching across northern Seoul after a more than seven-hour search involving hundreds of…
  6. Sri, who studies at the University of Pittsburgh, is one of hundreds of thousands of overseas students at American universities fearing for their future after President Donald Trump’s administration threatened to revoke their visas.“It’s a lose-lose situation. [The new rule says] either take an in-person class and die of Covid-19 or go back home,” said Sri, who is from India, and did not wish to be identified by her full name.The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) this week announced…
  7. Australia will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and give 10,000 Hongkongers on student and temporary visas a pathway to permanent residency in response to the city’s controversial national security law, a move that drew a swift rebuke from Beijing.Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday said the national security law constituted “a fundamental change of circumstances in respect to our extradition agreement with Hong Kong” and Australia had “formally notified Hong Kong and advised…
  8. A South Korean court ordered Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-un to compensate two former prisoners of war who spent decades as forced labourers in the North, in a move that could set a far-reaching legal precedent on the divided peninsula.The ruling was the first time a South Korean court claimed jurisdiction over Pyongyang or issued a compensation order against its leader, according to a campaign group backing the plaintiffs.The two men – one surnamed Han, 87, and the other Ro, 90 – say they were…
  9. A series of high profile officials in Beijing have recently voiced openness about China joining a trans-Pacific trade pact abandoned by the United States in one of the first acts of Donald Trump’s presidency.But officials who helped negotiate the deal formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), now the slimmed down Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), are not taking Beijing’s advances seriously.Officials differ in their rationale, with some…
  10. An unexpected warning by the Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jnr over Chinese naval drills has sparked speculation Manila’s friendly stance towards Beijing is shifting, adding to tensions in the South China Sea where naval forces from the United States and China are conducting exercises within sight of each other. On Friday, Locsin released a five-minute video statement in which he expressed concern over military exercises held by China near the Paracel Islands, vowing that the…