China Asia

Latest news and analysis on diplomacy between Asian governments including China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Coverage of ASEAN summits.  
  1. The Imperial Japanese Army asked the government to provide one “comfort woman” for every 70 soldiers, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported, citing wartime government documents it had reviewed, shedding a fresh light on Tokyo’s involvement in the practice.“Comfort women” is a euphemism for the girls and women – many of them Korean – forced into prostitution at Japanese military brothels. The issue has plagued Japan’s ties with South Korea for decades.This is a clear sign that the Japanese…
  2. China is trying to take advantage of its neighbours’ disagreements with the US to boost its own diplomatic standing, but observers have questioned whether it will be able to enjoy any long-term benefits.During a recent trip to South Korea, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi chose to play down the bitter dispute over the deployment of a US missile defence system, and instead focused on criticisms of America.Relations between Washington and Seoul and Tokyo have been hit by the Trump administration…
  3. Kim Jong-un mounted a white horse again as North Korea announced on Wednesday it would soon convene a rare meeting of the ruling party’s top leaders, steps analysts say signal preparations for a more confrontational stance.For the second time in two months, Kim visited North Korea’s sacred Mount Paektu on horseback, this time accompanied by senior military officers, aimed at instilling a “revolutionary spirit” in the people, state news agency KCNA reported.Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump…
  4. North Korea on Tuesday repeated its assertions the Trump administration is running out of time to salvage nuclear negotiations, saying it’s entirely up to the US to choose what “Christmas gift” it gets from the North.The statement attributed to a senior diplomat came as North Korea continues to dial up pressure on Washington and Seoul ahead of leader Kim Jong-un’s end-of-year deadline for the US to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal.Negotiations have faltered since a February summit…
  5. Beijing has appointed Huang Xilian, a former envoy to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), as its next ambassador to the Philippines.Huang, 52, is a veteran diplomat who previously filled posts in Brunei, India, Pakistan and the US. Upon his arrival in Manila on Tuesday said he was “very honoured and grateful” to serve in the Philippines, replacing Zhao Jianhua.Huang begins his stint as Filipinos’ trust in China has eroded, despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s pivot to Beijing,…
  6. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) must be ready to discuss whether to phase out aid to high- and medium-income borrowers like China, the institution’s next president Masatsugu Asakawa said.Asakawa, who will take the helm in January, also said that while China’s economy was likely to slow, Beijing is expected to engineer a smooth landing that will help Asia achieve a moderate pickup in growth next year.“Deep-rooted, structural problems have led to a gradual decline in China’s potential and real…
  7. Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa sought to play down his country’s links to China on his first trip to neighbouring India.The ties between Colombo and Beijing were “purely commercial”, he said in an interview with Indian newspaper The Hindu on Saturday.Rajapaksa, who won the presidential election last month, also played down the military links between China and Sri Lanka – like the visit of Chinese submarines to the island nation in 2014 when he was defence secretary.“I…
  8. The idea of a railway linking China to Nepal has captured imaginations on both sides of the border ever since Mao Zedong and King Birendra first mooted the idea in 1973.In the decades since, the dream has survived a royal massacre in which Birendra was shot to death by his own son and heir, a Maoist insurgency and decade-long civil war, an earthquake that killed 9,000 and destroyed many of Kathmandu’s most iconic monuments, and a crippling five-month trade blockade by India.Now, 45 years later,…
  9. US President Donald Trump has demonstrated a willingness to cooperate with authoritarian leaders, hosting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House recently and privately offering support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal crackdown on drugs.He has been reluctant to criticise Russian President Vladimir Putin and also defended Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last…
  10. A Japanese man in his 50s has been detained in the Chinese province of Hunan since July, possibly for alleged spying, a Japanese government source said on Wednesday.Later in the day, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo the government had confirmed the man’s detention by Chinese authorities, with the Foreign Ministry saying he is accused of acting in “violation of domestic law” in China.The man in question is being held in Changsha and has had access to…