China Asia

Latest news and analysis on diplomacy between Asian governments including China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Coverage of ASEAN summits.  
Diplomacy - South China Morning Post
  1. Until two years ago, Aamir Ataullah said his future as a merchant in the Indian town of Uri, close to the border with Pakistan, seemed bright.The 28-year-old was among hundreds of barter traders plying their goods along the Line of Control that divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed neighbours, which opened cross-border trade in 2008 as part of measures to ease tensions.The move was an economic godsend for Uri’s 150,000 residents, especially traders, labourers and drivers. Small hotels,…
  2. US Vice-President Kamala Harris will visit Vietnam and Singapore next month to discuss regional security issues and the global Covid-19 pandemic response, the White House announced Friday.Harris heads to the Southeast Asian nations “to strengthen relationships and expand economic cooperation with two critical Indo-Pacific partners of the United States”, senior adviser Symone Sanders said in a statement.Harris, an Asian-American whose mother was of Indian origin, will be the first US vice…
  3. Militant groups Islamic State (Isis), al-Qaeda and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) – which China has referred to as a direct threat to its interests – remain present in Afghanistan, where security is fragile and predicted to deteriorate, according to a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) report. Isis fighters are estimated to have reserves of US$25-US$50 million on hand, the report said. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is believed to be in Afghanistan, alive but ailing. Saif al…
  4. First proposed at the 17th Asean-China Summit in 2014 by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism aims to enhance economic cooperation, environmental protection efforts and transboundary water governance between the countries along the river’s length, namely China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Seen as a rival to the US-backed Mekong River Commission (MRC) – which excludes Myanmar and China and was formed in 1995 – the LMC differentiates…
  5. A visit by Russia’s premier this week to an island chain claimed by Japan has fuelled a fresh bilateral disagreement between both sides, and a suggestion that Moscow’s actions were deliberately timed during the Tokyo Olympics to bring about a “toned-down” response from Japan.Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s visit on Monday to the Kurils, also known as the Northern Territories, was the first by a Russian premier since a constitutional amendment last July barred Russia from ceding territory.The…
  6. In an Australia increasingly wary of China’s influence in its backyard, claims a Chinese state-run firm was angling to purchase the South Pacific’s No. 1 phone carrier set off immediate alarm bells.In Australian media, unnamed government sources expressed fears that China Mobile’s purchase of Digicel’s Pacific network would give Beijing free rein to spy on Pacific neighbours such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.Chinese ownership of the telecommunications…
  7. When US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met her Japanese and South Korean counterparts last week in Tokyo, the message they delivered was one of solidarity and agreement when it came to keeping the peace in the Indo-Pacific. Sherman told reporters that the trio were “shoulder to shoulder” when it came to North Korea, with the meeting also discussing the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait – a comment that prompted resistance from Beijing as an attempt to interfere in China’s…
  8. Australia is prepared to take the economic hit from China’s trade measures to defend its sovereignty, trade minister Dan Tehan said, even as he pursues efforts to open dialogue with counterparts in Beijing.“If we have to pay an economic price for that, that’s something that we’re prepared to pay,” Tehan said in an interview in Washington, where he is meeting with the Biden administration to try to work out how to counter China’s actions.“In the end our values are so important to us and we think…
  9. Plans by the United States for a digital trade agreement covering Indo-Pacific economies may be a step toward Washington rejoining a regional trade deal that president Donald Trump exited in 2017, Australian trade minister Dan Tehan said.Details of the potential digital accord are still being drafted, but the pact could include countries such as Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore, according to earlier reports.Asked by Bloomberg Television’s Annmarie Hordern on…
  10. South Korean athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics have been urged to ignore diplomatic tensions between their government and the host nation, which have included calls for boycotts and threatened to disrupt preparations for the event.“We’ve been telling athletes to focus on achieving the best results, regardless of what’s happening in the rest of the world,” a senior official of the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) said, speaking anonymously. “We’re making our best efforts to…