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 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has extended US$355 million in emergency financing to the Chinese cities of Beijing and Chongqing to upgrade their public health response capacities to help fight the current Covid-19 pandemic as well as future health crises.The AIIB said its funding would cover money spent by the two cities when the crisis was most acute in China.The funds will help improve the capacity of the centres for disease control and prevention in both cities, buy…
  2. Bernardita Catalla – the Philippines’ ambassador to Lebanon, who also served as consul general in Hong Kong – died in Beirut on Thursday morning due to complications from Covid-19.Catalla, 62, is the Southeast Asian nation’s first career diplomat to have died from the disease, which has killed more than 47,000 people around the world.Before her assignment in Beirut, Catalla – known as Bernie – was from 2014 to 2017 consul general to Hong Kong, a city with some 240,000 Filipino residents,…
  3. US sanctions are preventing Iran from getting the medical equipment it needs to combat the coronavirus, according to Seyed Reza Hosseini, Tehran’s acting consul general in Hong Kong and Macau.“We are facing unilateral sanctions from the US, so the situation is worse [than in other countries],” he said. “These unilateral sanctions have made it more difficult to feed the economy. We also need to access our resources outside [of Iran] and buy equipment for the doctors.”Hosseini said the…
  4. A feng shui master from Singapore has denied doing anything wrong and refused to apologise after being barred from Cambodia following accusations that he discredited the country’s ancestral heritage and monarchy.In an interview with This Week in Asia, Cheah Fah Loong, who is better known as Master Yun, insisted that everything he had done “was correct” and he would “never apologise”.“Can you imagine, if I say I’m sorry that means I have done something wrong. Everything that I have done was…
  5. The world’s top 20 economies are set to hold an emergency virtual summit meeting next week, giving China the chance to participate in international efforts to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and its growing economic impact.The Group of 20 (G20) will seek to put forward a coordinated set of policies in response to the global outbreak of Covid-19 in a bid to alleviate its human and economic implications, the government of Saudi Arabia, the current chair of the international…
  6. Over the past decade, the Philippines has viewed China as its biggest challenger in the contested South China Sea. But even as it shares a common rival in Beijing with other Southeast Asian claimant states, Manila has also sought to reject bids by its neighbours in the contested waterway.Earlier this month, the Philippines sent a diplomatic note urging the UN Secretary-General against considering Malaysia’s submission to partially expand its continental shelf – which refers to a 200-nautical…
  7. Beijing and Tokyo are considering postponing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan until the autumn because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Japanese media reported on Sunday, citing diplomatic sources in both countries.The reports came as new coronavirus cases in China continued to slow, while infections in other countries rose sharply, raising concerns about a possible worldwide pandemic.New South Korean cases exceeded those in China for a third straight day and…
  8. China, Japan and South Korea are at risk of a second wave of disruptions to their supply chains due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus epidemic, which risks already slowing global trade, analysts warned.The three Asian countries contribute around 24 per cent of the entire world economy with a combined yearly trading volume of over US$720 billion, forming one of the most integrated international economic blocs in the world.The three countries, though, have been hit hard by the coronavirus…
  9. If there is one foreign leader who has the inside track for organising the kind of over-the-top, boisterous public reception Donald Trump revels in, it has to be Narendra Modi – the Indian prime minister who in many ways is a kindred spirit to the showman US president.Modi’s government is pulling out all the stops, at an expense of some US$14 million, ahead of the maiden two-day trip by the US president and First Lady Melania Trump that begins in Ahmedabad on Monday. The first day of Trump’s…
  10. Bussa Krishna first began worshipping Donald Trump four years ago when the US president appeared to him in a dream.Since then, after a run of good fortune, the Indian real estate broker has transformed his modest home into a shrine to the US president, who is due in India on Monday for a two-day visit.“My love for him has transformed into reverence. That has given me immense happiness. Hence instead of praying to other gods, I started praying to him,” Krishna said.Krishna, who lives alone in a…