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. 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…
  2. 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…
  3. 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…
  4. 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…
  5. 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…
  6. 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…
  7. 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…
  8. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Wednesday said Washington, Tokyo and Seoul had sent a clear message that they were on the same page regarding their policy towards North Korea despite some recent friction between the two Asian allies.“That close coordination sends a very critical message to North Korea in that we are together and shoulder-to-shoulder in our approach to this policy,” Sherman told reporters after meeting the vice foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea in Tokyo.A…
  9. Asia may be sliding into a dangerous arms race as smaller nations that once stayed on the sidelines build arsenals of advanced long-range missiles, following in the footsteps of powerhouses China and the United States.China is mass producing its DF-26 – a multipurpose weapon with a range of up to 4,000km – while the US is developing new weapons aimed at countering Beijing in the Pacific. Other countries in the region are buying or developing their own new missiles, driven by security concerns…
  10. The South Korean government has summoned the Japanese ambassador to the foreign ministry over crude remarks about President Moon Jae-in and his attempt to organise a summit with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga during the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Hirohisa Soma, the deputy head of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, reportedly ridiculed Moon’s chances of holding a summit with Suga during the Games, accusing the South Korean president of “masturbating”. In response, South Korea’s First Vice Foreign…