China Asia

Latest news and analysis on diplomacy between Asian governments including China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Coverage of ASEAN summits.  
South China Morning Post
  1. As North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to build up a nuclear arsenal and railed against Washington at a rare party congress this week, Park Won-gon, a professor of international relations at Seoul’s Handong Global University was struck most by what was missing.Bihaekhwa (“denuclearisation”) – a foreign policy priority for global powers in relations with North Korea – was not mentioned once, casting a dark cloud over prospects for progress, even if talks between the United States and North…
  2. Eight months after it began, a bitter, tense border stand-off between tens of thousands of Chinese and Indian troops in the Himalayan region of Ladakh shows no signs of a resolution.Talks between the two countries have all but been derailed since military officials last met two months ago – the longest gap in such negotiations since May – with both sides reinforcing their positions and digging their heels in.Unverified images that have surfaced on Chinese social media recently show Indian and…
  3. Indonesia’s foreign minister on Wednesday urged China to remove trade barriers for some of the country’s main exports so that trade between the countries could grow and become more balanced, a concern his Chinese counterpart responded to positively.Retno Marsudi delivered the request while meeting China’s state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi, who wrapped up his two-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation on Wednesday.“I underlined the importance of removing trade barriers [and…
  4. Pakistan’s move last week to lift visa restrictions for Bangladeshi citizens, and Dhaka’s request that Islamabad issue an apology for mass killings during its 1971 war of independence, have raised concerns in Indian diplomatic circles that its neighbours are attempting to smooth over their strained bilateral ties.Any improvements to the mostly lukewarm relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh in recent years will have implications for the complex geopolitical dynamics in South Asia, where…
  5. China’s top diplomat Wang Yi has met the most senior aide of Indonesian President Joko Widodo as he begins the latest leg of a regional tour widely seen as an attempt by Beijing to strengthen its position in Southeast Asia ahead of the inauguration of US president-elect Joe Biden.Wang began his two-day visit to Indonesia a day before the country’s roll-out of a Chinese developed coronavirus vaccine, meeting the Maritime and Investment Affairs minister Luhut Pandjaitan on Tuesday at a hotel near…
  6. State-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation has dropped its bid for the Australian builder of the tallest residential tower in Sydney, Probuild, after indications that Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg would block the deal on national security grounds.This did not escape Beijing’s attention, and on Tuesday China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs cautioned Canberra not to “politicise” business deals and jeopardise long-standing commercial relationships, as well as agreed-upon…
  7. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday told a meeting of ruling party executives that he would declare a state of emergency for the three western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo to stem the spread of Covid-19, Kyodo news reported.Suga on Sunday said the three prefectures were “in a tense situation” and that the government was “ready to respond immediately if necessary”.A state of emergency last Friday took effect for Tokyo and the neighbouring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa and…
  8. Recent commentaries suggesting that Russia and China are teaming up for a power play in the Indian Ocean have drawn mixed reactions from regional analysts, with some suggesting that Moscow and Beijing are keen to flex their muscles beyond their own shores in a bid to counter US moves in the region while others have pointed out that most forms of cooperation between the two countries are merely symbolic in nature.Last month, Oriana Skylar Mastro, a centre fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute…
  9. For the past three years, Cavin Cheong has been sending his two primary school-aged children to the Confucius Institute (CI) in southwest Singapore for weekly Chinese enrichment classes. He said the two – aged seven and nine – liked the learning environment and teachers there, and they also attended a Chinese cultural camp at the end of each year. “My kids are exposed to various cultural activities like martial arts, use of abacus, Chinese painting and calligraphy, as well as various Chinese…
  10. Australia’s major commodity exports to China sank in November as Beijing’s trade restrictions hit home, although the impact of the slowdown was cushioned by redirected sales to other countries.Australia’s overall exports, including those to China, rose slightly in November as a result of an increase in non-volatile gold exports, but iron ore and coal exports to China both fell 2.2 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively, compared to October.Despite record iron ore prices in the past few months,…