19 January 2020


  • A Chinese flag flutters on a boat in Beijing in this picture taken on Oct. 29 last year. Some Asian countries which used to be close to Washington are now seeking to mend fences with Beijing, displaying pragmatism. Photo: AFP

    How China’s rise is changing diplomacy dynamics in Asia

    - Jan 17, 2020 5:36pm
    Recently, I traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Learning that I had come from Hong Kong, the first thing a cab driver there asked me was: is the unrest now under control? Some other ethnic Chinese cab...
  • Taiwanese troops pose for pictures after conducting drills in Kaohsiung on Wednesday. Beijing maintains that reunification by force is still an option. Photo: Reuters

    Why unification by force is just an empty threat

    - Jan 17, 2020 3:15pm
    In the wake of her landslide election victory, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gave the BBC an exclusive interview, during which she urged Beijing to face the reality and show respect...
  • Microsoft plans to create a Climate Innovation Fund, which will invest US$1 billion over the next four years to speed up the development of carbon removal technology. Photo: Reuters

    Microsoft vows to erase its carbon footprint in climate push

    Jan 17, 2020 9:57am
    Microsoft Corp. has set a new ambition among Fortune 500 companies in addressing climate change, pledging to remove as much carbon as it has emitted in its 45-year history, Reuters reports. The focus on clearing carbon...
  • So far, 41 cases of pneumonia have been reported in Wuhan, which preliminary lab tests cited by state media showed could be from a new type of coronavirus. Photo: AFP

    China says second person dies in Wuhan pneumonia outbreak

    Jan 17, 2020 9:05am
    A second person has died from pneumonia in the central Chinese city of Wuhan following an outbreak of a previously unknown virus, Reuters reports, citing local health authorities. The 69-year-old man had been admitted to hospital...
  • Mikhail Mishustin said he would name his cabinet in the near future. Photo: Reuters

    Russian parliament backs Putin’s choice for prime minister

    Jan 17, 2020 8:36am
    The Russian parliament overwhelmingly backed President Vladimir Putin’s surprise choice for prime minister after what one daily called a “January revolution”, a major political overhaul that some say could set Putin up as leader for life....
  • The trade agreement includes tougher rules on labor and automotive content. Photo: Reuters

    US Senate passes North America trade deal

    Jan 17, 2020 8:19am
    The US Senate approved a revamp of the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement that includes tougher rules on labor and automotive content but leaves US$1.2 trillion in annual US-Mexico-Canada trade flows largely unchanged.  The legislation...
  • Activists spread out a banner calling for the removal of US President Donald Trump on the floor of the Russell Senate Office Building during a demonstration on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

    Trump impeachment trial opens

    Jan 17, 2020 7:33am
    The Senate impeachment trial on whether to remove US President Donald Trump from office formally began on Thursday even as a congressional watchdog found that the White House broke the law by withholding security aid for...
  • Baby abandonment is rare in Singapore, which is wrestling with low birth rates. Photo: AFP

    Adoption offers pour in for baby found in Singapore bin

    Jan 16, 2020 4:18pm
    An abandoned baby rescued from a bin in Singapore has aroused widespread sympathy, drawing several offers of adoption, according to authorities and media in the city-state wrestling with low birth rates. Aside from adoption inquiries received...
  • US soybean suppliers will continue to face stiff competition for sales to China from a likely record-large Brazilian crop. Photo: Reuters

    China says pledge on US farm goods based on ‘market conditions’

    Jan 16, 2020 2:42pm
    China’s pledge to buy US farm goods based on “market conditions” during the Phase 1 trade deal signing ceremony on Wednesday added to doubts among farmers and commodity traders over Beijing’s lingering tariffs on US exports....
  • Fishermen ride boats near the erupting Taal Volcano in Tanauan, Batangas, on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

    Philippine volcano shows signs of calming but danger remains

    Jan 16, 2020 12:14pm
    A Philippine volcano that has been spewing ash for days appeared to be calming down on Thursday, but seismologists said the danger of an eruption remained high and authorities warned evacuees not to return to their...
  • One of the three suspects was reportedly a German national who until 2017 had worked as a senior diplomat for the European Union’s foreign service. Photo: Reuters

    Germany raids offices, homes of suspected China spies

    Jan 16, 2020 11:15am
    Police have raided homes and offices in Brussels and across Germany in a case involving three people suspected of spying for China, Reuters reports, citing prosecutors. Der Spiegel magazine, which first reported the raids, said one...
  • Growing concerns over the new China coronavirus have prompted US authorities to issue an alert on travel to the Wuhan region. Representational image: Bloomberg

    Japan confirms 1st case of infection with new China coronavirus

    Jan 16, 2020 10:42am
    Japan confirmed its first case of infection from the new China coronavirus that has prompted travel alerts for the Wuhan region, Reuters reports.  A man in his 30s from Kanagawa prefecture tested positive, Japan’s health ministry...
  • US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with the House impeachment managers and committee chairs, signs the two articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump at the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

    Impeachment charges against Trump sent to Senate for trial

    Jan 16, 2020 9:07am
    After weeks of rhetorical fire and fury, a handful of members of the US House of Representatives walked quietly across a hushed Capitol in Washington on Wednesday to deliver articles of impeachment to the Senate, paving...
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Mikhail Mishustin, head of the  Federal Taxation Service, in this file picture taken in Sochi on Nov. 20, 2018.  Putin has nominated Mishustin as the next prime minister. Photo: Reuters

    Russia govt quits to make way for Putin constitutional reform

    Jan 16, 2020 8:29am
    Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed constitutional changes on Wednesday that would give him scope to extend his grip on power after leaving the presidency, and picked a new prime minister after Dmitry Medvedev and his cabinet...
  • US President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu pose for photographers after signing the trade agreement at the East Room of the White House in Washington on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

    US and China sign initial deal to ease trade tensions

    Jan 16, 2020 7:33am
    The United States and China signed an initial trade deal on Wednesday that will roll back some tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of US products, defusing an 18-month row between the world’s two largest economies but...
  • Kuomintang candidate Han Kuo-yu lost in the presidential race, but the votes he and his party got in the Jan. 11 elections suggest that their support base remains largely intact. Photo: Reuters

    KMT still managed to put up a good fight

    - Jan 15, 2020 1:06pm
    Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections have drawn to a close, with President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winning a record 8.17 million votes to secure a second term. Tsai defeated her major rival, Kaohsiung...
  • World Health Organization (WHO) has said that hospitals worldwide need to be on the alert over possible 'super-spreading' of the mystery virus that surfaced in China’s Wuhan. Photos: Reuters, RTHK

    Wuhan hospitals at highest alert level amid pneumonia woes

    Jan 15, 2020 11:47am
    All hospitals in China’s central city of Wuhan, where a pneumonia outbreak is yet to be contained, have raised their alert to the highest level, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing a local source. The...
  • Protesters demonstrate in Tehran on January 11 in this picture obtained from social media by Reuters. Anger over the Ukraine plane shooting has prompted thousands to take to the streets again in Iran.

    Iran makes arrests in plane shootdown

    Jan 15, 2020 10:00am
    Iran said on Tuesday that it has arrested people accused of a role in shooting down a Ukrainian airliner that killed all 176 people aboard last week. President Hassan Rouhani, in address Tuesday, promised a thorough...
  • China has pledged to raise US agriculture purchases by some US$32 billion over two years above the 2017 baseline of US$24 billion. Photo: Reuters

    Analysts doubt if China can achieve Phase 1 commodity pledges

    Jan 15, 2020 9:38am
    Commodity traders and analysts are struggling to map out how China will reach the eye-popping amounts it is committing to buy from the United States under Phase 1 of their trade deal. China has pledged to...
  • Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, holds up his agency’s World Report 2020 at an event at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

    Human Rights Watch report blasts China ‘oppression’

    Jan 15, 2020 9:33am
    Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a scathing review of the Chinese government, calling on the international community to push back against “the most brutal and pervasive oppression China has seen in decades”, Reuters reports. In...