Danila Medvedev is a futurologist and co-founder of KrioRus, the first cryonics company in Russia. He believes that immortality is possible and can be found within the icy depths of liquid nitrogen.
Danila Medvedev is a futurologist and co-founder of KrioRus, the first cryonics company in Russia. He believes that immortality is possible and can be found within the icy depths of liquid nitrogen.
A woman who gained notoriety for refusing to wear a face mask in public during the circuit breaker while claiming that she was a “sovereign” above the law in two viral videos last year was on Friday (7 May) jailed for two weeks and fined $2,000.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the release Friday of four Hong Kong democracy activists who were jailed for taking part in a vigil for victims of Beijing's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.
A virus state of emergency in Tokyo and other parts of Japan was extended on Friday, less than three months before the Olympics, as India logged yet another record number of infections.
Calling himself a ‘commoner,’ Najib questioned whether the law treated high-ranking ministers the same way. This article, Fined for breaching COVID-19 rules, Najib Razak posts photo of maskless Muhyiddin, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
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The US military has no plans to shoot down an out -of-control Chinese rocket now hurtling towards Earth, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday.
Hong Kong national security police on Thursday searched a newly opened shop in Tsuen Wan where a graffiti-style display emblazoned over the entrance appeared to evoke a banned protest slogan. The shop was an outlet of the children’s clothing chain Chickeeduck, which has previously found itself tangled in political controversy – as well as disputes with its landlords – over its display of statues honouring anti-government protesters at other locations. The brand’s founder, Herbert Chow Siu-lung, said he was at the shop when officers went there to serve a search warrant at about 4pm, while members of the Police Tactical Unit stood guard outside.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Officers left soon after 6pm without making any seizures or arrests. Chow characterised the operation as an effort to spread “white terror”, adding he was “not scared”. K11 Musea becomes latest mall to sue Chickeeduck over ‘Lady Liberty’ display A police spokesman confirmed officers carried out the search after receiving a report about an alleged violation of the national security law, adding no arrests had been made. Another police source said the raid was focused on the jumbled, graffiti-style writing over the outlet’s front door, in which the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times” could be made out. The slogan, a common refrain during 2019’s anti-government protests, has since been declared by authorities to be a violation of the Beijing-imposed security law, which bans acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Even though no arrests were made and nothing was seized, the source said the raid served as a “warning”. The police action came on the heels of reports about the shop in pro-Beijing media. The Tsuen Wan store also displayed a larger-than-life statue of a protester wearing a helmet, goggles and a respirator, and holding aloft a plush duckling. A previous version of the statue displayed at other Chickeeduck outlets depicted a similarly attired protester holding an umbrella in one hand and a black flag in the other, also bearing the slogan: “Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times”. Controversy over the earlier statue forced a Chickeeduck outlet to move last year after the management of the D-Park shopping centre in Tsuen Wan demanded the store remove it, later asking the business to vacate the premises entirely. The display reappeared at the tmtplaza mall in Tuen Mun, where it again drew the ire of the landlord. It was subsequently moved to New Town Plaza in Sha Tin, which also asked the shop there to take it down. Last September, shopping mall K11 Musea in Tsim Sha Tsui became the latest to take legal action against Chickeeduck, accusing it of a breach of its tenancy agreement over the display.This article Hong Kong national security police search new Chickeeduck outlet over display evoking banned protest slogan first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
China may step up efforts to reduce steel demand as authorities and industry groups grow increasingly uneasy about high iron ore prices amid a trade dispute with its biggest supplier Australia, according to analysts. China’s state-dominated steel sector, represented by China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), has been sounding the alarm about surging prices, urging the central government last week to help with market “malfunctions” and improve policies in the futures market. “I don’t think the high iron ore price is a factor in the trade dispute between the two countries, but it’s probably not helping,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at investment manager AMP Capital. “Not that there is much that can be done about it in the short-term beyond moving back away from using market forces to determine the price.”Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. China’s trade sanctions on Australia are hurting Chinese reputation as a reliable trading partner Shiro Armstrong Tensions between the two nations escalated further on Thursday with China’s National Development and Reform Commission saying it had “indefinitely suspended” its high-level economic dialogue with Australia. It comes on the heels of more than a year of strained relations that kicked off after Canberra called for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus, which prompted a series of trade actions from Beijing. Australia and Brazil collectively export more than 80 per cent of the world’s seaborne iron ore supply, said Erik Hedborg, senior analyst at commodities firm CRU. China imports 60 per cent of its iron ore from Australia, and consumes more iron ore than any other nation, as it is by far the world’s largest steel producer. Although some Chinese steelmakers have gained from higher steel prices recently, the main beneficiaries of soaring iron ore prices have been companies like Anglo-Australian miners BHP and Rio Tinto, Brazil’s Vale, and their respective governments through tax revenue. CISA in December last year demanded an explanation from BHP and Rio Tinto about the surging cost of iron ore. “The problem with high iron ore prices is that money is leaving the steel-producing countries and ending up with the iron ore producers and the governments of countries that produce the iron ore,” Hedborg said. “Longer-term, one problem with high iron ore prices that feed into the price of steel is potential demand destruction if the prices of steel-containing goods get too high.” How iron ore is powering China’s infrastructure boom, and why securing new sources is so vitally important Iron ore hit a record of US$193 a tonne on April 27, a rise of 18 per cent over the past month, while the domestic price of futures contracts on steel reinforcing bars widely used in construction hit a new high of 5,411 yuan (US$836) per tonne on the same day, Gavekal Dragonomics said in a note on Wednesday. High iron ore prices are being driven by demand for steel in China, which has seen a post-coronavirus construction boom, and smaller than expected exports from Brazil. Chinese steel makers are increasingly worried that once demand for steel starts to cool, profit margins on steel products will slide quickly because of excess steel manufacturing capacity. Some downstream users of steel are also grappling with rising costs. Despite China’s unease with iron ore prices and its reliance on Australia, it is unlikely either countries would impose punitive measures involving the commodity, analysts said. Instead, Beijing is more likely to step up interventions to reduce steel demand. The economic risks associated with high commodity prices are being discussed at the highest levels in China, including by the Financial Stability and Development Commission, which is chaired by Liu He, the top economic adviser to President Xi Jinping. In April, the commission called for “maintaining basic stability in prices, and paying special attention to trends in commodity prices” – an unusual statement from a body that usually focuses on financial regulation, said Gavekal Dragonmics. China-Australia relations: farmer laments ‘mistake’ of depending solely on Chinese market as supply chains shift Shiro Armstrong, an economist and associate professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at Australia National University, said it would be “economic suicide” if the two countries began imposing sanctions on iron ore, given its importance to both. “China’s trade sanctions on Australia are hurting Chinese reputation as a reliable trading partner … Australia would not want to do the same thing,” he said. In a bid to pump up domestic supply and discourage steel exports, the Ministry of Finance removed export tax rebates for 146 steel products from May 1, and waived import tariffs on others, including pig iron, crude steel, recycled steel raw materials and ferrochrome. In December, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology also announced a reduction in crude steel output. However, China’s crude steel production reached 271 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of 37 million tonnes, or 15.6 per cent, compared with the same period a year earlier, S&P Global Ratings said last week. Beijing has asked Tangshan, China’s largest steel-producing city in the northern province of Hebei, to slash steelmaking capacity from March until the end of the year. S&P predicted this would lead to a production loss of 30 million to 40 million tonnes, or 3 to 4 per cent of annual national crude steel output. “That said, other steel mills may be motivated to increase production owing to the current high margin and good demand,” S&P said. “Failure to achieve production cuts could lead to downside risk for steel prices in the next six months.” Analysts expect more measures from Beijing to cut steel demand, but there are also risks they could force some steelmakers out of business, resulting in job losses and hurting economic growth. Horberg said China could incentivise scrap supply and accelerate its transition from iron ore based steel production to scrap-based steel production to reduce reliance on imports. “But this is a long, slow process that will take many years,” he said.More from South China Morning Post:China’s small manufacturers endure ‘difficult time’ as surging raw material prices drive up costsChina-Australia relations: Beijing steel group demands answers from BHP over soaring iron ore pricesChina-Australia relations: iron ore price surges amid strong demand and souring tiesChina-Australia relations: Beijing ‘indefinitely suspends’ high-level economic dialogue with CanberraChina-Australia relations: farmer laments ‘mistake’ of depending solely on Chinese market as supply chains shiftThis article China-Australia tensions ratchet up unease in Beijing about surging iron ore prices first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Jeff Bezos sold about US$2.5 billion of Amazon.com Inc. stock, his first big disposal this year.
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Former Hong Kong chief justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li has defended the role of foreign judges in the city, arguing they should continue to sit on the bench and help enforce the mini-constitution which he described as the basis of judicial independence. In his first major public engagement since stepping down in January this year, Ma’s comment appeared to target Western critics who had urged foreign judges in Hong Kong to quit as a matter of protest in the wake of the enactment of the Beijing-imposed national security law. Ma, Hong Kong’s top judge from September 2010 to January this year, said while critics focused on provisions of the security law that allowed Beijing to exercise jurisdiction over complex cases, they should also take into account its references to human rights and the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. “[The Basic Law] prescribes for an independent judiciary … sets out freedoms and human rights, [and] links it internationally to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” he said. “All these matters are stated in the Basic Law, reflected in the judicial oath, and when a judge comes [and] is in Hong Kong, that person … is duty-bound indeed, and has taken an oath to enforce the Basic Law.” Ma also clarified that he did not describe a condition in the legislation as a “strange provision” in remarks made in March. Instead, he argued, it was others who found it strange that the security law allowed the city’s leader, after consulting the chief justice, to designate judges to handle national security cases. Ma was speaking in a webinar on the future of law and business in Hong Kong. The discussion was organised by British-based group The Legal 500, and local law firm Haldanes. Other speakers at the webinar were: former British Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer, criminal lawyer Jonathan Midgley; veteran lawyer Jonathan Caplan QC; and Professor Lin Feng, associate law dean at the City University of Hong Kong. In March, British Supreme Court president Robert Reed said he would weigh resigning as a non-permanent judge on the Court of Final Appeal should he conclude that judicial independence had been compromised. Falconer, who has been a vocal critic of Beijing’s policies on Hong Kong, had suggested that Reed should quit. Asked to elaborate on his rationale, Falconer on Wednesday said: “I do not think that the pinnacle of the UK legal system should [give] due credibility to a system where there is a massive hole in the rule of law in Hong Kong.” Falconer argued that the national security law “indicates that a central basis of the rule of law in Hong Kong is gone”. He said it was most exemplified by Article 55 of the security law, which allows the city’s government to ask Beijing to exercise jurisdiction over a national security case if it is complex, when a serious situation occurs and the city’s government is unable to effectively enforce the law, or when a major and imminent threat to national security has occurred. Falconer described the article as giving executive authorities an alternative route to the city’s legal system. “This healthily functioning system of high-quality judges were able to resolve, for example, non-political criminal cases … but running alongside it, is the option for the Chinese government to pick up on those they don’t like and deal with them outside the established legal system, and that is why the rule of law is now a charade,” he said. Staying true to rule of law, former chief justice relied on expertise with a dash of common sense Ma questioned whether Article 55 was a sound basis for Falconer to suggest that the rule of law was severely compromised in Hong Kong, and that Britain’s top judges should resign from Hong Kong courts. “Lord Falconer takes [Article 55] to mean: if you don’t like the result, we’ll have another go. Well, [the article] doesn’t say that, and to say that it does, is actually speculation.” Lin said at the webinar that Article 55 would only be invoked if Hong Kong faced an emergency situation endangering national security. Caplan also said he suspected that Article 55 would recede and become a redundant provision. He argued that most states “actually depart from the rule of law and natural processes” in handling national security cases. Midgley, senior partner with Haldanes, also said Hong Kong’s legal system remained sound. “It’s a great shame that there is a suggestion from overseas that this system is in some way broken … It simply isn’t. It is not a broken system, and the idea that people, particularly from England, are saying that Hong Kong is broken, I think, has turned into a political sport at the expense of those living here,” he said. Former chief justice Geoffrey Ma appointed honorary law professor at Chinese University In March, Ma attended a webinar where panel members discussed whether it should be entirely up to the judiciary to assign judges to cases, without the involvement of the executive branch. At the session, Ma noted the national security law had empowered the city’s leader to designate judges to hear cases under the legislation. “This is an important question as far as Hong Kong is concerned, where you have the strange provision of the designation of judges,” he said. Ma’s remark was interpreted by pundits as indicating he found the provision odd, but he claimed on Wednesday he was misquoted. “What I was doing in that particular talk … was saying that some people have regarded that provision in the national security law as being odd or strange,” he said. “I never comment on legislation, say this is good, great, bad or strange, I never do that and never will.”More from South China Morning Post:Judicial reforms should not be based on unhappiness over court rulings, Hong Kong’s retiring top judge warns in speech reflecting on decade-long tenureHong Kong’s departing chief justice offers one last defence of judicial independence at farewell sittingThis article National security law: ex-chief justice Geoffrey Ma defends role of foreign judges in Hong Kong, argues they should help enforce mini-constitution first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
This is the second in a two-part series on the potential impacts of presidential elections in the region on relations with China and the United States. Here, Sarah Zheng examines how territorial disputes with Beijing could influence next year’s Philippine poll. Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea are threatening to become a central issue in next year’s Philippine presidential election, as tensions flare over Chinese vessels’ presence near features in the disputed waters. Analysts say President Rodrigo Duterte’s approach to Beijing’s increasingly aggressive assertions in the waters will influence the position of contenders to succeed him in the vote next May, which Duterte cannot contest because of the one-term limit.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Manila’s efforts to challenge China’s claimed sovereignty over most of the energy-rich sea were backed by an international tribunal’s 2016 verdict that most of Beijing’s claims had no legal basis, but Duterte has previously said he would “set aside” the ruling. The sensitivity of the issue has surfaced again, however, with disputes this year over Whitsun Reef and Scarborough Shoal – encapsulated this week when Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jnr tweeted that China should “get the f*** out”. Using his personal Twitter account, Locsin demanded China remove its ships from features inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone but also within Beijing’s nine-dash line. He tweeted: “China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see … get the f*** out. What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. You.” Locsin later apologised to China’s ambassador in the Philippines. But Duterte’s attempts to defuse the situation underlined the delicate balance Manila must strike as it builds stronger ties with Beijing while honouring its historical loyalties to the United States, whose backing helps it to counter Beijing in the South China Sea. “China remains our benefactor,” Duterte said in a taped televised briefing on Monday, hours after Locsin’s tweet. “Just because we have a conflict with China doesn’t mean to say that we have to be rude and disrespectful.” Duterte has expressed a willingness to send military ships into the South China Sea to “stake a claim” to oil resources there, but said it would be “bloody” to challenge China there. The battle for Duterte’s job is expected to be hotly contested by candidates such as his daughter and Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, and senator and professional boxer Manny Pacquiao, as well as candidates that may be fielded by the 1Sambayan anti-Duterte coalition, such as Leni Robredo, the Philippine vice-president, and Senator Grace Poe. South China Sea: the dispute that could start a military conflict Sara Duterte last week had the most backing among possible presidential contenders in a survey by Pulse Asia, with 27 per cent, followed by the namesake son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and former senator Bongbong Marcos, with 13 per cent each, then Poe and Manila’s mayor Isko Moreno, with 12 per cent apiece. However, Sara Duterte said last week she would not run for the presidency – which her father claims is no job for a woman. “I made a chart where I listed the whys and why-nots before I decided that I am not going to run,” she said, adding that she had not told her father the reasons. Jeffrey Ordaniel, director of the maritime programme at Honolulu-based foreign policy research institute the Pacific Forum, said he expected foreign policy to feature prominently in 2022 – unlike in previous presidential elections – and the China policy of presidential candidates to be scrutinised more in the wake of the dispute at Whitsun Reef, which the Philippines calls Julian Felipe Reef. “Rodrigo Duterte has accommodated many of Beijing’s policy preferences, including downplaying the 2016 arbitration award on the South China Sea issue,” Ordaniel said. “But with what’s happening at Whitsun Reef and the continued marginalisation of Filipino fishers, the policy is becoming indefensible.” Despite criticism over his foreign policy and his management of the pandemic, Duterte has maintained high approval ratings. A poll conducted in mid-March by PUBLiCUS Asia found that he had a 65 per cent approval rating, down slightly from 70 per cent in December. Joshua Kurlantzick, a senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that he did not think the Whitsun Reef dispute had affected Duterte’s approach to China, because he seemed “willing to continue with the idea that the Philippines has no remedy”. “I do think China-Philippines relations will be an issue in the next election,” he said. “But with so many serious domestic issues in the Philippines – the economy, Covid-19 – I’m not sure how big an issue it will be.” Those issues intersect, with the Philippines seeking to increase vaccine supplies from China even as the two nations face off at sea. China was also the Philippines’ top trading partner in 2020. The latest monthly figures showed that exports from the Philippines to China reached US$639 million in February, 12 per cent of total Philippine exports, and China was the largest supplier of imports, making up nearly 25 per cent of the total at US$1.9 billion. The Philippines has received billions in Chinese infrastructure investment through Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative as Manila has pivoted closer to China under Duterte. Derek Grossman, a senior defence expert at the Rand Corporation, said it was difficult to say how large an obstacle Duterte’s pro-China policies would be in the election, since he remained very popular. What scrapping Philippines-US military pact means for the South China Sea “I can envision, however, a hardening of anti-Chinese sentiment among the population from the Whitsun or Julian Felipe Reef and other transgressions that might give his daughter Sara some difficulty if she decides to run,” he said. The next Philippine president will also have to contend with the growing strategic rivalry between China and the United States, with which it has a mutual defence treaty. Duterte’s anti-American stances and overtures to Beijing in recent years have put pressure on the US-Philippines alliance, including his suspension of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a two-decade-old arrangement allowing US troop deployment in the Philippines. He has demanded Washington quadruple its aid to resume it. Xu Liping, a Southeast Asian specialist at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said China and the South China Sea would play a role during presidential debates and on the campaign trail, but it would be difficult for a new president to entirely overhaul Duterte’s China strategy given the increasing cooperation between the countries. “The Philippines is a complicated country, because it used to be a US colony,” he said. “In China, we are looking to see whether the next president will balance between great powers rather than choose sides.” But Grossman said that no matter who became the next Philippines leader, they would value the relationship with the US because no other country could help Manila hedge against Chinese assertiveness. He said Duterte himself recognised the importance of the VFA in a speech in February, despite bashing the US for political reasons. “This leads me to believe that the Philippines is sticking right by America’s side, whether that is preferable or not,” he said. “[Duterte’s] recent comments challenging China only reaffirm that the US will remain Manila’s staunch ally. I expect a resurrected or renegotiated VFA to be publicised in the coming months.” Under US President Joe Biden, Washington has sought to bolster ties with its Indo-Pacific allies. Grossman said Biden’s administration recognised the damage done to Washington’s credibility by its lack of response during the 2012 Scarborough Shoal stand-off between China and the Philippines, which led to Beijing’s militarisation of the feature. In April, amid Whitsun Reef tensions, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed that the mutual defence treaty with the Philippines applied to the South China Sea. Richard Heydarian, professorial chairholder in geopolitics at Polytechnic University of the Philippines, said some of Duterte’s allies were frustrated with his handling of relations with China. “And in broader Philippine public opinion, Duterte’s China policies have failed,” Heydarian said. “They have not brought about any major gain to the Philippines in the South China Sea.” Even on economic engagement with China, planned infrastructure projects had not started, adding to calls for a stronger line against Beijing, he said – yet the VFA’s suspension last year had added uncertainty. China pledges U$20 million donation to Philippines as defence chiefs meet “The VFA is in limbo, and this complicates US efforts to conduct large-scale exercises and long-term planning,” Heydarian said. “The Philippines provides the US significant leeway to project power in the region. If China keeps the Philippines away from the US, this will make it more difficult for the Americans to deter China.” Ordaniel, who is also an assistant professor at Tokyo International University, said the US military’s forward-deployed presence via the VFA was critical to its deterrence efforts against Chinese actions in the South China Sea. “It’s simply more difficult to deter China in maritime Southeast Asia from places like Guam, Okinawa or Darwin,” he said, referencing US military bases. “They’re too far away. It is also important that Manila continues to mirror Washington’s interpretation of international law related to navigational rights and freedoms, a major point of contention between China and the US.” Grossman said that China may have missed an opportunity to court closer ties with the Philippines while there were tensions over the VFA. “Beijing could have exploited the situation by offering Duterte everything under the sun while keeping it quiet in the South China Sea, but for some unknown reason, China was instead full steam ahead in challenging Philippine sovereignty,” he said. “Chinese assertiveness only seems to have strengthened the US-Philippines alliance against China.”More from South China Morning Post:Whitsun Reef row: could the Philippines lose another South China Sea feature to Beijing?Philippines keeps its options open amid bid to defuse Whitsun Reef row with ChinaSouth China Sea: ‘If China attacks our navy, we’ll call the US’, Philippines saysThis article Philippine election: will China and Whitsun Reef dispute loom large? first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (7 May) confirmed 25 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore, taking the country's total case count to 61,311.
Singapore Press Holdings chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung took offence to a reporter's question about SPH's goal of "editorial integrity" at a news conference on 6 May to announce plans to spin off the conglomerate's ailing media business.
The largest real-world study yet of the Pfizer/BioNTec vaccine on Thursday confirmed that the jab provided more than 95 percent protection against Covid-19, but found that the level dropped significantly when people received just one of the two prescribed doses.
President Joe Biden warned Thursday that Congress needs to adopt his multi-trillion dollar spending plans to renew the US economy because China is "eating our lunch."
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country would maintain its policy towards Taiwan following appeals by the island’s foreign minister for support against Beijing’s “expansion of authoritarianism”. Asked about Australian support for Taiwan on Thursday, Morrison said his government had “always honoured all of our arrangements in the Indo-Pacific” – but appeared to mistakenly conflate Canberra’s position on the one-China policy regarding Taiwan with the “one country, two systems” model of semi-autonomy in Hong Kong. The Australian government maintains strategic ambiguity on Taiwan, acknowledging Beijing’s claims to the self-governed island while supporting a greater Taiwanese presence in the international arena, including in the World Health Organization.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. “We have always understood the one system, two countries arrangement, and we will continue to follow our policies there … one country, two systems, I should say,” Morrison told the local radio station 3AW. “I’m not one to speak at length on these things, because I don’t wish to add to any uncertainty. But that’s why we have the security arrangements we have in place.” He added: “We always have stood for freedom in our part of the world.” Morrison’s remarks came after Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told The Australian Financial Review that Beijing seemed to be “preparing for a final assault against Taiwan”, and called for Australia to step up its relations with the island and continue its support amid threats from Beijing. Relations between Beijing and Canberra have been increasingly strained, with Beijing enacting a series of punitive trade restrictions on Australian goods after Canberra’s calls last year for an independent investigation into the origins of Covid-19. Beijing has in recent months ramped up “grey zone” warfare tactics against Taiwan, which it has vowed to bring under its rule by force if necessary. A People’s Liberation Army Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft entered Taiwan’s southwest air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on Thursday afternoon, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry. This was the third time Chinese aircraft entered Taiwan’s ADIZ in May, and there have been nearly 90 instances since January. There have been growing concerns that Taiwan may become a flashpoint for military conflict between China and the United States, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warning last month that it would be a “serious mistake” if Beijing sought to “try to change the existing status quo by force”. What happened over the first year of the China-Australia trade dispute? Last week, Peter Dutton, Australia’s new defence minister, said that he did not think a conflict over Taiwan “should be discounted”, and that Australia would continue to “work with our partners and with our allies” to prevent such a conflict. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said after Dutton’s remarks that Australia should recognise that the Taiwan issue was “highly sensitive” and “be prudent in its words and deeds to avoid sending any wrong signals to the Taiwanese independence separatist forces”.More from South China Morning Post:China-Australia relations: Beijing ‘indefinitely suspends’ high-level economic dialogue with CanberraLeak of Australian commander’s China comments fuels further talk of warChinese military tests Taiwan’s radar system with surface-level incursion into air defence zoneThis article Australia will maintain its Taiwan policy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
HiSilicon, Huawei Technologies Co’s integrated circuit (IC) design unit, is expected to be the biggest loser in the 5G smartphone chipset market in 2021 as US company Qualcomm and Taiwan’s MediaTek expand their presence, according to a new research note published by Counterpoint. The Chinese chip firm had 23 per cent of the 5G phone chipset market in 2020, but it is expected to see that share shrink to less than 5 per cent this year. Its share of overall global smartphone chipsets, which includes 4G, is expected to shrink from 10 per cent in 2020 to about 3 per cent this year, dropping out from the top five players, according to Counterpoint. The decline of HiSilicon’s business is a direct result of the US government’s tightened sanctions last summer, barring semiconductor companies from supplying Shenzhen-based Huawei with chips made using US technology without prior approval, effectively severing the Chinese telecom giant’s access to advanced semiconductors.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Taiwan’s foundry king says mainland China is not yet a competitor Huawei did not immediately reply to a request for comment. HiSilicon was responsible for designing the Kirin processors for Huawei‘s smartphones. However, as the company has no chip manufacturing capacity of its own, it outsourced wafer fabrication to foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC). But under the tighter US sanctions, HiSilicon can no longer do business with TSMC or other foundries because they all rely to some extent on core US technology to make wafers. Huawei’s rotating chairman Eric Xu Zhijun said last month that the company will keep its HiSilicon chip unit for as long as it can, despite the fact that it cannot find a foundry to make its chips. HiSilicon’s loss has been MediaTek’s gain, with the fortunes of the Taiwan-based chip designer rising amid US-China tech tensions. This year, MediaTek retained its top spot in the so-called fabless chip maker rankings over US-based Qualcomm, Counterpoint research shows. MediaTek, which designs processors for mobile applications, is the major supplier to Chinese smartphone vendors like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, which have collectively soaked up market share from Huawei after its handset business was crippled by US sanctions. MediaTek is expected to account for 37 per cent of the global mobile chipset market this year, ahead of Qualcomm with 31 per cent, Counterpoint said. Last year, MediaTek overtook Qualcomm to become the largest supplier in this market, with a share of 32 per cent versus 28 per cent for the US company. Explainer: How Xiaomi rose to become China’s No 1 smartphone maker “MediaTek is likely to continue its momentum [from] the fourth quarter last year into 2021,” Counterpoint research director Dale Gai said in the research note. “The potential annual uptick in demand is a function of a competitive 5G portfolio powering sub-US$150 5G smartphone [chips] manufactured at TSMC without any supply constraint, and growing share in the 4G segment.” He added that in the first half, MediaTek would benefit from Qualcomm’s current supply constraints caused by disruptions at Samsung Electronics’ Austin, Texas, wafer fab, where a deep freeze in February caused widespread power outages in the state. However, Qualcomm still leads in 5G chipsets with its market share expected to reach 30 per cent in 2021, followed by Apple and MediaTek with 29 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.More from South China Morning Post:US strikes at a Huawei prize: chip design company HiSiliconHuawei’s HiSilicon becomes first mainland Chinese chip company to enter top 10 in global sales, says IC InsightsThis article US-China tech war: Huawei’s chip unit HiSilicon to see massive decline in 5G chip market this year first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Hongkongers visiting Shenzhen will have to quarantine there for 21 days rather than 14 as previously imposed, after the emergence locally of mutated coronavirus strains, dashing hopes of the border with mainland China reopening soon. The Health Commission of Guangdong Province ruled on Thursday with immediate effect that Hong Kong residents would be required on entry to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks, before spending a further seven days confined for observation in their homes or other accommodation. During the observation period, arrivals must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on the first and the last day of their confinement to ensure mutated strains of the coronavirus do not enter the mainland community from Hong Kong.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. Hong Kong to shorten Covid-19 quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers: source Hong Kong businesses were disappointed at the tightening of the quarantine arrangements, saying they were resigned to further delays to the lifting of border restrictions. “It is unimaginable when the border will be restored,” said Danny Lau Tat-pong, honorary chairman of the Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises, a 1,700-member chamber. “Business owners and operators including myself have waited for more than a year and are still waiting.” Hong Kong has closed all but three border checkpoints since February last year to contain the coronavirus. The resulting toll on the economy has been heavy, with tourism wiped out and business travel minimal. Lau said cross-border businesses had been significantly disrupted, forcing Hong Kong operators to manage their factories in Dongguan remotely and restricting meetings with clients over the border or overseas to online communication. He has not been able to visit his own facility in Dalang, which produces aluminium curtain walls, since January last year. Lau said he believed the recent discovery of more infectious variants of the coronavirus in the Hong Kong community was behind mainland authorities tightening infection controls. Fears of variants from Brazil and South Africa – N501Y and E484K – spreading through the city have taken hold since the first two cases of such infections were discovered locally. A 29-year-old engineer from Dubai and his 31-year-old female friend were confirmed as infected on April 17 and 18 respectively. More than 1,000 people deemed as close contacts of those linked to the initial infections have been ordered to serve three weeks of quarantine. But the government will soon ease confinement rules for close contacts who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and tested negative. Inbound visitors to Hong Kong from next week will be allowed to serve shorter quarantine periods if they adhere to certain conditions. On the same token, Chinese Manufacturers’ Association honorary president Dennis Ng Wang-pun urged mainland authorities to relax the 21-day quarantine requirement for Hongkongers who had been inoculated. “Businesses cannot operate remotely forever, we still have to meet clients and visit factories in person,” he said. “The border reopening will be crucial to Hong Kong’s economic recovery, and will directly throw a lifeline to tourism, retail and food and beverage sectors.” As of Thursday, Hong Kong has confirmed 11,798 coronavirus infections, with 210 related deaths.More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: dozens of Hongkongers fighting quarantine order allowed to stay in their flats overnight after 4,900 sign petitions for home isolationWhy Singapore moved to 21-day hotel quarantine – and a look at the countries with the longest, shortest and ‘most relaxing’ self-isolation requirementsThis article Coronavirus: quarantine extended to 21 days for Hongkongers visiting Shenzhen, following emergence of mutated strains first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.