Djibouti is seeking to become a trade and logistics hub and in 2018 launched the first phase of what will be Africa's biggest free-trade zone
Djibouti is seeking to become a trade and logistics hub and in 2018 launched the first phase of what will be Africa's biggest free-trade zone
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday assured Canadians that the country's turbulent Covid-19 vaccine rollout remains on track after Pfizer agreed to boost shipments just as Moderna deliveries hit a snag.
Russian plans to block parts of the Black Sea would be "unjustified", NATO said Friday, calling on Moscow "to ensure free access to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov, and allow freedom of navigation".
Montenegro's finance minister on Friday tried to ease concern over a near $1 billion Chinese-backed road project, insisting the country could afford to repay the debt and did not need EU help.
SINGAPORE — The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 34 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore on Friday (16 April), taking the country's total case count to 60,769.
Relations between Taiwan and the United States are "stronger than ever", an envoy for President Joe Biden said Thursday during a visit to the democratic island as it faces increasingly hostile moves by China.
Hong Kong police displayed a cuddly bear mascot and unveiled a new goose-step march Thursday as the financial hub held a "National Security Education Day", part of its push to instil patriotism in a city chafing under China's rule.
How young is too young to start thinking about retirement? Saving for retirement is something we have been told to worry about again and again.
Myanmar's military opened fire on protesting healthcare workers Thursday, killing at least one bystander as the demonstrators fled for safety to a nearby mosque.
Rafael Nadal's bid for a 12th Monte Carlo Masters title was shattered by Russia's Andrey Rublev, who swept to a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 quarter-final win on Friday with the great Spaniard admitting his serve was "a disaster".
Spiraling Covid-19 cases have put Cambodia "on the brink of death", its strongman premier Hun Sen has warned, as the country imposed lockdowns in the capital Phnom Penh and a nearby city.
Friday’s trilateral climate meeting involving Chinese leader Xi Jinping is seen as an attempt by France and Germany to prevent broader relations from “falling apart”, after weeks of mounting EU-China tensions. The Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday that Xi would meet virtually with French and German counterparts Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, respectively, as US climate envoy John Kerry spends a second day in talks with officials in Shanghai. EU should see China’s rise as an opportunity, Xi tells Merkel It is the latest effort at de-escalation from Europe’s most powerful national leaders, following Merkel’s call with Xi last week, which came on the heels of a fiery exchange of sanctions that threaten to upend an EU-China investment deal. 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. Europe has vowed to base future relations with China on a strategy of “cooperate, compete and confront”, with climate being viewed as one of the few areas in which cooperation is currently possible. “Many European politicians hope that climate change will be an area where we can still work well together, to a certain extent this is an idealistic attempt to prevent us from not working together at all, and to prevent the relationship from falling apart entirely,” said Bernhard Bartsch, an analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin. China’s swift retaliation to the EU’s first sanctions since the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989 is said to have alarmed senior EU leaders. Both France and Germany are strong backers of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), the bilateral pact that took seven years to negotiate. But the agreement is in jeopardy, after Beijing sanctioned dozens of European elected officials whose votes are needed to ratify the CAI. Merkel and Macron’s advances are seen by analysts as a way of steadying the ship. EU-China deal on the rocks as sanctions shake support in European Parliament Last week’s call was arranged at the invitation of Merkel, while Macron has invited Xi to join this week, the Chinese government said. According to reports in France, the video conference will also have health issues on the agenda. It is not being billed as a summit, but rather a regular preparatory session ahead of next week’s Earth Day when 40 world leaders will discuss climate issues over two days from April 22 in an event hosted by US President Joe Biden. Friday’s call is also seen as Europe’s way of remaining in the driving seat on climate issues. Brussels was the main sponsor of multilateral climate change efforts during former US president Donald Trump’s tenure – a four-year period when Washington was disinterested, even sceptical, of the issues. “I was surprised by this summit, and my immediate thoughts are that Macron and Merkel seem not to want Biden and Kerry to be alone in the driving seat on climate action,” said Simone Tagliapietra, a research fellow specialising in climate issues at Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank. “Over the last four years, the EU has been really leading global climate diplomacy. After the US’ withdrawal from the Paris agreement by president Trump, the responsibility of really fostering global cooperation and diplomacy has been on Europe,” he added. There is relief across Europe that Biden has re-engaged on climate, viewed as the existential issue for this and future generations. But there is also wariness that in four years and another US election, the tables could turn once again, with the Republican Party still sceptical on climate issues. This measure of distrust is manifested in Brussels’ foreign policy of “strategic autonomy”. This was cited as a determining factor in the EU’s pursuit of the CAI, even as it became clear that under Biden, the US would return to the multilateral table. “I would even argue that the EU may have been deterred from being more hawkish towards Beijing in the late stages of the Trump administration out of concern for not appearing to be following in the former US president’s footsteps,” said Andrew Bishop, head of research at advisory firm Signum Global Partners. “In other words: the EU will keep growing more demanding vis-à-vis China, but on its own terms – not as a result of US efforts to align transatlantic positions on the matter,” he added. The Chinese foreign ministry’s readout of last week’s Xi-Merkel call showed Xi urging Europe to de-escalate tensions, deploying Brussels’ favoured terminology to boot. “[Xi] hopes that the EU will make correct judgment independently and truly achieve strategic autonomy,” it read. There is also recognition in Europe that global targets on climate issues will be impossible to achieve without the involvement of China, the world’s most populous nation and second biggest economy. “China’s involvement is key to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement, not only because of China’s position as the world’s largest emitter, but also because of its regional influence through the Belt and Road Initiative,” said Hiroki Sekine, visiting fellow in Chatham House’s Asia-Pacific programme. “The EU has been working with China on climate change for a long time and hence is in a good position to encourage further action both within China and across the region,” he added.More from South China Morning Post:US climate envoy John Kerry to meet officials in China this week to discuss environmental crisis concernsChina-EU ties: all eyes on Macron as Merkel prepares to hand over policy reinsChinese insurers are particularly vulnerable to climate-related losses, Moody’s saysChina gives green light to five nuclear units to cut carbon and aim for climate goals, sources sayCalls for US, China to work together and ‘set example’ on climate changeThis article Macron and Merkel hope climate talks with Xi can help take sting out of China-EU tensions first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) has come under fire again in China for removing a statement on its website about forced labour in Xinjiang without explanation. The world’s largest cotton sustainability programme, which covers 14 per cent of global cotton production, said it ceased all field-level activities in Xinjiang in October due to allegations of forced labour and human rights issues and had suspended all licensing for the region since March 2020. However, the statement was removed when foreign clothing retailers, many of them BCI members such as H&M and Nike, faced boycotts in China for avoiding cotton produced in Xinjiang in March.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 Communist Youth League and Chinese state media publicised the removal of the statement this week, and accused the BCI of being hypocritical and ungrateful. “[Your] face must hurt! BCI secretly removed a statement ‘boycotting Xinjiang cotton’,” the Communist Youth League posted on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, on Thursday. China News Service published a column that said the BCI should acknowledge it made a mistake and apologise. Headquartered in Geneva, the BCI said the statement was removed due to a cyberattack on its website and its policy remained unchanged. The Economist’s China affairs editor Gady Epstein said on Twitter on Thursday that he had asked the BCI about the statement’s disappearance and was told “they took down the statement in response to DDoS attacks and would eventually ‘repost relevant information’”. The BCI told the South China Morning Post it had no comment to make on the issue. Industry bodies in China are stepping up plans to launch a Chinese version of the BCI, which would set national standards for cotton production. Xinjiang court to hear defamation case against German researcher Adrian Zenz over forced labour claims The United Nations and human rights groups have alleged that 1 million Turkic-speaking Muslim Uygur people have been interned in re-education centres and subjected to indoctrination, torture and forced labour. Beijing has repeatedly denied the allegations and said its policies were designed to fight terrorism, alleviate poverty and raise people’s standard of living through job training. Western countries, including the US and Canada, said the treatment of the Uygurs constituted genocide and levelled sanctions against Chinese officials and entities. The US banned cotton and tomatoes from Xinjiang in January. Beijing has retaliated with its sanctions of its own and propaganda campaigns to drive boycotts of international brands that do not follow its stance on Xinjiang.More from South China Morning Post:Xinjiang: will the West’s sanctions on China force the issue or unravel?Better Cotton Initiative’s fall a cautionary tale of trying to be all things to all peopleChinese branch of Better Cotton Initiative challenges headquarters and says it has found no evidence of Xinjiang forced labourXinjiang cotton: Western companies in China are between a rock and a hard placeHit by Xinjiang cotton backlash, H&M aims to ‘regain trust in China’This article Xinjiang cotton: BCI attacked for removing statement on forced labour first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Singapore new private home sales doubled to 1,296 last month from 645 units in February, Urban Redevelopment Authority data showed..
Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday following an "awful performance" in a 6-4, 7-5 defeat by Dan Evans, while 11-time champion Rafael Nadal powered into the quarter-finals.
Israelis will no longer have to wear masks outdoors starting from Sunday as the number of virus infections plummets, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will join a virtual climate summit with France and Germany, Beijing announced Thursday, as US envoy John Kerry visited Shanghai to drum up support from the world's biggest polluter for America's drive to address environmental challenges.
China's Coronavac vaccine was 67 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and 80 percent at preventing death, according to real-life results unveiled Friday from Chile's inoculation campaign.
The B.1.351 strain is said to be more infectious. This article, Malaysia finds new COVID-19 variant from South Africa in 17 Selangor cases, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
India's daily coronavirus caseload has doubled in 10 days, with a record 200,000 new infections logged Thursday as authorities grapple with shortages of vaccines, treatments and hospital beds.
An electric massage chair burst into flames in a deadly fire at a public housing estate in Hong Kong on Friday, killing four members of a single family, including a two-year-old girl, whose grandfather was left fighting for his life in hospital. A preliminary investigation showed a short circuit in the chair, which was in the living room of the family’s three-bedroom flat, was the likely cause of the fire, which engulfed the unit on the fifth floor of Tat Hei House, Po Tat Estate in Kwun Tong, and led to the evacuation of about 180 residents before daybreak, according to police. “We believe that due to a wiring problem, a lithium battery [in the chair] overheated and led the massage chair to burst into flames,” Chief Inspector Ma Ling-ho said. “The fire spread to a three-metre L-shaped sofa nearby so the blaze was quickly spread and generated dense smoke.” 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. Ma said the massage chair was in the corridor near the front door when it caught fire, and officers believed this had made it difficult for the family to escape. Emergency personnel responded to the scene shortly after 3am. A 60-year-old man, his 47-year-old wife, their two daughters, aged 26 and 27, and two-year-old granddaughter were inside the flat at the time the fire broke out. A son-in-law, 26, was alerted when he received a call from his wife and immediately raced home, according to the force. “The grandfather managed to get out and run downstairs before rescuers arrived,” a police source said. His wife, daughters and granddaughter were unable to escape and were trapped in the three bedrooms of the burning unit. The man was semi-conscious when found on the ground floor of the building and was taken to Tseung Kwan O Hospital, where he remained in critical condition. Firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus pulled the three women and toddler – all unconscious – from the flat. The older of the two daughters was certified dead at the scene while her daughter, sister and mother later died in hospital. According to the Fire Services Department, nine fire engines and seven ambulances were sent to the scene and nearly 100 firefighters were deployed. The blaze was put out just before 4am. A man in his 90s who lived on a higher floor of the public housing block complained of feeling unwell after inhaling smoke. He remained in stable condition at United Christian Hospital as of Friday afternoon. Assistant divisional officer Wong Kwok-chun said his team initially found four people trapped in rooms in the flat. “The fire was violent and temperatures at the scene were very high,” Wong said, adding a task force had been set up to investigate the cause of the blaze. Firefighters helped about 30 other residents to safety, while another 150 evacuated the building on their own. Speaking at a Legislative Council meeting, security minister John Lee Ka-chiu expressed condolences for the victims and their families, adding the government would provide them with all necessary support.This article Four family members, including 2-year-old girl, killed in Hong Kong housing estate blaze after massage chair catches fire first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.