Faced with daily internet shutdowns and information suppression by the junta, young activists in coup-hit Myanmar are fighting back with a 'revolutionary' printed newsletter called 'Molotov', which they secretly distribute across communities.
Faced with daily internet shutdowns and information suppression by the junta, young activists in coup-hit Myanmar are fighting back with a 'revolutionary' printed newsletter called 'Molotov', which they secretly distribute across communities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jeff Bezos sold about US$2.5 billion of Amazon.com Inc. stock, his first big disposal this year.
Looking to expand your skincare routine? Read our list of Singaporean skincare brands that are worth trying.
The third lender to release its quarterly earnings did not disappoint, either. The post OCBC Reports Significantly Higher Net Profit: 5 Facts Investors Should Know About Its Latest Earnings appeared first on The Smart Investor.
China will be watching closely for any changes to America’s policy on Taiwan after the White House’s top Asia official rejected calls for the US to issue a clear statement of willingness to defend Taiwan in the event of the island coming under attack from Beijing, observers said. The People’s Liberation Army had paid close attention to remarks made on Tuesday by Kurt Campbell, Indo-Pacific coordinator on the Biden administration’s National Security Council, a person close to the Chinese military said. “The PLA realises the importance of building communication channels with their American counterparts but the political tensions between the two countries have hindered that,” the source said.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 lack of transparency has also made the PLA doubt whether Washington will adjust its ‘strategic ambiguity’ over the Taiwan issue.” In a discussion event hosted by The Financial Times , Campbell said there would be “significant downsides” if the US changed its long-standing policy of “strategic ambiguity” on whether Washington would intervene in the event of an attack on Taiwan. He said he believed there was an appreciation in the US and China that maintenance of some degree of status quo over the island was in the best interests of both countries. The real short- and medium-term risks were from “accidents and inadvertence”, given the proximity of US and Chinese forces, he said. His remarks came amid high tensions between the two countries in the region. In a statement last month, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga spoke of the “importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”. Similar language was used in a G7 statement released on Wednesday. However, Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University, said there were indications the two countries were trying to keep a lid on the situation. “There are signs Beijing and Washington are trying to alleviate military tensions, even though Campbell warned that the crisis-control mechanism was ineffective.” Shi, who is also an adviser to Beijing on US policy, said that since the commission of three Chinese warships on April 23, both sides had scaled down their military activity in the East and South China seas. Biden team likely to proceed with Trump’s China investment ban “The war of words between China and the US has continued, but the PLA hasn’t sent any warships across the median line of the Taiwan Strait or deployed aircraft to conduct island encirclements,” he said, adding that the US had also suspended its “provocative moves” in the region over the past two weeks. “The military activities of both sides could be seen as a reflection of the political dynamics between China and the US, implying both sides are trying to alleviate their political tensions.” Campbell said on Tuesday it was important to build confidence between Washington and Beijing and ensure communications in moments of crisis. But while there were checks and safeguards in place – similar to those used during the Cold War – China had been reluctant to use them, he said. “So we do have a hotline, it’s known to have, the couple of times we’ve used it, just rung in an empty room for hours upon hours,” he said, without elaborating. Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Tong said Campbell’s comments about a breakdown in communications were cause for concern. “The refusal to answer the hotline could cause serious consequences amid tensions between the two countries,” he said. “The Cuban Missile Crisis [which pushed the US and the Soviet Union to the brink of a nuclear conflict in 1962] was resolved because the leaders of the US and former Soviet Union maintained communication via their hotline.”More from South China Morning Post:US efforts to rally allies may not sway China, says Joe Biden’s top Asia officialJoe Biden’s team likely to proceed with Donald Trump’s China investment banChina hits out as G7 slams Beijing over human rights, backs TaiwanUS-China relations won’t improve until Beijing ends trade row with Australia, Biden aide saysTaiwan issue, risk of conflict loom large for Beijing’s political eliteThis article China watches for changes to US’ Taiwan policy after Kurt Campbell’s comments first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
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.
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."
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.
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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.
As Singapore returns to Phase 2 with stricter measures on social gatherings, many are still hopeful that the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel...
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.
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.
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China criticised New Zealand Thursday over "groundless" allegations about the ill treatment of Uyghurs, underlining Wellington's struggle to find a middle ground between its largest trading partner and its traditional Western allies.