Scrapping US-China military talks deepens risk at dangerous time, analysts and officials

HONG KONG (REUTERS) – China’s cutting of some of its few communication links with the US military raises the risk of an accidental escalation of tension over Taiwan at a critical moment, according to security analysts, diplomats and US officials. China called off planned formal talks involving theatre-level commands, defence policy co-ordination and military maritime […]

Local officials’ handling of bank fraud scandal in China further rocks public trust

BEIJING – A recent scandal involving the disappearance of billions in deposits at several rural banks in the central Chinese province of Henan has highlighted the glaring lack of financial oversight in China. It also brought to light the local government’s controversial handling of the situation, from attempts to prevent protests to the violent disbandment […]

G-20 meeting: US Treasury Secretary Yellen blasts Russian officials for continued support of Putin

NUSA DUA, INDONESIA (REUTERS) – US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen condemned Russia’s “brutal and unjust war” in Ukraine and said Russian finance officials taking part in a Group of 20 (G-20) meeting in Indonesia on Friday (July 15) shared responsibility for the “horrific consequences” of the war. Dr Yellen, speaking at the opening session of […]

Priest begins protest outside Hong Kong prison against detentions of activists

HONG KONG (REUTERS) – A Catholic priest launched a three-day protest on Thursday (July 14) in sweltering heat outside a Hong Kong maximum security prison, demanding the release of activists and democratic politicians held under a sweeping national security law. Milan-born missionary Franco Mella, a longtime rights activist in the Chinese-ruled city, vowed to refuse […]

China tells regional officials to ready for disasters after months of torrential rain

BEIJING (REUTERS) – Chinese regional officials need to prepare for potential disasters and ensure relief in a timely manner as the flood season reaches a critical period, a government official warned on Friday (July 8) after months of torrential rains nationwide. China routinely faces heavy flooding during its summer, but record-breaking rain in some regions […]

Bhutan to welcome tourists ‘who can spend’ for first time since Covid-19

KATHMANDU (REUTERS) – Bhutan will reopen for international tourists from September for the first time since the pandemic began more than two years ago, officials said on Thursday (June 30), as the tiny Himalayan kingdom looks to revive its economy. Wedged between China and India, the country with scenic natural beauty and ancient Buddhist culture, […]

North Korea’s Kim urges stronger war deterrent, amid concern over potential nuclear test

SEOUL (REUTERS) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered a strengthening of the country’s defence capabilities, state media said on Friday (June 24), as he wrapped up a key party meeting with top military officials that came amid concerns about a potential nuclear test. The meeting has been closely watched due to growing speculation […]