01182017Wed
Last update: Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11pm

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

Japan cabinet approves biggest defence budget TOKYO: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet on Thursday approved Japan's biggest annual defence budget in the face of North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and a territorial row with China.The Cabinet approved 5.13 trillion yen ($43.6 billion) in defence spending for the fiscal year starting in April, up 1.4 percent from the initial budget for the current fiscal year.It marks the fifth straight annual increase and reflects the hawkish Abe's attempt to build up Japan's military, which since World War II has been constitutionally limited to self defence. Abe, who is pushing revisions to the constitution, strongly backed new security laws that took effect this year making it possible for Japanese troops fight abroad for the first time since the end of the war.Japan is on constant alert against neighbouring North Korea which has conducted two underground nuclear tests and more than 20 missile launches this year. Under the new ...

World - South East Asia

China details operating areas for foreign NGOs under new law BEIJING: China's Ministry of Public Security on Wednesday unveiled a list of areas where foreign non-governmental organisations (NGO) are allowed to operate, from legal advice to equality of the sexes, ahead of the enforcement of a new law. President Xi Jinping's administration has made sweeping changes to the law in the name of boosting national security, including a cyber security law passed last month and another targeting foreign NGOs, slated for Jan. 1. But some ...

World - South East Asia

Japan PM aims to visit Russia soon to speed up treaty talks TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday he hoped to visit Russia early next year to speed up talks to resolve a territorial dispute and conclude a peace treaty officially ending World War Two hostilities between the two countries.Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for two days of talks in Japan last week and struck numerous economic deals but failed to achieve a big breakthrough on the territorial dispute over a string ...

World - South East Asia

Australia should be republic after Queen Elizabeth: PM SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has renewed his call for a republic, but only after Queen Elizabeth II's reign, as he outlined a road map for breaking away from the British monarchy.Turnbull -- a staunch republican who led the cause before a failed referendum in 1999 -- said his support for an Australian head of state stemmed from patriotism. "The cause of the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) is a cause for Australia," Turnbull said ...

World - South East Asia

The empty days of South Korea's impeached president SEOUL: South Korea's presidential Blue House has been something of a family home for Park Geun-Hye, but the luxury residence has now become a place of solitary confinement for the impeached, isolated leader.Park has twice called the Blue House home: first as the daughter of late military strongman Park Chung-Hee and then as president herself -- a cumulative period of 20 years.Currently president in nothing but name and with no official duties to perform, Park ...

World - South East Asia

China slams US for 'hyping' up naval probe seizure BEIJING: Beijing Saturday slammed the US for "hyping" up its seizure of a naval probe in the South China Sea, saying it was "strongly opposed" to US reconnaissance operations."The hyping up from the American side is inappropriate and unhelpful to the swift resolution of the problem," China's defence ministry said in a statement. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2016 ...

World - South East Asia

China protests Dalai Lama meeting with Indian president BEIJING: China has objected to the Dalai Lama meeting with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee earlier this month, saying the talks had negatively impacted ties between the Asian neighbours.The Tibetan spiritual leader met with Mukherjee at the Indian presidential palace in New Delhi during a child welfare summit attended by Nobel laureates and world leaders on December 10-11. "The Chinese side is firmly opposed to any form of contacts between officials of other countries with him ...