12082016Thu
Last update: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 05am

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

Philippines signs contract with Korean firm for two navy frigates MANILA: The Philippines signed a $337 million contract on Tuesday with a South Korean shipyard for the supply of two navy frigates, underlining its intent to beef up its sea defences while pursuing closer ties with its biggest maritime rival, China. The acquisition of the modern frigates was a big step for the Philippine navy towards building a "world class and well-equipped" force that could protect sovereign territory, navy spokesman Captain Lued Lincuna said.Lincuna said the contract was the most expensive procurement for the military since President Rodrigo Duterte took office late in June. Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the agreement with representatives of South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries.Duterte visited China a week ago, seeking to normalise relations with Beijing that were soured by a dispute over the South China Sea after China seized the Scarborough Shoal in 2012 and built man-made islands in the Spratlys in 2014.Duterte said he ...

World - South East Asia

Philippines' Duterte softens stance toward US before Japan visit TOKYO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte softened his remarks about a "separation" from long-time ally the United States on the eve of a visit to Japan, a country worried about Manila's apparent pivot away from Washington and towards China. "The alliances are alive," Duterte told Japanese media in Manila on Monday, Kyodo News reported."There should be no worry about changes of alliances. I do not need to have alliances with other nations." Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ...

World - South East Asia

China's Xi to consolidate power at key meeting: analysts BEIJING: The leaders of the world's most powerful political party gather in Beijing on Monday for a conclave that could change the course of Chinese history.In meetings at the exclusive Jinxi Hotel, safe from the public's prying eyes, nearly 400 top members of the Chinese Communist Party will confer for four days, discussing changes to how the giant party will be managed.The meeting, according to the official Xinhua News service, will focus on the issue ...

World - South East Asia

Ousted Thai PM Yingluck to fight order to pay $1bn BANGKOK: Ousted Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra said Friday she would fight a junta order demanding she personally pay nearly $1 billion in compensation for a rice policy prosecutors say was riddled with graft.Yingluck, Thailand's first female premier, was removed from office by a court days before the army seized power in a 2014 coup.She has since been tangled in a web of legal cases that she says are politically motivated, including a criminal negligence trial ...

World - South East Asia

Duterte causes Philippine foreign policy confusion MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte's shock "separation" from the United States has thrown Philippine foreign policy into confusion, with the Americans saying they are baffled and some of his top aides contradicting him.The firebrand leader rarely lets a day pass without taunting or abusing the United States but his latest comments, made during a state visit to Beijing, were the strongest signal he wants to torpedo a 70-year alliance in favour of China and Russia."I announce ...

World - South East Asia

6.2 quake hits western Japan TOKYO: A strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit western Japan Friday, the US Geological Survey said, but there was no tsunami risk.The quake, at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres (six miles), struck shortly after 2:00 pm (0500 GMT) in Tottori prefecture.Initially, the USGS had pegged the quake's magnitude at 6.6 before downgrading it.Public broadcaster NHK quoted local officials as saying they had received reports that a house collapsed in the town of Yurihama, while fires ...

World - South East Asia

Duterte aligns Philippines with China, says US has lost BEIJING: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his "separation" from the United States on Thursday, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.Duterte made his comments in Beijing, where he is visiting with at least 200 business people to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance as relations with longtime ally Washington deteriorate. "In this venue, your honours, in this venue, ...