01172017Tue
Last update: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 11am

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

China welcomes US-Cuba deal on ties BEIJING: China on Thursday welcomed the re-establishment of formal ties between the US and Cuba, despite the move representing a reconciliation between Beijing's longstanding Communist ally and its greatest diplomatic rival.Washington and Havana on Wednesday agreed a historic deal to re-establish full diplomatic relations, severed 54 years ago in the heat of the Cold War.Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro exchanged letters agreeing to unfreeze ties on July 20, when embassies can be reopened.Obama hailed the deal as a "historic step forward" that would end a failed and archaic US policy of isolating the Caribbean island, which like China is one of the world's few remaining Communist states.Beijing's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the decision was an "important step" that "serves the common interests of the two countries and two peoples, contributes to regional stability and development and also meets the long-term and universal aspiration of the international community"."It ...

World - South East Asia

Hong Kong protest march seeks unity as lower turnout expected HONG KONG: Thousands are set to gather for a pro-democracy march on the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China Wednesday, but organisers said turnout at the annual event would be down as momentum wanes after nearly a year of rallies.Last year's march saw huge numbers as discontent surged over restrictions by Beijing on how Hong Kong chooses its next leader, with organisers saying a record 510,000 attended.But after more than two months of street ...

World - South East Asia

China passes national security law BEIJING: China passed a wide-ranging new national security law Wednesday, expanding its legal reach over the Internet and even outer space as concerns grow about ever-tighter limits on rights.The rubber-stamp National People's Congress standing committee passed the legislation by 154 votes to nil with one abstention, officials said at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.Since President Xi Jinping came to power, the ruling Communist Party has overseen a wide-ranging crackdown on activists, while ...

World - South East Asia

China new home prices rise in June: survey BEIJING: China's new home prices increased in June for the second straight month, a survey showed Tuesday, as official stimulus policies helped boost the market. The average price of a new home in China's 100 major cities rose 0.56 percent month-on-month to 10,628 yuan ($1,714) per square metre, the China Index Academy (CIA) said in a report.The result comes on the heels of a 0.5 percent gain in May, the first increase in four months. ...

World - South East Asia

Indonesian military plane crashes in city of Medan JAKARTA: An Indonesian military transport plane crashed Tuesday shortly after take-off in a city on Sumatra island, exploding in a ball of flames and damaging nearby buildings.There was no immediate information on the number of people on board or any casualties on the ground after the Hercules plane went down in the city of Medan. Dramatic pictures on social media showed large crowds and emergency services gathering around the flaming wreckage, with the fuselage of ...

World - South East Asia

Hong Kong student leader Wong in 'chilling' assault HONG KONG: Hong Kong student leader Joshua Wong, the teenage face of the city's pro-democracy protests, was assaulted in the street with his girlfriend in an attack he said Monday sent a "chill to my heart".The motivation for the assault is not known but previous high-profile attacks against prominent media figures have raised concerns that tensions from Hong Kong's deep political divisions could turn violent. Wong, 18, was leaving a cinema near Mong Kok -- ...

World - South East Asia

Nepal PM appeals for quake aid, vows funds will reach victims KATHMANDU: Nepal's prime minister pledged Thursday to ensure that all aid would reach quake victims, seeking to allay fears over corruption and red tape as he appealed for funds at a meeting of international donors in Kathmandu.Nepal says it needs around $6.7 billion to recover from the April disaster, which killed more than 8,800 people, destroyed nearly half a million houses and left thousands in need of food, clean water and shelter.But some international donors ...