South China Morning Post : International (115)

We are human too, India and China have to start talking and stop using us soldiers as cannon fodder

In autumn 1986, as a young army captain deployed in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as its own territory, I readied to go to war with China. The provocation: a People’s Liberation Army company, about a hundred men, had entered territory that India ...

Yingluck Shinawatra’s supporters ready to demonstrate in the event of guilty verdict but Thai military remains firmly in charge

A long-awaited verdict in the trial of former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra this week could inflame tension and would likely have far-reaching implications in the politically divided kingdom. The ruling military said more than 3,000 of Yingluck’s supporters could show up at the court ...

Nickelodeon scraps Philippine theme resort plans after complaints from conservationists

American children’s television network Nickelodeon said on Wednesday it had abandoned plans for a themed resort on an island known as the Philippines’ last ecological frontier following a backlash from environmentalists. Nickelodeon said in January that it would build an “undersea ...

BBC journalist Jonathan Head on trial after report about Phuket property scam that targeted foreigners

A British BBC journalist appeared in a Thai court on Wednesday for the start of a criminal defamation trial brought by a lawyer who featured in an investigation about foreigners being scammed of their retirement homes. Jonathan Head, the BBC’s Southeast Asia correspondent, faces up to five ...

7th Fleet commander to be relieved of duty as US Navy weighs impact of two crippled destroyers in Asia

The commander of the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet will be relieved of duty after a deadly collision between a destroyer and a tanker off Singapore, the latest in a series of accidents, a defence official said. The decision to remove Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin from the post in Japan comes as the US ...

US Navy to relieve commander of 7th Fleet after warship collisions

The US Navy plans to relieve the commander of the fleet involved in two fatal collisions between destroyers and civilian vessels in Asian waters, two reports said Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, the three-star commander of the 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka near Tokyo, will be relieved of command on ...

US divers find body remains in hull of damaged destroyer

US Navy and Marine Corps divers on Tuesday found some human remains inside sections of a US guided-missile destroyer that collided with a merchant vessel near Singapore, the commander of the US Pacific Fleet said. The USS John S. McCain and the tanker Alnic MC collided on Monday while the US ship ...

US imposes new sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies to cut off North Korea support

The US announced a set of secondary sanctions against 16 Chinese and Russian entities as part of its efforts to cut off trade with North Korea and starve the country’s military of the cash it needs to develop nuclear weapons. Chinese companies facing sanctions include Dandong Rich Earth ...

US Navy collisions pose growing threat to Chinese maritime activities, experts warn

After the Pentagon ordered a full-scale investigation into the latest in a string of accidents involving US warships, Chinese analysts have warned that China should be alert to the potential risk to its own naval and commercial fleets. “The US Navy has been flexing its muscles all around the ...

Singapore Strait: US destroyer was struck in some of the world's busiest waters

After the USS Fitzgerald collided with a giant container ship in mid-June, killing seven sailors, Admiral William F. Moran, vice chief of naval operations, said that the US Navy crew’s lack of preparedness was partly to blame. “Clearly at some point, the bridge team lost situational ...

Tolerance tested? Indonesian housewife jailed for blasphemy

An Indonesian housewife has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for insulting Islam, an official said Tuesday, the latest conviction under the country’s controversial blasphemy law. Siti Aisyah, 47, was found guilty on Monday evening of spreading Islamic teachings that differed ...

Maldives to reintroduce death penalty after six decades

Despite international pressure the Maldives will reintroduce the death penalty after a 60-year moratorium to try and reduce the rising number of murders and stop drug-trafficking, a senior advisor to President Abdulla Yameen said on Tuesday. The United Nations and Amnesty International have urged ...

Cambodia’s Hun Sen gives child sex slave charity reprieve after ‘insulting’ CNN report

Cambodia’s strongman premier on Tuesday said he will not force a Christian charity that rescues child sex slaves to shut after the group apologised for featuring in a media report he disliked. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered Agape International Missions to close after it ...

Fukushima nuclear reactor’s giant ‘ice wall is almost finished

Fukushima’s operator on Tuesday started freezing the last section of a US$320 million ice wall designed to combat widespread water contamination at the site of the worst nuclear accident in a generation. Tokyo Electric Power began pumping coolant into the remaining seven metres of its ...

India's top court bans Islamic ‘triple talaq’ instant divorce

India’s top court on Tuesday banned a controversial Islamic practice that allows men to divorce their wives instantly, saying it was unconstitutional. Victims of the practice known as “triple talaq”, whereby Muslim men can divorce their wives by reciting the word talaq three times, ...

Industrial waste blamed for colourful canines in Mumbai

Authorities in Mumbai have shut down a manufacturing company after it was accused of dumping untreated industrial waste and dyes into a local river that resulted in 11 dogs turning blue. The group of strangely coloured canines was first spotted on August 11, according to the Hindustan Times, ...

Murder probe launched after Chinese woman found dead with unconscious man in Japanese dormitory

Police have opened a murder probe following the discovery of a woman’s body at a dormitory in central Japan, investigators said Tuesday. The body of Kong Linghua, a 35-year-old Chinese national, was found by her female roommate around 8pm Monday at a dormitory for Chinese trainees in the city ...

Nepal calls November 26 general election as it tries to emerge from upheaval

Nepal will hold a general election on November 26, the government said, hoping to conclude a turbulent journey to democracy a decade after a civil war and the abolition of its 239-year-old monarchy. The election timing is in line with the Himalayan nation’s first republican constitution, drawn ...

Cambodia Daily vows to keep publishing amid threat of closure from sudden US$6 million demand in ‘back taxes’

One of Cambodia’s two English-language daily newspapers said it would continue to publish in the face of a reported deadline by tax officials to pay more than US$6 million in taxes or get shut down. The Ministry of Economy and Finance earlier this month told the Cambodia Daily newspaper it ...

US Navy collisions stoke cyber threat fears that GPS systems can be ‘spoofed’ by hackers

The Pentagon won’t yet say how the USS John S. McCain was rammed by an oil tanker near Singapore, but red flags are flying as the US Navy’s decades-old reliance on electronic guidance systems increasing looks like another target of cyberattack. The incident - the fourth involving a ...

US Navy halts all operations worldwide to investigate warship collision near Singapore

The US Navy has announced that the world’s largest and most powerful armada will immediately pause all operations for a fleet-wide safety review following the predawn collision of a guided-missile destroyer and an oil tanker that left 10 sailors missing near Singapore, the fourth naval ...

China-India border dispute spills over into Australian university

An IT lecturer at the University of Sydney has apologised for using an out-of-date map that showed a region of Tibet as being Indian territory. The image upset some Chinese students after it was used by Khimji Vaghjiani during a course titled “Professional Practice in IT”. The mistake ...

US destroyer in Singapore collision was named after Senator McCain’s father, grandfather

The US warship involved in the collision off Singapore before dawn on Monday has a name many Americans recognise – but not for its father-and-son namesakes. Most know Senator John S. McCain III, the Vietnam war hero who ran for president in 2000 and 2008. But it was his father and grandfather ...

Myanmar man faces two years in jail for speaking about his harrowing ordeal as a child soldier

A man in Myanmar faces up to two years in jail after he was arrested for allegedly defaming the military in an interview he gave detailing his harrowing life as a child soldier. Aung Ko Htwe, 26, was arrested on Friday, shortly after he spoke to Radio Free Asia’s Burmese Service recalling how ...

‘Sexually suggestive’ Japanese tourism video of model rubbing head of mascot gets dumped after complaints

The Miyagi prefectural government said on Monday it will remove an online tourism promotional video that has stirred up criticism for being sexually suggestive. The local government in northeastern Japan plans to withdraw the video after a tourism event scheduled for Saturday in Sendai, the ...

Japanese prefecture forced to remove ‘sexually suggestive’ tourism video of model rubbing head of animated turtle

The Miyagi prefectural government said on Monday it will remove an online tourism promotional video that has stirred up criticism for being sexually suggestive. The local government in northeastern Japan plans to withdraw the video after a tourism event scheduled for Saturday in Sendai, the ...

‘My desire exploded’: Chinese man arrested for touching woman on Tokyo train

A campaign to stamp out molesters on Japan’s famously crowded trains has led to the arrest of a Chinese citizen in Tokyo. Police and train operators in the city have introduced sting operations in an effort to reduce incidents of women being targeted by gropers, with TV Asahi reporting on ...

‘In the arms of the republic’: US defector to North Korea Joe Dresnok confirmed dead

The only US soldier known to still be living in North Korea after defecting more than five decades ago died last year pledging his loyalty to the “great leader Kim Jong-un”, his sons said. James Joseph Dresnok was among just a handful of American servicemen to desert following the Korean ...

Election countdown: New Zealand PM ‘worried’ as support surges for opposition leader Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand’s conservative Prime Minister Bill English conceded Monday he was “worried” about next month’s general election, as support for the opposition continued to surge. The centre-left Labour Party has enjoyed a huge boost in support ahead of the September 23 election ...

10 sailors missing after US destroyer John S. McCain and tanker collide east of Singapore

Ten sailors are missing after a US warship collided with an oil tanker east of Singapore on Monday, the US Navy said, the second accident involving US Navy destroyers in Asian waters in little more than two months. The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with the merchant vessel ...

US-South Korea war games start as Pyongyang warns of ‘actual fighting’

North Korea warned that the United States will be “pouring gasoline on fire” by conducting an annual war game in the South this week amid heightened tensions between Pyongyang and Washington. Combative rhetoric between the nations spiked after Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ...

Here’s how China’s ageing will narrow income gaps in West

In recent years politicians and thinkers in the developed world have found themselves struggling to explain three trends that have gripped advanced economies: the long-term fall in real interest rates adjusted for inflation, the fall in workers’ real wages, and the sharp rise in inequality ...

10 sailors missing after US warship and tanker collide east of Singapore

The US Navy says 10 of its sailors are missing and five are injured after the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker east of Singapore early on Monday morning. A search-and-rescue effort was under way after what was the second accident involving US Navy destroyers in ...

Japan’s new foreign minister Taro Kono: China’s friend ... or foe?

When Taro Kono was named as Japan’s new foreign minister on August 3, advocates of a closer relationship with China were delighted – but conservatives winced at the appointment. Kono is the son of Yohei Kono, a former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, and there were many who ...

US-South Korea war games start Monday as Pyongyang warns of ‘actual fighting’

North Korea warned Sunday that the United States will be “pouring gasoline on fire” by conducting an annual war game in the South next week amid heightened tensions between Pyongyang and Washington. Combative rhetoric between the nations spiked after Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ...

Malaysia says sorry to Indonesia over upside down flag blunder in Games guidebook

Malaysia apologised on Sunday for the upside-down printing of Indonesia’s flag in the souvenir guidebook for the Southeast Asia Games, which officials said is being withdrawn and reprinted. The mistake, spotted at the games’ opening in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday, ...

Australia publishes ‘how-to guide’ to protect against vehicle terror attacks

Australia on Sunday released a strategy to prevent vehicle terror attacks carried out in crowded public places following deadly assaults in Barcelona, Nice and London. The report – commissioned after 86 people were killed in the Nice truck attack last year – gives venue operators a ...

Malaysia says sorry to Indonesia over upside down flag blunder in Games guidebook

Malaysia has apologised to Indonesia over the upside down printing of the Indonesian flag in a souvenir guidebook handed out at the opening of the Southeast Asian Games. The mistake, spotted at the opening of the games in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday sparked an outcry in ...

Philippine Catholic Church head urges end to drug killings after week of bloodshed

The head of the Philippines’ powerful Catholic Church called on Sunday for an end to the “waste of human lives” following a brutal week in President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war in which a 17-year-old boy was among dozens killed. Police raids dubbed “One Time Big ...

State funeral for German nun Ruth Pfau who devoted her life fighting leprosy in Pakistan

Ruth Pfau, a German nun who devoted her life to combating leprosy in Pakistan, was buried with full state honours on Saturday, in an unprecedented service for a foreign Christian in the Muslim-majority country. Pfau, who died at the age of 87 on August 10 was known locally as Pakistan’s Mother ...

Filipino beats 22 performers to win first ‘Elvis in Asia’ contest

More than 20 Elvis Presley impersonators shimmied, gyrated and belted out classics like “Jailhouse Rock” in Manila on Saturday at the first Elvis in Asia contest. The King of Rock n’ Roll died 40 years ago last week and contest organisers said they aimed to keep his style and music ...

Indonesia was supposed to be embracing freedom. What happened?

It’s been nearly two decades since Indonesian dictator Suharto was toppled in a people-led revolution that was supposed to put the country on the road to full-fledged democracy. Laws guaranteeing a free press and the protection of rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly were ...

Team lead by billionaire Paul Allen find famed US warship Indianapolis seven decades after sinking by Japanese sub and countless tales about crew eaten in water by sharks

Researchers have found the wreckage of the US warship Indianapolis, which was sunk by a Japanese torpedo in the final days of the second world war, more than 18,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, the US Navy said. The cruiser was returning from its mission to deliver components for the ...

Archaeologists discover story of China’s ancient military might carved in cliff face

An inscription carved into a cliff face in Mongolia almost 2,000 years ago that tells the story of one of China’s greatest military successes has been rediscovered. Known as the “Inscription on the Ceremonial Mounding at Mount Yanran”, the work was created by historian Ban Gu in ...

Trump or Kim: Who are you calling crazy? A dilemma in Japan

When it comes to Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, Japanese people agree that they are stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. North Korean dictators have long been a source of concern in Japan, but the latest leader of the world’s only Communist dynasty has significantly raised ...

Trump’s nuclear standoff with North Korea: why this is no Cuban missile crisis

There is an interesting, somewhat counter-intuitive aspect to the current North Korea-United States war of words: the further one gets from the source of the threat, the more frantic they seem to become. South Koreans, always sitting under the shadow of North Korea’s long-range artillery, are ...

How China is helping Malaysia’s military narrow the gap with Singapore, Indonesia

From new surveillance aircraft to a revamp of the naval fleet, the hardware wish list drawn up by Malaysia’s military to keep up with amply funded regional peers like Singapore and Indonesia is no small ask – especially for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s cash-strapped government. ...

Train derailment in India kills 23

At least 23 people were killed and 40 others were injured when several cars of a passenger train derailed in northern India Saturday, police said. The Utkal Express was travelling from the eastern seaside town of Puri to the northern hill town of Haridwar when the train derailed at 5:46 p.m. local ...

China must get along with regional powers to make its New Silk Road plan work

Geopolitics matters. As we move deeper into a multipolar world, the importance of grand strategy will only grow. Relations between states at a strategic, economic and even emotional level will all intertwine to create a complicated web that will require sophisticated diplomacy to navigate. For China ...

The race to rescue Cambodian children from orphanages exploiting them for profit

Much was hidden from the tourists visiting Sinet Chan in her rundown Cambodian orphanage. When they returned to their hotels, cameras full and best intentions sated, they remained oblivious to the reality of what they had just supported. Chan, the nine-year-old who sang and danced for them, was ...