Related topics

Top Asian News 3:58 a.m. GMT

September 29, 2022 GMT

VP Harris to visit DMZ after North Korean missile tests

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is capping her four-day trip to Asia with a stop at the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean Peninsula as she tries to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to the security of its Asian allies. The visit on Thursday comes on the heels of North Korea’s latest missile launches and amid fears that it may conduct a nuclear test. Visiting the DMZ has become something of a ritual for American leaders hoping to show their resolve to stand firm against aggression. North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, while Harris was in Japan, and had fired one before she left Washington on Sunday.

Rohingya seek reparations from Facebook for role in massacre

With roosters crowing in the background as he speaks from the crowded refugee camp in Bangladesh that’s been his home since 2017, Maung Sawyeddollah, 21, describes what happened when violent hate speech and disinformation targeting the Rohingya minority in Myanmar began to spread on Facebook. “We were good with most of the people there. But some very narrow minded and very nationalist types escalated hate against Rohingya on Facebook,” he said. “And the people who were good, in close communication with Rohingya. changed their mind against Rohingya and it turned to hate.” For years, Facebook, now called Meta Platforms Inc., pushed the narrative that it was a neutral platform in Myanmar that was misused by malicious people, and that despite its efforts to remove violent and hateful material, it unfortunately fell short.

ADVERTISEMENT

Biden looks to win over Pacific Island leaders at summit

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is hosting Pacific Island leaders for a two-day summit as the U.S. looks to counter China’s military and economic influence in the region. Pacific Island leaders, meanwhile, see an even more pressing concern: climate change. Secretary of State Antony Blinken kicked off the summit on Wednesday with a luncheon for the Pacific Island leaders and other senior officials from the region. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry held a climate roundtable with the leaders, and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan was joining them for a dinner hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard. Biden is set to address the leaders at the State Department on Thursday and will host them for a dinner at the White House.

Friend or foe? Japan-China ties complicated after 50 years

TOKYO (AP) — Friend or foe? Or both? On the streets of Tokyo and Beijing, the ties between Japan and China remain complicated and often contradictory, 50 years after the two Asian countries normalized relations as part of the process that brought Communist China into the international fold. Chinese official media and textbooks memorialize the victims of Japan’s brutal invasion during World War II, even as young urbanites slurp “ramen” soup noodles in a two-story restaurant row made to look like Tokyo’s narrow alleyways. In the real Tokyo, Japanese flocked to a festival last weekend to try Chinese dumplings, even as they worried about the growing military prowess of their much larger neighbor and its designs on the self-governing island of Taiwan — which happens to be a former Japanese colony.

ADVERTISEMENT

EXPLAINER: What’s behind strained China-Japan relations

TOKYO (AP) — Japan and China on Thursday mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of their ties, but there isn’t much of a celebratory mood. Improved ties between Asia’s two biggest economies are considered vital to the region’s stability and prosperity, but they remain at odds over disputed East China Sea islands and China’s growing military and economic assertiveness in the region. Here are the key issues in the often strained relations between these powerhouse neighbors: ___ TERRITORIAL DISPUTES A huge source of contention is an uninhabited group of Tokyo-controlled, Beijing-claimed East China Sea islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

ADVERTISEMENT

Australia flags tough new data protection laws this year

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia could have tough new data protection laws in place this year in an urgent response to a cyberattack on a telecommunications company that stole the personal data of 9.8 million customers, the attorney-general said on Thursday. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the government would make “urgent reforms” to the Privacy Act following the unprecedented hack last week on Optus, Australia’s second-largest wireless carrier. Dreyfus said “I think it’s possible” for the law to be changed in the four remaining weeks that Parliament is scheduled to sit this year. “I’m going to be looking very hard over the next four weeks at whether or not we can get reforms to the Privacy Act into the Parliament before the end of the year,” Dreyfus told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chinese tycoon Richard Liu faces civil trial in alleged rape

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Chinese billionaire, one of the richest people in the world, is heading to trial in Minneapolis to defend himself against allegations that he raped a former University of Minnesota student after a night of dinner and drinks in 2018. Richard Liu, the founder and former CEO of e-commerce giant JD.com, has denied raping the woman, and prosecutors did not file criminal charges. The woman, Jingyao Liu, sued in civil court, alleging she was coerced to drink before Richard Liu groped her in a limousine and raped her in her apartment. Both are expected to testify, and it will be up to a jury to decide who is telling the truth.

ADVERTISEMENT

Model fearing Myanmar military heads to asylum in Canada

BANGKOK (AP) — A fashion model from Myanmar who feared being arrested by the country’s military government if she was forced back home from exile has arrived in Canada, which she says has granted her asylum. Thaw Nandar Aung, also known as Han Lay, left on a flight from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport early Wednesday morning, according to Archayon Kraithong, a deputy commissioner of Thailand’s Immigration Bureau. In a message seen Thursday morning on her Facebook page, Thaw Nandar Aung said she had arrived in Canada and thanked her fans for their support. Thaw Nandar Aung had told Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-government funded broadcaster, on Tuesday that she was headed to Canada, after having been been granted political asylum there with the assistance of the U.N.

China former top graft buster indicted on bribery charges

BEIJING (AP) — A former top graft buster at China’s ministry for intelligence and counterintelligence has been indicted on bribery charges, just weeks before a major congress of the ruling Communist Party whose leader Xi Jinping has made fighting corruption a signature issue. Wednesday’s indictment of Liu Yanping, who headed the State Security Ministry’s branch of the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection was a further reminder of Xi’s vow to attack corruption “amongst both the flies and tigers.” On Friday, former deputy police minister Sun Lijun was given a death sentence with a two-year reprieve on charges of manipulating the stock market, taking bribes and other offenses.

Fish fossil catch from China includes oldest teeth ever

NEW YORK (AP) — A big catch of fish fossils in southern China includes the oldest teeth ever found — and may help scientists learn how our aquatic ancestors got their bite. The finds offer new clues about a key period of evolution that’s been hard to flesh out because until now scientists haven’t found many fossils from that era. In a series of four studies, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers detail some of their finds, from ancient teeth to never-before-seen species. The fossils date back to the Silurian period, an important era for life on earth from 443 million years ago to 419 million years ago.