Ministers call for restraint
The Southeast Asian country and China on Sunday called for restraint in resolving disputes in the South China Sea, where Taiwan also has claims. Speaking to reporters at a joint press briefing with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅), Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh said the two countries should manage the disputes and not expand them. “We propose that the two sides in the coming time should seriously implement the mutual understandings of leaders [of two countries] ... manage disputes well, do not have activities that complicate and expand disputes, respect the legitimate rights and interests of each other in accordance with international laws,” he said.
Half do not back Cabinet
About half of voters do not support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration amid suspected cronyism and a cover-up, opinion polls by local media showed. The Yomiuri newspaper’s survey issued yesterday showed that the disapproval rating for Abe’s Cabinet rose to 50 percent from early last month, compared with 47.5 percent in the Kyodo news agency’s survey published on Sunday. The support rate for the Cabinet showed a slight rise to 42.4 percent in the Kyodo poll, while the Yomiuri poll showed a drop of six points to 42 percent.
Leader calls for unity
The country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday called for her people to remain united, saying the Southeast Asian country faces “challenges” at home and abroad, as she marked two years since her party swept to power in a historic vote. “The world’s focus in on Rakhine right now, but we also need to peacefully develop the country,” she said. “We are facing challenges from inside and outside of the country, as we are struggling to develop politics, society and economy,” she added. She also urged people to “respect the intentions and vision of the international community.”
Soldier killed in clash
The military yesterday said that one solider has been killed in an ongoing clash between security forces and Papuan independence fighters near the US-owned Grasberg copper mine in the country’s east. The soldier was shot in the head and died on Sunday afternoon, military spokesman Colonel Muhammad Aidi said. A joint military and police force was hunting an “armed separatist criminal group,” he said. Aidi denied a purported statement from the National Liberation Army of West Papua that numerous soldiers were killed in the clashes and a 10-year-old boy had died in a fire caused by the attack.
AU soldiers killed in attack
Al-Shabaab Muslim extremist group on Sunday launched an attack on a base for African Union (AU) troops in the country’s south, killing four Ugandan peacekeepers, Ugandan army spokesman Brigadier Richard Karemire said. Four other Ugandans were injured, Karemire told reporters. At least 22 of the attackers were killed and the rest were repelled, he said. The attack started in the morning when two suicide car bombs exploded at the entrance to the heavily fortified base in Bulo-Marer, an agricultural town in the Lower Shabelle region, army Colonel Ahmed Hassan said. Nearly 100 fighters firing rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns attacked the base occupied by the Ugandan soldiers, he said.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”