Space lab to return
China’s crewed space lab Tiangong-2 has finished experiments and is to re-enter the atmosphere on Friday, authorities said yesterday. A small amount of debris is likely to fall into designated safe waters of the South Pacific Ocean, the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a statement. The nation launched Tiangong-2 on Sept. 15, 2016, after Tiangong-1, its first crewed space lab.
States support China
Saudi Arabia, Russia and 35 other states have written to the UN supporting China’s policies in its western region of Xinjiang, according to a copy of the letter seen by reporters on Friday. China has been accused of detaining 1 million Muslims and persecuting ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang, and 22 ambassadors signed a letter to the UN Human Rights Council this week criticizing its policies. However, the letter supporting China commended what it called the nation’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights. “Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers,” the letter said. Security had returned to Xinjiang and the fundamental human rights of people of all ethnic groups there had been safeguarded, it said. There had been no terrorist attack there for three years and people enjoyed a stronger sense of happiness, fulfillment and security, it said. As well as Saudi Arabia and Russia, the letter was signed by ambassadors from many African countries, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Belarus, Myanmar, the Philippines, Syria, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Widodo meets Subianto
President Joko Widodo, who secured a second term in office, met his rival Prabowo Subianto for the first time since a divisive election in April as the two attempt to put a feud behind them. The politicians boarded a train from southern Jakarta to the central business district yesterday. In televised speeches after the ride on the new rail network, Jokowi, as the president is known, reiterated a call for unity among Indonesians, while Prabowo congratulated him for his election victory. Prabowo had rejected the election outcome after Jokowi was declared the winner in May and claimed victory himself. In an interview on Friday, Widodo vowed to implement a wave of reforms to attract foreign investment as he looks to unleash the potential of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy during his second term in office.
Tourist killed in cave
Flash floods killed a Dutch tourist in a cave in Mulu National Park on Borneo Island, an official said yesterday, as a search continued for a missing guide. Local fire and rescue chief Law Poh Kiong identified the dead man as 66-year-old Peter Hans Hovenkamp from Utrecht in the central Netherlands. “He died due to drowning following flash floods in the caves. His body was found in a river inside the cave and was taken to the Miri public hospital for a post-mortem on Saturday,” he told reporters. Law said a search-and-rescue operation involving 16 officers had been launched to locate tour guide Roviezal Robin. Eight other tourists in the same group “almost became victims,” but fled to higher ground and escaped from being washed into the river, Law said.
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
A squad of gun-toting police officers patrolled Myanmar’s sacred site of Bagan under the cover of night, taking on plunderers snatching relics from temples forsaken by tourists due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each evening as dusk falls, about 100 officers fan out across the plain of Bagan covering 50km2, sweeping flashlights over the crumbling monuments to scour for intruders. “Our security forces are patrolling day and night,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Sein Win told reporters. “We have it under control for the moment, but it’s a challenge.” The central Burmese city is strewn with more than 3,500 ancient monuments — stupas, temples, murals and sculptures