Asian bourses had another grim year, heading south with other stock markets around the world, but the region is expected to shine next year despite some uncertainty. \nAnalysts were hoping for an upturn in Asian share prices this time last year after the US-led global slowdown last year followed by the shockwaves of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. \nBut the recovery failed to materialize because of the weak US economic upturn as well as concerns about a possible double-dip recession for the world's biggest economy. \nThat was exacerbated by US corporate scandals and oil prices shooting up ahead of an expected US-led invasion of Iraq. \nStock markets tumbled as Asia's crucial export sector struggled amid sluggish consumer spending in the US, its biggest export destination. \nThe region's biggest market, Tokyo, hit a series of 19-year lows and other major bourses in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei shed 17 percent. However, some of the smaller Southeast Asian markets surprisingly flourished amid the gloom. \nWith the US economy expected to pick up next year, exporters stand to gain from stronger orders. The US economy is projected to grow 2.6 percent next year from 2.4 percent this year. \nThe mix of a US turnaround and a fast growing China are seen as the right ingredients to bolster regional economies, although Japan shows little sign of emerging from its decade-long slumber. \n"The year to 2002 proved to be another annus horribilis for equity markets and a tough 12 months lie ahead, yet as a region Asia is set to outperform and come end of 2003, Asia should trade higher on the back of a clearer global picture," said Markus Rosgen, ING Financial Markets' chief strategist for the region. \nJapanese share prices hit a series of 19-year lows in the second half of the year because of major problems with the country's economy, as well as the global stock market downturn. \nThe Japanese economy continues to be crippled by deflation, along with the large number of bad loans at banks whose plunging share prices pulled down the rest of the market. \nThe key Nikkei-225 index lost about 20 percent after shedding almost 24 percent last year. On November 14 it ended at 8,303.39 -- its lowest close since March 25, 1983. \nHong Kong stocks were also hit by economic weakness and deflation. The Hang Seng index fell about 16 percent after dropping more than 24 percent this year.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
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The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South