Kristine Kwok

As Japan and South Korea concluded a deal to “finally and irreversibly” resolve the wartime “comfort women” dispute, analysts said the intensifying geostrategic competition in the region has been given an unexpected stir: a gain for Washington but an irritant for Beijing.

videocam

Beijing is willing to hold joint drills with Southeast Asian countries in the disputed South China Sea, the defence minister said on Friday in what analysts saw as a response to Washington's plan to sail its warships around the Spratly Islands, which China claims as territory.