Politics

Chinese and Japanese vessels near the East China Sea islands known as the Diaoyus in China and the Senkakus in Japan. Photo: Kyodo
Japan’s Kishida to discuss ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific with Biden

The two leaders are to hold video talks on Friday, with security, trade, the coronavirus and climate change all likely to be discussed.

20 Jan 2022 - 9:00PM
Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves Downing Street after a cabinet meeting in London. Photo: EPA
After party-loving Boris, will teetotal Rishi Sunak be Britain’s next PM?

The UK Chanceller has had a stellar rise, but Downing Street won’t be handed to him on a plate. Tricky questions face the ‘Maharajah of the Yorkshire Dales’, from his loyalty to Johnson to immigration.

20 Jan 2022 - 7:16PM
A North Korean missile test. Photo: AFP
North Korea threatens to resume nuclear tests, citing US ‘military hostility’

With festive anniversaries looming, Pyongyang may see ICBMs as a ‘celebratory firecracker’: expert.

20 Jan 2022 - 12:28PM
Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Azam Baki.   Photo: MACC
Malaysia’s ‘Azamgate’ escalates as securities regulator contradicts anti-graft chief

The Securities Commission has shifted its stance on its probe into the stock-trading controversy, undermining Azam Baki’s claim that it was his brother who made purchases at centre of the saga.

19 Jan 2022 - 8:21PM
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi during a press conference on Tuesday. He is one of four ministers, two from Japan and two from France, who will take part in “2 plus 2” talks between the two countries on security in the Indo-Pacific region. Photo: Kyodo
Japan, France hold ‘2+2’ security talks amid China concerns in Indo-Pacific

Tokyo has been expanding military ties with Britain, Germany and Australia while France has strategic interests in several island territories in the region.

19 Jan 2022 - 6:54PM
A computer-generated image released by Nyoman Nuarta showing the design of Indonesia’s future presidential palace at its new capital in East Kalimantan. Photo: AFP
‘Hard to see the idea’: Indonesia names new US$34b capital ‘Nusantara’

The name, meaning ‘archipelago’ was chosen by President Widodo to underline diversity, but some point out it also has links to a once all-conquering empire.

20 Jan 2022 - 3:32PM
A poster for a protest planned against Malaysia’s anti-corruption chief. Photo: Internet
Case against Malaysia’s anti-graft chief ‘inconclusive’, probe finds

Azam Baki may have escaped censure from the Securities Commission over claims of improper stock trading, but the news will only rile his opponents who are planning to protest this weekend.

18 Jan 2022 - 8:53PM
Riot police prepare to block protesters in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on January 5, 2022. Photo: NUR.KZ via AP
Kazakh envoy blames foreign militants for ‘chaos’ amid questions over unrest

Arken Arystanov made the comments at a press briefing organised by Kazakhstan’s mission to Singapore.

18 Jan 2022 - 4:40PM
Philippine presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jnr is the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Photo: EPA
Philippine election body dismisses petition to bar ‘Bongbong’ from election

This is the second petition against Ferdinand Marcos Jnr to be thrown out. Five more are pending – including one claiming he is an impostor and that the real Bongbong died years ago.

17 Jan 2022 - 9:01PM
A #MeToo campaigner in South Korea. Photo: AFP
‘MeToo is when men don’t pay’: South Korean presidential candidate’s wife

Kim Keon-hee’s comments – meant to highlight scandals dogging the ruling Democratic Party – backfire as she claims ‘conservatives make sure they pay’.

18 Jan 2022 - 8:12AM
People protest against the military coup in Mandalay, Myanmar. File photo: AP
Chinese firms urged to exit from Myanmar mines amid escalating violence

As the junta’s bloody crackdown on dissent intensifies, experts and advocates call on Chinese firms to take a more ethical approach and withdraw their investments.

16 Jan 2022 - 7:35PM
BJP supporters hold posters bearing the portraits of Indian PM Narendra Modi at a rally in Ferozepur. Photo: AFP
India’s election juggernaut rumbles on despite relentless Covid-19 third wave

Elections in five states begin next month and as the opposition prepares for a fight, analysts say any losses for the BJP won’t bode well for the 2024 national election.

15 Jan 2022 - 2:55PM
Researchers at a lab in the University of Queensland. Photo: Handout via Xinhua
Australia, Japan universities ‘targeting Chinese students’ over spying fears

Experts agree reducing foreign interference and ensuring national security are essential. But will surveillance end up crimping innovation and competitiveness?

15 Jan 2022 - 12:05PM
The BrahMos weapon system on show in New Delhi in January 2015. Photo: AFP
Philippines’ BrahMos missile order seen as boost for India to counter China

New Delhi is in talks with Indonesia and Vietnam to sell them the supersonic cruise missiles jointly developed with Russia, as part of a broader move to bolster its influence in the Indo-Pacific.

14 Jan 2022 - 9:57PM
A Thai soldier patrols the streets of Yala province in the country’s restive south. Photo: AFP
Malaysia ‘optimistic’ at progress in Thailand’s Deep South peace talks

Malaysian facilitator Abdul Rahim Noor says it could take two years for the Thai government and separatists to come to an agreement.

14 Jan 2022 - 12:07PM
A former elected MP aims a firearm as he trains at a camp run by ethnic Karen rebels in Kayin State, Myanmar, last year. Photo: Reuters
UN’s Myanmar envoy calls for ‘humanitarian pause’ on escalating violence

Noeleen Heyzer held talks with Asean’s current chair, Cambodian leader Hun Sen, amid signs of turmoil within the bloc over dealing with junta leader Min Aung Hlaing.

13 Jan 2022 - 2:34PM
Candles are lit at the J-Village soccer training centre in Fukushima prefecture on the 10th anniversary of the nuclear disaster. Photo: Kyodo
Tokyo embarks on nuclear projects with US that could power Japan for decades

Driving Tokyo’s nuclear ambitions are both a need to reduce carbon emissions and secure domestic energy sources in case of a geopolitical crisis.

13 Jan 2022 - 10:03AM
Protesters against the coup in Myanmar face off with riot police in Naypyidaw. Photo: AP
Asean postpones foreign ministers’ meeting amid divide over Myanmar

Cambodia’s chairmanship of the Southeast Asian bloc is off to a rocky start as differences deepen over how to engage the junta in the post-coup country.

12 Jan 2022 - 8:03PM
One of the vessels involved in the patrols is believed to have been a Hyuga-class helicopter carrier. Photo: AP
Japanese warships sailed near Chinese reefs ‘to pressure’ Beijing

Voyages near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea held ‘political meaning’, experts say, and were legal but might not have met the criteria of ‘freedom of navigation’ patrols.

12 Jan 2022 - 5:30PM
The Novak Djokovic saga is open to political spin. Photo: Getty Images
Could the Djokovic saga swing the Australian election?

With Omicron cases surging, PM Scott Morrison faces a dilemma: allow ‘novax’ to remain and be seen as soft on borders; or throw him out and be seen as a ‘joke’.

12 Jan 2022 - 1:54PM