World

China says it is not afraid of any US sanctions over South China Sea
World

China says it is not afraid of any US sanctions over South China Sea

BEIJING: China said on Wednesday (Jul 15) it was not afraid of any sanctions the United States might impose over the situation in the South China Sea, and accused Washington of stirring up trouble and destabilising the region. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a briefing that Beijing hopes the US will not go further down the wrong path. The remarks came after the top US diplomat for East Asia warned on Tuesday of possible sanctions against Chinese officials and companies involved in what Washington calls coercion in the South China Sea. "Nothing is off the table ... there is room for that. This is a language the Chinese understand - demonstrative and tangible action," David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told a Washingto...
US seeks Warhol, Monet paintings linked to 1MDB scandal
World

US seeks Warhol, Monet paintings linked to 1MDB scandal

KUALA LUMPUR: The United States is seeking to seize another US$96 million in assets allegedly linked to Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal, including Claude Monet and Andy Warhol paintings, officials said. Billions of dollars were looted from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB in a fraud allegedly involving the country's ex-leader and his cronies, and used to bankroll a worldwide spending spree. The US Department of Justice said its latest legal action to recover 1MDB-linked items means it has now sought to claw back over US$1.8 billion in assets. The latest items include artworks "Vetheuil Au Soleil" by French Impressionist master Monet and "Colored Campbell's Soup Can (Emerald Green), 1965" by pop artist Warhol, according to court documents released by the DoJ. They also includ...
Football: COVID-19 crisis may disrupt Man United transfer plans, says Solskjaer
World

Football: COVID-19 crisis may disrupt Man United transfer plans, says Solskjaer

REUTERS: Manchester United have likely taken a bigger financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic than their rivals and it is unclear what funds will be available to sign players in the next transfer window, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said. United withdrew their annual financial targets in May after losing about 23 million pounds (US$28 million) in quarterly revenue due to the season being temporarily suspended because of the coronavirus crisis. The Premier League restarted this month but fans have been barred from attending games, and Solskjaer said United, who also have 429 million pounds in debt, would adopt a cautious approach to spending. "We'll have to take a big look at things ourselves to see how hard we've been hit," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Saturday's FA Cup qu...
Fearful of China’s new security law, Hong Kongers scramble for safe havens
Singapore, World

Fearful of China’s new security law, Hong Kongers scramble for safe havens

HONG KONG: Many Hong Kong residents are scouring for new jobs and homes overseas, fearful that a new national security law imposed by Beijing will crush coveted rights not enjoyed on the mainland and herald a new authoritarian era for China's Special Administration Region (SAR). Beijing bypassed the city's legislature to approve the law directly this week, heightening anxiety over its impact on the former British colony of 7.4 million people that is a global financial hub and gateway for capital flows in-and-out of China. Immigration lawyers and consultants, property agents and recruitment groups from Australia to Canada all told Reuters they were inundated with enquiries from Hong Kong residents. "Hong Kong demand for international real estate and residency programmes has rocketed ...
US welcomes UK’s Huawei ban, says carriers like Jio have prohibited its equipment
World

US welcomes UK’s Huawei ban, says carriers like Jio have prohibited its equipment

The United States has welcomed United Kingdom’s decision to ban Huawei from future 5G networks with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo saying that now, London joins a growing list of countries from around the world that are standing up for their national security by prohibiting the use of “untrusted, high-risk vendors”.“We welcome news that the United Kingdom plans to ban Huawei from future 5G networks and phase out untrusted Huawei equipment from existing networks. With this decision, the UK joins a growing list of countries from around the world that are standing up for their national security by prohibiting the use of untrusted, high-risk vendors,” Pompeo said.Pompeo, in a statement said that clean carriers like Jio in India and others have also prohibited the use of the Chinese company...
US will impose sanctions on some Huawei employees: Mike Pompeo
World

US will impose sanctions on some Huawei employees: Mike Pompeo

The United States has said that it will impose travel bans on employees of Huawei and other Chinese companies which the U.S. determines are assisting “regimes” in cracking down on human rights, including in China's western Xinjiang province.“The State Department will impose visa restrictions on certain employees of the Chinese technology companies like Huawei that provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights violations and abuses,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a news conference.He also said that he will visit Britain and Denmark next week, shortly after the UK announced its ban on Huawei’s participation in developing the country’s 5G network over concerns that sensitive data could be compromised by the Chinese Communist Party.Pompeo said Huawei employees found ...
COVID-19, electric vehicles to reshape Thailand’s auto industry
World

COVID-19, electric vehicles to reshape Thailand’s auto industry

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the remaking of Thailand's automotive industry, the backbone of Southeast Asia's auto sector, as factory shutdowns compound a shift toward electric vehicles. BANGKOK: The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the remaking of Thailand's automotive industry, the backbone of Southeast Asia's auto sector, as factory shutdowns compound a shift toward electric vehicles. Thailand's auto-related businesses, which employ 900,000, are reopening after months of coronavirus shutdowns, promising relief for many laid-off workers. But there's a catch: Thailand's shift toward electric vehicles (EVs) could pummel the local auto industry because it is dominated by hundreds of parts makers, while EVs require just 10per cent to 20per cent as many of parts as internal-c...
Satellite images show new Chinese structures near site of border clash with India
World

Satellite images show new Chinese structures near site of border clash with India

NEW DELHI: China appears to have added new structures near the site of a deadly border clash with India in the western Himalayas, fresh satellite pictures show, heightening concerns about further flare-ups between the nuclear-armed neighbours. Indian and Chinese military commanders agreed on Monday to step back from a weeks-old standoff at several locations along their disputed border following the Jun 15 clash in the Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. The satellite images showing new construction activity in the week following the brutal hand-to-hand combat underline the challenge of disengagement and the risk the accord could still fall apart because of overlapping claims in the arid territory. The pictures shot on Monday by US-based space technology firm Maxar...
Securing Japan from Chinese ‘predatory economics’
Singapore, World

Securing Japan from Chinese ‘predatory economics’

One of the key questions in Japan’s present national security debate is how to manage China’s “predatory” geoeconomics. Where does Tokyo stand in crafting an effective economic security strategy? Beijing has systematically integrated economic and financial instruments into its foreign policy with the objective of advancing its grand strategic ambitions. From the "Belt and Road" initiative to Made in China 2025, Beijing shrewdly incorporated geoeconomic tools of statecraft into its grand strategic thinking. China’s coercive economic maneuvering employs trade, investments, technology, internationalizing of currency and even weaponization of resource supply chains toward geopolitical ends. Thus, reorienting Japan’s economic security strategy constitutes a top priority for Prime Minister Shi...
Patchy demand at stores spells more pain for garment suppliers
USA, World

Patchy demand at stores spells more pain for garment suppliers

MRID/DHAKA: Fashion brands and retailers re-opening around the world to patchy demand, and carrying unsold stock from spring have cut fall orders by as much as two-thirds in moves spelling more pain for Asian suppliers. With shoppers still wary of catching the coronavirus at stores, retailers are leaving buying decisions to the last minute and planning on selling all-season basics such as men's chinos and t-shirts leftover from spring through into fall. "We don't think orders for clothing will pick up anytime soon. Shipments could look up ahead of the Christmas but there is no guarantee," said Siddiqur Rahman, a Bangladeshi garment supplier to H&M and GAP Inc among others. The destructive weight of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to contract the US$2.5 trillion global fashion indu...