China Links 228 to Taiwan Independence; Philippines Close to Death Penalty Restart; Alibaba Takes on Blogger; Mass Hong Kong Police Demonstration

China Links 228 to Taiwan Independence; Philippines Close to Death Penalty Restart; Alibaba Takes on Blogger; Mass Hong Kong Police Demonstration
Photo Credit: Reuters /達志影像

What you need to know

Asia Morning Update: A quick roundup of the most important news from around the region.

China, Taiwan:

China yesterday described 228 Incident protests as a ploy by Taiwanese independence forces to hijack commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the massacre. – Taipei Times

Tourist arrivals from China are likely to decline by 1.5 million this year, compared with a drop of 670,000 in 2016, Lai Cheng-yi (賴正鎰), director-general of the General Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday. – Central News Agency (Taiwan)

China, Sri Lanka:

China's 'New Silk Road' is derailed in Sri Lanka by political chaos and violent protests. - Forbes

China, United States:

China, in an early test of U.S. President Donald Trump, has nearly finished building almost two dozen structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea that appear designed to house long-range surface-to-air missiles, two U.S. officials told Reuters. - Reuters


Airbus Defence and Space imagery captured on 13 January shows progress being made with China's Type 001A aircraft carrier (CV) at the Dalian shipyard in northeastern China, where the carrier hull is progressing towards being launched. – IHS Jane’s 360

China, Myanmar:

China will not “sit as a judge” regarding armed conflicts between the Burma Army and ethnic armed groups, Sun Guoxiang, Chinese Special Envoy of Asian Affairs, has said. – The Irrawaddy

China, ASEAN:

China hopes to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to complete the draft of a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) before midyear, a spokesperson said Wednesday. - Xinhua (Chinese State Media)

South Korea, Japan:

Japan has lodged a protest with South Korea over an online video promoting the use of the name “East Sea” to describe the Sea of Japan, the Japanese government’s top spokesman said Wednesday. - Japan Times.

North Korea:

Calls are mounting for the international community to take North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the International Criminal Court (ICC) after the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, his estranged half-brother, in Malaysia last week. - The Korea Times

The Vietnamese woman suspected of helping to kill the North Korean leader's half-brother was a keen singer whose Facebook pages featured pouting portraits and pictures of parties. – Reuters & Associated Press via Bangkok Post


The controversial death penalty bill continues to breeze through the House of Representatives after congressmen agreed to terminate the debate on Wednesday, February 22. - Rappler


Prime Minister Hun Sen’s time spent posting selfies and broadcasting speeches live on Facebook appears to be paying off, according to a new study that ranks world leaders’ Facebook pages by level of engagement. – The Cambodia Daily

Hong Kong:

A Chinese blogger says that internet giant Alibaba has filed an RMB 10 million (HK$11 million) against him for reputational damage, after he allegedly criticised the quality of products sold on its e-commerce platforms. – Hong Kong Free Press

Hong Kong witnessed one of the most significant mass demonstrations in its history last night when 33,000 serving and former police officers held a show of support for colleagues who were jailed for assaulting an activist during the 2014 Occupy protests. – South China Morning Post

Editor: Edward White