Taiwan’s Air Defense Missile Command is to be merged with the air force next month, a move expected to enhance and streamline the nation’s air defense command system. – Taipei Times


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday sought to deny allegations that he is linked to an Osaka-based ultranationalist kindergarten as the public outcry over the operator and its alleged efforts to indoctrinate children with xenophobia and pre-war militarism grows. – Japan Times

Japan will likely become the first country in the world to equip diesel-electric submarines with lithium-ion batteries. GS Yuasa, a Kyoto-based developer and manufacturer of battery systems, said in a 21 February press statement that such batteries will be mounted on two Soryu-class boats currently in build for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). – IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

Hong Kong, China:

Outgoing Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s expected appointment to China’s top advisory body is an acknowledgement of his efforts to curb pro-independence forces in Hong Kong, state leader Yu Zhengsheng told the city’s advisers to Beijing on Monday. – South China Morning Post

South Korea:

Bringing scandal-ridden President Park Geun-hye to justice was virtually handed over to the next government Monday when acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn rejected the independent counsel's request to extend its investigation into the presidential corruption scandal. – Korea Times

North Korea, Malaysia:

North Korea spy agency runs arms operation out of Malaysia, the United Nations says. – Malaysiakini


The House majority bloc decided to further water down the death penalty bill by removing rape, plunder, and treason to get more votes for the controversial measure. – Rappler

Abu Sayyaf extremists in the Philippines have released a video of the beheading of a German hostage. – Associated Press via Bangkok Post


Police said no casualties had been reported from a suspected terrorist attack near Pandawa Park in Cicendo, Bandung, West Java, on Monday morning. – Jakarta Globe

China, Tibet:

A half-dozen United Nations experts who investigate human rights abuses have taken the rare step of banding together to condemn China for expulsions of monks and nuns from major religious enclaves in a Tibetan region. – The New York Times

Sweden has arrested a man suspected of spying on Tibetan refugees for an unnamed foreign power, the Swedish intelligence service SAPO said on Monday. – Hong Kong Free Press

An art gallery in Macau has canceled a Tibetan artist’s live-painting performance at an opening after receiving pressure from government officials. – Hong Kong Free Press

China, India, Afghanistan:

Despite differences on a number of issues, including over the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), U.N. designation of Masood Azhar as a terrorist, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, India and China began to look for a “common ground” on Afghanistan during Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to Beijing last week, official sources have told The Hindu. – The Hindu

A Uyghur baker under police investigation killed five people in Xinjiang’s Kashgar prefecture earlier this month after being brought to a hospital for medical care, sources in the region said. – Radio Free Asia

TNL Editor: Edward White