China to Launch Mars Probe; Shark Fin Back on the Menu in Hong Kong; Cash for ‘Loyal’ Monks in Tibet

China to Launch Mars Probe; Shark Fin Back on the Menu in Hong Kong; Cash for ‘Loyal’ Monks in Tibet
Photo Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser CC BY 4.0

What you need to know

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

China, South Korea, U.S.:

Seoul and Washington have started the controversial deployment of a U.S. anti-missile defense system here, with two missile launchers and other equipment arriving in South Korea Monday night. - The Korea Times

China on Tuesday reiterated its opposition to the deployment of a U.S. missile shield in the Republic of Korea (ROK). - Xinhua (China)

China:

China plans to launch a probe satellite to Mars in July or August of 2020, according to Wan Weixing, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, on March 6. - People’s Daily Online

Authorities in the northern Chinese province of Hebei have detained a rights activist for damaging the flag of the ruling Chinese Communist Party during the annual parliamentary session in Beijing, while the whereabouts of her seven-year-old son are unknown, lawyers and activists told RFA on Tuesday. - Radio Free Asia.

In a new campaign aimed at fostering Tibetan loyalty to Beijing, Chinese authorities in Qinghai began this week to hand out awards to Tibetan monks and monasteries deemed to have cooperated with Communist Party rule, a source in the region says. - Radio Free Asia

China, Australia:

In 2016, Chinese investors spent 2.4 billion Australian dollars purchasing residential land in Australia, accounting for 35 percent of all Australian real estate trade, according to Knight Frank, a global real estate consultancy company. - People’s Daily Online

China, Malaysia:

Almost three years after the disappearance of MH370, families of 15 Chinese nationals on board the ill-fated flight yesterday filed a negligence suit at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur. - Malaysiakini

Hong Kong:

Traders label shark fin bound for Hong Kong as “seafood” or “fish” in order to avoid detection from shipping companies who have banned the product, an NGO has discovered. - Hong Kong Free Press

Taiwan:

The Taiwan navy has proposed building a helicopter carrier as part of its indigenous shipbuilding program to boost the nation’s marine-patrol capabilities. - Taipei Times

Philippines:

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) slammed the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening, March 7, for approving the death penalty bill on the third and final reading. - Rappler

Nine more suspects were killed in Bulacan in the past two days as the police rejoined what it promised to be a less bloody campaign against illegal drugs. - The Philippine Star

Manila on Tuesday (March 7) "strongly protested" about an American television drama which shows a fictional Philippine president making a sexual advance on the US secretary of state. - AFP via The Straits Times

Vietnam:

According to a new report, Vietnam is home to the world’s fastest-growing population of ultra-rich individuals. - Saigoneer

Editor: Edward White