Malaysia Cuts Film's 'Gay Moment'; Taobao Bans 'Overseas Publications'; Chinese Korean Boycott Escalates; Vietnam's Young Drug Users

Malaysia Cuts Film's 'Gay Moment';  Taobao Bans 'Overseas Publications'; Chinese Korean Boycott Escalates; Vietnam's Young Drug Users
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.


The live-action version of Disney's fairytale "Beauty and the Beast" will be screened in local cinemas with minor cut on a "gay moment" scene. - Malaysiakini


New rules came into effect on the online shopping platform Taobao on Friday banning sellers from offering "overseas publications." - Radio Free Asia (United States)

China, Koreas, United States:

Hotels in northeastern China said they are refusing to take South Korean guests on Monday, while protesters elsewhere in the country filmed themselves smashing goods from South Korea in an ongoing row over Seoul's deployment of a U.S. missile defense shield. - Radio Free Asia (United States)

More than 3,000 Chinese passengers aboard an international cruise liner have refused to go ashore at Jeju in South Korea, following a travel ban reportedly issued by Beijing on March 3 to protest the deployment of a new U.S. missile defense system in South Korea. - The News Lens

North Korea''s ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests will be a major topic of discussion during US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson''s trip to Asia this week, the State Department said. - Malaysiakini

China knew it might not be able to stop Seoul deploying a US anti-missile system and was prepared to counter with its own anti-radar equipment, a retired PLA general said on Monday. - South China Morning Post

South China Sea:

Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, three sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two. - Reuters


Amid reports of an increase in Chinese espionage activities, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday backed a mothballed counterintelligence bill, with lawmakers saying that an oversight mechanism would be introduced to ease concerns that it would give national security agencies too much power and endanger human rights. - Taipei Times

Hong Kong:

A handshake from President Xi Jinping has cemented an unprecedented dual role for chief executive Leung Chun-ying - South China Morning Post


A court in the Indonesian holiday island of Bali jailed a British man for six years on Monday (13/3) for his role in the murder of a traffic policeman. - Jakarta Globe


The National Bank of Cambodia announced on Monday that it would set an annual interest rate ceiling of 18 percent for all microfinance institutions (MFIs), sparking concerns that lenders would stop offering smaller loans that often keep the most financially vulnerable afloat. - The Cambodia Daily


A survey on nearly 600 young Vietnamese drug users has found many of them starting to take heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and ecstasy when they were just 12 or 13 years old. -


Chinese authorities estimate that more than 20,000 are seeking refuge across the Chinese border in Yunnan Province. - Reuters via The Irrawaddy

Editor: Edward White