ASIA NEWS BITES: Macau’s Border Tightens; Second Tibetan Self-Immolation of 2017; China Ranks Lawyers by ‘Political Performance’; Duterte Brings Workers Back from Saudi

ASIA NEWS BITES: Macau’s Border Tightens; Second Tibetan Self-Immolation of 2017; China Ranks Lawyers by ‘Political Performance’; Duterte Brings Workers Back from Saudi
Photo credit : Reuters / 達志影像

What you need to know

A quick roundup of the most important news from around the region.

Macau:

Hong Kong accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung, a moderate pan-democrat who had no problem travelling to mainland China over the weekend, called it “unbelievable” after he was denied entry to Macau on Sunday. – South China Morning Post

Tibet:

A Tibetan committed self-immolation Saturday morning in Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, according to exiled Tibetans familiar with the region and a video circulating on social media. – Radio Free Asia

China:

China is tightening its grip on the legal sector, with plans for a ­professional standard based to a great extent on each lawyer’s “political performance.” – South China Morning Post

A new report from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab probes censorship on Tencent’s WeChat messaging service related to the July 2015 “Black Friday” or “709” crackdown, in which hundreds of rights lawyers, activists, and others were detained. While most were soon released, several have since been tried and sentenced, while others remain in custody awaiting trial or charges, or have been released pending further investigation. – China Digital Times

Chinese economy grows 6.9% in first quarter, underpinned by surge in industry, credit growth and property sales – Financial Times

Chinese export companies have been increasing their participation in Latin American Aerospace and Defence (LAAD) exhibitions over the past several years: a development that was also noticeable at this year's event, held on 4-7 April in Brazil. - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

Philippines:

President Rodrigo Duterte has brought home with him 138 overseas Filipino workers after his weeklong visit to the Middle East. – Rappler

South Korea, North Korea:

U.S. Vice President Pence made a surprise visit to the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea on Monday, amid rising tensions in the region over Kim Jong Un’s belligerent actions. – The Washington Post

Taiwan, Japan:

A statue of Japanese engineer Yoichi Hatta near Tainan’s Wushantou Reservoir (烏山頭水庫) was found decapitated in an apparent act of vandalism, the Taiwan Chia-Nan Irrigation Association said. – Taipei Times

Cambodia:

A U.S. judge is preparing to drop Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son as a defendant in a lawsuit accusing him of the wrongful imprisonment of CNRP official Meach Sovannara, according to Mr. Sovannara’s lawyer. – The Cambodia Daily

Myanmar:

Two former exiled news outlets—the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) and Mizzima—have been selected to run their own digital channels in Burma under the state-owned Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV). – The Irrawaddy

Indonesia:

Incumbent governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama is ahead of competitor Anies Baswedan in the bitterly fought Jakarta election, an opinion survey published on Saturday (15/04) showed. – Jakarta Globe

Vietnam:

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has halted construction of the US$10.6-billion Hoa Sen Cà Ná steel plant in south-central Ninh Thuận Province, while requiring more studies to be completed on the consumer demand and the environmental impact of the plant. – Vietnam News

Bangladesh:

Bangladesh executed a top leader of a banned Islamic militant group and two aides on April 12 for their involvement in a grenade attack on a British diplomat in 2004. – UCA News