ASIA NEWS BITES: China’s CIA Takedown; Duterte Says Xi Threatened War; 150th Tibetan Self-Immolation

ASIA NEWS BITES:  China’s CIA Takedown; Duterte Says Xi Threatened War; 150th Tibetan Self-Immolation
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

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


The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward. - The New York Times

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said China threatened him with war if he insisted on enforcing last year’s arbiter’s ruling on the South China Sea, a serious claim that comes as Southeast Asian nations and Beijing agreed on a framework code of conduct to prevent clashes in the sea region. - Radio Free Asia

Two Chinese fighter jets this week buzzed a U.S. spy plane that sniffs out nuclear radiation as it flew over the seas between China and North Korea, underlining Beijing’s discomfort with American surveillance and differences in the countries’ approach to the threat posed by the regime in Pyongyang. - The Washington Post

For Chinese citizens, American green cards can be notoriously difficult to obtain. But a Beijing immigration company called Qiaowai tells visa applicants of a secret weapon: It is working on behalf of a real estate firm owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner. - The New York Times


One village official killed, another missing in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine State. - Radio Free Asia


Tibetan monk sets himself ablaze in Qinghai in 150th self-immolation. - Radio Free Asia


Ethnic Muslim Uyghurs in northwest China’s Xinjiang region are being given mandatory health examinations that include DNA collection, according to residents, causing concern among some observers who have called on Beijing to explain its motive behind the mass checkups. - Radio Free Asia

Hong Kong:

Cathay Pacific Airways confirmed on Monday morning it will shed almost 600 staff from its head office, in the biggest round of job cuts by Hong Kong’s flagship carrier in 20 years. - South China Morning Post

Former U.S. government security contractor Edward Snowden has hit out at the Hong Kong government for denying refugee status to a group of families who sheltered him while he was on the run in the city in 2013. - Radio Free Asia


Stephen Yates, an adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump's transition team, saw opportunities for greater cooperation between Taiwan and the United States under new leaders but warned that better communications were needed to strengthen ties. - Central News Agency

Taiwan hopes its allies stand up to China’s “coercion and threats” that have shut it out of the UN’s annual World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-Chung (陳時中) told reporters on Saturday. - The Taipei Times

North Korea:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has approved the deployment of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile for combat use as the country succeeded in test-firing it, Pyongyang's state media said Monday. - The Korea Times

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un described the results of the country’s successful launch its second ballistic missile in a little more than a week as “perfect,” as Pyongyang increases the pace of its testing in its quest to develop the ability to strike the continental U.S. with a nuclear-tipped weapon. - The Wall Street Journal

War with N. Korea would be ‘tragic on an unbelievable scale’: Mattis, U.S. Secretary of Defense working on a 'sustainable policy' going forward. - The Korea Times

South Korea:

South Korea is likely to resume humanitarian assistance to North Korea despite the grave security situation sparked by the North's missile tests, a government official said Monday. - The Korea Times

President Moon Jae-in's approval rating exceeded 80 percent, a survey showed Monday, underscoring high public support for the new liberal leader. - The Korea Times


A nuclear accident at a power plant in South Korea could cause wider radiation contamination in western Japan than on its home soil, a study by a South Korean scientist has shown. - The Japan Times


Officials yesterday said government-issued media guidelines for election coverage which prohibit the publication of news that affects the country’s “social stability” were just a “reminder” of existing laws, but some NGOs said the issuing of the code of conduct was an act meant to “stifle dissent.” - The Cambodia Daily


Scores of children who became radicalized while living in areas controlled by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria with their families may pose a serious risk if they return to Indonesia, a terrorism expert has warned. - The Jakarta Globe

Democratic principles are rarely used to resolve national crises, the governor of state-security think-tank National Resilience Institute, or Lemhannas said at the 2017 Jakarta Geopolitical Forum on Friday. - The Jakarta Globe


The heaviest floods in 15 years have forced the closure of several businesses in the commercial heart of Khiri Mat district in Sukhothai. - The Bangkok Post

Authorities crashed the 'Unhappy Birthday' seminar held Sunday at Thammasat University and forced organizers to put duct tape on the words after '3 ปี' (3 years). The covered-up words are 'Dictator NCPO'. Then the censors barred the organizers from distributing the posters - The Bangkok Post


President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations a month after he declined a similar degree from the University of the Philippines. - The Philippine Star