ASIA NEWS BITES: Lesbian App Shut in China; Crackdown on Tibet Internet after Self-Immolations; Emirates Sparks Controversy over Taiwan Flag

ASIA NEWS BITES: Lesbian App Shut in China; Crackdown on Tibet Internet after Self-Immolations;  Emirates Sparks Controversy over Taiwan Flag
Photo Credit to : Wikimedia

What you need to know

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


Chinese authorities have stepped up a nationwide "stability maintenance" operation ahead of the 28th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square masssacre. - Radio Free Asia

China appears to have shuttered the lesbian app Rela, prompting some to wonder if the move is a part of state censorship of LBGT rights following a ruling in Taiwan earlier this paving the way for same-sex marriages. - Radio Free Asia

China will implement a controversial cybersecurity law Thursday despite concerns from foreign firms worried about its impact on their ability to do business in the world’s second largest economy. - AFP via Hong Kong Free Press


Emirates ordered its Taiwanese cabin crew to remove the island’s flag from their uniforms on Tuesday, as the Middle East airline signaled it was willing to support Beijing’s one-China policy, sparking backlash from Taiwanese flight attendants. - South China Morning Post

A Taipei vigil to commemorate the 28th anniversary of China's Tiananmen Square massacre will draw attention to the case of Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who is being held in China for suspected subversion of state power, organizers of the event said Monday. - Central News Agency


A recent surge in self-immolation protests by Tibetans living in western Chinese provinces has brought a clampdown by authorities on internet communications, with police regularly monitoring social media sites for evidence of news-sharing outside the area, Tibetan sources say. - Radio Free Asia


Authorities in northwest China are implementing a set of “stability maintenance” measures in Xinjiang during Ramadan, but sources say restaurants have been ordered to stay open throughout the Islamic holy month as part of the directive, suggesting efforts to undermine the Muslim tradition of fasting. - Radio Free Asia

Hong Kong:

Rights activists in Hong Kong said they will press ahead with mass public events commemorating the military crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing in spite of growing political influence from the ruling Chinese Communist Party in the city. - Radio Free Asia

Beijing’s point man on Hong Kong affairs, Zhang Dejiang, appears to be signalling a harder line on how the city should be governed. - South China Morning Post


Vietnamese human rights and religious freedom activists have appealed to the Trump administration to take up the cases of jailed colleagues when Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits the White House on Wednesday. - Radio Free Asia

Hospital says sorry as Vietnam probes 7 deaths in 'painful' dialysis disaster. - Vn Express

North Korea:

North Korea launched a ballistic missile test Monday, its third in less than three weeks. - CNN

An Indonesian woman charged with murdering the half-brother of North Korea’s leader assured her parents in a letter read out in court Tuesday that she would be home soon, despite facing the death penalty if convicted. - Radio Free Asia

South Korea:

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea ordered an investigation on Tuesday into why the Defense Ministry had failed to inform him that four additional launchers for a contentious American missile-defense battery had been brought into his country. - The New York Times


North Korea released a statement on Tuesday condemning Japan for its leader's remark at the G7 summit about putting further pressure on Pyongyang. The statement, released through North Korea's state media, says it is preposterous that Japan unreasonably describes Pyongyang's attempts to defend itself from provocations and threats. - NHK World

A U.N. rights expert who visited Japan last year noted “significant worrying signals” for the country’s freedom of expression and opinion in a report released on Tuesday in Geneva. - The Japan Times

Japan’s ratio of job openings to job seekers in April climbed to the highest level in 43 years and two months, while the nation’s unemployment rate stayed at the same level for three straight months, government data showed Tuesday. - The Japan News


The Philippines military has unleashed a series of air strikes in a push to regain full control of a largely Muslim city that was overrun last week by ISIS-affiliated fighters. - CNN


A cyclone tore through parts of Bangladesh on Tuesday, destroying the homes of thousands of Rohingya refugees who had fled the violence in Myanmar over the last several years. - The New York Times

A senior police official in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state said on Monday that authorities will investigate the deaths of three ethnic Kachin men found murdered after being detained last week by government troops. - Radio Free Asia

Human rights advocates are calling on Myanmar’s government to investigate a video that appears to show soldiers kicking, beating and threatening to kill six captives. - The New York Times


The Indonesian army and the police will deploy extra troops to prevent Islamic militants from Marawi City in the southern Philippines from entering Indonesian territory, Chief Security Minister Wiranto said on Monday. - The Jakarta Globe

A greater role for the military in counterterrorism operations should only be the last option amid tougher measures currently under consideration, the national human rights body said in its objection to a government proposal on Tuesday. - The Jakarta Globe


Cambodia’s government is using its control over the judiciary to silence rights campaigners and opposition activists ahead of local elections, Amnesty International said Tuesday, drawing a rebuke from an official who claimed the report does not reflect reality of the country’s courts. - Radio Free Asia


Police are yet to determine whether a pipe bomb found near the MRT’s Thailand Cultural Centre station yesterday was linked to three recent bomb blasts in the capital. - The Nation

A British journalist faces jail time after he was arrested at Thailand's main airport with a gas mask and plates for a bullet-proof vest, which police said Tuesday breached a law that classifies the protective gear as war weapons. - The Nation