ASIA NEWS BITES: China Extends Ban on Uyghur Baby Names; 34 Dead in Manila; North Korea Hacks Foreigners’ Digital Devices

ASIA NEWS BITES: China Extends Ban on Uyghur Baby Names; 34 Dead in Manila; North Korea Hacks Foreigners’ Digital Devices
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

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


China's draconian new cybersecurity law, which came into effect on Thursday, is more likely to curb the free flow of online information, particularly about breaking news stories, than to protect the country's 730 million internet users, commentators told RFA. - Radio Free Asia

Hidden away for 28 years, Tiananmen protest pictures see light of day.- The New York Times

As the United States pulls back from its commitment to fight climate change, the world’s two other biggest polluters — India and China — are sounding the alarm. But neither country is in a position to fill the void left by American leadership, or to foot the bill. - The Washington Post

Chinese courts sentenced an unusually large number of senior officials on corruption charges this week—a visible stepping up of the government’s yearslong antigraft campaign ahead of a leadership transition. - The Wall Street Journal

China’s inescapable Tencent adds Hollywood movies to its vast ‘Walled Garden’. With social media reach beyond Facebook, a video platform like YouTube plus a content producer akin to Netflix, Tencent’s sphere is huge. - The Wall Street Journal


Myanmar’s army and police have opened an investigation into the brutal deaths of three ethnic Kachin men found murdered in the country’s turbulent northern Kachin state in late May after they had been detained by government troops, village and police officials said on Thursday. - Radio Free Asia


Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have extended a recently introduced ban on “extreme” Islamic names for ethnic Uyghur babies to include anyone up to the age of 16, according to official sources and residents, and the order may soon include Uyghurs of all ages. - Radio Free Asia


A gunman killed himself after bursting into a Manila casino, firing shots and setting gaming tables alight, Philippine police said, sowing panic in a country on high alert due to a bloody, 10-day battle with Islamist militants in the south. - Reuters

An airstrike by the Philippine military killed 11 of the country’s own soldiers and injured seven others as the government struggled to take back the southern city of Marawi from insurgents loyal to the Islamic State, officials said on Thursday. - The New York Times

Hong Kong:

Hong Kong has been crowned the world’s most competitive economy for the second year running, ahead of Switzerland and Singapore, by the International Institute for Management Development. - South China Morning Post


Several new visa measures that apply to nationals of certain countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia took effect Thursday as part of the government's "New Southbound Policy," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said. - Central News Agency

The wife of Lee Ming-che (李明哲), a Taiwanese human rights advocate who has been detained in China since March 19, on Thursday said she is not hiring a Chinese lawyer because China is ruled by men, not by law, and what she needs is the aid of legal consultants in Taiwan or other civilized countries. - Central News Agency

Taiwan’s world competitiveness ranking held steady this year at 14th, as it gained headway in economic performance and business efficiency, but lost points in government efficiency and infrastructure, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) said in an annual report released on Wednesday. - The Taipei Times


Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday expressed concern that the disputed islands controlled by Moscow but claimed by Tokyo could be armed by the U.S. military if they are returned to Japan. - The Japan Times

Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi apologized to a 13-year-old boy for the municipal government’s failure to act swiftly when he was bullied in elementary school for being a nuclear evacuee from Fukushima Prefecture. - The Japan Times

The Japan Coast Guard has arrested 5 Japanese and 3 Chinese men on suspicion of smuggling what appears to be over 200 kilograms of gold bullion into the country. - NHK

South Korea:

Prosecutors on Friday sought a court warrant to formally arrest the daughter of former President Park Geun-hye's friend who was extradited from Denmark this week. - The Korea Times

South Korea's government on Friday approved an additional eight requests by local aid providers and religious groups to have contact with North Koreans over inter-Korean exchanges. - The Korea Times

North Korea:

North Korea’s security agency is increasingly hacking into foreign travelers’ mobile phones, laptops, and cameras and buying used computers in bulk from other countries to acquire foreign technology and secret data, sources inside the country said. - Radio Free Asia

Seoul to mass-produce indigenous anti-tank guided missile: DAPA. New device designed to penetrate armor of North Korea’s Songun-ho tanks. - North Korea News


Ho Chi Minh City police have arrested more than 20 people believed to be members of what they call the country's largest drug ring operating across the country. - Vn Express

Deep in the forests of central Vietnam, home to rare flora and fauna and the world’s most spectacular system of caves, tourism is benefiting the local environment. - Vn Express


Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has yet again warned of war and chaos should his ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) lose commune elections on Sunday, prompting the country’s opposition leader to slam him for trying to upend the democratic process. - Radio Free Asia


President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Thursday that unity in diversity, as enshrined in the state ideology Pancasila, is the foundation for Indonesian society and must not be tarnished by any religious or political organization. - The Jakarta Globe

Fiera Lovita, a medical doctor in Solok, West Sumatra, who suffered threats and intimidation after she criticized an Islamic cleric on Facebook, said the group who forced her to sign a letter of apology and flee Solok for Jakarta is looking for more weak targets to bully and persecute. - The Jakarta Globe