ASIA NEWS BITES: China Seizes on US Climate Inaction; Tiananmen Remembered; Duterte Won't Negotiate with ISIS; Crackdown in Tibet

ASIA NEWS BITES: China Seizes on US Climate Inaction; Tiananmen Remembered; Duterte Won't Negotiate with ISIS; Crackdown in Tibet
Photo Credit: Chiang Ying-ying / AP Photo / 達志影像

What you need to know

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


U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration called on China Sunday to respect human rights and release from prison those jailed for trying to keep alive the memory of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. - AFP via Hong Kong Free Press

President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change accord drew criticism from leaders around the world. In China, the government seized the moment to cast doubt on American democracy and promote an image of China as a responsible superpower. - The New York Times

China has expressed its strong dissatisfaction with what it labeled "irresponsible remarks" on the South China Sea by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis during a security forum at the weekend. - Channel News Asia


Authorities in China’s Qinghai province have arrested more than 40 Tibetans following a clash between villagers and police over water rights that left dozens injured, according to Tibetan sources. - Radio Free Asia


Authorities in Myanmar have charged three Muslim men for holding Ramadan prayers in the street after the local school where they used to worship was shut down by a nationalist mob. - The Guardian

Hong Kong:

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on Sunday for a candlelight vigil to mark the 28th anniversary of China's crackdown on pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square, while Taiwan urged China to make a transition to full democracy. - Reuters

The time to commemorate the Tiananmen Square crackdown “has come to an end,” student leaders from one of the city’s ­major universities said on Sunday on the 28th anniversary of the ­incident, prompting a fierce backlash from many supporters of the June 4 vigil. - South China Morning Post

AIDS Concern has stopped providing HIV tests for heterosexual males after the Hong Kong government stopped allocating it funds for prevention work among heterosexuals this year. - Hong Kong Free Press


The gunman who went on a deadly rampage at a Metro Manila gaming complex was a Filipino gambling addict who had been recently barred from the country’s casinos, Philippine police said. - The Wall Street Journal

Nearly a year into Mr. Duterte’s violent antidrug campaign, in which more than 4,000 people accused of using or selling illegal drugs have been killed and thousands of other killings are classified as “under investigation,” fear and mistrust have gripped many neighborhoods of Manila and other cities. - The New York Times

Efforts to rescue up to 2,000 civilians trapped by fighting between troops and Islamist militants here failed yesterday when a proposed truce ended in a hail of gunfire and explosions, authorities and witnesses said. - The Phillipine Star

President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that he will not negotiate with militants aligned with the Islamic State group who are holding hostages in a besieged southern city and that he has ordered troops to kill the gunmen even if they slaughter the hostages. - The Philippine Star


Cambodia's opposition made significant gains in local elections against the ruling party of authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday (Jun 4), according to the first results. - Channel News Asia

Independent election observers praised Sunday’s running of the nationwide commune elections as largely smooth and peaceful, even while noting a raft of problems, including unauthorized officials at polling sites, intimidated observers and soldiers being brought to vote at some polling stations by the truckload. - The Cambodia Daily

A lack of official results did not stop both major political parties from claiming victory in Cambodia’s highest-stakes and highest-turnout local elections to date on Sunday, with the CPP citing its dominance in winning commune chief seats and the CNRP boasting of huge opposition gains in a ballot monitors said was largely free of the irregularities that marred past votes. - The Cambodia Daily


Police said they are launching a nationwide operation involving thousands of officials to anticipate dozens of potential threats ranging from outbreaks religious intolerance to terrorism ahead of the upcoming Idul Fitri holiday. - The Jakarta Globe .


Hanoi revives a plan to ban motorbikes in the uphill battle against congestion. - Vn Express

It appears likely that Spotify, the popular Swedish music streaming service, will expand to Vietnam and Thailand this year. - Saigoneer


President Tsai Ing-wen has called for Beijing to face what she called the Tiananmen Square Incident of June 4, 1989 with an open mind, and said Taiwan is willing to share with China its experiences in democracy transformation. - Central News Agency

An event was held in Taipei yesterday to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, with participants calling on China to respect human rights and release arrested Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲). - The Taipei Times


As Singapore assumes chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year, it will do its best to attain a balance between security and trade interests, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen at the close of the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday. - Channel News Asia

North Korea:

North Korea "fully rejects" the latest U.N sanctions against its citizens and entities as a "hostile act" and will continue its nuclear weapons development without a delay, its foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday. - AOI

Congo reveals details of health protocol signed with North Korea. Minister for Health says North Koreans are illegally providing health care in the African state. -The North Korea News

South Korea:

The ruling Democratic Party and the government agreed Monday to create a new ministry supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and venture startups as part of a government reorganization plan, party officials said. - The Korea Times

Moon's approval rating dips to 78% amid scandals against Cabinet member nominees. - The Korea Times


About 100 schoolchildren and their parents were taking part in what appeared to be a clean-up outing at the elementary school in this small fishing and farming town in Abu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, when an alarm warned of an impending missile attack, causing them to evacuate to the school’s gymnasium. - The Japan Times


Thai soldiers have been deployed to patrol the Thai-Malaysian border in Narathiwat and Yala provinces around the clock since May 12 to stop illegal border crossings and smuggling of war materials. - The Bangkok Post