ASIA NEWS BITES: China's Influence on Students in Australia Exposed; Demand for Elephant Skin Rises; 200,000 Displaced in Philippines; North Korean Coal Ships Return to China

ASIA NEWS BITES: China's Influence on Students in Australia Exposed; Demand for Elephant Skin Rises; 200,000 Displaced in Philippines; North Korean Coal Ships Return to China
Photo Credit:REUTERS/達志影像

What you need to know

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


Chinese students at Australian universities keep an eye on their compatriots and keep the Chinese embassy informed about planned activities such as protests. - ABC (Australia)

China’s foreign ministry has dismissed recent investigative reports by Australian media claiming that the Communist Party has been pressuring its academics and exerting influence through students studying in the country. - Hong Kong Free Press

China faces growing pressure to release three labor activists detained for investigating conditions at factories that make Ivanka Trump’s shoe brand, as experts warned that the detentions could make it more difficult for other Western companies to take a clear look at the practices of their Chinese suppliers. - The New York Times

The top career diplomat at the US embassy in China has stepped down, an American official in Beijing confirmed Tuesday, amid suggestions that he opposes President Donald Trump’s climate policy. - AFP via Hong Kong Free Press

The Trump Administration is starting to show some backbone on China’s territorial power play against its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea. But if the Philippines, Vietnam and others are to stand up to Chinese bullying, the U.S. needs to do more to show it is committed to the region’s stability. - The Wall Street Journal


A new elephant poaching “crisis” is emerging in Burma, WWF announced yesterday. In addition to targeting wild elephants for their tusks, poachers are now killing elephants for their skin. The hide is reportedly being used for traditional medicine or is being turned into jewelry. - The Irrawaddy

Police in Myanmar have arrested a newspaper's chief editor and a columnist for allegedly defaming the military by publishing an article mocking its role in the country's efforts to reach a peace agreement with fractious minority groups, one of their lawyers said Monday. - Voice of America

More than 100 Myanmar journalists gathered on Tuesday in Yangon to call on the government to drop lawsuits filed against reporters under controversial Article 66(d) of the country's Telecommunications Law frequently used by those in powerful positions to silence their critics. - Radio Free Asia

Hong Kong:

Twenty years after the handover to China, Hong Kong has a promising future as a bridge between its sovereign and the rest of the world and the “one country, two systems” model is working well, the top US envoy in the city says. - South China Morning Post

Ride-hailing app Uber has received nearly 12,000 submissions from the Hong Kong public as part of its online campaign to garner support after police arrested 22 of its drivers for various offences last month. - South China Morning Post


More than 200,000 people have been displaced from Marawi City due to the ongoing clashes between the military and members of the Maute group, latest figures from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) show. - The Philippine Star

It was an audacious plot sketched out in chilling detail with blue pens on the back of a paper calendar: Islamic militants in the Philippines, including one of the world's most-wanted militant leaders, would take over a key Mindanao city in their boldest attack to date. - AFP via The Philippine Star

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered troops to "crush" Islamic extremists who have occupied parts of a southern city for more than two weeks, despite they are holding dozens of civilian hostages and hundreds of residents remain trapped. - The Sydney Morning Herald

As the legal challenge to his martial law declaration unfolds, President Duterte exhorted soldiers fighting Maute militants in Marawi City to do their job without fear, even as he warned critics of his mailed fist response to terrorism not to interfere. - The Philippine Star


Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers are divided over whether a draft bill to relax restrictions on foreign graduates seeking internships in Taiwan would create a loophole for firms to introduce cheap foreign workers and lower average salaries. - The Taipei Times

Relations between Taiwan and Japan are expected to continue to grow, and will not be affected by Tokyo's hope of improving its ties with Beijing, a Taiwanese official responsible for ties with Japan said on Tuesday. - Central News Agency


Every Singaporean has a role to play in fighting corruption, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday (Jun 6), during the opening of the Corruption Reporting and Heritage Centre (CRHC) which allows members of the public to walk in and report suspected corrupt practices in person. - Channel News Asia

South Korea:

CJ CGV, Korea's biggest cinema chain, is waging a struggle to stop Netflix from "disrupting" the local film distribution market. - The Korea Times

Hail and drought have devastated middle and southern regions of Korea, forcing local governments to take emergency action to help affected farmers. - The Korea Times

About 120,000 chickens and ducks near 21 poultry farms on Jeju Island were culled after they were confirmed to be infected with a highly pathogenic H5N8 strain, the government said Tuesday. - The Korea Times

North Korea:

Several North Korea-linked ships have visited multiple coal ports in China since Sunday, despite a nationwide ban issued by Beijing in February, analysis of satellite imagery and vessel positions shows. Ships with ties to the DPRK, or sailing under the country’s flag, called in at various coal handling ports in Shanghai and northeast China over. - North Korea News


Seven more Fukushima Prefecture residents who were aged 18 or under at the time of the 2011 nuclear accident have been found to have thyroid cancer, the prefectural government said Monday. - The Japan Times

The government has decided not to submit to the current Diet session a draft revision to the Health Promotion Law that would strengthen measures against passive smoking, the inhaling of other people’s cigarette smoke by nonsmokers, it has been learned. - The Japan News

A rock collected in 1965 by a then high school student in the city of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, has been confirmed to be a dinosaur egg fossil, the city, and the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum said Monday. - The Japan News


The National Election Committee (NEC) continued on Tuesday to say the slow internet and blurry photographs were to blame for delays in publishing election results for 344 remaining communes, with its spokesman offering no timeline for when the public could expect complete results. Some parties and observers questioned why the process was taking so long. - The Cambodia Daily


Delegations from Vietnam and Japan have closed approximately US $22 billion worth of trade agreements and business deals after what Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called a historic conference in Tokyo on Monday. - Tuoi Tre News

Vietnam’s car market has been growing at the fastest rate in Southeast Asia, boosted by the rapid growth of middle-income earners yearning for a status symbol, according to marketing and consulting firm Solidiance. - Vn Express


Police have found sharp weapons and other items that reportedly were going to be used to assemble a pressure-cooker bomb at terrorism suspect's home in Cileunyi, Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday (06/06).- The Jarkata Globe

Over the past year and a half, attitudes toward homosexuality in Indonesia have escalated from mild intolerance to violence. - Saigoneer

Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman promised to keep supplies and prices of staple food under control throughout Ramadan during a meeting with President Joko "Jokowi' Widodo at the State Palace in Jakarta on Monday (05/06). - The Jarkata Globe