ASIA NEWS BITES: Taiwan Marks 30 Yrs Since Martial Law; Tibetan Self-Immolates in India; Sales of 'Nuclear Shelters' Climb in Japan on North Korea Threat

ASIA NEWS BITES: Taiwan Marks 30 Yrs Since Martial Law; Tibetan Self-Immolates in India; Sales of 'Nuclear Shelters' Climb in Japan on North Korea Threat
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

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


Taiwan marks 30th anniversary of ending martial law. - The News Lens

To remove legal obstacles for the nation’s “normalization,” a coalition has launched a campaign to scrap the “Taiwan Province” designation and a law defining China as the “Mainland area” of the Republic of China (ROC). - The Taipei Times

Taiwan intends to improve its competitiveness in the aerospace industry through partnerships between the public and private sectors and international cooperation, Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said during a visit to the National Space Organization Saturday. - Central News Agency

Hong Kong-based Causeway Bay Books is to reopen in Taipei next year, the store’s former manager Lam Wing-kei (林榮基) said.- The Taipei Times

A choir from Taiwan comprised of indigenous children won five awards, including a gold in the children's choir category, at the Leonardo Da Vinci International Choral Festival in Florence held from July 11 to 14. - Central News Agency


China has pushed back against a wave of international censure over the death of democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo, telling the world to stay out of its “domestic affairs” and labeling the 2010 decision to award the late activist a Nobel peace prize “a blasphemy”. - The Guardian

Human rights activists have poured scorn on Donald Trump for showering China’s “terrific” President Xi Jinping with praise just hours after one of the world’s most famous political prisoners died in the custody of Chinese security services. - The Guardian

Friends of the late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo worried about the fate of his widow on Sunday, with no signs that authorities have freed her after the dissident’s sea burial. - Hong Kong Free Press

China’s top leaders have gathered every five years since 1997 for a National Financial Work Conference. At past gatherings, they have created entire regulatory agencies and rearranged the rules for huge markets, almost overnight. - The New York Times

In urban China, hardly anyone is using cash anymore. - The New York Times

President Xi Jinping announced the setup of a cabinet-level committee to coordinate China’s financial regulation at a high-level meeting that ended Saturday, as Beijing focuses on keeping risks at bay ahead of a twice-a-decade leadership shuffle later this year. - The Wall Street Journal

Hong Kong:

Over 1,000 Hongkongers march through city center in memory of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo. - Hong Kong Free Press

Four in 10 Hong Kong pupils wary of closer ties to mainland China, survey finds. - South China Morning Post

Faster security screening soon at Hong Kong airport, but passengers may bear the cost of perk. - South China Morning Post


A Tibetan student has self-immolated in India after shouting "freedom", police said on Saturday, injuring himself critically. - Al Jazeera


Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have launched a racial profiling campaign to assess the security threat posed by non-Han Chinese majority residents of the capital Urumqi, with points automatically docked for members of the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority, according to a local official. - Radio Free Asia


Reporters from 18 domestic and international news agencies on Friday toured Rohingya Muslim villages in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships in the northern part of Myanmar’s Rakhine state which has continued to be wracked by violence nine months after a deadly attack on border guard posts last October. - Radio Free Asia


A memorial service was held Sunday in Niigata Prefecture to mark the 10th anniversary of the deadly earthquake that killed 15 people and left more than 2,300 injured in the region that hosts the world’s largest nuclear power plant. - The Japan Times

Sales of nuclear shelters climb in Japan wary of North Korea tests. Fears of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis are giving way to concerns over atomic attack following multiple missile tests conducted by Pyongyang. - The Guardian

The suspect in the massacre of 19 mentally disabled people at a care facility in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, about a year ago was inspired by remarks made by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and the activities of the Islamic State group, according to his recent letters. - The Japan Times

China told Japan on Friday to "get used to it" after it flew six warplanes over the Miyako Strait between two southern Japanese islands in a military exercise. - NDTV


Singapore, the model of orderly rule, is jolted by the bitter family feud. A property battle among children of the city-state’s late founding father Lee Kuan Yew has burst into public view, drawing government attention and allegations of impropriety. - The Wall Street Journal


Police in Mumbai have registered a criminal case against a comedian over a tweet of the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi modified by Snapchat’s popular dog filter. - The Guardian

At least 16 Hindu pilgrims have been killed and much more injured after a bus crash in India’s northern Jammu and Kashmir state, police have said, just days after gunmen shot dead eight worshippers making the same holy visit. - The Guardian

The madams in the luxury gated community went to yoga classes and toddler playgroups; the maids soundlessly whisked away dirty dishes and soiled laundry before retreating, at night, to a nearby shantytown of tin sheds and plastic tents. - The New York Times

North Korea:

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is monitoring the lives of citizens through secretly filmed video footage, sources inside the country said, citing his recently introduced order requiring the packaging and quality of domestic goods to match that of those produced for export. - Radio Free Asia

North Korea has marked the anniversary of the Korean War - and its annual "Struggle Against US Imperialism Month" - by releasing two anti-American postage stamps. - CNN

New images of North Korea’s main nuclear facility show that the isolated regime has apparently produced more of the key nuke ingredient, a US monitor said. -

A U.S. senator introduced legislation on Friday looking to prohibit any entities engaging with North Korea from the dollar system and to impose sanctions on businesses using North Korean labor. - North Korea News

South Korea:

South Korea on Monday proposed military talks with North Korea this week, the first government-level talks since late 2015, in an effort to halt hostile activities near their joint border and after a series of missile tests by the North in recent weeks.- Reuters


The Thai government will play its part in preventing followers of religious leader Fethullah Gulen from conducting any illegal activity that could undermine the Turkish government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says. - The Bangkok Post


Raids on construction sites have become a daily exercise since Malaysia began its nationwide crackdown on illegal foreign workers on Jul 1. In the first 10 days of the operation, more than 3,300 illegal migrants have been arrested, including more than 60 employers. - Channel NewsAsia

The Malaysian government does not intend to restrict the use of instant messaging application Telegram, for now, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on Sunday. - Channel NewsAsia

Thai investigators will travel to Malaysia soon as part of an in-depth investigation into a Malaysian company which has been accused of being a "transnational crime syndicate" in the kingdom. - The Star


President Rodrigo Duterte cracked another joke about rape on Friday, this time referring to contestants of Miss Universe, in addressing diplomats in Davao City. - The Philippine Star

Senators will ask President Duterte in their meeting today in Malacañang if he still intends to extend the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said yesterday. - The Philippine Star

Suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen abducted four workers in a school in a southern Philippine province where President Rodrigo Duterte visited troops waging an offensive against the militants, officials said Sunday. - ABC

Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino is to be charged over a botched "anti-terror" raid that left 44 elite policemen dead in 2015, a special government prosecutor said on Friday. - The Aljazeera

The Philippines is looking to take its bilateral relations with the US a notch higher as it eyes to secure a free trade agreement (FTA) with the world’s largest economy. - The Philippine Star


Indonesia on Friday blocked access to the encrypted messaging service Telegram, citing concerns that it was being used to spread "radical and terrorist propaganda" in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation. - The Jakarta Globe

Throughout this week, police in West Java have rounded up four suspected militants who had allegedly planned to launch a string of bomb attacks, a police spokesman said on Friday. - The Jakarta Globe