ASIA NEWS BITES: US Plane Dodges Chinese Jet over East China Sea; Protests in Beijing; China’s ‘Unhackable’ Internet; Singapore Link to North Korea Probed

ASIA NEWS BITES: US Plane Dodges Chinese Jet over East China Sea; Protests in Beijing; China’s ‘Unhackable’ Internet; Singapore Link to North Korea Probed
Photo Credit: Reuters / 達志影像

What you need to know

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


A weather system near the Philippines might not develop into the ninth tropical storm of season over the next few days as forecast because the conditions are not right, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said Monday. - Central News Agency

Taiwan's industrial production for June rose year-on-year for the second consecutive month largely because of growing global demand for high-tech gadgets, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Monday. - Central News Agency
A cooling system failure in one of the Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant reactors has been repaired and the reactor could resume operations as soon as the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) gives its approval, Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said yesterday. - The Taipei Times

Four Chinese Xian H-6 strategic bombers were spotted in two formations flying close to Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday, passing through the Bashi Channel and the Miyako Strait south of Okinawa before returning to Chinese airspace, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said that day. - Central News Agency

An exhibition of once banned dangwai (黨外, “outside the party”) movement magazines published between the 1970s and 1980s has opened in Taipei as part of the nation’s commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law. - The Taipei Times


A U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane was forced to take evasive action to avoid a possible mid-air collision after a Chinese jet fighter came within 300 feet of the American aircraft over the East China Sea, U.S. officials said Monday. - The Wall Street Journal

Unlikely protests erupted in the Chinese capital on Monday following the arrest of the founder of self-proclaimed charitable company Shanxinhui on suspicion of fraud. - Hong Kong Free Press

As malicious hackers mount ever more sophisticated attacks, China is about to launch a new, "unhackable" communications network - at least in the sense that any attack on it would be quickly detected. - BBC

Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG is investing in a Chinese self-driving startup, in another instance of a Western auto maker seeking out a Chinese partner to get a foothold in a challenging market. - The Wall Street Journal

The acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA Group moved to allay concerns about its ownership structure on Monday by releasing a statement showing that its biggest shareholder had recently shifted from a mysterious businessman to a foundation it set up in New York. - The New York Times

Hong Kong:

China’s criminal law will also apply at Hong Kong’s rail link terminus. Jurisdiction will extend to trains and platforms as well as border clearance zone in leased area, sources say. - South China Morning Post

Advocacy groups have said they will organise street stands opposing the potential appointment of a pro-Beijing school principal as the number two official of the Education Bureau.- Hong Kong Free Press

North Korea:

China has been bolstering defenses along its 880-mile frontier with North Korea and realigning forces in surrounding regions to prepare for a potential crisis across their border, including the possibility of a U.S. military strike. - The Wall Street Journal

North Korea shocked the world with a July 4 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, but according to a new analysis done by Breaking Defense, the missile is basically useless. - AOL

South Korea:

South Korea, in its first official written response to the U.S. offer to discuss changes to a five-year-old free-trade agreement criticized by President Donald Trump as widening the American deficit, said that both sides should first jointly look into the causes of the trade imbalance before seeking to amend or renegotiate the pact. - The Wall Street Journal

South Korea raised its growth outlook for this year on Tuesday and vowed to maintain an expansionary fiscal policy that would support job creation.The government projected economic expansion of 3 percent in 2017, the fastest since the growth of 3.3 percent seen in 2014. - CNBC via Reuters

South Korea is looking to increase its ballistic missile firepower to a 1-ton conventional warhead, but even that is below the amount the North is known to have in its arsenal. - CNBC


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sought to quell burgeoning voter distrust Monday by reasserting his claim that he never rigged the decision-making process behind the opening of a rare, new veterinary department at a university run by his close friend Kotaro Kake.- The Japan Times

New blood test can check for 13 types of cancers. - The Japan News

Telework test held to prepare for Olympic:The government held a teleworking campaign day on Monday, with about 60,000 people from about 1,000 companies mainly based in the Tokyo metropolitan area working outside their regular workplaces. - The Japan News


As a river dies, India could be facing its ‘greatest human catastrophe’ ever. - Channel NewsAsia


A hospital in Myanmar's biggest city, Yangon, is treating two patients suspected to have contracted H1N1 influenza, a doctor said on Monday, as the government began responding to a potential new outbreak of the virus known as swine flu. - Channel NewsAsia

Police in Myanmar’s violence-ridden Maungdaw township in Rakhine state have arrested 31 people after acting on tips that militants planned to hold a secret meeting in Kyauk-hlay-gar village, the office of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said on Monday. - Radio Free Asia


Authorities in China’s northwest Xinjiang region forced a 12-year-old ethnic Uyghur boy to undergo political re-education and have detained him since arresting his parents, who returned home from Egypt to “register” themselves with the government nearly five months ago, according to official sources. - Radio Free Asia


Police in western China’s Sichuan province detained a senior Tibetan monk this week without explanation, leaving followers and friends unsure of his present whereabouts and concerned for his well-being, sources said. - Radio Free Asia


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte vowed on Monday (Jul 24) to press on with his drug war that has claimed thousands of lives, as he urged lawmakers to endorse "eye-for-an-eye" death penalties. - Channel NewsAsia

Cambodia :

An assistant at the Council for the Development of Cambodia walked free yesterday despite being found guilty of demanding bribes to process applications, less than a week after two City Hall officials were also freed despite being found guilty of pocketing public funds. - The Cambodia Daily

Authorities in Preah Vihear province are preparing to evacuate families living along the Stung Sen River as the eighth tropical storm to strike Southeast Asia this year will likely push the waterway over its edge.- The Cambodia Daily

Villagers affected by the US$781 million Lower Sesan 2 hydropower dam project on Mekong River tributaries in northeastern Cambodia’s Stung Treng province said on Monday that they will remain in their villages as the water level keeps rising during a test of the 400-megawatt project. - Radio Free Asia

The country’s first microfinance institution (MFI) professing to follow Islamic law may begin offering services in Cambodia by the end of the year, officials said on Monday, using fees in place of interest rates and new terms of collateral.- The Cambodia Daily


A gang of 44 people from China and Taiwan have been arrested in Thailand for running an elaborate phone scam that conned US$3 million from scores of victims, police said Monday (Jul 24).- Channel NewsAsia

Thai police have seized nearly $21-million worth of assets, from cars to cryptocurrency, belonging to the alleged late founder of dark web marketplace AlphaBay, who died in a Bangkok jail this month, they said on Monday. - The Globe and Mail via Reuters

Thailand's justice ministry froze some of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's bank accounts, the ministry, and her legal team said on Monday (Jul 24), in relation to a US$1 billion fine imposed by the ruling junta over her administration's rice-subsidy programme.- Channel NewsAsia


Vietnam has ordered a private company conducting a gas-drilling expedition in a disputed area of the South China Sea to cease operations following military threats from China, according to reports. - Radio Free Asia via AFP


Malaysia is one of the 10 countries which together accounted for over 95% of all new HIV infections in the Asia-Pacific region in 2016, said the United Nations in a recently-released report. - Channel NewsAsia

CIMB, Malaysia's second-biggest bank, on Monday said its subsidiary will form an equity joint venture with Ant Financial Services Group, the parent of Alipay, to provide mobile wallet and related financial services.- Channel NewsAsia

Malaysia’s second attempt to contest Singapore’s sovereignty over Pedra Branca within the space of four months points to a bid to “do what they can” against a backdrop of domestic political factors, said experts on international law, politics and history.- Channel NewsAsia


The boss of a Singapore firm allegedly involved in the running of high-end retail stores in North Korea and stocking them with banned luxury goods has denied any activity of the sort.- Channel NewsAsia

Racial and religious conflicts abroad can affect the perceptions and attitudes of people in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned on Monday (Jul 24), calling on community and religious leaders to continue their efforts in strengthening trust between the different faiths.- Channel NewsAsia