ASIA NEWS BITES: China Bans Uyghur Language in Xinjiang Schools; ‘Narco Politicians’ Targeted in Philippines; US detects Unusual' NK Submarine Activity

ASIA NEWS BITES: China Bans Uyghur Language in Xinjiang Schools; ‘Narco Politicians’ Targeted in Philippines; US detects Unusual' NK Submarine Activity
Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

What you need to know

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

North Korea:

Just days after North Korea conducted an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test, the US military said it has detected "highly unusual and unprecedented levels" of submarine activity, CNN reported on Tuesday (Aug 1) citing a defence official. - Channel NewsAsia

Washington will not seek UN Security Council action following North Korea's latest missile test, according to US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who says that the "the time for talk is over."Washington has sought to bring pressure to bear on Pyongyang through Beijing. - CNN

North Korea is likely to conduct its sixth nuclear test as well as an additional intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, the Korea Ministry of National Defense said Monday. - The Korea Times

Analysts examining video of North Korea’s launch on Friday of an intercontinental ballistic missile that appeared capable of reaching the West Coast of the United States say they saw evidence of a setback the North never mentioned: The mock warhead on the missile shattered into pieces during its fiery re-entry to earth. - The New York Times


China’s UN Ambassador Liu Jieyi on Monday said that China does not hold “primary responsibility” for resolving the North Korean nuclear and missile issue, at a news conference held in New York marking the end of Beijing’s month-long presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC). - North Korea News

China's manufacturing activity faltered in June, as experts warn of a slowdown in the world's second largest economy: China registered steady growth during the first half of the year with stronger-than-expected GDP and exports growth, but the positive momentum will be hard to maintain as the country looks to adopt stricter financial regulations aimed at controlling the country's debt-fuelled investments. - Channel NewsAsia

China lashed out at the U.S. on Monday over North Korea, saying Washington was ratcheting up tensions with Pyongyang and violating Security Council resolutions calling for restraint and dialogue. - The Wall Street Journal

French fashion house Saint Laurent is launching online sales in China, a major step in the storied brand’s efforts to expand in China’s rapidly growing domestic market.- The Wall Street Journal


Typhoon Nesat and Tropical Storm Haitang have left one person missing and 131 injured in Taiwan, according to the latest statistics released by the Central Emergency Operation Center on Monday. - Central News Agency

The National Security Bureau (NSB) on Monday dismissed as "fabrication" a report saying that classified files concerning Taiwan's military training plans had been leaked to China.- Central News Agency

The government has ruled out reactivating suspended nuclear power plants to alleviate tightening electricity supplies due to storm damage, Minister of Economic Affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光) said yesterday. - The Taipei Times

The southwesterly air flow brought by Tropical Storm Haitang have caused heavy rainfall in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung, where 5,137 people had been evacuated as of Monday morning.- Central News Agency

Hong Kong:

A Hong Kong court on Monday cleared a pro-democracy activist and former lawmaker of misconduct while in public office for allegedly failing to declare a HKUS$250,000 (US$32,015) donation from a media tycoon.- Channel NewsAsia


A cross-border MRT system which will connect Singapore and Johor Baru in Malaysia will begin passenger service by the end of December 2024, ministers from the two countries announced on Monday (Jul 31). - Channel NewsAsia


Donald Trump has vowed to take “all necessary measures” to protect United States allies from North Korea’s evolving military threat, the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has said following a phone conversation with the US president. - The Guardian

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has formally announced plans to reshuffle the cabinet and leadership of the governing party on Thursday. - NHK


Expect more operations against narco politicians following the police raid on Sunday in Ozamiz that killed its mayor and 14 others, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa warned yesterday. - The Philippine Star

The military is fighting some 30 to 40 remaining members of the Maute terror group in Marawi City, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday.- The Philippine Star

Army engineers started yesterday the construction of model houses of temporary shelters for displaced residents of Marawi City.- The Philippine Star

Islamist militants in the Philippines have beheaded seven local loggers they kidnapped last week in their stronghold in the strife-torn south, police said Monday (Jul 31). - Channel NewsAsia

A group of United Nations (UN) experts urged the Philippine government to address reports of human rights violations, including murder and threats against indigenous people or Lumads in Mindanao. - The Philippine Star


The Interior Ministry plans to monitor the Facebook page of former opposition president Sam Rainsy for violations of newly passed amendments to the Law on Political Parties, which will also force the CNRP to spend upwards of half a million dollars to erase his image from its signs. - The Cambodia Daily

CNN on Monday said it stands by its report on child sex trafficking in Cambodia that has set the Interior Ministry on an investigation of a local NGO quoted in the story, accusing it of tarnishing the country’s image. - The Cambodia Daily


Around 300 police officers will be sent to maintain order at the Supreme Court where former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra will deliver her closing statement Tuesday in the trial of her government's failed rice-pledging scheme. - The Bangkok Post

Line Thailand is jumping on the mobile-taxi-booking bandwagon by expanding the services offered by its on-demand delivery app Line Man, adding cabs to its current list that includes food, groceries, documents and parcels.- The Bangkok Post

Thai officials on Monday publicly refuted reports that agents had abducted a hardcore activist linked to the pro-democracy Red Shirts who has lived in self-imposed exile in neighboring Laos for the past three years. - Radio Free Asia


A prominent Myanmar investigative journalist charged under a controversial legal statute with defaming the country’s most notorious ultranationalist Buddhist monk was released on bail on Monday during the first day of his trial in central Myanmar’s Mandalay region.- Radio Free Asia


A Tibetan monk who set himself on fire in Sichuan in a 2011 protest challenging Chinese rule in Tibetan areas was freed from prison at the weekend after serving his full term, sources in the region said.- Radio Free Asia

An unmarried Tibetan man set himself on fire and died in the northwest Indian hill town of Dharamsala on Saturday in a protest calling for the long life of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Tibetan sources said.- Radio Free Asia


Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have issued a directive completely banning the use of the Uyghur language at all education levels up to and including secondary school, according to official sources, and those found in violation of the order will face “severe punishment.” - Radio Free Asia


Malaysia has urged the United Nations refugee agency on Monday (Jul 31) to share its database of some 150,000 refugees and asylum seekers currently registered in the country. - Channel NewsAsia


Indonesian police said Monday they had arrested 149 Chinese suspected of involvement in an alleged multimillion-dollar online scam that targeted wealthy people from China. - Radio Free Asia


Authorities in Vietnam arrested four members of a prodemocracy group on charges of attempting to topple the country’s one-party state over the weekend, drawing condemnation from their organization and Paris-based rights campaigners who demanded their unconditional release Monday.- Radio Free Asia

President Donald Trump awarded the nation's highest military honor Monday to a Vietnam War veteran who saved wounded soldiers from a kill zone despite his own serious injuries. - Fox News

United Nations officials and Vietnamese civil society groups on Friday denounced the severity of a jail term handed down to a prominent human rights activist and blogger earlier this week.- Radio Free Asia