ASIA NEWS BITES: CNN Takes Cambodia to Task on Child Prostitution; Growing Concern for Liu Xia; China’s First Overseas Military Base; China Hits Back on Trump Tweets via Xinhua

ASIA NEWS BITES: CNN Takes Cambodia to Task on Child Prostitution; Growing Concern for Liu Xia; China’s First Overseas Military Base; China Hits Back on Trump Tweets via Xinhua

What you need to know

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


Ancient statue unearthed at Cambodia's Angkor temple complex: Archaeologists have unearthed two-metre high, centuries-old object during an excavation of an ancient hospital. - The Guardian

The Interior Ministry on Friday said it would investigate a story about child prostitution in Phnom Penh that reappeared last week on CNN, a day after a government-friendly journalists’ union criticized the U.S. network for recycling a “fake news” story that could have a negative impact on Cambodia’s international reputation. - The Cambodia Daily

An American charity that was featured in a recent CNN report on the sex trade in Cambodia was ordered shut down on Tuesday by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who denounced the network and said President Trump was right to criticize it. - The New York Times

Authorities in Cambodia’s Takeo province have arrested a man who falsely claimed on Facebook that Vietnamese men kidnapped Cambodian children and removed their organs, prompting Prime Minister Hun Sen to warn against using social media to spread rumors on Tuesday. - Radio Free Asia


Friends and fellow activists expressed growing concern over the disappearance of Liu Xia, widow of Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died on July 13 of liver cancer in police custody. - Radio Free Asia

China opens its first overseas naval base in Djibouti – reports. - Hong Kong Free Press via AFP

After President Trump pilloried China in 48 tweeted words over the weekend, accusing it of failing to tame its neighbor and longtime ally North Korea, Beijing issued its own rebuke to Mr. Trump — in a cutting editorial of 1,000 Chinese characters from Xinhua, the official news agency. - The New York Times

China’s Manufacturing Gauges Offer Mixed Messages. The Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers index hit its highest level in four months, but the government’s official PMI dropped. - The Wall Street Journal

The Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, is calling on President Donald Trump to suspend the approval of all Chinese deals facing national security reviews in the U.S. until China acts more aggressively to press North Korea to curtail its nuclear and missile programs.- The Wall Street Journal

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday issued a tough line on national sovereignty amid multiple territorial disputes with its neighbors, saying China will never permit the loss of “any piece” of its land to outsiders. - The Taipei Times via AP


Intimidation will only drive Taiwan further away from China, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) delivered a tough speech on national sovereignty in Beijing. - The Taipei Times

The first batch of beef imported from Honduras in recent years has arrived in Taiwan, fulfilling a promise made by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) earlier this year during a visit to the Central American ally to strengthen bilateral cooperation in agriculture, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.- Central News Agency

President Tsai Ing-wen celebrated the Day of Indigenous Peoples -- observed on Aug. 1 each year in Taiwan -- at the National Administration Conference of Indigenous Peoples Tuesday, but outside the venue several dozen indigenous activists protested, calling for the complete recognition of their traditional territories.- Central News Agency

Hong Kong:

Pro-democracy lawmakers boycott visit to Express Rail Link terminus until legal questions are answered. - Hong Kong Free Press

Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s popularity rating has dropped by 5.2 points since early July, according to the results of the latest survey published by the University of Hong Kong. - Hong Kong Free Press

Pro-Beijing figure Choi Yuk-lin has been appointed as Hong Kong’s undersecretary for education despite weeks of vocal opposition from the pro-democracy camp. - Hong Kong Free Press


Chinese authorities in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang have detained dozens of ethnic Kazakhs in recent weeks amid an ongoing security crackdown targeting anyone with ties beyond China's borders, sources told RFA. - Radio Free Asia


Officials in Thailand and Laos said Tuesday they had no information about a missing activist linked with the Thai pro-democracy Red Shirts, while Human Rights Watch called for a full investigation into his alleged abduction in Vientiane over the weekend. - Radio Free Asia


Strong sales of image sensors for cameras in iPhones and other smartphones helped Sony Corp. post sharply higher profits in the three months through June.- The Wall Street Journal

Japan has lodged a protest with China over what it described as suspicious activity in a maritime area rich in gas deposits in the East China Sea, officials said Tuesday. - The Japan Times via AFP

Kyoto University researchers are set to begin the world’s first clinical trial of a drug identified using iPS cells to treat a rare bone disease, the university said Tuesday. - The Japan Times


India’s cabinet has rejected China’s Fosun Pharmaceuticals’ $1.3 billion acquisition of Indian drug company Gland Pharma Ltd., government sources said Tuesday. - The Wall Street Journal

Large anti-India clashes erupted in disputed Kashmir after government forces killed two senior militants in a gunbattle and fatally shot a demonstrator during an ensuing protest. - The Wall Street Journal


Tension is rising in Thailand as former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra enters the final stages of a trial accusing her of mismanaging a multibillion-dollar rice-subsidy program, defying government warnings to stay away, more than 1,000 supporters show up for her arrival at court. - The Wall Street Journal

The number of North Koreans slipping illegally into Thailand has surged in recent months, according to immigration bureau officials, as tensions mount on the Korean peninsula because of Pyongyang's weapons programms. - The Star

The United Nations urged Thailand on Tuesday to drop criminal cases against female activists who campaign for the rights of their communities, amid concerns they face increasing harassment. - The Bangkok Post

The cabinet has approved a 2% increase in the excise tax on liquor, cigarettes and beer so it can better help needy elderly people. - The Bangkok Post


Vietnam on Tuesday condemned China's construction and operation of a movie theatre on the Paracel islands, as tension between the neighbours rises over energy claims in the disputed South China Sea waterway. - Channel NewsAsia


Government had threatened a complete ban if Telegram didn’t remove terrorist-linked content, Indonesia’s information technology minister says the government will allow the encrypted messaging app Telegram to continue operating because it is taking steps to address “negative” content. - The Wall Street Journal via AP

An official watchdog has found that Indonesia executed a Nigerian man last year while his case was unresolved, leading to renewed calls for a halt to a system holding hundreds of prisoners on death row. - The Guardian

The head of the Ministry of Religion's Interfaith Harmony Forum said on Monday (31/07) that the government is currently drafting a law that will guarantee the rights of religious minorities across the country. - The Jakarta Globe

North Korea:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson struck a softer tone on North Korea on Tuesday, telling Pyongyang that Washington was not the North’s enemy and was open to dialogue. Speaking at the White House, Tillerson’s remarks came shortly after a prominent U.S. Senator said a military solution to the North’s developing weapons programs was “inevitable.” - North Korea News


Activists fighting to keep truth of brutal Marcos regime in Philippines alive: Revisionism becoming rife amid signs the descendants of the former dictator have never been closer to a political comeback. - The Guardian

The Philippines has registered the fastest-growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Asia-Pacific in the past six years with a 140-percent increase in the number of new infections, the health ministry and the United Nations said on Tuesday - Channel NewsAsia

Critics of the Philippine government are raising doubts about a weekend police operation that left 15 people dead, including a mayor accused of drug trafficking by President Rodrigo Duterte, suggesting that the bloodshed was a summary execution disguised as legitimate law enforcement. - The New York Times


Malaysia’s scandal-hit sovereign wealth fund has missed a July deadline to make about $629 million in payments as part of a settlement with an Abu Dhabi government fund, a setback to efforts to clean up a yearslong financial mess.- The New York Times