Asia

Sub-categories

Regional News • Asia
Hong Kong democracy movement media entrepreneur Lai detained until trial

Shortly after the verdict against Joshua Wong and two of his comrades-in-arms the media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai, another prominent supporter of the Hong Kong democracy movement has been sent to prison. He is accused of fraud and is now expected to remain in detention pending a planned court hearing in April.

Regional News • Asia
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong sentenced to prison
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong sentenced to prison
Credit: Honcques Laus / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Joshua Wong has been sentenced to thirteen and a half months in prison, and the co-defendants Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam have been sentenced to ten and seven months in prison, respectively. This was decided by a court in Hong Kong's Kowloon district. The prosecution had accused the three of having participated in an unauthorized demonstration last year against the growing influence of the Chinese leadership in Hong Kong.

Regional News • Asia
Cannabis removed from Thailand's narcotics list
Cannabis removed from Thailand's narcotics list
Credit: unsplash.com / Next Green Wave

In order to allow wider use of marijuana for medical purposes, Thailand's Narcotics Control Board has voted to remove cannabis plants from the list of Category 5 narcotics.

However, growing marijuana is only allowed if a permit is granted by the FDA to ensure alignment with government agencies.

Regional News • Asia • China
Four Chinese doctors sentenced to prison for organ harvesting

Four doctors have been sentenced to prison for illegally harvesting organs from deceased patients. According to the court documents, the doctors and two additional accomplices made the families of the donors sign fake organ donation consent forms and then extracted the organs of the deceased person.

Under Chinese law, organ donation is only permitted under the supervision of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC). The medical professionals have been jailed for between 10 and 28 months.

Regional News • Asia • China
More mass testing in China amid Covid-19 flare-ups in 3 cities
More mass testing in China amid Covid-19 flare-ups in 3 cities
Credit: unsplash.com / Macau Photo Agency

Chinese authorities have ordered mass testing of millions of people in three different cities across the country after multiple locally transmitted Covid-19 cases were discovered. New waves of infections are currently happening in Tianjin, Shanghai and Manzhouli.

Regional News • Asia
Joshua Wong faces jail after guilty plea over pro-democracy activism in Hong Kong
Joshua Wong faces jail after guilty plea over pro-democracy activism in Hong Kong
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

During a trial facing charges relating to pro-democracy protests outside Hong Kong police stations the three activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Ivan Lam have pleaded guilty to the charges.

According to local media reports, Joshua Wong pleaded guilty to organizing and inciting the unauthorized assemble but not participation due to missing evidence by the prosecution. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted under the charges he pleaded guilty for.

Sentencing is expected for next week.

Regional News • Asia • China
China has given almost a million people experimental Covid-19 vaccine, Sinopharm claims

In an interview with posted on WeChat, Sinopharm chairman Liu Jingzhen claimed an emergency Covid-19 vaccine has been given to almost a million people as part of an emergency-use program authorized by Beijing.

"In emergency use, we now have used it on nearly a million people. We have not received any reports of serious adverse reaction, and only a few have some mild symptoms," Liu said, who added that the vaccine was given to Chinese construction workers, diplomats, and students who have gone to more than 150 countries around the world during the pandemic – none of them have reported a Covid-19 infection so far.

Regional News • Asia
United Kingdom announces that China has breached Hong Kong treaty
United Kingdom announces that China has breached Hong Kong treaty
Credit: Foreign and Commwealth Office / via Wikimedia Commons (Open Government Licence v3.0)

By imposing new rules to disqualify elected legislators Hong Kong, China has broken the biliteral treaty according to the United Kingdom.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has stated that "Beijing’s imposition of new rules to disqualify elected legislators in Hong Kong constitutes a clear breach of the legally binding Sino-British Joint Declaration". The United Kingdom is now considering sanctions against officials.

Regional News • Asia • China
Shenzhen becomes first city in China to introduce mandatory paid leave time for workers
Shenzhen becomes first city in China to introduce mandatory paid leave time for workers
Credit: unsplash.com / Robert Bye

Shenzhen, the Chinese technology hub in the south of the country, will be the first city in China to introduce mandatory paid leave time so that employees "with a heavy mental and physical workload can avoid excessive burnout," following the announcement by Shenzhen's work committee.

Regional News • Asia • Japan
Japanese government announces that taxis in Tokyo can refuse passengers without masks
Japanese government announces that taxis in Tokyo can refuse passengers without masks
Credit: unsplash.com / Josh Wilburne

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has approved a new regulation for taxi operators, which states that they can refuse passengers who are not wearing masks. Drivers are required to ask customers why they do not wear masks when they board and check to see if there are any unavoidable circumstances, such as illness. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism explains the reason for the approval, saying, "This is not only for the driver but also to prevent the next passenger from becoming infected".

Regional News • Asia
200 days without domestic Covid-19 cases in Taiwan
Taipei
Taipei Credit: Chris (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Taiwan has not reported a domestically transmitted Covid-19 infection since April 12, marking 200 days without any new cases. The country has only recorded 553 Covid-19 cases and seven deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Regional News • Asia • India
India surpasses 8 million Coronavirus cases
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment while caring for patients with coronavirus infection in the Indian state of Kerala.
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment while caring for patients with coronavirus infection in the Indian state of Kerala. Credit: Javed Anees (Public Domain)

Over 8,040,000 Coronavirus cases have been recorded in India, making it the second-worst hit country. 120,527 people have died due to the Coronavirus.

Regional News • Asia
Thailand brands protests as "illegal" and wants to take action
Dispersal of protests in Bangkok, 16 October 2020
Dispersal of protests in Bangkok, 16 October 2020 Credit: Prachatai / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Before the start of new protests by the Thai democracy movement, head of government Prayut Chan-o-cha has branded the demonstrations as "illegal" and announced determined action against the activists. The authorities must bring the protests under control, Prayut said in parliament on Monday.

Pro-democracy students wanted to march in front of the German embassy in Bangkok on Monday afternoon in protest against King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Regional News • Asia • China
China warns UK not to offer citizenship to Hong Kong residents
Hong Kong
Hong Kong Credit: eGuide Travel

China has told Britain to "immediately correct its mistakes" after the UK reaffirmed its plan to offer a route to British citizenship to almost three million people living there.

Regional News • Asia • India
Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi tests positive for Coronavirus
Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi tests positive for Coronavirus
Credit: @SushilModi, Courtesy of Twitter

Bihar deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said he has tested positive for Coronavirus.

He tweeted: "Tested positive for CORONA. All parameters perfectly normal. Started with mild temp. No temp. for last 2 days. Admitted to AIIMS Patna for better monitoring. CT scan of lungs normal. Will be back soon for campaigning."

Regional News • Asia
Armenian says no diplomatic solution in war with Azerbaijan is possible, vows to fight until end

The Prime Minister of Armenia has announced that there is no diplomatic solution in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and subsequent war with Azerbaijan. He has vowed to fight "until the end".

Regional News • Asia
12 civilians killed in Armenian missile attack on Azerbaijan
12 civilians killed in Armenian missile attack on Azerbaijan
Credit: Hikmet Hajiyev via Twitter

The Armenian army has struck Ganja, the second-largest city in Azerbaijan with a missile attack. Twelve civilians have been killed and over 40 have been injured.

Hikmet Hajiyev, the assistant to the Azerbaijani president and Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department, has stated that Azerbaijan is "responding them in the battleground. We are not fighting with civilians".

Regional News • Asia
Protesters gather again and defy the Thai government
Protesters gather again and defy the Thai government
Credit: Thai Enquirer (Twitter Reproduction)

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered Thursday in Bangkok defying the authorities that had issued a decree banning demonstrations. The pro-democracy demonstration eventually dispersed several hours after the 6 pm curfew.

The government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha has been the main target of the demonstrations, but protestors have also aimed at Thailand's monarchy.

Regional News • Asia
Kyrgyzstan: President resigns to end post-election crisis
President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov during a meeting with President of Russia Vladimir Putin, 2018
President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov during a meeting with President of Russia Vladimir Putin, 2018 Credit: Kremlin.ru / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov has resigned on Thursday to bring an end to the unrest following a disputed election. Protests had erupted after the October 4th election was won by parties local to Jeenbekov. There had been “credible allegations of vote buying remain a serious concern,” Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said.

Jeenbekov said he was not clinging to power and that he refused to go down as a president who "allowed bloodshed and shooting on its people." Over 1200 people were injured in the protests between security forces and protesters.

Regional News • Asia • India
India: Schools reopen following a drop in Coronavirus cases
India: Schools reopen following a drop in Coronavirus cases
Credit: Barry Pousman from New York, NY / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Schools in India will reopen on Thursday after a drop in Coronavirus cases. Schools in the Dehli region and the western Maharashtra state will remain closed until October 31.

Regional News • Asia
Pakistan also bans TikTok
Pakistan also bans TikTok
Credit: Kon Karampelas

Pakistan officials announced Friday a ban on TikTok after receiving complaints of "immoral and indecent" content on the popular video-sharing app.

In a press release, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority stated that given a "number of complaints from different segments of the society against immoral/indecent content on the video sharing application TikTok, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued instructions for blocking of the application."

Reuters quotes an official involved in the decision: "We have been asking them repeatedly to put in place an effective mechanism for blocking immoral and indecent content."

Regional News • Asia
Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on cease-fire during Moskow negotiations
Armenia and Azerbaijan agree on cease-fire during Moskow negotiations
Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia

After around ten hours of talks between diplomats from Armenia and Azerbaijan, both countries have agreed to a cease-fire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. It came into effect only hours later at noon local time on Saturday.

The negotiations had been initiated and taken place under Russian supervision. The cease-fire happens "on humanitarian grounds for exchanging POWs and other detained persons and dead bodies" according to a statement.

Regional News • Asia
President of Kyrgyzstan declares state of emergency for capital Bishkek
President of Kyrgyzstan declares state of emergency for capital Bishkek
Credit: Kremlin.ru / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Kyrgyzstan's president Sooronbay Sharipovich Jeenbekov has declared a state of emergency for the capital Bishkek in order to get the unrest after the parliamentary elections under control.

The president's office announced on Friday that a curfew would be imposed and security measures tightened. The state of emergency comes into effect on Friday at 20:00 (local time) and remains in effect until October 21 at 08:00. The head of state also issued an order to the military to station soldiers in Bishkek.

Previously, the controversial president had declared himself ready to resign under certain conditions. "I am ready to give up the presidency of the Kyrgyz Republic as soon as the legitimate executive authorities have been confirmed and we are back on the path of legality," said Jeenbekov in a speech published on his website early Friday morning. In addition, a date for new elections must first be set.

Regional News • Asia
Armenia and Azerbaijan will engage in peace talks

Both the Armenian and the Azerbaijani government have announced that they will join peace talks in Moscow.

Regional News • Asia
Kyrgyzstan annuls elections after protestors storm parliament
Kyrgyzstan annuls elections after protestors storm parliament
Credit: Kayhan ERTUGRUL / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Following violent protests, the electoral authorities in Kyrgyztan have annulled the results of the parliamentary elections. After only four out of 16 parties that were eligible to vote for in the elections passed the threshold of 7% for representation in the parliament protests had broken out.

Out of these four parties three have close ties to the current president of Kyrgyztan Sooronbai Jeenbekov who accused that "certain political forces" are now trying to illegally seize power.

Regional News • Asia
Armenia states readiness to a cease-fire with Azerbaijan
House in Tovuz District of Azerbaijan damaged by Armenian Armed Forces due to clashes in July 2020
House in Tovuz District of Azerbaijan damaged by Armenian Armed Forces due to clashes in July 2020 Credit: Voice of America / Public domain

Armenia has announced that they are ready to work together with the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) in order to return to cease-fire terms with Azerbaijan. In the announcement, they referred to the terms set out in an agreement from 1994-1195.

Regional News • Asia
President of Azerbaijan vows to continue the war against Armenia

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has stated that they "only have one condition: Armenian armed forces must unconditionally, fully, and immediately leave our lands".

Fights had previously broken out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and over 100 deaths have been reported.

Regional News • Asia
Armenia accuses Turkey of shooting down its fighter jet
Turkish Air Force F-16
Turkish Air Force F-16 Credit: Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Armenia says a Turkish F-16 shot down one of its SU-25 fighter jets in a significant escalation of the conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Turkey, which openly backs Azerbaijan in the conflict, has denied the claim.

Regional News • Asia • India
Amnesty International to halt operations in India
Amnesty International Logo
Amnesty International Logo Credit: Amnesty International

Amnesty International said Tuesday it is halting work in India due to a "continuing crackdown" and "harassment" by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The human rights watchdog said the bank account of its India branch has been frozen by the right-wing government.

In a statement, Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of the organization, said: "The continuing crackdown on Amnesty International India over the last two years and the complete freezing of bank accounts is not accidental."

Regional News • Asia • China
Report: New detention camps for Uighur in China detected - number 40% higher than estimated

According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute China has 380 facilities in the Xinjiang region that are suspected to serve as detention centers for the Uighur minority in China.

The number is around 40% higher than previously estimated and contradicts claims by China that the system that they claim is for "re-education" is being scaled back.