Thaw in USA-China ties may be in offing with last week’s meeting between senior US and Chinese diplomats. The meeting was likely part of ongoing discussions to prepare for a leaders’ summit. Meanwhile, in China post Covid recovery is picking up as far as social norms are concerned. To strengthen the supply chains that will reduce dependence on China Japan will provide up to 192 billion yen ($1.3 billion) in additional subsidies for U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc.’s plant in Hiroshima Prefecture. In an interesting move a Japanese lawmaker who has long championed close ties with Moscow has met with a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official “defying” the government’s advice. In SE Asia, Indonesian state-run defence firms has alleged to provide arms to Myanmar junta. The junta, in a rare move, has criticized China for depicting locals in poor light through a movie.
South China Morning Post | 3rd October 2023
Last week’s meeting between senior US and Chinese diplomats overseeing Asian affairs was likely part of ongoing discussions to prepare for a leaders’ summit, observers say. China’s foreign vice-minister for Asia Sun Weidong met the US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink, in Washington on Thursday, with the US calling the talks “candid, in-depth and constructive”.
Strait Times | 29th September 2023
Nine months after China abruptly reversed its strict zero-Covid policy, coughing and sneezing without covering one’s face in public places is no longer frowned upon. Neither is spitting in public. Gone, too, are the “da bai” (Mandarin for “big white”) who were everywhere during the pandemic. Fully clad in white protective coveralls, N95 respirators, face shields, gloves and even shoe covers, these anonymous figures could be anyone from healthcare workers and security guards to local municipal workers and cleaners.
Kyodo News | 3rd October 2023
Japan will provide up to 192 billion yen ($1.3 billion) in additional subsidies for U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc.’s plant in Hiroshima Prefecture, the industry minister said Tuesday (Oct 3), as the country tries to strengthen its chip supply chain. The move, which comes on top of the up to 46.5 billion yen aid announced earlier, adds to Japan’s efforts to ensure a stable supply of chips at a time when rising tensions between the United States and China are increasingly posing a threat to its economic security.
Kyodo News | 3rd October 2023
Japanese lawmaker who has long championed close ties with Moscow has met with a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official, the ministry said Monday, on a trip that defied Japanese government advice against its nationals including legislators traveling to the country. Muneo Suzuki, a member of the opposition Japan Innovation Party, met with Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko during the first known visit by a Japanese lawmaker to Russia since its invasion of Ukraine began in February last year.
Jakarta Post | 2nd October 2023
A coalition of human rights organizations and former attorney general and respected human rights defender Marzuki Darusman, have officially requested that the National Commission on Human Rights (KomnasHAM) investigate alleged arm sales by state-owned arms manufacturers to the Myanmar junta, which they say potentially took place after the 2021 coup. The arms deals allegedly took place between Myanmar’s military junta government and state-owned companies PT Pindad, shipbuilder PT PAL and aircraft maker PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI). The firms have categorically denied the allegations leveled against them.
Bangkok Post | 30th September 2023
The military junta in Myanmar has reacted with dismay to a hit Chinese movie about scams and human trafficking in Southeast Asia, saying it has “tarnished” Myanmar’s image. The thriller No More Bets depicts people being deceived to work with a scammer network in Southeast Asia. It has grossed 3.8 billion yuan ($520 million) and become the third most-popular film in China this year.