Trans-Pacific Partnership Is Reached, but Faces Scrutiny in Congress – NYT Securing approval from Congress for the deal between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations could be the toughest fight President Obama faces in his final year in office. // The TPP could significantly decrease trade of endangered plants and animals by increasing state responsibility to follow and convict the movement of these resources across seas.
Related: What Does China Think of the TPP? – The Diplomat
Related: Why Vietnam could be the biggest winner of the TPP – Thanh Nien Daily
Chinese Hackers Breached LoopPay, Whose Tech Is Central to Samsung Pay – NYT Security experts were still looking through LoopPay’s systems, but said there was no indication that Samsung’s systems had been infiltrated. // With the upcoming Paris Climate Change talks the United States continues to try and maintain peace with China despite the recent technology hacks? Are these actions China’s way of getting back at the U.S. for the TPP?
Related: Hillary Clinton’s email server allegedly targeted from China, Germany and South Korea – The Guardian
Related: Beware China’s Political Warfare Campaign Against US, Allies: Experts – The Diplomat
Related: Why the China-US Cyber Agreement May Prove Destructive – The Diplomat
China completes construction of lighthouses in disputed South China Sea – The Guardian China has completed the construction of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as tensions in the region mount over Beijing’s maritime ambitions.
Related: US naval manoeuvres in South China Sea risk clash with Beijing – The Guardian
Related: China ‘Will Absolutely Not Permit’ Territorial Violations in South China Sea – The Diplomat
Related: Why the US-China Summit Failed on the South China Sea – The Diplomat
China’s yuan jumps to fourth most-used world payment currency – The Guardian Recently devalued currency overtakes Japan’s yen in terms of world payments, and now only comes behind the US dollar, euro and pound sterling.
China’s AIIB and OBOR: Ambitions and Challenges – The Diplomat The two ambitious projects have become an integral part of Chinese diplomacy. The AIIB will help to…boost China’s status as a global power.
Related: Is This China’s Eurasian Century? – The Diplomat
Related: US-China Military Agreements Dodge Deep Differences – The Diplomat
Related: How China Is Changing the UN – The Diplomat
Risk of global financial crash has increased, warns IMF – The Guardian The risk of a global financial crash has increased because a slowdown in China and decline in world trade are undermining the stability of highly indebted emerging economies, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Taiwan: Is KMT’s Dilemma China’s Opportunity? – The Diplomat The Kuomintang may replace its heavily pro-China presidential candidate.
Related: China Turns Firepower to Soft Power to Win Over Tiny Taiwan-Held Island – The Irrawaddy Magazine
Top Chinese Official Arrives in North Korea for Bilateral Talks – The Diplomat Liu Yunshan is the first high-ranking Chinese official to visit North Korea in 4 years.
Related: How the China model could help North Korea – and save Kim Jong-un – The Diplomat
Wartime sex slaves at the heart of UN battle between Japan and China – The Guardian A Chinese campaign to have documents related to Japan’s use of wartime sex slaves and its bloody invasion of Nanjing recognised by Unesco has sparked a new round of diplomatic tension between Beijing and Tokyo.
SUSTAINABILITY AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Myitsone Dam has cost us $800m, says China – DVB Some US$800 million has already been spent on the Myitsone Dam, despite the fact that the construction project has been suspended since September 2011, according to Chinese state firm CPI, which is the major shareholder.//The original cost of the dam was estimated at $3.6 billion. Maybe those rumours of continued building at the Myitsone site have some credence.
Related: Depression plagues dam-displaced locals – DVB
Related: Paunglaung Dam Violates Norms and Destroys Lives, Study Finds – The Irrawaddy Magazine
Parts of China’s Guangdong province still without power and water five days after deadly Typhoon Mujigae – SCMP Parts of western Guangdong were still struggling to restore power and water supplies yesterday, five days after the strongest typhoon in six decades swept through the region.
Related: $4.9m Repair Bill for Rail Network after Flood Damage – The Irrawaddy Magazine
Related: World Bank Forecasts Drop in Burma’s Economic Growth – The Irrawaddy Magazine
Travel sickness: visitors turning China’s Qinghai Lake attraction into huge rubbish dump – SCMP Parts of China’s Qinghai Lake – a place of outstanding natural beauty that is one of the area’s most popular travel destinations – have been turned into huge rubbish dumps by visitors and local hotels and hostels, mainland media reports.
China is working to reach its emissions peak before 2030 deadline, analyst says – The Guardian China may aim for an earlier greenhouse gas emissions peak before its 2030 deadline, putting a greater onus on Australia to work with its key trading partner on renewable energy rather than fossil fuels, says a leading Chinese analyst.
Related: Coal, Which Built a Chinese City, Now Threatens to Bury It – NYT
Chinese ‘ivory queen’ charged with smuggling 706 elephant tusks – The Guardian A Chinese woman dubbed the “ivory queen” for her alleged leadership of one of Africa’s biggest ivory smuggling rings has been captured and charged.
Cambodians March For End to Forced Evictions on World Habitat Day – Radio Free Asia Evictees, monks, and activists joined the march to the National Assembly, or parliament, carrying cardboard cutouts of houses and shouting slogans, including “Cambodians need housing and land” and “We must have rights to live.” // The CPP’s continued abuse of land reform policies could jeopardize its support base in rural Cambodia for the 2018 general election.
Related: Cambodian Village Chief Threatens Arrest For Complaints Over Illegal Logging – Radio Free Asia
Smoke from Indonesian fires blankets Thai holiday island of Phuket in haze – The Guardian The Thai holiday island of Phuket has been plunged into a poisonous grey haze caused by illegal forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia.
Why the Mekong River Commission May Be In Peril – The Diplomat The future of the body hangs in the balance amid financial and performance concerns.//Plenty of people rightly criticize the MRC as ‘useless’ in the face of hydropower development on the Mekong. However, the MRC at the very least serves an important function as a research institution and it is in this capacity that it is vital.
Aboitiz looks at Vietnam, Myanmar as power glut hits Philippines – The Thanh Nien Daily Aboitiz Power Corp. will build plants in Indonesia and scout for ventures in Vietnam and Myanmar as the Philippines’ second-largest electricity producer expands in Southeast Asia while expecting an oversupply at home.
Palm oil producers call for government support – The Jakarta Post Ongoing land and forest fires have affected Indonesia’s palm oil businesses, which are also being burdened by the weakening of the rupiah exchange rate against the US dollar.
Time for Rich Countries to Pay Their Ecological Debt – The Diplomat A call for climate justice ahead of the Finance Ministers meeting in Lima.
Graft-buster named as head of China’s spy agency as anti-corruption watchdog extends its power – SCMP A former senior official at China’s top graft-busting agency has been given the highest Communist Party job in state security, mainland media confirmed yesterday, signalling the agency is expanding its power.
Related: Former head of China’s Sinopec under investigation for corruption – The Guardian
Answering an Appeal by Mao Led Tu Youyou, a Chinese Scientist, to a Nobel Prize – NYT Dr. Tu was awarded the prize, shared with two other scientists, on Monday for the discovery of a drug that is now part of standard regimens to fight malaria.
Related: Tu Youyou: An Outlier of China’s Scientific and Technological System – Asia Unbound
China’s top auditor says US$45b of construction projects face delays – SCMP Major Chinese construction projects worth about 286.9 billion yuan (US$45.17 billion) are facing delays because of problems such as the slow distribution of funds by local governments, the country’s top auditor said on Thursday.
Putting the Past Behind in China – NYT The days of China relying on export manufacturing and infrastructure construction as drivers of economic growth are gone.
‘A brighter future beckons’: China tries to get Xinjiang to join the party – The Guardian Propaganda in overdrive as Beijing celebrates the 60th anniversary of a region that has been the setting for frictions and deadly explosions of violence.//Maybe dressing up Uighurs and Kazakhs and having them dance on stage isn’t the best way to promote ethnic stability.
Ai Weiwei Returns to Beijing to Find Listening Devices in His Studio and Home – NYT The Chinese artist and activist, who had just taken his first overseas trip in four years, said that he had uncovered several listening devices hidden around his work space and living room.
Almost home – The Economist China In a restaurant in Qiaogang, a town in the southern province of Guangxi, a large poster of Mao Zedong—entitled “Red Sun”—hangs below one of a Vietnamese island where Wu Guangsui, the restaurant’s owner, was born.
Chinese hospitals still offering gay ‘cure’ therapy, film reveals – The Guardian Channel 4’s Unreported World finds doctors prescribing drugs and electric shocks to gay men and lesbians despite Beijing legalising homosexuality in 1997.
Academics and students march in Hong Kong against ‘Beijing crackdown’ – The Guardian More than 1,000 students and faculty members have marched through one of Hong Kong’s leading universities in silence to protest against what they describe as an intensifying Beijing-backed assault on academic freedoms.
ASEAN Peacekeeping Meeting Concludes in Cambodia – The Diplomat The 3rd ASEAN Peacekeeping Centers Network meeting was held in Phnom Penh. // An interesting development as ASEAN attempts to juggle authority with member state sovereignty. It will be interesting to see how this plays into the non-interference language of ASEAN norms.
Myanmar official accuses China of meddling in peace talks with rebels – The Guardian A top negotiator in Myanmar’s peace talks with ethnic rebels has accused neighbouring China of derailing a nationwide ceasefire deal last week that would have brought Japan and western nations in as observers to monitor an end to decades of conflict.//Not entirely impossible, but it sounds more like a disappointed negotiator shifting blame after only eight ethnic armies signed the peace treaty. Look for more ExSE analysis on this episode soon.
Related: Myanmar to Ink Peace Deal with Eight Armed Groups Ahead of Historic Election – The Diplomat
Bao Zhuoxuan, Son of Detained Rights Lawyer, Is Said to Disappear in Myanmar – NYT Mr. Bao, the son of Wang Yu, a lawyer who was detained in Beijing in July, was taken from a guesthouse in Mong La, a rights campaigner said.//Mong La has always been a no-man’s land of uncertain sovereignty. He may have been taken by Chinese authorities, but if it’s Mong La, it’s just as likely that he crossed path with the gambling kingpin.
Related: Detained Chinese lawyer’s 16-year-old son disappears while trying to flee to US – The Guardian
Related: Human traffickers arrested in Burmese-Thai operation – DVB
Myanmar: Opposition Leader’s Strategy – NYT If the Nov. 8 vote is credible, most observers believe that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, will win the most seats in Parliament.
Related: Could Myanmar’s Elections Devolve into Disorder? – The Diplomat
Related: Could Aung San Suu Kyi Be Myanmar’s Next House Speaker? – The Diplomat
The Rohingya: Humanitarian Crisis or Security Threat? – The Diplomat Global attention to the Rohingya issue is rising, but not necessarily for the right reasons.
Related: Rohingya Trafficking Victims Endure Stress of Limbo, Stranded In Thailand – The Irrawaddy Magazine
Australia Negotiating to Send Refugees to Philippines – NYT An Australian official declined to provide details of the possible plan.
Related: Australia seeking refugee resettlement deal with Philippines, say reports – The Guardian
Turkish man who looks like Erawan Shrine bombing suspect released – The Nation POLICE in Nong Khai province have released a Turkish man who was thought to look similar to a suspect in the Erawan bombing after he was found to have no involvement in the attack.
Thai Junta Picks 21-Member Panel to Write New Constitution – The Irrawaddy Magazine Thailand’s military government appointed a new committee Monday to write a post-coup constitution after an unpopular earlier draft was rejected last month in a move that has delayed elections until at least 2017.
Related: Dissent and dictatorship in Thailand – New Mandala
Vietnam to add new line to China-Southeast Asia rail network – Thanh Nien Daily The 550-kilometer line will connect Vietnam’s central region and Vientiane, Laos.
Related: Malaysia, Singapore Begin ‘Next Phase’ of High-Speed Rail Project – The Diplomat
Cambodia to displace thousands of Vietnamese people on Tonle Sap River: report – Thanh Nien Daily An official claimed about 90 percent agreed to move, but a man representing many families said most of them want to stay.//These Vietnamese residents are not citizens of Cambodia and cannot own land, hence living in the middle of the Tonle Sap. This displacement would poke a tiny hole in the theory that the Vietnamese run Cambodia and act with impunity.
Malaysian plane wreckage claimed to be found in southern Philippines – Investvine Police authorities…ordered an investigation into reports that Filipino island residents discovered a wreckage of a Malaysian plane deep in the forest of the southern Philippine.