Geopolitics

Taiwan: China Trying To Turn Island Into Hong Kong

China is trying to turn democratic Taiwan into another Hong Kong, the island's foreign minister warned Tuesday as he met with a senior US official making a historic diplomatic trip.A crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong has gathered pace since China imposed a sweeping security law on the financial hub in June, with opposition politicians disqualified and activists arrested.That has caused alarm in Taiwan, a self-ruled island of 23 million people that Beijing claims as its own territory and

12 August 2020
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US Cabinet Member Lauds Taiwan's Democracy

A United States (US) cabinet member heaped praise on Taiwan's democracy and its success in battling the coronavirus as he met the island's leader on Monday during a historic visit that China has slammed as a threat to peace.Health Secretary Alex Azar is in Taipei for a three-day visit billed as the highest-level visit from the US since it switched diplomatic recognition from the island to China in 1979.His trip comes as relations between the United States and China are in tumult, wi

11 August 2020
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Thai Pro-Democracy Rally Attracts Thousands

Young Thai protesters listened in rapt attention on Monday night as a pro-democracy activist called for open discussion of the unassailable monarchy's role in the kingdom, at a rally in Bangkok that drew thousands. The massive demonstration comes after weeks of near-daily student-led protests denouncing Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha's military-aligned administration. The student-led movement has repeatedly demanded a rewrite to a 2017 constitution, the parliament'

11 August 2020
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China Apps Ban May Create New Internet 'Firewall'

A ban by President Donald Trump's administration on Chinese mobile apps such as TikTok and WeChat risks fragmenting an already fragile global internet and creating an American version of China's "Great Firewall."Fears about the global internet ecosystem intensified this week with Trump's executive orders banning the popular video app TikTok and Chinese social network WeChat, following a United States (US) government directive to prohibit the use of other "untrust

9 August 2020
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Hundreds Protest In Bangkok After Activist Arrests

A flash mob of hundreds took to Bangkok's streets Saturday to protest against the arrest of two pro-democracy activists – the latest outburst of anger in a movement increasingly vocal in its demand for reforms in Thailand.The kingdom has seen near-daily rallies in recent weeks with mainly young protesters denouncing the government of former military leader Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.Two protest leaders were arrested Friday evening on eight charges, including sedition and breaking c

9 August 2020
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Malaysia’s Ex-Finance Minister Charged

Malaysia's ex-finance minister, now a key opposition figure, was charged with corruption Friday over a US$1.5 billion construction project, the latest government critic to be targeted since a scandal-plagued party returned to power.Lim Guan Eng is the highest-profile figure yet to face a criminal probe in a sweeping crackdown on dissent launched by the new administration, and says the case against him is politically motivated.A crowd of journalists and supporters, including fellow MPs, w

8 August 2020
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TikTok & WeChat Dogged By Security Fears

The United States (US) has fired a new salvo in its rivalry with China, ordering sweeping restrictions against Chinese-owned social media stars TikTok and WeChat.Here are some key facts about the platforms:What Is WeChat?WeChat, known as "weixin" or micro-message in Chinese, belongs to tech giant Tencent and has grown to become ubiquitous in daily life across China since its 2011 launch.It has more than a billion monthly users and is a "super app" used for everything from

8 August 2020
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Virus Cases Top 19 Million As Europe Tightens Curbs

Coronavirus cases worldwide passed 19 million Thursday, as European nations imposed new travel restrictions and containment measures with fears growing over a second wave of infections.The global figure, compiled by AFP from official sources at 2300 GMT, was driven by surges in Latin America and India - and a new milestone in Africa as the continent hit one million cases.Global deaths from the pandemic have topped 700,000, and Europe remains the hardest-hit region worldwide with more than 200

7 August 2020
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Thai Army Chief: ‘Hatred Of Nation’ A Big Threat

Thailand's powerful army chief on Wednesday told cadets that the "hatred of the nation" plaguing the country was a bigger threat than the coronavirus, as a nascent pro-democracy movement grows bolder.The kingdom has seen near-daily protests for more than two weeks by mostly young Thais, fuelled by their anger at a pro-military royalist government headed by former army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha.The most overt show of discontent came Monday night, when young students dressed in Har

6 August 2020
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WHO: There May Never Be A COVID-19 ‘Silver Bullet’

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday it had completed the groundwork in China to probe the origins of the new coronavirus - as it warned there might never be a "silver bullet" for COVID-19.WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged governments and citizens to focus on known basic steps to suppress the pandemic, such as testing, contact tracing, maintaining physical distance and wearing a mask."We all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent p

4 August 2020
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Millions Return To Lockdown In The Philippines

More than 27 million people in the Philippines - about a quarter of the population - will go back into lockdown Tuesday after overwhelmed health workers warned the country was losing the battle against the coronavirus.Since the beginning of June, when much of the country emerged from one of the world's longest stay-at-home orders, confirmed infections in the archipelago have increased fivefold, surging past 100,000.The new restrictions announced by President Rodrigo Duterte late Sunday a

4 August 2020
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Coronavirus Cases Worldwide Pass 18 Million

The number of coronavirus cases recorded worldwide topped 18 million on Monday with the illness continuing its march, after Australia's second-largest city imposed a curfew to halt the spread.Six months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global emergency, the virus has killed more than 687,000 people since it first emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources.Fresh clusters have been reported in countries that had previously

3 August 2020
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