asia-pacific

China plans controversial security law in response to Hong Kong unrest

China will propose national security laws for Hong Kong in response to last year’s often violent pro-democracy protests that plunged the city into its deepest turmoil since it returned to Chinese rule

Hong Kong: Lawmakers brawl over anthem bill

Pro-democracy and pro-government lawmakers fought with each other in the Hong Kong parliament on Monday, May 18, part of a long-running dispute over a controversial law that would ban insulting

Who hijacked the WHO and can it impact the Covid-19 whodunnit?

Taiwan’s exclusion from this week’s annual meeting of the World Health Organization’s governing body highlighted China’s power grab of multilateral institutions. But with Beijing’s renewed commitment

China offers farmers cash to drop wildlife trade in wake of coronavirus outbreak

Farmers in China are being offered cash to quit breeding exotic animals as pressure grows to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade that has been blamed for the coronavirus outbreak.

Hamster tests show face masks reduce transmission risk of coronavirus

Tests on hamsters reveal the widespread use of face masks reduces transmission of the deadly coronavirus, a team of leading experts in Hong Kong said Sunday.

Anthem bill sparks new scuffles between Hong Kong lawmakers

Clashes broke out in Hong Kong's legislature for the second time this month on Monday as the city's pro-democracy camp tried to scupper a controversial law that bans insulting China's national anthem.

Race to prevent Covid-19 'nightmare' in Rohingya camps as first case detected

Emergency teams raced Friday to prevent a coronavirus "nightmare" in the world's largest refugee settlement after the first confirmed cases in a sprawling city of shacks housing nearly a million

China refuses international probe on Covid-19 source until ‘final victory’ over disease

China will not invite international experts to investigate the source of Covid-19 until after securing the "final victory" over the virus, Beijing's UN ambassador in Geneva said Wednesday despite

Japan extends state of emergency until May 31

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he had decided to extend the country's national state of emergency to May 31.

Can the unmasking of China’s Covid-19 ‘mask diplomacy’ stem Beijing’s global power grab?

The Covid-19 outbreak found China uniquely positioned for a global soft power grab with its “mask diplomacy” supply of medical equipment. But then a drip of anti-Beijing headlines followed by an

World should follow S. Korea's example on Covid-19 fight, UN chief says

The United Nations chief said he hopes many countries in the world will follow the “remarkable example” of South Korea, which he said has been “extremely successful” in addressing the coronavirus

If pandemic persists next year, Tokyo Olympics will be ‘cancelled’

The postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will have to be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic isn't brought under control by next year, the organising committee's president warned, ruling out further

In Australia, misuse of data from virus tracing app will be a crime

Australia will make it illegal for non-health officials to access data collected on smartphone software to trace the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, amid

Dozens die in clashes across Afghanistan as US struggles to broker Taliban ceasefire

Clashes between Afghan forces and Taliban militants killed dozens nationwide over the past 24 hours, authorities said on Wednesday, even as the United States tries to broker peace talks between the

Wuhan’s wet markets: Blame for Covid-19 casts shadow over future

Wuhan’s wet markets, closed for months during the coronavirus lockdown, have now re-opened. But as the suspected source of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the markets have become the subject of

China revises Wuhan’s Covid-19 death toll with 50% rise, but denies cover-up

Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the epicentre of the global pandemic, raised its number of Covid-19 fatalities by 1,290 to 3,869 deaths, state media said Friday. The revision was due to

North Korea: Is the country really free of coronavirus?

More than 2 million coronavirus cases have been reported across the world, affecting 185 countries. But North Korea says it is completely free of the virus, a claim that has been met with scepticism

Scare tactics: Indonesian town deploys ‘ghosts’ to battle coronavirus

Volunteers in one Indonesian village are helping to encourage people to stay at home and curb the spread of coronavirus by dressing up as ghosts and scaring anyone out on the street at night.

Rush to leave Wuhan: Thousands depart as travel restrictions end

At airports, railway stations and on the roads, people in Wuhan, China flocked to leave the city on Wednesday as outbound travel restrictions were lifted, 76 days after the city was placed under

Indonesia's Ramadan exodus risks spreading Covid-19 across the country

Indonesia’s annual mudik (exodus), which begins with Ramadan, risks undermining the country’s efforts to stem the spread of Covid-19 as tens of millions cross the densely populated archipelago to