Taiwan again reported Chinese warplanes and warships around the island on Thursday (Nov 30), including aircraft crossing the sensitive median line of the Taiwan Strait, as Beijing keeps up its military activities ahead of Taiwan's January election.
The military-installed president of Myanmar has warned that the country is in danger of breaking apart if the government cannot control fighting which has broken out in Shan State.
Pakistan starts rounding up undocumented foreigners, mostly Afghans, ahead of deadline (November 1, 2023, Reuters)
Pakistani authorities began rounding up undocumented foreigners, most of them Afghans, on Wednesday, ahead of a midnight deadline for them to leave or face expulsion. The removal of people to temporary holding centres began a day earlier than previously announced. The interior ministry said 140,322 people had already voluntarily left after days in which trucks piled high with belongings and crammed with people have jammed major roads out of the country.
Malaysia's royal families elected the powerful and outspoken Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar from the southern state of Johor to be the country's next king. The king plays a largely ceremonial role in Malaysia, but the monarchy has become more influential in recent years due to prolonged political instability that has prompted the incumbent king to wield rarely used discretionary powers.
Thailand's ruling Pheu Thai Party named Paetongtarn Shinawatra as its new leader on Friday, continuing the billionaire family's political dominance for the last quarter century. Paetongtarn, 37, nicknamed "Ung Ing", was among Pheu Thai's prime minister candidates in a May election, though another nominee Srettha Thavisin was chosen by parliament.
India announced it would begin reissuing visas for entry, business, medical and conferences on Thursday, reversing a month-long ban. The Indian High Commission, along with India’s consulates in Toronto and Vancouver, will continue to deal with emergency services.
But a hoped-for surge in tourist numbers has failed to materialise, blamed in part on tensions between Nepal's giant neighbours India and China. Lumbini saw close to a million visitors in 2022, according to the Lumbini Development Trust - and it was this number the government was betting on when it spent $76m (£61m) to build the Gautam Buddha International Airport, which opened in May last year.
Indonesia is set to launch Southeast Asia’s first high-speed railway, largely funded by China (September 30, 2023, AP)
Indonesia is launching Southeast Asia’s first high-speed railway, a key project under China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative that will cut travel time between the capital and another major city from the current three hours to about 40 minutes. […] The Chinese-made bullet train, called “Whoosh,” will connect Jakarta with Bandung, the heavily populated capital of West Java province.
Chinese former Premier Li Keqiang died of a heart attack on Friday, barely seven months after retiring from a decade in office during which his reformist star had dimmed. He was 68. Once viewed as a top Communist Party leadership contender, Li was sidelined in recent years by President Xi Jinping, who tightened his grip on power and steered the world's second-largest economy in a more statist direction.
After the March Saudi-Iran agreement, which China brokered, Chinese media hailed Beijing's rising profile in a region long dominated by Washington. Wang Yi, China's top diplomat, said the country would continue to play a constructive role in handling global "hotspot issues". But after the killings of more than 900 Israelis in coordinated assaults by the Islamic group Hamas, China's response was muted.