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    Asian Insider 28 November: China furious with US, Jokowi to use AI to cut red tape, floating zebra-crossing

    Published On: 28 November 2019

    Asian Insider brings you insights into a fast-changing region from our network of correspondents.

     

    28 November 2019

    In today’s bulletin: Beijing says new US rules on Hong Kong will undermine cooperation, Pyongyang shows its anger over stalemate in nuclear talks with Washington by firing projectiles, Japanese beer exports to S. Korea dry up, Jokowi promises to cut layers of bureaucracy and more.

     

    CHINA SLAMS ‘US INTERFERENCE’ IN HONG KONG

    Ties between the United States and China took a turn for the worse today with China showing its deep resentment over President Donald Trump’s move to sign into law congressional legislation supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

    The new ruling empowers US to review Hong Kong’s favourable trade status on an annual basis and prohibits the export of nonlethal munitions such as tear gas, rubber bullets and stun guns.

    It also allows the US to sanction Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses in Hong Kong.

    Washington’s move comes at a time when US and China are to meet to agree on Phase One of a trade deal.

    In Beijing, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned US Ambassador Terry Branstad to let him know that the move constituted “serious interference in China’s internal affairs and a serious violation of international law.” Beijing also said the move would undermine cooperation with Washington.

    Here’s more on the issue: 

    Trump’s signing of Hong Kong Bill will upset China but may not upend trade deal: Experts

    US legislation on Hong Kong: What does it mean?

    China sets up Hong Kong crisis centre at border, considers replacing Liaison Office chief

     

    NORTH KOREA FIRES TWO ‘UNIDENTIFIED PROJECTILES’ ON THANKSGIVING

     

    China’s not the only country upset with President Trump. North Korea fired “two unidentified projectiles” earlier today, on a day that coincided with Thanksgiving in the US, in what is being seen by some as a move to signal the country’s irritability with the continuing stalemate in nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

    Interested in Pyongyang’s weapons programme? Here’s more: 

    North Korean missile test: Key dates in Pyongyang’s weapons development programme 

    North Korea’s Kim Jong Un advances nuclear threat to US as Trump talks stall

     

    NO JAPANESE BEER FOR SOUTH KOREANS

    Amid a continuing tiff between Japan and South Korea over wartime atrocities, exports of Japanese beer to South Korea have completely dried up. Last year, Japanese beer shipments to South Korea accounted for  7.9 billion yen (S$98 million), or more than 60 per cent of the country’s global exports. This year, exports have plunged to zero.

    Read more: 

    The background to recent Japan-Republic of Korea disputes

    The real background to recent Republic of Korea-Japan disputes

     

    JOKOWI PLANS TO REPLACE SOME TOP CIVIL SERVICE JOBS WITH AI IN 2020

    Indonesia’s reform-minded President Joko Widodo, popularly called ‘Jokowi’, has told businessmen that he intends to remove two ranks of bureaucrats and replace them with artificial intelligence. With that the number of layers of bureaucracy will reduce to two. And he’s promising more reforms.

    To find more read here: 

    Confident Jokowi sets the course for Indonesia

    Indonesia President Joko tells new Cabinet to fix regulations, create jobs

    Indonesia’s Jokowi promises to make new labour and investment rules a reality

     

    SINGAPORE ORDERS NEWS WEB SITE TO CORRECT FACEBOOK POST

    People running the Facebook page of news service States Times Review have been directed to correct false statements in a post on the page, under the Republic’s fake news law. This is the second time the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) has been invoked, following its first use on Monday in relation to a separate Facebook post by opposition party member Brad Bowyer.

    More on the issue: 

    Govt invokes fake news law for first time

    Pofma: Is Singapore’s fake news law too powerful or not enough?

     

    IN OTHER NEWS

    FLOATING ZEBRA CROSSING: Volunteers have created an optical illusion that looks like a floating zebra crossing, in front of school in Bangkok, that makes it seem as though children are stepping from one white board floating well above the road to the next.

    FORMER MALDIVES PRESIDENT SENTENCED: A court in the Maldives has found the country’s former president guilty of money laundering and sentenced him to five years in prison. He also has to pay a fine of US$5 million (S$6.8 million) fine.

    SECOND RETRIAL FOR PARK GEUN-HYE: South Korea’s top court has ordered a second retrial for disgraced former president Park Geun-hye, seeking heavier punishment for her illegally taking money from the country’s spy agency. She was impeached in 2017 after huge street protests over a sprawling scandal.

     

    These insights are produced by The Straits Times, the official media partner for the Asia House Global Trade Dialogue, which took place in Singapore on 7 November 2019.

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