Related topics

Top Asian News 3:54 a.m. GMT

March 20, 2023 GMT

China’s Xi meeting Putin in boost for isolated Russia leader

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping is due to meet Vladimir Putin in Moscow in a political boost for the isolated Russian president after the International Criminal Court charged him with war crimes in Ukraine. Xi’s government gave no details of what the Chinese leader hoped to accomplish. Xi and Putin declared they had a “no limits friendship” before last February’s attack on Ukraine, but China has tried to portray itself as neutral. Beijing called last month for a cease-fire, but Washington said that would ratify the Kremlin’s battlefield gains. The Chinese government said Xi would visit Moscow from Monday to Wednesday but gave no indication when he departed.

North Korea: Latest missile simulated nuclear counterattack

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Monday it simulated a nuclear attack on South Korea with a ballistic missile launch over the weekend that was its fifth missile demonstration this month to protest the largest joint military exercises in years between the U.S. and South Korea. The North’s leader Kim Jong Un instructed his military to hold more drills to sharpen the war readiness of his nuclear forces in the face of “aggression” by his enemies, state media reported. The South Korean and Japanese militaries detected the short-range missile being launched Sunday into waters off the North’s eastern coast, which reportedly came less than an hour before the U.S.


Pakistani police file terrorism charges against ex-PM Khan

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Police in the Pakistani capital filed charges Sunday against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, 17 of his aides and scores of supporters, accusing them of terrorism and several other offenses after the ousted premier’s followers clashed with security forces in Islamabad the previous day. For hours on Saturday, Khan’s followers clashed with police outside a court where the former prime minister was to appear in a graft case. Riot police wielded batons and fired tear gas while Khan’s supporters threw fire bombs and hurled rocks at the officers. More than 50 officers were injured and a police checkpoint, several cars and motorcycles were torched.


Lawyer: Former US pilot could have been lured to Australia

SYDNEY (AP) — A former United States military pilot accused of training Chinese aviators could have been lured from China to Australia as part of a U.S. plan to extradite him to his homeland, his lawyer said Monday. In a 2016 indictment from the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., unsealed late 2022, prosecutors say Daniel Duggan conspired with others to provide training to Chinese military pilots in 2010 and 2012, and possibly at other times, without applying for an appropriate license. Prosecutors say Duggan received about nine payments totaling around 88,000 Australian dollars ($61,000) and international travel from another conspirator for what was sometimes described as “personal development training.” Boston-born Duggan, 54, has been in custody in Australia since October and appeared in a Sydney court Monday by video link from a prison cell for a brief hearing about a U.S.


Gunmen kill 9 Chinese at mine in Central African Republic

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Gunmen stormed a Chinese-operated gold mining site that had recently been launched in Central African Republic, killing nine Chinese nationals and wounding two others Sunday, authorities said. However, the rebel coalition initially blamed by some for the attack put out a statement later in the day. Without providing evidence, it accused Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group of being behind the violence. The attack early Sunday came just days after gunmen kidnapped three Chinese nationals in the country’s west near the border with Cameroon, prompting President Faustin Archange Touadera to plan a trip to China in a bid to reassure investors.

Kazakhs vote in newly competitive parliamentary election

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP) — Voters in Kazakhstan on Sunday went to the polls to choose lawmakers in the lower house of parliament, which is being reconfigured in the wake of deadly unrest that gripped the resource-rich Central Asian nation a year ago. Although the electoral field was unusually large with two newly registered parties and hundreds of individual candidates joining the race, turnout appeared relatively unenthusiastic — about 54% of eligible voter cast ballots, according the national elections commission. The early election came on the fourth anniversary of the resignation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had led Kazakhstan since independence following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and who had established immense influence.


19 die, over 20 injured in bus crash in central Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A speeding bus fell into a roadside ditch in central Bangladesh on Sunday apparently after the driver lost control, leaving at least 19 dead and more than 20 others injured, police said. The bus was travelling to the capital, Dhaka, from the southwestern city of Khulna. The accident took place when the bus reached Shibchar area in Madaripur district, highway police official Abu Nayeem Mofazzal Huq said. He said 14 people including the driver of the bus died at the scene. Another three people died later, the United News of Bangladesh agency reported. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.


How a warrant for Putin puts new spin on Xi visit to Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next week highlighted China’s aspirations for a greater role on the world stage. But they also revealed the perils of global diplomacy: Hours after Friday’s announcement of the trip, an international arrest warrant was issued for Putin on war crimes charges, taking at least some wind out of the sails of China’s big reveal. The flurry of developments — which followed China’s brokering of an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume diplomatic relations and its release of what it calls a “peace plan” for Ukraine — came as the Biden administration watches warily Beijing’s moves to assert itself more forcefully in international affairs.

Millions of dead fish wash up amid heat wave in Australia

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Millions of fish have washed up dead in southeastern Australia in a die-off that authorities and scientists say is caused by depleted oxygen levels in the river after recent floods and hot weather. Residents of the Outback town of Menindee in New South Wales state complained of a terrible smell from the dead fish. “The stink was terrible. I nearly had to put a mask on,” said local nature photographer Geoff Looney. “I was worried about my own health. That water right in the top comes down to our pumping station for the town. People north of Menindee say there’s cod and perch floating down the river everywhere,” he said.

Japan, German leaders agree to strengthen ties, supply chain

TOKYO (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Saturday held the first round of government consultations in Tokyo and agreed to strengthen economic and defense ties to better cope with China’s growing influence and global security concerns. Kishida told a joint news conference after the talks that the sides agreed to strengthen supply chains in minerals, semiconductors, batteries and other strategic areas, in order to “counter economic coercion, state-led attempts to illegally acquire technology and non-market practices,” apparently referring to China. “Japan and Germany, both industrial nations that share fundamental values, need to take global leadership to strengthen resilience of our societies,” Kishida said.