Asian Insider, July 9: Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong, Seoul mayor missing
In today’s bulletin: Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong, Japan & Australia discuss key regional concerns, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi calls on the US to agree on 3 lists for discussion, Seoul mayor goes missing, and more.
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AUSTRALIA SUSPENDS HONG KONG EXTRADITION TREATY
Australia suspended the extradition treaty with Hong Kong and announced new measures to attract people and businesses from the city.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also unveiled changes to student and work visas for Hong Kong citizens already in Australia or seeking to begin a new life there.
Canberra’s move follows the implementation of a new security law in Hong Kong by China. Taiwan and Japan are the other countries eyeing talent and other opportunities in the island city. Australia also urged its citizens in Hong Kong to reconsider if they need to remain in the city.
JAPAN, AUSTRALIA DISCUSS CONCERNS OVER EAST, SOUTH CHINA SEAS
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison discussed regional concerns over East and South China seas in a video meeting today.
While no third country was named in statements issued after the meeting, both leaders shared serious concerns over various moves in the two waters.
The video conversation comes after several incidents involving China in recent months.
Stand together to deal with South China Sea tensions: Yomiuri Shimbun
China says US sent ships to South China Sea to flex its muscle
CHINA URGES US TO AGREE ON THREE LISTS
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the United States to return to the table for talks to mend bilateral ties and offered to help Washington battle the pandemic.
Mr Wang called on both countries to come up with three lists: one on bilateral and global issues the two sides can cooperate on, another on differences that can be bridged by dialogue, and the third on hard-to-resolve issues.
Mr Wang was addressing a forum of Chinese and US think tanks.
Read more: US headed down dangerous path in its ties with China
SINGAPORE SECURES THREE OF TOP FIVE PRIVATE EQUITY, VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
Singapore secured three of top five private equity and venture capital deals during the first quarter of this year, despite the pandemic, according to a report by Ernst & Young.
The biggest first-quarter deal in the region was a US$706 million investment by Krungsri Finnovate and MUFG Innovation Partners in the Singapore-based ride-hailing software company Grab Holdings.
The other two Singapore deals that made the top five were the US$75 million investment in eCommerce company ShopBack and the US$37 million in solar energy firm Sunseap Group by separate consortiums, both including Temasek Holdings.
In all there were 141 deals worth US$1.4 billion (S$1.95 billion) in the region in the three months to March 31, the report said.
JOSTLING BEGINS IN MALAYSIA’S RULING PACT AHEAD OF ELECTIONS
Leaders of the three Malay parties within Malaysia’s ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) have started jockeying for leverage amid speculation of a snap election sometime soon. The tussle could well mean a split over whether Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should continue as prime minister in the event PN wins the next general election, writes Malaysia Bureau Chief Shannon Teoh.
Read also: Pressure mounts on Muhyiddin to hold early election to capitalise on PH feuding
IN OTHER NEWS
SEOUL MAYOR GOES MISSING: South Korean police said today they are searching for the mayor of Seoul Park Won-Soon, after his daughter reported him missing. The mayor’s phone signal was last detected around Sungbuk-dong, a district in northern Seoul. This story is just in. More details will be available in a bit.
CHINA-BHUTAN DISPUTE OVER SANCTUARY: The tiny kingdom of Bhutan applied for a grant for the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary from the Global Environment Facility last month. But China has objected to the move, saying the sanctuary, in eastern Bhutan’s Trashigang district, is “disputed”. The move has left Thimpu shocked, reports said.
THREE THAI MINISTERS RESIGN: Three ministers from Thailand’s ruling party announced their resignation today leading to speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle even as the country battles coronavirus infections.
That’s it for today. Singapore votes tomorrow. To catch the latest on Singapore elections do visit www.straitstimes.com
Stay safe and we’ll be back with you on Monday.
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