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As Lao-China Rail Line Nears Completion, Some Displaced by the Work Still Wait to...

Lao villagers displaced by construction near Vientiane of the $5.9 billion high-speed rail line linking China with Laos are still waiting for promised compensation though most stations on the line are almost fully built, Lao sources say. The 420-km (260-mile) railway connecting Luang Nam Tha province on the Lao-Chinese border to the capital Vienti..

Why Indonesia Should Abandon its Natural Gas Pricing Regulation

It has been a year since the Indonesian government decided to enforce a natural gas pricing policy for the country’s industrial and power generation sectors. The results remain far from what was expected at the time, and may end up worsening both the investment climate in the natural gas industry and the national economy as a whole. The high domestic price of Indonesia’s natural gas has generally been cited as one of the main causes of the inadeq..

Pushing against China, US lawmakers plan pro-Taiwan bill

WASHINGTON: Democratic and Republican members of the US House of Representatives will introduce legislation this week seeking to boost US support for Taiwan, part of an effort in Congress to take a hard line in dealings with China. Representatives Ami Bera and Steve Chabot, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committe..

Commentary: Malaysia needs more than the ‘hammer’ of lockdowns to get COVID-19 under control

SINGAPORE: Tomas Pueyo, in a highly influential piece, commented on the need for governments to adopt both the “hammer” and “dance” to successfully combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “Hammer” refers to strict lockdown measures implemented when COVID-19 infection numbers are rising rapidly to cut off the COVID-19 transmission chain, thereby preventing a ..

US Calls China’s Conduct in South China Sea ‘Unlawful’

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin highlighted what he called China’s unlawful behavior in the South China Sea, while his Chinese counterpart said Beijing was determined to safeguard its core interests, at an ASEAN-hosted meeting on Wednesday. Defense officials from the 10-member Association of the Southeast Asian Nations met virtually with count..

Biden queries China’s desire to find origin of COVID-19

GENEVA US President Joe Biden said China was trying to project itself as a responsible nation in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it remained unclear whether Beijing was really trying to understand the origins of the coronavirus. Asked if he would call Chinese President Xi Jinping as "old friend to old friend" to ask him to re-admit World Healt..

China Won’t Finance Bangladesh Rail Line after Dhaka Cuts Project Costs

China has refused to fund a rail project that a Chinese state-owned company was to build in Bangladesh after Dhaka slashed its “abnormally high” U.S. $2 billion cost in an unprecedented move, the South Asian nation’s railway minister said Wednesday. This is the first instance that the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cut the cost of a Ch..

Malaysia’s King, Rulers: Reconvene Parliament Soon, End Emergency in August

Malaysia’s suspended parliament must reconvene as soon as possible, the country’s king said on Wednesday, while the powerful Council of Rulers demanded that a current national state of emergency not be extended beyond its Aug. 1 expiry date. After a four-hour meeting the king and his fellow rulers agreed that parliament, which was suspended five m..

Cambodian Court Upholds 18-Month Sentence for Rapper who Dissed Government

A court in Cambodia Wednesday upheld an 18-month jail sentence against a rapper convicted last year for his songs critical of the government, disappointing his supporters who say he was merely expressing himself. Authorities arrested Kea Sokun and fellow rapper Long Puthera in September 2020 in the northwestern province of Siem Reap after they rel..

Philippine President’s Daughter: Will Help with ICC Probe, if Govt Allows

The Philippine leader’s daughter, a potential presidential candidate, said Wednesday she would help with a possible international probe into alleged extrajudicial killings carried out under the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, if the government gave her permission. Sara Duterte is mayor of southern Davao City, where rights groups allege that..

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