All posts tagged: East Asia

Ticket sales for Jay Chou’s three Singapore shows to start on May 29

Ticket sales for Jay Chou’s three Singapore shows to start on May 29

[ad_1] Mark your calendars, ticket sales for Jay Chou’s three-night concert at the Singapore National Stadium will start at 10am on May 29. His Carnival 2024 World Tour, held from Oct 11 to 13, will dive into a “joyful carnival theme with well-designed visual effects”, said the event organiser Horizon Production in a press release on Friday (May 10). At the concert, fans can look forward to the Mandopop star performing a variety of tracks, including classic hits and recent works. He will also be showcasing his instrumental skills on the piano and guzheng. Notably, there will be a song request segment, where fans can interact and request songs up close with the megastar. Tickets are priced at S$398, S$358, S$318, S$278 and S$238, excluding the S$5 ticketing processing fee, and can be purchased via Ticketmaster. OCBC Cardmembers can enjoy priority ticket booking from May 29 to 30. The Mandopop star last performed in Singapore in December 2022 where he faced criticism from concert-goers about his guests performing and singing more during the shows than …

Air Vanuatu cancels flights as government considers voluntary administration

Air Vanuatu cancels flights as government considers voluntary administration

[ad_1] Air Vanuatu said on Thursday it had cancelled international flights for the rest of the week, as the Pacific Island nation’s government considered placing itsnational carrier into voluntary administration. All of Air Vanuatu’s international flights between Thursday and Sunday are canceled, and all later flights are under review, the airline said in a statement. “The Vanuatu Government is now considering placing Air Vanuatu … into voluntary administration,” and Ernst & Young has been appointed to advise the government, the statement said. Air Vanuatu operates only four aircraft among the country’s islands – which rely heavily on tourism – and to Australia, New Zealand and other South Pacific islands. The airline on Wednesday had said several flights were cancelled because of extended maintenance requirements for its aircraft. Virgin Australia flights between Brisbane and the Vanuatu capital Port Vila are still scheduled, data from FlightRadar24 shows. Australian carrier Qantas Airways said it is supporting its codeshare customers who were booked onto Air Vanuatu flights. Australian budget airline Bonza last week entered voluntary administration, cancelling flights after …

New US-China climate envoys to hold their first in-person talks in Washington

New US-China climate envoys to hold their first in-person talks in Washington

[ad_1] state department —  The United States’ and China’s new climate envoys are holding their first in-person talks on Wednesday and Thursday in Washington, leading a bilateral working group discussion to accelerate concrete climate action. Some analysts caution that political and economic tensions between the world’s two largest emitters of carbon dioxide, or CO2, could hamper progress on the climate front. This week’s talks will take place against the backdrop of the Biden administration’s probe into Chinese-made electric vehicles, or EVs, and calls to increase tariffs on the import of solar panels from China to protect domestic producers. John Podesta, senior adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden for international climate policy, and Liu Zhenmin, the People’s Republic of China’s special envoy for climate change, along with relevant officials from both countries, will convene this week’s working-group talks. Liu Zhenmin, China’s special envoy for climate change, arrives past demonstrators to attend a new session of talks at the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit, Dec. 11, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. “The meeting will focus on areas …

Powerful ethnic armed group in western Myanmar claims capture of base, hundreds of soldiers 

Powerful ethnic armed group in western Myanmar claims capture of base, hundreds of soldiers 

[ad_1] BANGKOK —  A powerful ethnic minority armed group battling Myanmar’s army in the country’s west claimed Monday to have taken hundreds of government soldiers prisoner when it captured a major command post. The Arakan Army, the well-trained and well-armed military wing of the Rakhine ethnic minority movement, has been on the offensive against army outposts in the western state of Rakhine — its home ground — for about six months. The group said in a video statement posted on the Telegram messaging app that soldiers belonging to the military government’s Operational Command No. 15 headquarters in Rakhine’s Buthidaung township surrendered after a siege. Buthidaung is about 385 kilometers (240 miles) southwest of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city. The reported capture of the base could not be independently confirmed. Myanmar’s military government made no immediate comment, and the spokesperson of the Arakan Army did not respond to questions sent by The Associated Press. The fight in Rakhine is part of the nationwide conflict in Myanmar that began after the army ousted the elected government of Aung …

US ahead of China in global leadership approval

US ahead of China in global leadership approval

[ad_1] Global approval of U.S. leadership is higher than China’s, according to a Gallup analysis Monday. The report says that although more countries have a higher net support for U.S. leadership, global support for both the U.S. and China decreased in 2023. The report also specifies that while the U.S. beats China in global leadership approval, support fluctuates depending on who’s leading. Gallup data over nearly 20 years shows that Democratic leadership tends to yield higher global support than Republican leadership. Out of 133 countries surveyed in 2023, the U.S. maintained an advantage in 81 of them, and China in 52. The U.S. held the biggest advantage in Kosovo while China enjoyed the largest advantage in Russia. Having an advantage in approval for leadership is important for a country’s ability to exert influence, Gallup says in the report. “Holding other factors constant, the great power that has a net approval advantage in a country of interest may have a better chance to realize its objectives.” The report also says that the net approval score “offers …

EU chief to urge ‘fair’ China competition in talks with Xi

EU chief to urge ‘fair’ China competition in talks with Xi

[ad_1] Brussels —  EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said Monday she will press for “fair” competition with China in talks with its President Xi Jinping, who is in Paris on a state visit. “We have to act to make sure that competition is fair and not distorted,” she said in remarks issued hours before a face-to-face Paris meeting between her, Xi and French President Emmanuel Macron. She added that, previously with Xi, “I have made clear that the current imbalances in market access are not sustainable and need to be addressed.” Von der Leyen’s European Commission, the European Union’s authority on trade issues, has opened a slew of competition probes targeting China in recent months. Beijing has reacted furiously to the most recent investigation, into suspected inequitable access to China’s medical devices market, calling it a sign of EU “protectionism.” China is also angry at an EU probe into Chinese wind turbine suppliers for the European market. Other Brussels investigations have focused on Chinese subsidies for solar panels, electric vehicles (EVs) and trains. Von …

Mystery shrouds process of designating US nationals as wrongfully detained abroad

Mystery shrouds process of designating US nationals as wrongfully detained abroad

[ad_1] washington —  Supporters of two U.S. nationals seen as unjustly imprisoned overseas are raising concerns about what they see as a murky process by which the U.S. government decides whether to designate such individuals as wrongfully detained. Granting a wrongful detention designation to a U.S. national means the U.S. special envoy for hostage affairs is authorized to work with a coalition of government and private sector organizations to secure the detainee’s freedom. Hostage rights advocates and relatives of the two U.S. nationals jailed in Iran and Russia tell VOA they want answers as to why the pair have been waiting months or years for a wrongful detention designation, while other Americans jailed in the same two countries have received the designation much more quickly. Designations are granted if a review by the secretary of state concludes that the U.S. national’s case meets criteria defined in the Levinson Act of 2020. One U.S. national whose case has been under review for years is 62-year-old retired Iranian ship captain Shahab Dalili. After immigrating to the U.S. …

Canada finds foreign meddling in elections; results not affected

Canada finds foreign meddling in elections; results not affected

[ad_1] OTTAWA —  An official probe found evidence of foreign interference in Canada’s last two federal elections, but the results of the votes were not affected, and the electoral system was robust, according to initial findings released on Friday. The findings in the interim report confirm Trudeau’s assertion that China tried to meddle in the elections to no avail. The commission will release its final report by the end of this year. Beijing has repeatedly denied any interference. “Acts of foreign interference did occur during the last two federal general elections, but they did not undermine the integrity of our electoral system,” said commissioner Marie-Josee Hogue, who is leading the independent public inquiry. The Foreign Interference Commission was set up last year by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government under pressure from opposition legislators unhappy about media reports on China’s possible role in the elections. The commission is mandated to investigate allegations of foreign interference in the 2019 and 2021 elections. “Our system remains sound. Voters were able to cast their ballots, their votes were duly …

Most countries in Asia see decline in press freedom

Most countries in Asia see decline in press freedom

[ad_1] Bangkok —  Global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, says press freedom in Asia continues to see a decline, with 26 out of 31 countries falling on its annual index. According to the group’s latest press freedom index, Asia is the second-most difficult region for practicing journalism. Five countries in the region — Myanmar, China, North Korea and Vietnam — are among the world’s 10 most dangerous countries for media professionals in the 2024 rankings. There are no countries in the Asia-Pacific region in the top 15 ranking for press freedom. China, North Korea and Vietnam, three of the world’s remaining communist governments, have long been near the bottom of RSF’s press freedom index ranking of 180 countries. This year, China was ranked 172, Vietnam 174 and North Korea 177. Overall, it’s the countries and territories that have shown a drop in press freedom in recent years that have contributed to East Asia becoming a difficult place for media to operate. Hong Kong was once a model for press freedom in the Asia …

US remains committed to diplomacy despite North Korea’s nuclear escalation   

US remains committed to diplomacy despite North Korea’s nuclear escalation   

[ad_1] washington —  The U.S. says it has been trying to engage North Korea by sending messages repeatedly despite Pyongyang’s apparent lack of interest in dialogue and its escalation of threats in the region. “We have sent such messages in multiple ways – through third parties and directly, orally and in writing – and have included specific proposals on humanitarian cooperation and other topics for discussion,” a State Department spokesperson said. “We have also emphasized our willingness to discuss practical steps both sides could take to address the security situation in the region,” the spokesperson continued via email to VOA’s Korean Service on April 26. “To date, however, the DPRK has shown no indication it is interested in engaging. Instead, we have seen a marked increase in the scope and scale of DPRK provocations, which have only served to raise regional tensions and increase the risk of accidental or unintentional escalation,” the spokesperson added. North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. North Korea has been conducting multiple missile and rocket tests, …