National Newswatch

Blinken: China military drills are ‘significant escalation’

Aug 5 2022 — David Rising, The Associated Press — PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that China's military exercises aimed at Taiwan, including missiles fired into Japan's exclusive economic zone, represent a “significant escalation” and that he has urged Beijing to back down. China launched the drills following a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to […]

Stopping Myanmar violence tops meeting of Asian diplomats

Aug 3 2022 — David Rising, The Associated Press — PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Top Southeast Asian diplomats meeting in Cambodia's capital intensified efforts Wednesday to stop the escalating violence in Myanmar, and to address other pressing — and often divisive — regional issues. It is the first in-person meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers since the outbreak of the […]

Myanmar violence, Ukraine war loom over ASEAN meetings

Aug 2 2022 — David Rising, The Associated Press — PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Southeast Asian foreign ministers are gathering in the Cambodian capital for meetings addressing persisting violence in Myanmar and other issues, joined by top diplomats from the United States, China, Russia and other world powers amid tensions over the invasion of Ukraine and concerns over Beijing’s growing ambitions in the region. […]

Myanmar executes ex-lawmaker, 3 other political prisoners

Jul 25 2022 — David Rising, The Associated Press — BANGKOK (AP) — Myanmar's government confirmed Monday it had carried out its first executions in nearly 50 years, hanging a former lawmaker, a democracy activist and two other political prisoners who had been accused of a targeted killing after the country's military takeover last year. The executions, first announced in the state-run Mirror Daily newspaper, […]

US official meets Marcos in Philippines in diplomatic push

Jun 9 2022 — David Rising, The Associated Press — BANGKOK (AP) — A top State Department official met Thursday with Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Manila, part of an ongoing diplomatic outreach in the Asia-Pacific region by Washington to try and blunt growing Chinese influence. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman tweeted after meeting Marcos that the two discussed a range of issues, […]

Chinese FM to visit Solomon Islands amid security pact worry

May 24 2022 — David Rising, The Associated Press — BANGKOK (AP) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Solomon Islands this week in what the South Pacific nation’s leader said was a “milestone” in his country’s relationship with China, amid concerns that their new security pact could allow Chinese military personnel on the islands. But Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare insisted in a statement […]

Tonga’s virus outbreak growing rapidly; omicron confirmed

Feb 10 2022 — David Rising, The Associated Press — BANGKOK (AP) — Coronavirus cases continue to rise rapidly in Tonga, and tests have confirmed that the particularly contagious omicron variant is behind the isolated Pacific island nation's first community outbreak since the start of the pandemic, officials said Thursday. Health Minister Saia Piukala told reporters that 31 more people had tested positive for the […]