U.S. ‘gravely damaged’ coronavirus cooperation, China says as feud erupts over WHO probe
15-Feb-2021 NBC News
A growing diplomatic row over a World Health Organization fact-finding mission into the origins of the coronavirus escalated Sunday as China said the U.S. had “gravely damaged” international cooperation on the pandemic.
The U.S. has “severely undermined multilateral institutions, including the WHO,” the Chinese Embassy in Washington said in a statement. It appeared to be referring to the notification that the U.S. would withdraw from the organization in July — a decision that has been reversed by the Biden administration.
The U.S. “gravely damaged international cooperation on Covid-19,” the statement said, adding that it was “acting as if none of this had ever happened” while “pointing fingers at other countries who have been faithfully supporting the WHO.”
Singapore’s January export growth triggers optimism for 2021
17-Feb-2021 The Business Times
SINGAPORE exports appear to be off to a good start this year, and the pleasant surprise has left economists optimistic about the year ahead.
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) grew 12.8 per cent year on year in January, up from 6.8 per cent in the previous month, according to Enterprise Singapore on Wednesday.
Although January’s showing is partly due to the low base from a year ago, it still far exceeded the 5.2 per cent growth that private-sector economists polled by Bloomberg were expecting.
On a month-on-month, seasonally adjusted basis, NODX rose 7 per cent, up from December’s 4.8 per cent growth.
Business ‘bubble’ travellers to arrive in Singapore from March, after month’s delay
18-Feb-2021 The Business Time
THE first facility under Singapore’s “business travel bubble” will welcome its first guests from early March, more than a month after the scheme was meant to go live.
Connect@Changi at the Singapore Expo, which was developed by state-owned Temasek Holdings and consortium partners, opened for bookings on Thursday.
Alan Thompson, joint head of strategic development at Temasek, dangled potential “big demand” for short-term, quarantine-free stays from regions such as the United States and parts of Europe and Asia, where no reciprocal travel arrangements are yet in place.
He added: “We are comfortable, based on the inbound enquiries that we’ve had, as well as our analysis of pre-Covid traffic, that there will be demand for this facility.”
Huawei turns to pig farming as smartphone sales fall
Huawei is turning to technology for pig farmers as it deals with tough sanctions on its smartphones.
The Chinese telecoms giant was stopped from accessing vital components after the Trump administration labelled it a threat to US national security.
In response to struggling smartphone sales, Huawei is looking at other sources of revenue for its technology.
Along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) tech for pig farmers, Huawei is also working with the coal mining industry.
Former US President Donald Trump claimed Huawei can share customer data with the Chinese government, allegations it has repeatedly denied.
As a result, the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker has been limited to making 4G models as it lacks US government permission to import components for 5G models.
Southeast Asia would choose the U.S. over China if forced to pick sides, survey shows
Southeast Asia’s support for the U.S. appeared to increase after Joe Biden won the presidential election, according to an annual survey by Singaporean think tank ISEAS Yusof-Ishak Institute.
The State of Southeast Asia survey released last week found that 61.5% of respondents favor aligning with the U.S. over China if the region was forced to pick sides. That’s an increase from 53.6% who chose the U.S. over China in the same survey a year ago.
“The region’s support for Washington may have increased as a result of the prospects of the new Biden Administration,” read the report of the survey results.
Responses to the latest survey were gathered from Nov. 18 last year to Jan. 10 this year — after Biden was projected to defeat Donald Trump in the election, but before he was inaugurated as president.
The survey involved more than 1,000 respondents from all 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN. The respondents include government officials, business people, as well as analysts from academia, think tanks and research institutions.