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Kusu News 12-Mar-2021

Singapore PM: 'Considerable risk' of severe US-China tensions

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has told the BBC that a clash between the US and China is more likely than it was five years ago.
11-Mar-2021 BBC

However, he maintained that the odds of military conflict are "not yet high".

The prime minister said if both nations continue to take a hard line because of domestic considerations, they could easily find themselves at an impasse.

The Biden administration will hold its first high-level talks with Chinese officials in Alaska next week.

Mr Lee was reluctant to give advice to China but noted its political direction had sparked tensions with nations big and small.

"There is significant uncertainty [and] anxiety over which way China is going and whether this will be good for them," he told BBC World News' Talking Business Asia programme.

"I do not think that is in China's interest."

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How Are Thailand’s Youth Protests Impacting Foreign Investment?

Thailand’s protests have not yet caused a mass exodus of foreign investors. But continuing political unrest could drive multinational corporations away

The anti-government protest movement which shook Thailand to its core throughout 2020 shows no signs of slowing down. Weeks before rioters stormed the capital in Washington, D.C., on January 6, tensions in Bangkok reached a similar crescendo in November 2020 when protestors surrounded the national parliament, leading police to use water cannons to disperse the demonstrators and allow time for MPs to flee in boats down the Chao Phraya River. Leaders of the largely decentralized student-led movement then declared a “pause” in December 2020, vowing to resume demonstrations in 2021 with “more intensity,” according to Arnon Nampa, a rights lawyer and leading figure in the protest movement. The protestors made good on this promise, breaking COVID-19 social distancing orders to stage flash mobs and face off with the police in January and February of this year.

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What’s causing vaccine delays in some Asian countries?

09-Mar-2021 Intellasia BBC 

An estimated 160 million Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered so far globally, but most of that has been in the US and Europe.

In the Asian region, vaccination programmes are steadily progressing in places like India which says it has administered around 14 million doses since January.

In other countries however, vaccine programmes are either yet to begin or are still at a very early stage. The reasons for this have been varied ranging from an abundance of caution to high levels of vaccine scepticism.

We looked at some of the countries in this situation and the different reasons behind it.

Fear and misinformation

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Blinken: U.S. to take action against rights violations in Hong Kong

10-Mar-2021 Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday the United States will take action against those responsible for violations of human rights in Hong Kong.

“We need to continue to follow through on sanctions, for example, against those responsible for committing repressive acts in Hong Kong,” he told a House of Representatives hearing.