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Kusu News 5-Mar-2021

Jakarta’s call for dialogue would legitimize the Myanmar junta, but is the most realistic option for resolving the country’s crisis.
1-Mar-2021 The Diplomat

The Brazilian philosopher Paulo Freire put it that “washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” And that, I give you, is the myth of ASEAN’s “non-interference.” Is that about to change now that Indonesia has taken it upon itself to try to reach some sort of resolution to the military coup in Myanmar?

The United States has clearly shown it’s unwilling to expend the energy needed to roll back the military’s power, after imposing only targeted sanctions that almost all pundits agree won’t convince the junta to step down. The European Union, even after taking three weeks to merely decide on whether they’ll impose sanctions or not, a decision taken on February 22, has still not announced what those measures will be, but everyone expects them to be even more limited than America’s. China clearly isn’t happy about the events but isn’t about to support the international community pressuring an authoritarian elite to remove itself from power, for very obvious reasons.

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Most countries in APAC looking at 2022, 2023 before herd immunity can be achieved: report

4-Mar-2021 The Business Times

WITH exceptions such as Singapore, most countries in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region will be looking at 2022 and even 2023 before herd immunity is achieved, according to Steven Cochrane, chief APAC economist at Moody's Analytics.

On the one hand, Asian countries appeared to have been cautious in their approach to acquiring vaccines until it was clear which would be approved and available. On the other hand, given that much of Asia had the advantage of having controlled the spread of Covid-19, many countries felt it less imperative to be the first or fastest with a vaccine, noted Mr Cochrane.

But, he noted, the need to vaccinate and create herd immunity is critical to the reopening of international borders and accommodating the uninterrupted flow of business travellers.

Within the Asia-Pacific, China was the first to begin vaccinating high-priority people according to the non-profit scientific publication Our World in Data. By Feb 9, which is the latest observation for China in this data set, the vaccination rate had climbed only to 2.8 per cent. Press reports put China's rate at about 3.5 per cent as at the end of February.

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China NPC: Beijing to overhaul Hong Kong electoral system

China's top law-making body has unveiled plans to ensure only "patriots" can govern Hong Kong, as Beijing tightens its grip on the city with changes to the electoral system.
5-Mar-2021 BBC

Premier Li Keqiang, addressing the National People's Congress (NPC), warned the world not to interfere.

The move follows the imposition of a tough security law.

Critics say Beijing is crushing dissent and removing the "one country, two systems" agreement it made with the UK.

Under the agreement, Hong Kong, a former British colony, was allowed to continue with its own legal system and have rights including free speech and freedom of the press.

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'Nongsa D-Town' launched in Singapore-Indonesia tech park

2-Mar-2021 The Business Times

NONGSA D-Town, a new "digital downtown" designed by Surbana Jurong, was launched on Tuesday at a virtual event officiated by Singapore and Indonesia's economic ministers.

Located in Batam, the 62-hectare development aims to digitally bridge tech companies and talents in Singapore and Indonesia, and will have the capacity to house 8,000 tech talents when completed.

Nongsa D-Town builds on the existing Nongsa Digital Park - the outcome of bilateral discussions to develop Batam as a digital bridge between Singapore and Indonesia. Indonesia has designated the park as a Special Economic Zone for digital economy and tourism.

"D-Town marks the next phase in the story of Nongsa Digital Park, which is envisioned as a vibrant location for those in the tech and digital sector to live, code, design and play," said Chan Chun Sing, Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister, in his remarks for the launch event.

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