Asian News Outlook. Archive by year: 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010

Asian News Outlook

EIAS reports on the news in Asia, highlighting important developments in relation to the EU. You can subscribe to our newsfeed through RSS.

4 March 2015

The Economic Survey for the fiscal year 2015-16 was released last Friday in India. Based on a new calculation method, this key Indian government report predicted that the economy of the South Asian giant will grow by 8.1-8.5 percent (up from an estimated 7.4 per cent) in the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2016, making India the world’s fastest-growing economy.

3 March 2015

China launched a massive infrastructure project worth CNY 500 billion (EUR 71.32 billion) in Northwestern Gansu province on 1 March 2015 as part of its ambitious Silk Road project to facilitate trade and people exchanges between China and Central Asia. According to Xinhua, the state news agency, the project covers the construction of 60,000 km of road, including 4,070 km of expressways, to improve the connectivity of existing transportation networks.

2 March 2015

Last Wednesday, Chinese media disclosed President Xi Jinping’s blueprint for the achievement of the Chinese Dream: the “Four Comprehensives”. The term was first mentioned last December during his visit to Jiangsu province. According to China’s top leader, the “Four Comprehensives” call for comprehensively constructing a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepening reform, comprehensively governing the country according to the law, and comprehensively using strict governance of the Party.

26 February 2015

Most attention is now being given to the highly anticipated launch of the ASEAN Economic Community by the end of this year, which will establish a free trade area second only to the European Union in terms of the depth of integration. The novelty of these last days is that Malaysia, which is the chair of ASEAN for 2015, has launched the idea of an ASEAN Peacekeeping Force.

23 February 2015

Chinese Lunar New Year is back and this time the protagonist is the bearded ruminant belonging to the family of Caprids: the goat, or the sheep, but also the ram. The confusion among these animals originates from the fact that the Chinese character for “horned animal”, 羊 yáng, covers all three. Originally this term also indicated prosperity and auspiciousness, whilst in modern Chinese the character for prosperity, 祥 xiáng, is ‘dressed’ with a component that makes its written appearance slightly different from the original one, but it unquestionably shares the same linguistic root.

20 February 2015

After an intensification of violence between the ethnically Chinese Kokang and Myanmar’s military forces, President Thein Sein has declared martial law in the Kokang region for the next three months effective immediately. Martial law will grant the military unprecedented powers in the continued fighting between rebels and government troops. After six years of relative stability, several violent clashes erupted on February 9, which officials blamed on an attack on military positions by the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) near Laukkai.

19 February 2015

Last Friday, Indonesia's Defence Minister confirmed his country would ink a defence agreement with Japan. The first step of this agreement is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) whose primary purpose is to indicate an intended common line of action.

18 February 2015

Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol confirmed on Monday to have made an offer of EUR 1 billion to buy a majority holding in Italy’s AC Milan Football Club. The news was launched last weekend by Thai and Italian media, after which Fininvest, Silvio Berlusconi’s holding company, and current owner of AC Milan, had to publicly deny the intention to sell the club.

18 February 2015

Newly elected President Sirisena of Sri Lanka has sought to mend ties with India during his first foreign visit on Monday, 16 February. The points of discussion with Indian Prime Minister Modi were wide-ranging and encompassed trade and cooperation on a range of sectors including defence and security cooperation, trade, strategic ties and the resolution of issues between India and Sri Lanka.

12 February 2015

Bangladesh has been struck by a new wave of intense political violence. The last two firebomb attacks in the southern district of Barisal on Friday night and in the northern district of Gaibandha on Saturday killed nine people, bringing the death toll to 76 since the political crisis sparked last month in the country once again.

11 February 2015

Anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won the Delhi elections with an impressive margin over India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Saturday’s elections. The results, that were made public on Tuesday, show that Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP has won 67 seats of the 70-member assembly.

10 February 2015

Crude prices halved from USD 105 a barrel on 1 July 2014 to less than USD 50 a barrel in January 2015, reflecting higher oil production in the U.S., lower demand in emerging markets and OPEC's commitment to not cut production, maintaining levels at 30 million barrels per day.

6 February 2015

Protestors hit the road in Delhi after the St Alphonsa’s Catholic Church has been vandalized early this week. The attack has already been the fifth in two months’ time, and is making Christians in Delhi ‘feel very unsafe’, according to a member of the Christian clergy joining the protests.

4 February 2015

The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection issued a study earlier this week denouncing the unfortunate air quality of most Chinese cities. Among the 74 cities that were included as pilot in this new study, only eight met the national standard for clean air in 2014.

2 February 2015

Only a week after his companion Haruna Yukawa was beheaded by terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also Kenji Goto, the second Japanese hostage, was killed in a similarly brutal way. The killings were received with much shock and unbelief in Japan: the pacifist country renounced to active war since World War II, and it is relatively new in its involvement in conflicts in the Middle East.

29 January 2015

Following the audit conducted by the EU’s Food and Veterinary Office, the seven-month-old ban imposed on Indian mangoes in 2014 by the European Union has been lifted on 20 January 2015 well in advance of the deadline set for the sanction, which was initially until December 2015.

26 January 2015

Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fumio Kishida has wrapped up an eight-day trip to India and Europe to promote Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “global diplomacy”. During his first foreign visit to Europe, he stopped in France, Belgium and the United Kingdom to help boost Japan’s strategic and economic cooperation with the EU.

16 January 2015

Pope Francis’ seventh and longest international Apostolic Journey started on Monday January 12, 2015 when he departed from Rome heading to Sri Lanka. Since Pope Francis started his Papacy on March 13, 2013, this is his second visit to Asia.

14 January 2015

On Monday January 12, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Park Geun-hye delivered the highly-awaited message to the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong-un. At the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, she publicly stated her willingness to “meet with anyone if necessary” to prepare the path for a peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula.

9 January 2015

Maithripala Sirisena has won the presidential elections in Sri Lanka as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat to his rival, announcing on his twitter on Thursday that, “I value and respect our democratic process and the people’s verdict, and look forward to the peaceful transition of power”.