Beijing introduces new party loyalty rules
BEIJING • Chinese public sector managers in education and media must adhere to new party loyalty and "socialist statesmanship" rules to keep their jobs, in the latest move to limit dissent in a sensitive leadership transition year.
President Xi Jinping has moved aggressively to consolidate his power since taking office four years ago, and will further stamp his authority on the ruling Communist Party at a five-yearly congress later this year, when important officials will retire and new ones take their posts. Mr Xi has already moved to tighten party control over areas like state media and acted to prevent too much debate about policy.
Communists say truce with Manila unlikely
MANILA • Philippine communist rebels waging one of Asia's longest insurgencies said yesterday that a peace pact was likely not achievable before 2019, in a blow to the government's hopes of securing a deal this year.
Ahead of fresh peace talks starting in Italy tomorrow, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines also warned that ground forces were urging an end to a ceasefire as they became frustrated with "broken promises".
The communists have been waging their "national democratic revolution" since 1968 to overthrow a capitalist system that has created one of Asia's biggest rich-poor divides.
Malaysia's DAP forms bureau for farmers
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) said it has formed a parliamentary bureau to support its MPs working with small landowners in the Malay-dominated Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) districts.
The bureau's formation by the Chinese-based DAP comes amid media reports that recent corporate deals carried out by the Felda leadership could weaken the rights of the smallholders. The lands owned by these farmers comprise 54 constituencies, or 24 per cent, of the 222 seats in the federal Parliament, making them an important political target.