Asia Briefs: China provoking arms race: US

A Chinese Coast Guard ship near disputed islets, known as Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, on Dec 22, 2015.
A Chinese Coast Guard ship near disputed islets, known as Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, on Dec 22, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

China provoking arms race: US

CANBERRA • China's "might makes right" attitude and "unprecedented examples of aggressive construction and militarisation" in disputed areas of the South China Sea are provoking a regional arms build-up, said Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet.

"The resulting climate of uncertainty not only threatens freedom of the seas and chips away at the rules-based system, it encourages nations to transfer ever larger shares of national wealth to purchase naval weapons beyond what is needed merely for self-defence," he said a speech as quoted by Kyodo news agency.


Hun Sen to reshuffle Cabinet

PHNOM PENH • Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a rare reshuffle of his Cabinet, and said several ministers due to be fired had already resigned as he moved to freshen up his government. Mr Hun Sen, whose three-decade grip on power is being tested by the growing popularity of the opposition, said Parliament would vote on April 4 to approve a new line-up with changes at the top in eight ministries.

REUTERS


China resumes ties with Gambia

BEIJING • China's Foreign Ministry said yesterday that the country had formally resumed ties with former Taiwan ally Gambia, ending an unofficial diplomatic truce between China and Taiwan.

The announcement was made after a meeting in Beijing between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Gambian counterpart, Mrs Neneh Macdouall-Gaye.

The two countries agreed to exchange ambassadors and provide necessary assistance for the establishment of embassies.

REUTERS


4 Muslims held over 'cooking beef'

NEW DELHI • Police in India arrested four Muslim students on charges of breaching the peace after rumours that the men were cooking beef sparked protests, an officer said yesterday.

Hundreds of fellow students and right-wing Hindu activists had gathered outside a university residence in the northern state of Rajasthan on Monday. Cooking beef is taboo in parts of the Hindu-majority nation.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs: China provoking arms race: US '. Print Edition | Subscribe