Asian Insider, June 24: India-China dispute aftermath, Kim Jong Un suspends military action, Indonesia’s new political heirs

Asian Insider brings you insights into a fast-changing region from our network of correspondents.

Hi all,

In today's bulletin: Tensions persist in India-China ties, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un suspends military action against South, new political heirs emerge in Indonesia, South Korea's trade minister makes a bid for WTO top job, Australians now trust China less and US more, and more.

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A day after China and India agreed to disengage forces after a deadly border clash in the Himalayas, there were fresh signs today that tensions continue to prevail on both sides.

China's Defence Ministry said on its social media that the border clash was caused by the Indian side and the Indian actions violated a consensus between the two countries.

In India, fighter jets flew over the Himalayan region as part of a show of strength while customs officials in Chennai held on to shipments originating from China for extra checks.

The two country's forces clashed on June 15, resulting in 20 Indian soldiers being killed. China has made no official mention of whether Beijing suffered any casualties.

Also read:

Associate Editor Vikram Khanna: Can China and India think 'win-win'?


In a surprising turn of events North Korea decided to suspend military actions against its neighbour South Korea, the KCNA news agency reported while another report said Pyongyang had asked its troops to take down loudspeakers reinstalled at the fortified border area.

KCNA said the decision was taken after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over a meeting of the ruling party's Central Military Commission yesterday.

Reasons behind Pyongyang's change in position was not immediately clear but South Korea has taken measures to deter defectors from sending propaganda leaflets across the border. The North Korean economy too has been under strain because of sanctions and closure of borders due to coronavirus.


With Indonesia due to hold regional elections on Dec 9, the spotlight is turning to the families of the country's top leaders who will contest some of the 270 posts of governors, mayors and regents.

Two of the prominent contenders are President Joko Widodo's son Gibran Rakabuming Raka and son-in-law Bobby Afif Nasution.

But they're not the only ones.

Find out more in Regional Correspondent Arlina Arshad's article.


South Korea's trade minister Yoo Myung-Hee announced her bid to be the World Trade Organisation's next director-general, taking over from Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, who will quit his position in August, a year ahead of the end of his tenure.

Ms Yoo will be WTO's first female leader, if she gets the job. The WTO director-general is appointed through a process of elimination carried out in consultation with the institution's 164 members. WTO will be accepting nominations till July 8.

The new WTO chief will be taking charge amid ongoing trade disputes, among them between the US and China, and a promise by President Donald Trump's administration to push for a broad reset of "outdated tariff determinations", at the institution.


Haunted houses, a popular entertainment in Japan, have had a tough time during coronavirus. Like several other entertainment venues, many of their operations have been shut. Now, at least one team is experimenting with a drive-in experience. Blood-soaked actors create the ambience outside the vehicle while visitors are entertained with a soundtrack and narrative inside. Tickets for a show next month in Tokyo are sold out.

Read also:

Disney theme parks in Tokyo to reopen on July 1


TRUST IN CHINA DOWN & US UP AMONG AUSTRALIANS, POLL FINDS: Trust in China among Australians has more than halved amid diplomatic and trade disputes, with only 23 per cent saying they trusted Beijing to act responsibly in the world compared to a 52 per cent two years ago, the annual Lowy Institute Poll found. People showed rising support for Australia's security alliance with the US, that was up six points to 78 per cent this year, even though US President Donald Trump was unpopular with Australians.

THAI DPM AGREES TO BECOME LEADER OF RULING PARTY: Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has agreed to be the new head of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, a move that will likely set off changes to the country's Cabinet, writes Thailand Correspondent Hathai Techakitteranun. Mr Prawit's decision comes amid an internal feud at the party, and after more than half the party's executive board resigned on June 1.

HUAWEI CFO EXTRADITION HEARING TO STRETCH INTO 2021: Hearings on Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou's extradition to the United States from Canada will extend into late April 2021, according to documents released by a British Columbia court today. Meng was arrested in December 2018 by Canadian authorities at the Vancouver International Airport on a warrant from the United States charging her with bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC on Huawei's business dealings in Iran.

That's it for today. Have a good week ahead, stay safe and we'll be back with you tomorrow.


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