Asian Insider Oct 17: Brexit, US-China spat over diplomatic visits, Japan’s Imperial parade postponed

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

Hi, 

In today’s bulletin: Asian economies keenly watch British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deal with EU, China objects to Washington’s move to monitor visits made by its diplomats, Japan opts to postpone Imperial parade given the devastation caused by typhoon Hagibis, Singapore grows bolder in turning to 5G, an update on Hong Kong and more. 

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ASIA WATCHES AS EU AND UK REACH AGREEMENT ON BREXIT DEAL

Asia is watching keenly as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved one step closer to allowing Britain to break its 46-year-old ties to the European Union (EU) later this month, as UK negotiators reached an agreement with EU officials, a short while ago. Once the deal is approved at EU summit talks in Brussels later today, the deal will need to be approved by the UK Parliament, on Saturday. If this goes through, Britain will be redefining its trading relationships with several countries, including Japan.

EU and UK reach agreement to put Brexit within Prime Minister Boris Johnson's grasp

Pound sinks as key ally rejects British PM Boris Johnson's Brexit plan

These 5 countries are busy prepping for a post-Brexit world

CHINA PROTESTS US MONITORING OF DIPLOMATIC VISITS

China has objected to a new US State Department order that says Washington must be notified before Chinese diplomats visit universities and research institutions or meet government officials. Beijing says this violates a Vienna Convention. US says it is doing what China does. And so, the ongoing rift between between the two, continues. It comes as both are working towards a partial trade deal to be signed by their leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month in Chile. And, as they spar over pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

China pushes back against US rule monitoring diplomatic visits

Mirroring China, US places notification requirements on Chinese diplomats

US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says there is still work to do on China trade deal

China slams US passage of Hong Kong Bill, threatens retaliation

TYPHOON HAGIBIS AFTERMATH FORCES POSTPONEMENT OF IMPERIAL PARADE

Seventy-seven people are dead in the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis. Landslides and widespread flooding continue to raise alarm while concern is growing about the health of people in evacuation centres, as winter approaches. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has promised his government will do everything he can to restore lives. Meanwhile, the government has decided to postpone the parade celebrating Emperor Naruhito's enthronement on Oct 22. Other engagements tied to the enthronement, however, will continue. 

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visits typhoon disaster zone, Emperor Naruhito's parade postponed

Japan counts the cost of Typhoon Hagibis

Japan spent mightily to soften nature's wrath, but can it ever be enough?

HONG KONG ASSEMBLY DISRUPTED AGAIN

Hong Kong's parliament descended into a second day of chaos as some lawmakers heckled Chief Executive Carrie Lam and demanded an inquiry into the knife and hammer attack on prominent human rights activist Jimmy Shan. They were later dragged out by security guards. This came a day after Mrs Lam's speech was disrupted on Wednesday. In her address, which she finally delivered over video, she had announced measures to ease Hong Kong's chronic housing shortage, one of the key reasons behind the protests. But her measures have been widely rejected by the pro-democracy leaders.   

Hong Kong legislature disrupted again as lawmakers shout at leader Carrie Lam

Loosened lending rules announced by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam stoke optimism for small apartment sales

Forced to deliver speech via video, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam unveils measures to ease housing crunch

SINGAPORE GROWS BOLDER ON 5G

Singapore stepped up its efforts to experiment with 5G and stay competitive, by announcing that it would be going in for four 5G networks, instead of the two initially planned for. 5G networks promise surfing speeds that are 20 times faster than those under 4G.   

Up to four 5G networks being planned to secure Singapore's digital future

Singapore telcos could make up to $704m from 5G by 2025: Report

CHRISTIAN DIOR APOLOGISES FOR USING WRONG CHINA-TAIWAN MAP, IN CHINA

French luxury brand Christian Dior was doing an on campus presentation about its boutique network, at the Zhejiang Gongshang University in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, when a staff member of the university caught that the map used by the company excluded Taiwan. Christian Dior has since apologised. 

Christian Dior criticised over China map, apologises, upholds 'one China'

IN OTHER NEWS...

MORE ON CHINA MAP, ELSEWHERE: Malaysia's film censors have ordered a scene removed from the animated movie Abominable which shows China's "nine-dash line" in the South China Sea, amid growing anger among countries with overlapping claims in the waterway. The U-shaped line is used on Chinese maps to illustrate its territorial claims over vast expanses of the resource-rich South China Sea, including areas claimed by other countries. Vietnam pulled the movie from cinemas on Monday, while the Philippines' foreign minister has called for the scene showing the map to be cut and the film boycotted.

THAI LAWMAKERS OPPOSE TROOP MOVE, FOR THE FIRST TIME: Thailand's opposition MPs objected to an emergency decree transferring two army units to the command of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, with one politician saying it does not follow the laws of the constitutional monarchy. This is the first time that lawmakers publicly challenged a legal procedure related to royal affairs.

DUTERTE HURT AFTER MOTORCYCLE FALL: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte fell while reaching for his shoe after taking his motorcycle for a spin on Wednesday. But the 74-year-old leader, who suffered a 'minor injury' is fine and resting now, his spokesman said. 

That’s it for today. We’ll be back with you tomorrow. Thanks for reading. 

Shefali