Asian Insider: Xi rebukes America | Jokowi’s hopes

Dear ST reader, 

This week, we take stock of the outcomes from China’s Two Sessions annual plenary meetings. The Straits Times’ correspondents in Jakarta sit down for a long chat with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. And we look at what Japan and South Korea have up their sleeves in the global tussle for talent.

Xi rebukes America

China wrapped up its annual plenary meetings this week, with the confirmation of several key appointments, a Cabinet reshuffle, and President Xi Jinping laying out the priorities for his third term. Mr Xi had until now been relatively restrained in criticising the United States; but he pulled no punches this time, global affairs correspondent Benjamin Kang Lim writes.

Delve deeper: 

It’s Party time as Team Xi takes control 

China’s new Premier Li Qiang vows stronger support for private sector

Tussle for talent

In its boldest move yet in the global war for talent, Japan is planning new visas for recent graduates of elite foreign universities and high-income earners to find work in the country. South Korea, meanwhile, is set to bring in a record 110,000 migrant workers this year. But both countries’ plans to ease their labour shortage may still come up short.

Read more: 

Taiwan shipping giant Evergreen to give staff 11-month mid-year bonus 

Talent-hungry Hong Kong’s new scheme for professionals

Jokowi’s hopes

Indonesia is in behind-the-scenes talks with Myanmar and doing its best to help improve the situation in the crisis-stricken Asean nation, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told ST correspondents in a wide-ranging interview this week. Mr Widodo also revealed that he is gunning for investments from Singapore in Indonesia’s new capital city in Borneo.

Risky submarines

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese this week unveiled a multibillion-dollar deal to secure a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines within the Aukus military alliance comprising Australia, Britain and the US. But the plan comes laden with risks, first of all whether Australia even has the ability to build and sustain such vessels, Jonathan Pearlman writes.

Go deeper: 

The Anglophone military alliance in Asia is seriously ambitious

Plastics on our plates

Microplastics are entering the food chain and finding their way into our bodies from rampant pollution the world over. ST correspondents document what cities and countries are doing to reduce the harm that plastic pollution is causing to our planet  and our health.

Also read: 

When trash becomes trendy

Festival of fun — and fear

In the wake of a viral video showing a Japanese tourist being groped during a festival in New Delhi, India correspondent Debarshi Dasgupta speaks to several Indian women who also experienced assault and harassment during the annual celebrations in the past.

Read more: 

Molested Japanese tourist says she ‘still loves everything about India’

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