Asia Briefs: China defends S. China Sea flights

Mr Ade (right), a Golkar Party MP, being sworn in as the new Speaker of Indonesia's Parliament in Jakarta yesterday.
Mr Ade (right), a Golkar Party MP, being sworn in as the new Speaker of Indonesia's Parliament in Jakarta yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

China defends S. China Sea flights

BEIJING • China has rejected a complaint from Vietnam that Beijing had failed to notify it about flights to an island it has built in disputed waters in the South China Sea, saying it was China's territory and it did not need to notify anyone.

Vietnam says China's landings were on what it calls an "illegally" built reef, and has vowed to defend its sovereignty through peaceful measures.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei yesterday said the complaint was "groundless". China's Xinhua news agency last Wednesday announced two test flights to the island.


Indonesia Parliament gets new Speaker

JAKARTA • Indonesia's Parliament has sworn in a new Speaker after his predecessor was forced to resign amid corruption allegations.

Mr Setya Novanto, of the opposition Golkar party, was accused of trying to extort shares from mining giant Freeport-McMoran to ensure its contract extension. He was yesterday replaced by Mr Ade Komarudin, also of the Golkar party.


India jails 35 on US anti-piracy ship

CHENNAI (India) • An Indian court has sentenced 35 sailors, including several from Britain, Estonia and Ukraine, for illegally entering Indian waters carrying weapons aboard an anti-piracy boat.

A judge in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu ordered all the crew members to serve five years' jail, said the prosecutor in the case.

India's coast guard intercepted the United States-operated ship off the coast of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu in October 2013.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2016, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe