Asia Watch

Hong Kong protests, trade spats, UN meets and more in Sept

Philippine navy personnel taking part in a send-off ceremony for navy ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16) in Manila last Thursday. The ship will be part of the first-ever joint maritime exercise between the United States and Asean. The exercise, which star
Philippine navy personnel taking part in a send-off ceremony for navy ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16) in Manila last Thursday. The ship will be part of the first-ever joint maritime exercise between the United States and Asean. The exercise, which starts today at a Thai naval base, will end on Friday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
Philippine navy personnel taking part in a send-off ceremony for navy ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16) in Manila last Thursday. The ship will be part of the first-ever joint maritime exercise between the United States and Asean. The exercise, which star
The BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS16), with a crew of 200, sailing off from Manila.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Climate change will also be in the news, with a key summit later this month

Trade disputes between the United States and China, as well as South Korea and Japan, will continue to fester this month, while climate change issues will hog the spotlight later in the month at United Nations meetings in New York. Here's a quick read of what's coming up.

Hong Kong protests

A new school term begins today, with students returning to universities and high schools. Some analysts have said this might sap support for protests, while the South China Morning Post reports that there is concern that children of police officers linked to the protests may be bullied.

US-Asean maritime drills

Navies from the United States and South-east Asia will hold their first joint maritime exercise for five days, starting today at a Thai naval base.

South Korea to remove Japan from trade white list

South Korea will remove Japan from its trade "white list" this month, The Korea Herald reports. The government will complete its public opinion-gathering process today and announce the exclusion after more processes are complete.

India's Defence Minister visits Japan, South Korea

India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh aims to strengthen defence and military ties in visits to Japan today and tomorrow, and South Korea on Thursday and Friday.

China's Foreign Minister to visit Pakistan

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Pakistan from Sept 7 to 9.

Abe to reshuffle Cabinet

Japanese  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he will reshuffle his Cabinet and executives in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to "ensure political stability" and that it can take on "new challenges". Japanese media reports say it could be around Sept 10.

US-China trade tensions

Talks between the US and China are due in Washington. But with both nations imposing additional tariffs on each other's goods yesterday, the likelihood of this remains uncertain.

Umno-PAS alliance

Malaysia's two biggest Malay-based parties - Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) - will sign a charter on Sept 14 that will frame their political cooperation for the 15th General Election.

China-Russia military drills

China's military will participate in a China-Russia military exercise scheduled from Sept 16 to 21, aimed at improving security in Central Asia. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan will also take part.

Singapore Grand Prix

The Formula One Singapore Airlines Grand Prix will take place from Sept 20 to 22. Race-themed parties will be held in Orchard Road and Kampong Glam to give the event a more local flavour.

Japan-US trade deal

Tokyo and Washington agreed to complete discussions on a bilateral trade deal this month when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump met last month in France. While agreement has been reached on key matters, talks with the US on abolishing tariffs on Japanese cars will continue after the deal, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reports.

Spotlight on climate change

The United Nations Climate Action Summit takes place on Sept 23. Governments and coalitions will present their commitments and initiatives to demonstrate major shifts towards carbon neutrality by 2050. A Youth Climate Summit will take place in New York on Sept 21, the same day a "green dot" rally is planned for Singapore's Hong Lim Park.

World leaders to meet at UN General Assembly

World leaders will gather in New York for the annual UN General Assembly from Sept 23 to 30. The focus will be on whether US President Donald Trump will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines. The Korea Herald reports that North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho is unlikely to attend, dashing hopes of a meeting between him and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

Nepal to host meeting of South Asian nations

Nepal will host the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Council of Ministers meeting in New York on the sidelines of the UN meeting. The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan have confirmed their participation, The Kathmandu Post reports.

• Asia Watch is a monthly feature on happenings around the world of interest to the region, published in The Straits Times on the first weekday of the month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2019, with the headline 'HK protests, trade spats, UN meets and more in Sept'. Print Edition | Subscribe