07/07/2015RUSSIA Russia hosts BRICS summit, a gathering of 'alternative' powers to the West BRICS and SCO summits set at the same time in the same place against a backdrop of heightened tensions with NATO and the West, the Iran’s nuclear issue and Grexit. For Russia and China, it is a way to build a multipolar world under less US influence. A new development bank is also in the works. Moscow (AsiaNews) – At a time when tensions are at their highest since the end of the Cold War, Moscow is hosting two summits to show that despite US and EU sanctions, the country is not isolated internationally and has access...
07/07/2015HONG KONG – ASIA Evangelisation "can also take place on the Internet,” especially in Asia Participants in a major international conference in Hong Kong reflected upon the use of cyberspace in proclaiming the Word. Organised by the Online School of Evangelisation led by Fr Giampietro, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, the event was a success. For him, the Internet is a powerful “tool” for the mission, and priests must realise this. Whenever “two or three people gather in His name, then Christ is with them. This also applies online.”
07/06/2015ASIA – GREECE Asian stock markets fall after Greek No vote and Shanghai’s share plunge The Greek referendum hits Asia-Pacific financial markets. The greatest looser is mainland China where shares have been steadily declining for weeks. In view of the situation, Japan is ready to do its part. In Seoul, blue-chip shares drop by 2.5 per cent. Wall Street’s holiday on Friday for Independence Day adds to the uncertainties.
07/06/2015HONG KONG - CHINA Hong Kong, Occupy movement "will not be punished by national security" The Territory’s former "Minister of Justice", now head of Basic Law Committee for the National People’s Congress, said that the democratic movement does not threaten the internal security of the Chinese mainland and therefore does not fall within the parameters of the new, repressive law passed by Beijing. Also exempt those who march to demand the end of communist rule: "Just people chanting slogans".
07/06/2015HONG KONG - VATICAN Card. Tong: "Laudato sì" moves us to speak less and do more for the environment The bishop of Hong Kong says the Papal encyclical is an invitation to be part of the solution, and not only of the problem of the care of creation. The local Church has created an ad hoc committee with the task of identifying the most pressing environmental problems and proposing solutions.
07/05/2015ECUADOR – VATICAN In Ecuador, pope says that the Gospel holds the key to solving current challenges, excluding no one Francis began his pastoral visit to Latin America in Quito. After Ecuador, he will travel to Bolivia and Paraguay. At the airport, Ecuadorian President Correa, the country’s bishops and a group of faithful met him. “I thank God for having allowed me to return to Latin America [. . .] the point closest to outer space” is in Ecuador. “No one, save Jesus Christ, possesses his or her own light”. If the Church turns away from Christ, it no longer bears witness.
07/04/2015TIBET Tibetans around the world mark the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday The Buddhist leader was born on 6 July, but the event was marked in late June following the traditional calendar. Top officials from Arunachal Pradesh, the Tibetan government in exile and the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism were present. The Dalai Lama received a statue of the Buddha and a traditional Mandala. “The more you care for the happiness of others,” he said, “the greater your own sense of wellbeing becomes and without a doubt, cultivating this sense will help everyone”.
07/03/2015NORTH KOREA - IRAN Pyongyang seeks Iranian Red Crescent aid to battle drought A long conversation between the North Korean ambassador to Tehran and the head of the Muslim humanitarian organization concludes with assurances of "unremitting efforts" to help North Korea overcome the crisis. The regime has refused the help offered by Beijing and Seoul. Catholic source tells AsiaNews: "The relations are good and the North has long been suffering from drought. But the diplomacy of the peninsula is not changing".
07/03/2015ASIA 2015, young people celebrate anniversaries of Taize and Brother Roger by Frère Ghislain* Over 100 years since birth, 10 years after his death and 75 years after the foundation of the experience of Taizé, Brother Roger's charism is still alive. Gestures of prayer and solidarity across Asia: Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam. In Calcutta, prayer around the tomb of Mother Teresa, who Frere Roger visited in 1976 and 1997. In Japan and throughout the continent an experience of the Church united "in God’s heart".
07/03/2015CHINA Chinese firm planned to punish employees who had unscheduled children A credit union in Jiaozou (Henan) told its female employees to get pregnant according to schedule to avoid too many taking maternity leave. If they did not they could be fined as well as lose their end of year bonuses and chances of promotion. After the issue made it on social media, the company backed off. For the local family planning commission, which enforces similar practices, the company’s draft policy “violates a female employee’s reproductive rights”.
07/02/2015CHINA Beijing, the new National Security Act gives enormous powers to the army China wants to exploit its resources "in the seas, in space and in the polar regions." The White Paper on the Ministry of Defence provides a change in strategy of the Chinese Navy, from "defense on the high seas" to "offshore protection ". Closer scrutiny of key areas such as internet, foreign investment and information systems.
07/02/2015JAPAN-CHINA Diaoyu-Senkaku: Tokyo doubles ships around disputed islands Six new Japanese coast guard vessels have reached the islands. Last week, two ships of the Chinese coast guards arrived in the area claiming it as "inherent territory of China." Economic relations and nationalism of both countries.
07/01/2015Hong Kong – China Hong Kong Catholics join march to demand genuine universal suffrage by Victoria Ma Before the rally, Catholics and Protestants held a prayer service in Victoria Park. For Cardinal Zen, political reform was rejected by pan-democrats’ votes, which safeguarded the dignity of the people, but did not advance the cause of true suffrage.
07/01/2015CHINA Beijing, a new law on national security to "protect" sovereignty The law was adopted almost unanimously. It envisages a strengthening of the power of the central government on sensitive issues such as information and internet. Analysts report a possible tightening of the control of the Communist Party. The new rule officially does not apply directly to Hong Kong and Macau.