BEIJING: China’s top economic official announced a healthy growth target for the nation Friday and its plans to become a more self-reliant technology leader amid tension with Washington and Europe over trade, Hong Kong and human rights. The ruling Communist Party is aiming for economic growth of “over 6 percent” as it rebounds from the coronavirus, Premier Li Keqiang said in a speech to China’s ceremonial legislature. Some 3,000 delegates gathered for its annual two-week meeting, the year’s highest-profile political event, under intense security and anti-virus controls. The party is shifting from fighting the virus that emerged in central China in late 2019 back to its longer-term goals of becoming a global competitor in profitable technologies and promoting self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumer spending instead of trade and investment. The National People’s Congress’ (NPC) annual meeting usually focuses on domestic issues but increasingly is overshadowed by ... » Learn More about China targets 6.1% GDP growth in 2021
Hi all, In today's bulletin: Two people were killed and several others injured when Myanmar police fired on protesters in northern Myitkyina town; American and Chinese spacecraft reach Mars in quick succession last month, sparking talk of a space race between the two major powers; Indonesia eases rules to attract foreign investment; and more. Reading this on the web or know someone who might enjoy receiving Asian Insider? Our sign-up page is here . More killed in Myanmar protests as unions call for economic shutdown Two people were killed and several others injured when Myanmar police fired on protesters in the northern town of Myitkyina on Monday (March 8), witnesses said. This was as shops, factories and banks were closed in Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon on Monday (March 8), after major trade unions called for a shutdown of the economy as part of the uprising against the country’s military rulers who had ousted the civilian government in a Feb 1 coup. ... » Learn More about Asian Insider, March 8: More deaths in Myanmar protests; US-China rivalry extending to space
YANGON: Three protesters were killed in Myanmar on Monday (Mar 8), witnesses said, as demonstrators across the country sought to paralyse the economy with strike action following a weekend of night raids and arrests. Shops, factories and banks were closed in the main city of Yangon. Photos posted on Facebook showed the bodies of two men lying on the street in the northern town of Myitkyina. Witnesses said they were taking part in a protest when police fired stun grenades and tear gas. Several people were then hit by gunfire from buildings nearby. One witness, who said he helped move the bodies, told Reuters two people were shot in the head and died on the spot. Three people were injured. "How inhumane to kill unarmed civilians," said the witness, a 20-year-old man. "We must have our right to protest peacefully." It was not immediately clear who fired on the protesters although both police and the military were at the protest, the witnesses said. At least one person was ... » Learn More about 3 protesters killed in Myanmar; shops and factories closed as workers go on strike
While the summertime can prove a rather dry period for sports fans, this year the return of the oldest and most beloved sporting event in the world will mark a season of excitement instead. The Japan 2020 Olympics, held in its capital Tokyo, will run from July 24th to August 9th, with over 11,000 athletes ready to compete. The games are expected to bring a surge in betting across the country, with the various sports offering an alternative way to get involved with the games. It will surely be an exciting time for both punters and online bookmakers , who will look to capitalize on this massive event and its betting opportunities that the Japanese public isn’t accustomed to. Japan and betting In Japan, the only sports that its people are officially allowed to bet on are horse, bicycle, motorcycle and motorboat racing – with motorboat racing standing as the most popular one. On the streets, Pachinko remains a hot favourite for the Japanese people, with the game ... » Learn More about Betting Boom Expected for the Japan 2020 Olympics
As Donald Trump continues to defy the results of the election, the globe is searching for parallels to discern where its biggest economy is headed. Trump continues to dispute the US election results its uncanny how may many similarities of his power relate to Thailand former Prime Minter Thaksin Shinawatra. Vladimir Putin ’s name comes up quite a bit. So does that of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and others who refused to concede defeat. But the best Asia-region corollary may be Thailand’s Thaksin Shinawatra, the man whose long shadow has stretched across his nation—and economy— for much of the 14 years since he left the premiership. In 2006, Thaksin was ousted in a coup that resulted in a period of post-leadership chaos in Bangkok that many in Washington are now seeking to avoid. The easiest way to think of Thaksin is as the Silvio Berlusconi of Southeast Asia. The telecom billionaire harnessed his wealth, national profile and raw charisma to excel in politics. ... » Learn More about Is Trump Taking a Page From Thaksin Shinawatra’s Playbook?
KUWAIT CITY: Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) group of oil producers and allies are expected to raise output in a meeting Thursday, in response to a rebound in demand and prices. While the so-called OPEC+ group is often at loggerheads over how much oil to pump to the market, a sudden plunge in prices triggered by the coronavirus pandemic led members to agree on a dramatic cut in output to underpin prices. Now that vaccination campaigns are underway and demand from China, the world’s largest oil importer, has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, the success of the meeting on Thursday will hinge on whether heavyweights Russia and Saudi Arabia can agree on a way forward. “There is within the alliance a major difference of opinion on the capacity of the oil market to absorb new volumes” of crude, said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB research group. The world’s second-largest crude producer after the United States, Russia ... » Learn More about OPEC boosts oil production
Foreign businesses in Myanmar have begun to act following the coup, with some explicitly indicating that military rule is against their governance principles. While the possibility of sanctions by Western nations grows by the day as US President Joe Biden called on Myanmar’s generals to relinquish power, while EU leaders condemned the military coup and detainment of the National League for Democracy leaders. Bloomberg News reported Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co said it will end its beer partnership with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Co. The main business arm of the Myanmar military, as the coup is “against our standards and human rights policy”. Japan’s mega car giant Suzuki also temporarily halted operations at its two Myanmar factories. The factories produced 13,300 vehicles in 2019 — almost all of which were sold in Myanmar. An industrial estate developer with a presence in Myanmar, SET-listed Amata Corporation said it will stop its 140-million-baht first-phase ... » Learn More about Foreign Businesses in Myanmar React Swiftly to Military Coup