Philippines Builds New Coast Guard Station on Island in South China Sea

[ad_1] MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines has built a new coast guard station on the contested island of Thitu in the South China Sea, boosting its ability to monitor movements of Chinese vessels and aircraft in the busy disputed waterway. As tension mounts over territorial claims in the area, the Philippine coast guard had early … Read more

Malaysia Invites China’s Xi to Visit, Ramps up Tourism Target

[ad_1] BEIJING (Reuters) – Malaysia has invited China’s President Xi Jingping to visit, its ambassador to Beijing said on Friday, as the Southeast Asian country also seeks to boost the number of Chinese tourists to five million a year to fuel economic growth. China and Malaysia will mark the 50th anniversary of their bilateral diplomatic … Read more

French Ministers Head to Indo-Pacific, Australia in Diplomatic Push

[ad_1] PARIS (Reuters) – France’s defence and foreign ministers travel to the Indo-Pacific next week as part of a diplomatic offensive to strengthen political and military ties, and rebuild its relationship with key partner Australia. France, with overseas territories in the Pacific and Indian Ocean and 7,000 troops stationed there, considers itself an Indo-Pacific power. … Read more

Philippines’ SEC to Block Access to World’s Largest Crypto Exchange Binance

[ad_1] MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission has begun the process of blocking access to the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, whose chief last week stepped down and pleaded guilty to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws. The SEC said the operator of Binance was not a registered corporation in the Philippines, and … Read more

Philippine Government, Rebels Agree to Peace Negotiations

[ad_1] MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippine government and the country’s communist rebels have agreed to restart peace negotiations after a six-year hiatus, with the aim of ending decades of armed strife, the two sides and facilitator Norway said on Tuesday. The bloody conflict between authorities and the New People’s Army (NPA), the military wing of … Read more

Australia Says AUKUS a Response to Arms Race, Not Fuel for It

[ad_1] SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Indo Pacific region is in the midst of a substantial arms race that Australia is responding to, not fuelling, with its planned acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines, Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said on Tuesday. The $245 billion AUKUS project with Britain and the United States to build a new … Read more

Biden Hopes for Extension of Israel-Hamas Truce as More Hostages Released

[ad_1] JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said he hoped the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas can go on as long as hostages are being released, after the militant group freed 17 more people, including a 4-year-old Israeli-American girl. Hamas said it wanted to extend the pause in fighting, which will enter its … Read more

Hamas Releases Israeli, Thai Hostages Under Temporary Truce

[ad_1] By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan Lubell GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Thirteen Israeli and four Thai nationals released from Hamas captivity arrived in Israel on Sunday and were set to be reunited with their families as part of a crucial hostage deal, which briefly risked falling apart due to a dispute over aid supplies. The short-lived … Read more

Philippines, Australia Start Sea, Air Patrols in South China Sea

[ad_1] MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines and Australia began their first joint sea and air patrols in the South China Sea on Saturday, days after Manila took similar steps with the U.S. as Pacific nations warily eye an increasingly assertive China. The three-day exercises, announced by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on social media, follow … Read more

Philippines’ South China Sea Patrols With US Within Its Rights -Security Adviser

[ad_1] MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ joint patrols with the United States in the South China Sea are within Manila’s rights, and it will continue to support a free and open Indo-Pacific, its national security adviser said on Friday. The Southeast Asian nation rejects China’s assertion that the Philippines enlisted “foreign forces” to patrol the … Read more