Asia Daily: September 29, 2023
First made-in-Taiwan submarine unveiled as island seeks to strengthen naval defences. Taiwan has introduced its inaugural domestically-produced submarine, anticipated to be pivotal in asymmetric warfare should conflict arise with mainland China. The prototype vessel is scheduled for completion by the end of the next year. The submarine is part of Taiwan's strategy to enhance its asymmetric warfare capabilities. The Taiwanese navy currently operates two submarines, constructed in the Netherlands in 1986. By Lawrence Chung for South China Morning Post, September 28
Marshall Islands set to renew security compact with U.S. The Marshall Islands is on course to extend its security agreement with the United States, a move that could have implications for U.S. military strategy in the Pacific. The renewed compact will likely include financial assistance and defense provisions. By Jon Letman for Nikkei Asia, September 28
US, China talks gather momentum, paving way for Xi-Biden Summit. Diplomatic discussions between Beijing and Washington are intensifying, signaling a potential summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden in the near future. Such a summit could be a pivotal moment for both nations, offering an opportunity to address key issues and set the tone for future interactions. Reuters, September 28
Bangladesh: Nearly 1,000 people die of dengue in severe outbreak Bangladesh is grappling with its most severe dengue outbreak in history, resulting in the deaths of nearly 1,000 individuals in recent weeks. The surge in cases is attributed to unusually wet monsoons, which have facilitated the breeding of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in stagnant water. The situation has been exacerbated by the presence of a stronger strain of the virus, leading to rapid deterioration in patients' conditions. By Derek Cai for BBC News, September 28
Support for Marcos administration slips. A Publicus Asia survey indicates a decline in support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s administration. Pro-administration sentiments dropped to 43% from 48% in the previous quarter, while anti-administration sentiments rose to 23% from 18%. Notably, support in the National Capital Region fell significantly, but Mindanao remains largely supportive. By Red Mendoza for The Manila Times, September 28
Vietnam jails environmental activist for 3 years for tax fraud Vietnam has sentenced an environmental activist to three years in prison on charges of tax fraud. The case has drawn attention to the government's crackdown on dissent and activism. Reuters, September 28
India imposes curfew in strife-hit areas of Manipur state The Indian government has imposed a curfew in strife-hit areas of Manipur state following ethnic clashes that led to three deaths. Measures are being taken to restore law and order. Reuters, September 28
China EV price wars drive Mitsubishi from market Mitsubishi is exiting the Chinese electric vehicle market due to intense price competition. The Japanese automaker's decision highlights the challenges foreign companies face in China's increasingly crowded and competitive EV landscape. Nikkei, September 28
How To Win The AI Race. The U.S. should focus on the effective diffusion of AI technologies across sectors, rather than solely relying on cutting-edge advancements. Strategies for overcoming hardware limitations and managing public opinion are also crucial. By Jordan Schneider for ChinaTalk, September 28
Why India and Vietnam Won't Be Joining US’ China Containment The US, under the leadership of President Joe Biden, has been actively seeking to form alliances in Asia which have been viewed by many as being targeted against China, with India and Vietnam being key targets for such diplomatic overtures. However, both nations have shown reluctance to fully align with the US in its efforts to contain China, showing desire to benefit from Western technology and investments, without compromising their stable relations with China. By Richard Heydarian for South China Morning Post, September 28
Malaysia aims for chip comeback as Intel, Infineon and more pile in. Malaysia is making strides to reclaim its position as a semiconductor hub, attracting investments from major companies like Intel and Infineon. The country aims to leverage its skilled workforce and strategic location to become a key player in the global chip supply chain. By Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li for Nikkei, September 28
China Boosts Semiconductor Subsidies as US Tightens Restrictions China is increasing its subsidies for the semiconductor industry in response to tighter U.S. restrictions. This move aims to bolster domestic chip production and reduce reliance on foreign technology. By Abhijnan Rej for The Diplomat, September 28
Violence in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Might Sabotage China Ongoing violence in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan poses a risk to China's Belt and Road Initiative projects in the region. The instability could undermine China's efforts to secure its investments and expand its influence. By Akbar Notezai and Jonathan Landreth for The China Project, September 28.
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