Australia n Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday the missing shipments were responsible for it not meeting its inoculation schedule.
The European Union has blocked shipments of 3.1 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine to Australia and the country has little hope of getting the remaining 400,000 doses it has been pledged on time, a government source said on Tuesday. The export curb underscores massive shortfalls of the AstraZeneca shot across the EU bloc and complicates Australia 's inoculation campaign, which is already 83% behind its original schedule.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned Japan against sanctioning China over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, ahead of a high-level meeting between Tokyo and Washington. Wang and his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, had a 90-minute phone conversation on Monday, an exchange that came at the request of Beijing, according to the Japanese foreign ministry. Japan’s growing importance in the increasingly tense US-China rivalry is evident in US President Joe Biden’s decision to host Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House on April 16, the first visit by a foreign leader since Biden took office. Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. In a rare move, the Chinese foreign ministry put out a two-part statement on the phone call between Wang and Motegi. One statement criticised Biden’s recent efforts to coordinate with allies on a joint strategy on China, warning Tokyo to avoid following the US in sanctioning China over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. “If under the guise of multilateralism, countries engage in bloc politics or big power confrontations, or even arbitrarily impose unilateral and illegal sanctions on other countries based on false information, the world will regress to the law of the jungle of right and wrong,” said Wang. “A certain superpower’s will does not represent the international community; the small number of countries that follow this country do not have the right to monopolise the rules of multilateralism.” In another statement released on the same day by the Chinese foreign ministry, Wang repeated his jab at the US, urging Japan to not get “carried away” by countries that were biased against China. China warns US against taking a superior position in global affairs “The US and Japan are allies, but similarly, China and Japan have also signed a treaty of peace and friendship so Japan has a responsibility to uphold this treaty,” said Wang. Beijing’s warning comes as Japan has shown signs of taking an increasingly assertive role in the Indo-Pacific region, which has become a hotspot for US-China tensions due to a range of territorial tensions between China and US allies like Japan and the Philippines. Motegi and Japan’s defence minister will reportedly have discussions with Germany while Suga is in Washington, a move observers have said shows Tokyo is trying to get more powerful nations to recognise Japan’s sovereignty in the Diaoyu Islands. The Diaoyus are also known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, which controls the chain despite Beijing’s claim to ownership. A US-Japan meeting last month produced a joint statement where the US stated its commitment to defending the Diaoyu Islands, as well as a rare mention of security in the Taiwan Strait. The Post previously reported the April 16 meeting between Suga and Biden is also expected to touch upon the topic of Taiwan. Tension between the People’s Liberation Army and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force in the East China Sea has escalated in recent months following Tokyo repeatedly voicing concerns over China’s new coastguard law. The law allows China’s quasi-military force to use weapons against foreign ships that Beijing sees as illegally entering its waters. In his call with Wang, Motegi expressed “strong concerns” about this law, called for Beijing to halt intrusions into the Diaoyu Islands and urged China to address human rights issues in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, according to the Japanese foreign ministry. US and Japanese leaders may put Taiwan security centre stage when they meet The two-part statement put out by the Chinese foreign ministry did not address the coastguard law, merely noting that Wang Yi explained China’s position on “issues like the Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea”. Wang also opposed Japan’s criticism of China’s handling of Xinjiang and Hong Kong, according to the statement. “As a neighbour Japan needs to show at least a modicum of respect towards China’s internal matters,” said Wang.More from South China Morning Post:‘Uncomfortable signal to China’: Japan’s Suga raises Hong Kong, South China Sea, Xinjiang in phone call with India’s ModiUS and Japan warn against China’s ‘coercion and destabilising behaviour’Xinjiang cotton row puts Burberry, Nike and other Western brands in a quandary – and pushes Hong Kong’s patriots to walk the talkChinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi may visit Japan in October, news report saysXinjiang: China hits back with sanctions on US and Canadian politicians as international backlash growsThis article China warns Japan to not follow suit after US sanctions over Xinjiang, Hong Kong first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
18 hours agoSouth China Morning PostChinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warns Asean to be alert to external forces interfering in MyanmarChinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called on Southeast Asian nations to be on the alert for external forces interfering in Myanmar as the military junta faces rising international pressure. Wrapping up his week-long series of meetings with his counterparts from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in Fujian, Wang said efforts should be made to stop tensions escalating in Myanmar. “We are aware that we have to be alert to some external forces infiltrating Myanmar with ulterior motives, provoking trouble and intensifying divisions, which makes the situation more complicated,” Wang told Chinese state media following the meetings.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. “We all hope that the international community will uphold an objective and fair attitude and create a favourable external environment for Myanmar’s domestic political reconciliation, instead of arbitrarily imposing sanctions and pressure.” Wang made the remarks as Brunei, the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, backed a meeting of the bloc’s leaders to discuss the situation in Myanmar, which is also a member of the grouping. China backs Asean mediation in Myanmar crisis Indonesia has led Asean’s efforts to encourage a negotiated solution despite a long-standing policy of not commenting on each other’s domestic problems. Following a meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, the two countries said in a joint statement that they had told officials to make the “necessary preparations” for the meeting at the Asean secretariat in Jakarta. Wang said China is willing to coordinate positions with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in a timely manner and provide necessary assistance to the bloc. He continued: “We call on all parties in Myanmar to exercise the utmost restraint to stop violence and prevent another bloody conflict that aggravates civilian casualties. We all urge all parties in Myanmar to seek political understanding through dialogue within the constitution and legal framework as soon as possible.” Wang’s warning over external interference comes as Chinese officials accused of human rights abuses in Xinjiang face sanctions from the United States, Canada, Britain and the European Union. The US has also imposed sanctions over Beijing’s policies in Hong Kong. Beijing has described the measures as foreign interference in its core concerns and retaliated with sanctions of its own. The United States has also suspended all engagement with Myanmar under a 2013 trade and investment agreement until the return of a democratically elected government. Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups, and why their threats against junta could spiral into more conflict The move follows sanctions on the two entities owned by Myanmar’s military, the Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Co Ltd and Myanmar Economic Corporation. On Monday protests continued calling for the restoration of the civilian government led by Aung San Sui Kyi. Activists said six people were killed at the weekend as police and soldiers used force to break up demonstrations that some protesters are calling a “spring revolution”. In a speech to soldiers carried in state media on Sunday, Min Aung Hlaing, the junta’s leader, said security forces were “exercising the utmost restraint” against armed rioters who were causing violence and anarchy. China has refrained from condemning the coup, which has seen over 500 protesters killed, leading to rising anti-China sentiment and complaints in Myanmar that it is siding with the military junta. Beijing has denied involvement in the coup and Wang said China would continue to maintain contact and communication with all parties in Myanmar. China warns US against taking a superior position in global affairs Wang’s meeting with his foreign counterparts came as Beijing and the US are both reaching out to their partners in the region. Wang denied that China is trying to extend its influence abroad by supplying Covid-19 vaccines, and said China is willing to implement a code of conduct for the South China Sea.More from South China Morning Post:Asean leaders to meet over Myanmar in Jakarta, bloc chair Brunei saysChina pleased Asean ‘adopted a non-interference policy towards Myanmar’Why is China’s Wang Yi hosting four Asean ministers in Fujian but meeting them individually?This article Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warns Asean to be alert to external forces interfering in Myanmar first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.Read more: Yahoo Singapore »
Singapore returns to tighter COVID-19 measures: What's allowed under the new rules?
SINGAPORE: With the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the community, Singapore has announced tighter measures for about three weeks from Saturday ...