Asia this week: 12 – 18 August 2021

Summary of key events in Asia over the past week.

MFR Graphic

MFR Graphic

🇦🇫 Afghanistan

Anti-Taliban protests spreading

Protests in Jalalabad over the removal of the Afghan flag have now spread elsewhere in Afghanistan.

'Botched withdrawal' plunges nation into chaos

Afghanistan plunged into chaos as the evacuation that US President Joe Biden had assured “The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” being emphatically proven wrong and ill considered.

US troops pull out

Nearly two decades after invading Afghanistan, the nation's capital fell back under Taliban control as American troops pulled out, ending the western powers' presence in the nation.

🇧🇩 Bangladesh

HRW: 86 victims of enforced disappearance still missing

United Nations human rights experts should lead an independent international investigation into enforced disappearances by security forces in Bangladesh, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released Monday.

🇨🇳 China

Xi Jinping emphasises "common prosperity"

Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasised at a finance and economic meeting Tuesday the need to support moderate wealth for all — or the idea of “common prosperity,” which analysts have said is behind the latest regulatory crackdown on tech companies.

🇮🇳 India

Taliban victory will test India, and peace in South Asia

The blisteringly fast takeover of Afghanistan has stunned security and diplomacy experts worldwide. Days after the fall of Kabul, nations are hurriedly evacuating their diplomats and citizens, leaving behind two decades of work and investments.

India to prioritise Hindus and Sikhs for emergency visas to Afghans

India’s government said  that it would prioritise taking in Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan — drawing comparisons to a contentious 2019 citizenship law, enacted under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that discriminates against Muslims.

🇲🇾 Malaysia

King wants new premier to face confidence vote

Malaysia's king will name a new prime minister as soon as possible but the appointee will have to face a confidence vote in parliament to prove his majority.

PM Muhyiddin resigns

PM Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down on Monday after months of political turmoil culminated in the loss of his majority.

🇸🇬 Singapore

Briton jailed for not wearing face mask in public

A Singapore court sentenced a British man to six weeks in prison after he repeatedly breached coronavirus protocols by refusing to wear a face mask in public.

Australia and Singapore complete blockchain-based trial of cross-border trade docs

Australian Border Force (ABF), alongside two Singaporean authorities, has announced the completion of a trial that tested the interoperability of two digital verification systems based on blockchain tech. ABF said its work with the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore and Singapore Customs demonstrates the blockchain tech's value as a framework to connect governments and businesses for more effective trade flow.

🇱🇰 Sri Lanka

Stricter "stay at home" measures

Swimming pools, gymnasiums and children’s parks will be close and stricter rules on people leaving their homes in effect in an effort to control COVID-19 cases. The new regulations allow only one person to leave home other than for employment.

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