Around Asia: Jul. 23

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Jul. 23 – A weekly look at China and related influential regional news.

ASEAN Ratifies New Human Rights Commission
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has agreed to the formation of a new human rights body that was ratified this week and will be implemented in October.The group has come under repeated criticism over its perceived tolerance towards fellow ASEAN member Myanmar, which has been frequently pilloried for rights abuses worldwide. (

Internet Users in China Hit 338 Million
According to the China Internet Network Information Center, internet users in the country have now reached 338 million, a 13.4 percent increase from the previous year’s number. That is 32 million more than the population of the United States following February 2009 estimates. In comparison, the second highest number of internet users in the region is Japan with 94 million, India with 81 million, South Korea with 36.5 million and Indonesia with 25 million, based on figures reported by the Internet World Statistics. (

China Detention of Rio Tinto Execs Gives Foreign Investors Pause
The detention of four Rio Tinto executives in Shanghai last week is likely to rattle international investors precisely at a time when China needs foreign support as it strives to move away from an export-based, low-end manufacturing center. (Communist Tax Lawyer)

China Imposes Sanctions on North Korea
China has announced it would impose a UN-mandated travel and asset ban on senior North Korean officials as a consequence of its continued missile and nuclear activity, a first for one of the hermit state’s few and long time allies.The move may indicate that China is becoming more committed in reigning in its unpredictable neighbor amid speculations that North Korean leader Kim Jung-Il is sick with pancreatic cancer and has already chosen his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, to replace him. (

Two Japanese Firms Banned for Collapsed Bridge
Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has banned the Japanese firms, Taisei and Kajima, from construction projects in the country for a year because of the collapsed Can Tho Bridge that killed and injured many.
(Vietnam Briefing)