DUBAI – Abu Dhabi will cancel COVID-19 testing requirements to enter the emirate for travellers from the UAE starting on Sunday, the United Arab Emirates’ state news agency WAM said on Saturday. The UAE’s capital had restricted entry into the emirate to those with a negative PCR test. Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi removed the need to quarantine for all vaccinated travellers arriving from international destinations."Abu Dhabi cancels COVID-19 entry testing for UAE travellers"
LONDON – England set out measures to boost international travel on Friday, abandoning expensive COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, scrapping its traffic light system and adding eight countries to its safe list. Travellers returning to England from Turkey, Pakistan, and the Maldives will not have to quarantine on their return as they are removed from the so-called COVID red list for travel, British transport minister Grant Shapps said. Shapps also said under the…"England eases COVID-19 rules for international travellers"
BEIJING/HONG KONG – One of China Evergrande Group’s main lenders has made provisions for losses on a portion of its loans to the embattled property developer, while some creditors are planning to give it more time to repay, four bank executives told . The Chinese banks’ measures, reported for the first time, show how financial institutions in the world’s second-largest economy are bracing for a possible collapse of Evergrande. The developer epitomised China’s freewheeling era…"Exclusive: China Evergrande’s lenders weigh up loan losses, rolling over credit – sources"
– Iran joined a rapidly expanding central Asian security body led by Russia and China on Friday, calling on the countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to help it form a mechanism to avert sanctions imposed by the West. The body, formed in the 2001 as a talking shop for Russia, China and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia, expanded four years ago to include India and Pakistan, with a view to playing a bigger role…"Iran joins expanding Asian security body led by Moscow, Beijing"
SINGAPORE – Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday he had received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and urged other elderly people to come forward to get a shot amid a new wave of infections across the city-state. “Cases are increasing rapidly. A booster jab will strengthen your protection against COVID-19,” Lee, 69, said in a post on his Facebook page. The Southeast Asia country has started giving boosters to the elderly and…"Singapore PM gets COVID-19 booster shot, urges others to follow"
BEIJING -China has filed an application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the country’s commerce ministry said on Thursday, as the world’s second-biggest economy looks to bolster its clout in trade. Commerce Minister Wang Wentao submitted China’s application to join the free trade agreement in a letter to New Zealand’s trade minister, Damien O’Connor, the Chinese ministry said in a statement. The CPTPP was signed by 11 countries including Australia,…"China applies to join Pacific trade pact in bid to boost economic clout"
JAKARTA – Indonesian navy has increased patrols around its Natuna islands in the South China Sea after Chinese and U.S. vessels were detected nearby in international waters, despite saying there were no disturbance from the vessels, a navy official said on Thursday. Five navy vessels, assisted by an air patrol, have been deployed in North Natuna Sea to secure the area, Indonesian Navy western fleet commander Arsyad Abdullah told reporters. “The Navy’s position on the…"Indonesia increase patrols after foreign vessels detected near Natuna"
BEIJING -China will extend tariff exemptions for 81 products imported from the United States by seven months, the finance ministry said in a statement published on Thursday. China has routinely made such extensions as part of an initial agreement to end a bruising trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. The items had received exemptions from retaliatory tariffs imposed by China on U.S. goods as countermeasures to U.S. Section 301 action, the ministry said.…"China extends tariff exemptions on 81 products from U.S"
WASHINGTON/CANBERRA -The United States, Britain and Australia announced a new security partnership for the Indo-Pacific in a move hailed by regional allies but denounced by China as intensifying an arms race in the region. Under the partnership, announced by President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the United States and Britain will provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines. The United States and its…"China fumes over Australia’s nuclear sub pact with U.S., Britain"
TOKYO/SINGAPORE – Several Asian nations are quickly ramping up vaccination campaigns from shaky starts to combat growing COVID-19 infections, as supply shipments roll in and people overcome hesitancy in hopes of easing curbs and freeing up travel. Japan and South Korea have passed the United States in terms of those who have received at least one dose and are fast catching up with the second. And Australia, which is targeting high vaccination rates in its…"Asia supercharges vaccination efforts after slow start, U.S. lags"