Taiwan formally applies to join Pacific trade pact

Taiwan has formally applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the official Central News Agency said on Wednesday, less than a week after China said it too had submitted an application. Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua will give details on Thursday, the agency quoted Deputy Economy Minister Chen Chern-chyi as saying.… Read More Taiwan formally applies to join Pacific trade pact

Buildings damaged as magnitude-6.0 earthquake strikes near Australian city of Melbourne

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck near Melbourne on Wednesday, Geoscience Australia said, one of the country’s biggest quakes on record, causing damage to buildings in the country’s second-largest city and sending tremors throughout neighbouring states. The quake’s epicentre was near the rural town of Mansfield in the state of Victoria, about 200 km (124 miles)… Read More Buildings damaged as magnitude-6.0 earthquake strikes near Australian city of Melbourne

Australian PM Scott Morrison heads for Quad meeting amid submarine deal row

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday departed for Washington to meet with leaders of the Quad grouping amid criticism over his government’s decision to abandon a $40 billion submarine deal with France. Australia last week said it would scrap a deal with France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines and would… Read More Australian PM Scott Morrison heads for Quad meeting amid submarine deal row

France cancels defence meeting with UK over submarine deal row

France has cancelled a meeting between Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly and her British counterpart planned for this week after Australia scrapped a submarine order with Paris in favour of a deal with Washington and London, two sources familiar with the matter said. Parly personally took the decision to drop the bilateral meeting with British… Read More France cancels defence meeting with UK over submarine deal row

France recalls envoys from U.S., Australia over submarine deal row

France plunged into an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with the United States and Australia on Friday after it recalled its ambassadors from both countries over a trilateral security deal which sank a French-designed submarine contract with Canberra. The rare decision taken by French President Emmanuel Macron was made due to the “exceptional gravity” of the matter,… Read More France recalls envoys from U.S., Australia over submarine deal row

China files application to join Pacific trade pact

China has filed an application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the commerce ministry said, 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,… Read More China files application to join Pacific trade pact

Australia to acquire nuclear submarines in security deal with U.S., Britain

The United States, Britain and Australia said on Wednesday they would establish a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific that will involve helping Canberra acquire nuclear-powered submarines, as Chinese influence over the region grows. Under the partnership, announced by President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the United States… Read More Australia to acquire nuclear submarines in security deal with U.S., Britain

Indonesia and Australia agree to strengthen security ties

Indonesia and Australia agreed to deepen security ties during a ministerial meeting on Thursday, with discussions underway towards enabling joint military training in Australia and participation in its defence academies. Agreements were signed over counter-terrorism, defence and cybersecurity, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, plus another agreement on support for Pacific island nations. The trip… Read More Indonesia and Australia agree to strengthen security ties