The DailyBrief

Wednesday November 2, 2016

Road infrastructure has not kept pace with the rising number of vehicles in Southeast Asia. The price can be counted in lives and crippling congestion. In Vietnam, 15,000 people died in traffic accidents last year. In Indonesia, 50,000 people die in traffic accidents every year, according to the World Health Organization. About two thirds of these fatalities were motorcyclists or bus commuters; only 1% were car drivers or passengers. This grim picture is unlikely to improve.

Hong Kong’s Bar Association is worried that the city is about to lose judicial independence and autonomy as expectation grows that Beijing may attempt to issue an interpretation of Hong Kong law in relation to the oath-taking saga of recent weeks. Newly elected legislators Sixtus “Baggio” Leung and Yau Wai-ching, both from the pro-Hong Kong independence group Youngspiration, had their attempts to swear in to Hong Kong’s legislature thwarted last month due to their use of derogatory terms about China. The government’s application for a judicial review will be heard on Thursday.

For the first time, South Korean coastguard vessels have fired machine guns against Chinese boats illegally fishing in Korean waters, an official said on Wednesday. There were no casualties reported from the incident – which occurred on Tuesday and was the first of its kind since the coastguard announced last month that it would pursue a “more aggressive” policy with Chinese trawlers. Disputes over illegal fishing have dogged relations between South Korea and China for years, and there have been numerous clashes between the coastguard and Chinese crew members.

Wealth managers help rich Chinese skirt the central government’s measures to curb capital outflows. They find legitimate ways to move money overseas, creating a headache for China’s central bank as it seeks to keep the yuan on domestic shores and prevent a sudden plunge in the currency.

William Saunders was the pre-eminent photographer in Shanghai in the late Qing dynasty era. He is believed to be the first person to produce hand-colored photos of China and his studio stood next to the famous Astor House Hotel on the Bund. His work was published in Far East Magazine, and engravings of it appeared in the Illustrated London News. But they have never been publicly exhibited since – until now. An exhibition entitled, “Qing Dynasty Shanghai: The Photographs of William Saunders” will run at London’s China Exchange from November 4-12.