Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen watches a live-fire drill in Magong on May 25th. Photograph: Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images

Relations between China and self-ruling Taiwan have deteriorated since last year

US sailors on USS Dewey, which sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Mischief Reef, one of three locations in the Spratlys where China has reclaimed land. Photograph: Kryzentia Weiermann/US Navy/AFP

South China Sea freedom of navigation patrols test Beijing's territorial claims

South Korea’s  new president Moon Jae-in: said during the campaign that he opposed homosexuality within the military. Photograph:   AFP/Getty Images/Yonhap

Soldier given suspended sentence handed down over homosexual acts ban in military

Marriage equality supporters celebrate outside the  constitutional court in Taipei after its ruling on Wednesday in favour of same-sex marriage. Photograph: Ritchie B Tongo/EPA

Court decision in sharp contrast to developments in Indonesia and South Korea

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye at her trial at the Seoul central district court on Tuesday. Photograph: Ahn Young-Joon/AFP/Getty Images

Ousted former leader denies corruption charges, which carry up to life in prison

The report praised by the ‘Global Times’ said the Chinese killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 of the CIA’s sources in China, destroying a network that had taken years to build. Photograph: Dennis Brack/EPA

‘Global Times’ accuses US of narcissism for always portraying itself as the ‘noble side’

South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in: by engaging with all of the actors in the crisis, he is well positioned to bring all the pieces into place. Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/Reuters

New leader Moon Jae-in well placed to bring pieces together, with help of China and US

A Royal Malaysian air force Sukhoi SU-30 fighter jet. Two Chinese Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets intercepted a US WC-135 plane, which was conducting a radiation survey in international airspace over the East China Sea, according to the US. Photograph: Wallace Woon/EPA

Incident comes as ASEAN and China agree framework of South China Sea deal

Chinese president Xi Jinping. There has been a series of tough legislation during the government of president  Jinping aimed at tightening control. File photograph: Jason Lee-Pool/Getty Images

New Bill gives agents greater power to probe foreigners to ‘protect national security’

 South Korean president Moon Jae-in (centre) speaks to military commanders at the defense ministry in Seoul, South Korea, on May 17th, in his first visit to the department since his inauguration.  Photograph: Yonhap South Korea/EPA

New leader Moon Jae-in favours balancing dialogue with North Korea and sanctions

Chinese president Xi Jinping, Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin   during the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Photograph: Reuters

Belt and Road strategy will pump €90bn into linking China with Africa, Asia and Europe

  South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in   with prime ministerial  candidate Lee Nak-yeon   and members of the  cabinet during a press conference at the presidential Blue House  in Seoul. Photograph: Kim Min-Hee-Pool/Getty

Coverage of new president’s ‘reign of beauty’ indicative of government’s more open style

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. Photograph: KCNA/Handout via Reuters/File

Putin says Russia is against expanding club of nuclear states, including Korean Peninsula

 A South Korean man watches a television  report on North Korea’s  ballistic missile launch on Sunday, its first military provocation since South Korean president Moon Jae-in took office on May 10th. Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Ballistic missile test coincides with Beijing summit, and prompts angry response from US

North Korea missile tests casts shadow over One Belt, One Road meeting

South Koreans watch a television displaying news broadcasts reporting on North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launch, at a station in Seoul. Photograph: EPA

Launch of ballistic weapon could put relations with ally Beijing under more pressure

A soldier at an opening to the fence of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) during maintenance, on Gyodong, a tiny outlying island near the west of Seoul on May 9th. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

At DMZ dividing South from North Korea, old soldiers are optimistic about conflict ending

South Korean president Moon Jae-in poses for selfies with visitors at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea on Friday. Photograph: Yonhap via Reuters

Moon Jae-in tries to ease North Korean nuclear tensions while addressing Thaad strains

Tai chi master Wei Lei (41) was floored in 10 seconds by 38-year-old MMA coach Xu Xiaodong.

Viewers shocked as traditional champion pummelled by mixed martial arts expert

South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in talks during a telephone call with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Thursday. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

New president says North Korea provocation must stop before progress on missile defence

A South Korean protester during a rally against the Thaad system. Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

Thaad system became election issue, with President Moon expressing reservations

Trevor O’Regan, director of international consulting for PM Group in Asia

‘Future is bright’ for Irish companies in Asia willing to put in the legwork, says director

South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-In speaks during a press conference at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Wednesday. Photograph: Getty

Moon Jae-in says he is ready to travel to Washington and Pyongyang to bring peace

Moon Jae-in  celebrates with supporters  in Seoul on Tuesday as he watches a television report on an exit poll suggesting he has won South Korea’s presidential election. Photograph: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Moon Jae-in to become new president after poll held in wake of corruption scandal

South Korean president-elect Moon Jae-in, of the Democratic Party of Korea, celebrates with supporters  in Seoul on Tuesday. Photograph: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Moon Jae-in’s emphatic election win likely to lead to more dialogue with North Korea

South Korean presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s Party is greeted by supporters during an election campaign in Seoul on  Monday. Photograph: AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Trump and North Korea on the agenda alongside economy and LGBT rights

South Korean presidential candidate Moon Jae-in of the Democratic Party  during an election campaign on  Sunday. Photograph: Lee Jin-man/AP Photo

North Korean nuclear threat and sluggish economy are key issues in presidential poll

Hong Joon-pyo, the presidential candidate of the Liberty Korea Party, shakes hands with his supporters during his election campaign rally in Seoul, South Korea on Friday. Photograph: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Nation divided on North Korean crisis but centre-left Moon Jae-in leads in polls

China’s  C919 taking off from Pudong airport in Shanghai on its maiden flight. Photograph: EPA

C919 is seen as a powerful symbol of China’s global ambitions in the aviation market

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at a military parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, the country’s late founder and his grandfather, on April 29th. Photograph:  Wong Maye-E/AP

Chinese criticisms of North Korea are ‘rubbish’, says state media in Pyongyang

 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un:  North Korea has staged many  missile tests and  five nuclear tests as it tries to develop  technology to reach the US mainland with its missiles. Photograph: AP Photo

Uncertainty if images mean North Korea’s sixth nuclear test is imminent

Asean leaders in Manila: Najib Razak (Malaysia), Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar), Prayuth Chan-ocha (Thailand), Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Vietnam), Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines), Lee Hsien Loong (Singapore), Hassanal Bolkiah (Brunei Darussalam), Hun Sen (Cambodia), Joko Widodo (Indonesia) and Thongloun Sisoulith (Laos). Photograph: Mark Crisanto/Reuters

Officials from 10-nation group stop short of criticising Beijing on South China Sea

Moon Jae-in, the front-runner in South Korea’s presidential election, has indicated that if North Korea  is willing to negotiate its denuclearisation and set the stage for talks, South Korea could consider resuming joint projects. Photograph: Yonhap via Reuters

North Koreans told not to use cars after over 100 vanish from Kaesong industrial complex

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un: US president Donald Trump has said he was operating from the assumption he is rational. Photograph:  STR/AFP/Getty Images

US president looks to sanctions and praises China’s Xi Jinping for handling Pyongyang

A US missile defence system is deployed on a golf course in Seongju, South Korea. Photograph: Yonhap/EPA

Beijing remains opposed to new Thaad anti-missile system in South Korea

Hong Kong independence activists Yau Wai-ching (r) and Sixtus ‘Baggio’ Leung speak to the press after their release from the Central Police Station in Hong Kong. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Government opponents arrested over a November protest outside a Chinese bureau

A US military trailer carrying elements of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system enters a golf course in Seongju, South Korea, on Wednesday amid protests. Photograph:  EPA/Yonhap

Presidential candidates in May 9th election divided over system deployment

China’s second aircraft carrier, the Type 001A, during a launch ceremony at a shipyard in Dalian, Liaoning province. Photograph: Li Gang/EPA

First domestically-built carrier part of military upgrade as Xi aim to consolidate power

People mark the 85th  anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) in Pyongyang. Photograph: (North) Korean Central News Agency/Reuters

China calls for calm and dialogue as tensions rise between Pyongyang and Washington

Assumpta O’Neill said Titanic Belfast had seen a huge increase in the numbers of Chinese tourists.

Number of Chinese visitors reached 50,000 in 2016, a year earlier than expected

Soldiers carrying rockets march across Kim Il-sung Square during a military parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, on April 15th. Photograph: Wong Maye-E/AP

Chinese leader tells US president both sides must ‘shoulder their responsibilities’

North Korean soldiers salute during a military parade to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang.  Photograph: Wong Maye-E/AP

Amid rhetoric and threats of nuclear action, Beijing must tighten screws on Pyongyang

During the second opium war: Chinese officials pull down the British flag on a ship.  Photograph:  Culture Club/Getty Images

China’s struggle to reassert itself may be the defining geo-political narrative this century

North Korean soldiers wave from the back of a truck at oncoming traffic on Thursday. Photograph: AP

US defence official tells CNN aircraft being brought full readiness

GM brought in martial arts movie star Jackie Chan for the global launch of the Buick Velite 5 plug-in hybrid at the show. Photograph: Ng Han Guan/AP Photo

Hybrids dominate at major event, but gas-guzzling SUVs and luxury cars still popular

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini with China’s state Ccouncillor Yang Jiechi before their meeting in Beijing on Wednesday. Photograph: Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Reuters

Co-operation on security and climate change on the agenda at one-day China-EU talks in Beijing

TV show brings tales of political corruption to life ahead of Communist Party congress

With China’s economy slowing and air pollution at the top of the political agenda, new-energy vehicles will be a key feature of this year’s Auto China show in Shanghai. Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Ford leads charge with new models as sales of new-energy vehicles rise sharply

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has urged all sides to find a peaceful way to resolve tensions over North Korea. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Foreign minister Wang Yi urges all sides to find a peaceful way out of ‘tense situation’

China’s GDP increase was the biggest in 18 months. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Better than expected growth prompted by retail sales revival and robust factory output

Former South Korean president Park Geun-hye’s trial could last six months. Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/AP photo

Impeached ex-president, also accused of leaking secrets, could face lengthy prison spell

US vice-president Mike Pence (l) visits the truce village of Panmunjom on the Korean peninsula. Photograph: Yonhap/EPA

Mike Pence warns Pyongyang not to test Donald Trump’s resolve during Korea visit

Launch by North after military parade stokes tensions, but US response measured so far

US army tanks conduct a military exercise in Paju, near the border with North Korea, in South Korea on Friday, April 14th. Photograph: Ahn Young-joon

Foreign minister Wang Yi says there can be ‘no winner’ as tensions simmer in region

A Taiwanese man holds his dog during a gathering to demand establishment of a government department to protect dogs and cats from abuse. File photograph: Chiang Ying-ying/AP)

Penalties for harming the animals, a first in Asia, can include prison and a hefty fine

US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

US leader’s geopolitical bromance may influence policies on trade and North Korea

Hong Kong’s incoming chief executive-elect Carrie Lam shakes hands with China’s president Xi Jinping in Beijing on  Tuesday. Photograph: Ju Peng/Xinhua via AP

Lam to take office as chief executive on July 1st, 20 years after Hong Kong handover

Women in central Pyongyang wear traditional clothes as North Korea prepares to mark Saturday’s 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founding father. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Influential ‘Global Times’ warns North Korea against nuclear test as Xi calls White House

A video provided by passenger Audra  Bridges showed the man, who is Chinese,  being  removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago.  Photograph: Audra Bridges via AP

‘United Airlines of the United States has raised the anger of Chinese people, of Asian people’

The US navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (centre) and other warships have been diverted from Singapore to waters off the Korean Peninsula. Photograph:  Matt Brown/ US navy/EPA

Speculation growing that Pyongyang is planning its sixth nuclear test

Chinese authorities enforce an elaborate secrecy system to obscure the scale of state executions, said Amnesty. File photograph: Getty Images

Executions worldwide slide 37% in 2016 as China kills more than rest of world combined

Last year, China launched a campaign to mark national anti-espionage day and warn against handsome foreigners springing “honey traps” and seducing naive Chinese civil servants.

Beijing aims to build ‘iron Great Wall’ to combat evil and guard against espionage

President Donald Trump meeting President Xi Jinping of China in Palm Beach: Mr Xi said they “got deeply acquainted, established a kind of trust and built an initial working relationship and friendship”. Photograph: Doug Mills/New York Times

Relationship between US and China leaders warmer than early exchanges suggested

Growth in China, the world’s second largest economy, continues to moderate as the government implements measures to move the economy towards a more consumption-driven model. Photograph: iStock

Rebalancing China and global policy uncertainty hampering growth

China’s President Xi Jinping is to meet US president Donald Trump over two days at the luxury Mar-a-Lago resort. File photographs: AP Photo

Trade and North Korea set to dominate first meeting at US president’s Mar-a-Lago resort

China’s President Xi Jinping in Helsinki on  Wednesday. “Xi is willing to take the risk over Trump’s unpredictability,” said analyst Steve Tsang. Photograph: Lehtikuva/Vesa Moilanen/via Reuters

Xi Jinping’s visit to Florida will be a study in deal-making and a huge contrast in styles

Commuters on a mix of personal and bike-share bicycles  in Beijing.  Photograph: Gilles Sabrie/The New York Times

Beijing Letter: the polluted country gets back on its bikes with smart technology

Activists Raphael Wong Ho-ming  and Tanya Chan Suk-Chong   enter a police station ahead of their arrest in Hong Kong on March 27th, 2017. Photograph: Jayne Russell/AFP/Getty Images

Timing of prosecutions will likely raise tensions 2½ years after ‘Umbrella Revolution’

Hong Kong’s new leader Carrie Lam has a reputation as a safe pair of hands. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Carrie Lam promises to unite Hong Kong even as political tensions rise in the city

Carrie Lam signs autographs during  campaigning in Hong Kong this week. Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Carrie Lam seen by China as low-risk candidate on fractious island territory

Jin Liqun: The president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank says he is “very proud that AIIB now has members from almost every continent”. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

State one of 13 new members to join Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

 An undated file photo released by the North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state news agency of North Korea, shows an ‘underwater test-fire of strategic submarine ballistic missile’ conducted at an undisclosed location in North Korea. According to media reports quoting a spokesman of the South Korean defense ministry, North Korea has test-fired several missiles in a suspected failed test on Wednesday. Photograph: EPA

Region remains tense over Pyongyang’s increasingly active weapons programme

South Korea’s players take part in a training session for World Cup qualifier against China on Thursday. South Korea’s embassy in Beijing has issued a safety warning to  fans planning to attend the match amid heightening tensions between the two countries. Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Supporters urged to ‘cheer in orderly fashion’ as tensions rise over anti-missile system

 Philippine resident Rodrigo Duterte speaking during a meeting with the Filipino community in Myanmar on Sunday. Photograph: Rene Lumaway EPA

Philippine president swears at European MPs for criticisms to reinstate death penalty

US secretary of state  Rex Tillerson, left, shakes hands with China’s president Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on Sunday. Photograph: AP

Washington and Beijing agree to work together on North Korean crisis

A military delegate attends a session of the National People’s Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images

Arms build-up focused on improving naval capability in South China Sea

Consul General of Ireland Peter Ryan and  Teresa Ryan, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Irish Festival, with parade participants.

Thousands gather along waterfront to watch parade as 2017 celebrations kick off

A newspaper reporting about impeached President Park Geun-hye in Seoul, South Korea on Friday. Photograph: Lee Jin-man/AP

South Korea aims for stability after President Park Geun-hye’s removal

South Korean president Park Geun-hye is to be permanently removed from office. Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Park Geun-hye is the country’s first democratically elected leader to be ousted

A portraits of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping  pictured on February 22nd inside an old building at an area undergoing demolition in Shanghai, China. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Beijing Letter: Little fanfare to mark 20th anniversary of Deng Xiaoping’s death

A worker removes letters from a Trump logo in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photograph: Wayne Parry/AP

Ethics concerns over trademarks covering businesses including escorts firms

 Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations Koro Bessho, US ambassador  Nikki Haley and South Korea’s ambassador  Oh Joon  speak about the threat to world security posed by North Korea at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday. Photograph: Andrew Gombert/EPA

Washington’s ambassador to United Nations says Kim Jong-un ‘not a rational person’

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi attends a press conference at China’s annual parliament, the National People’s Congress. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Playing peacemaker, China urges de-escalation in North Korea-US nuclear stand-off

A handout photo showing parts of an advanced US missile defence system arriving at Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday evening. Photograph: EPA

China fears Terminal High Altitude Area Defence will upset regional security balance

A visitor walks by the TV screen showing a report about North Korea’s missile firing in Seoul, South Korea. Photograph: Lee Jin-man/AP

Incident may be response to ongoing joint military drills between South Korea and US

Muted tone: opening session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing. Photograph: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

Annual parliament also pledges to slow defence spending and focus on innovation

A reporter holds a newspaper featuring a story on North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, in front of North Korea’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Photograph: Fazry Ismail/EPA

Envoy asked to leave after saying foreign forces colluded in Kim Jong-nam killing

Kim Jong-nam, exiled half brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, was allegedly poisoned in a Kuala Lumpur airport in February. File photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/ AP

The estranged half- brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was murdered on February 13th

 Doan Thi Huong (left) and Siti Aisyah after being arrested in connection with the death of Kim Jong-nam. Photograph: EPA/Royal Malaysia Police Handout

Diplomatic ties worsen after murder of brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

The  meeting of the National People’s Congress in Beijing will offer clues as to how China’s president Xi Jinping plans to deal with his US counterpart, Donald Trump. Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty  Getty Images

Meeting will reveal clues as to how Beijing proposes to deal with Donald Trump’s USA

South Korea decided last year to deploy the THAAD system to protect against North Korea’s missile programme. Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Call comes after company approved land deal to allow use of anti-missile system

Members of Atomic Energy Licensing Board don Hazmat suits on Sunday outside Kuala Lumpur International Airport  before sweeping the terminal for toxic chemicals used in the death of Kim Jong-nam. Photograph: Rahman Roslan/Getty Images

Author and ex-CIA analyst puzzled at timing of low-key North Korean assassination

File photograph of North Koreans  and a pile of coal close to the border with China, viewed from the Chinese city of Dandong. China has banned coal imports from its neighbour. Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty

Tension grows between cold war allies after China bans coal imports from Pyongyang

Kim Jong-nam was seen rubbing   his eyes and stumbling as he entered an airport clinic. File photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

VX listed on UN weapons of mass destruction was smeared on Kim’s face at airport

Former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang and his wife Selina arrive the High Court in Hong Kong. Photograph: Reuters

‘Never in my judicial career have I seen a man falling from such a height,’ says judge

Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, was murdered in Kuala Lumpur airport. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Malaysian police suspect eight North Koreans of killing Kim Jong-un’s half-brother

Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar (left) demonstrates how a suspected assasin is believed to have poisioned  Kim Jong-nam. Photograph: EPA

Women suspected of poisoning brother of N Korean leader were trained killers, police say

Kim Jong-nam (left), the late, estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Pyongyang’s isolation grows over killing of North Korean leader’s estranged brother

 Royal Malaysian Police deputy inspector-general Noor Rashid Ibrahim speaks (L) during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Photograph: EPA

Estranged half-brother of North Korean leader murdered in Kuala Lumpur last week

An advertisement  in a showroom of Trump Toilet products, manufactured by Shenzhen Trump Industrial, in Shanghai in November 2016. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Future of ‘Trump toilets’ and ‘Trump condoms’ uncertain after case suddenly resolved

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