Selasa, 20 Mei 2014

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The Star Online: World Updates

In cyber spying row, Chinese media call U.S. a 'mincing rascal'

Posted: 20 May 2014 09:30 PM PDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese state media labelled the United States a "mincing rascal" and "high-level hooligan" on Wednesday in response to Washington charging five Chinese military officers with hacking U.S. companies to steal trade secrets.

The indictment on Monday was the first criminal hacking charge the U.S. has filed against specific foreign officials, and follows a rise in public criticism and private confrontation between the world's two biggest economies over cyber espionage.

As a first response, China suspended a Sino-U.S. working group on cyber issues. In an editorial, the Global Times, an influential tabloid run by the People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's Communist Party, said this was the "right move, but we should take further actions."

"We should encourage organizations and individuals whose rights have been infringed to stand up and sue Washington," the newspaper said. "Regarding the issue of network security, the U.S. is such a mincing rascal that we must stop developing any illusions about it."

The Chinese-language version of the Global Times called the United States a "high-level hooligan".

Washington's legal approach against China is "high-handed and hypocritical", the People's Daily said, citing media reports that the U.S. National Security Administration (NSA) spied on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

"Suspending the operations of a bilateral group on cyber affairs is a reasonable start, but more countermeasures should be prepared in case Washington obstinately sticks to the wrong track," state news agency Xinhua said in a commentary on Tuesday. "Otherwise, it should take full responsibility for the consequences of the farce that features itself as a robber playing cop."

China summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday, hours after the indictment, warning Washington it could take further action, the foreign ministry said.

The cyber spying charges are likely to further sour ties between China and the United States, already under strain from a range of issues, including human rights, trade disputes and China's growing military assertiveness in contested seas.

On Wednesday, however, Du Yuejin, a top official in charge of internet security, was making a rare address to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing on "the current global deficit of trust on cybersecurity".

While China is unlikely to hand over the five officers charged, the indictment would prevent them from travelling to the U.S. or any country with an extradition agreement with the United States.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

Thais to ponder election under martial law as way out of crisis

Posted: 20 May 2014 08:30 PM PDT

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's Election Commission was due to consider on Wednesday the caretaker government's proposal for an Aug. 3 election, as doubts grew that polls could be held smoothly despite the imposition of martial law to calm street violence.

Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha denied Tuesday's declaration of martial law amounted to a military coup, saying he had acted to restore order and build investor confidence. The caretaker government says it is still in charge.

Both pro- and anti-government protesters remain out in force but the army has confined them to their separate protest sites and there were no reports of trouble overnight.

Twenty-eight people have been killed and 700 injured since the latest chapter in a near-decade-long power struggle between former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the royalist establishment flared up late last year.

The turmoil has brought the country to the brink of recession and even raised fears of civil war.

The anti-government protesters remain implacably opposed to an election for now. They want a "neutral" prime minister installed to oversee electoral reforms aimed at ending the influence of former telecommunications tycoon Thaksin.

The government, on the other hand, sees a general election that it would likely win, given Thaksin's enduring support among the rural and urban poor, as the best way forward.

Acting Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan, a minister in the government of Thaksin's sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who took over when she was forced to step down as prime minister by a court two weeks ago, proposed on Tuesday that an election should be held on Aug. 3.

Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, a member of the Election Commission, said all sides had to consider the proposal.

"The situation has changed now. We have martial law, therefore the Election Commission, the army and the government should talk first," Somchai told Reuters. "I can't say yet whether an August 3 election will happen."


Anti-government protesters disrupted a Feb. 2 election that Thaksin's loyalists looked set to win. It was later declared void.

Thaksin's "red shirt" activists have warned of trouble if the caretaker government is ousted and replaced with a "neutral" prime minister but some analysts saw that as likely despite the threat of a backlash.

"With martial law in place, we believe violence could be contained," Pimpaka Nichgaroon, head of research at Thanachart Securities, wrote in a note.

Pimpaka said the main question was whether an interim government came about through a coup or through a resolution by the upper house Senate, Thailand's only functioning legislature.

"Any kind of interim government would be a better scenario for Thailand than the current political deadlock with a non-functional caretaker government."

The army has ordered 14 satellite TV channels, both pro- and anti-government, to stop broadcasting and it has warned against the spread of inflammatory material on social media.

Human rights groups have said the declaration of martial law was akin to a coup.

(Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Alan Raybould and Alex Richardson)

China's Xi says committed to peacefully resolving territorial disputes

Posted: 20 May 2014 07:55 PM PDT

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged on Wednesday that China is committed to peacefully resolving disputes over territory, and warned other countries that strengthening military alliances against a third party will not benefit security.

Xi made the remarks at a speech in Shanghai.

(Reporting by John Ruwitch, Writing by Sui-Lee Wee)


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