Beijing’s industrial surge: Profits in China’s industrial sector surged 31.5% during January and February, with the ruling Communist Party’s sprawling manufacturing business operations, propelled by a strong upstream commodities rally, responsible for half of a US$34 billion (234.3 billion yuan) gain in earnings, reports Steve Wang. Industrial profits for the two-month period topped one trillion yuan for the first time in history, thanks to a 13.9% jump in overall industrial revenue that outpaced a 13.3% increase in costs, China’s National Bureau of Statistics revealed on Monday.
Policing Indonesia’s extremism: Police chief General Tito Karnavian, widely viewed as an incorruptible professional, was hand-picked by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo last July and will serve until 2023, a longer period in the job than any of his predecessors. John McBeth writes that Karnavian, who is a Muslim, often speaks out against Islamic extremism but will have has his work cut out as religious tensions rise ahead of the April 19 Jakarta gubernatorial election.
Watching North Korea: Pyongyang’s latest ballistic missile failure did little to defuse the growing tension in East Asia as North Korea says it will continue testing missiles in response to what it calls provocation from South Korea and US military exercises. Peter J. Brown writes that by mobilising the satellite assets of UN member states, to increase the volume of satellite-based intelligence gathering, the concealment of the locations of North Korea’s mobile missile launchers would become much more difficult.
Hong Kong election: In Sunday’s scripted chief executive election, there were more police deployed on the city’s streets to deal with angry protesters than there were electors casting votes, writes Kent Ewing . Nearly two-thirds of the 1,194-member Election Committee followed Beijing’s wishes to vote in former chief secretary for administration Carrie Lam, who will now have to work hard to heal Hong Kong’s growing economic and social rifts.