Welcome to Your Week in Asia.
Beijing steps up its international diplomatic outreach this week -- even as Taiwan ramps up preparations to counter the threat of invasion by China. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has started a trip to four Asian capitals, while President Xi Jinping meets the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Tajikistan. By contrast, Taiwan -- which China claims as its territory -- will carry out national combat-readiness drills delayed from July by a COVID-19 surge.
Keep up with our reporting by following us on Twitter @NikkeiAsia.
Han Kuang exercise
Taiwanese fighter jets will practice landing and taking off on a public highway in southern Pingtung County, in case of enemy fire damaging airstrips. All branches of the island's military will participate in the four-day computer-simulated and live-fire wargames, but at a reduced scale to minimize coronavirus infection risk.
Aid for Afghanistan
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will convene foreign and aid ministers in Geneva in an effort to raise around $600 million for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. The country was suffering from a drought even before the Taliban takeover shuttered aid delivery channels. The U.N. humanitarian affairs office has warned that food supplies are about to run out as basic services collapse.
Philippines human rights report
Investigate PH, an independent international commission, will release its final report on human rights violations in the Philippines as the U.N. Human Rights Council convenes. The report is expected to cover President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, which has killed more than 6,000 people, according to official records. It will also examine state-perpetrated attacks against activists and civil society groups.
Apple product launch
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 13 lineup and the next generation Apple Watch on Tuesday, in a livestreamed annual launch event. Nikkei Asia has reported that production of the Apple Watch 7 has been delayed, in large part due to the complicated designs of the new smartwatch.
Wang Yi visits South Korea
Following stops in Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Seoul for meetings with his counterpart Chung Eui-yong. Wang is expected to ask for Korea's support for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, as Western countries threaten a boycott over human rights violations. In exchange, South Korea is seeking China's help to rein in North Korea's nuclear program and lure Kim Jong-un back to the negotiating table.
HK opens quarantine-free travel from China
A cap of 2,000 travelers per day from the mainland can skip Hong Kong's 21-day quarantine with a negative COVID test, starting Wednesday. But it won't be reciprocal -- China's border restrictions still allow only Chinese nationals or residents to enter with quarantine. Despite maintaining a zero-tolerance approach to COVID, the Come2HK plan is Hong Kong's bid to revive its economy as rival financial center Singapore begins reopening this month.
Hyundai Heavy Industries IPO
South Korea's leading shipbuilder will list on the KOSPI exchange after raising $935 million in an issuance of 18 million new shares, priced at a range of 52,000-60,000 won per share. The funds will be used for green shipbuilding technologies, including ammonia and hydrogen-fueled ships and offshore hydrogen production facilities.
Hydrogen hype: Titans of Korean industry from Hyundai to Posco launched a business council last week to back hydrogen infrastructure.
Leaders from India, Pakistan, Russia and its Central Asian neighbors will join China in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, for the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. Expect discussions to center on Afghanistan, which shares borders with four SCO members, including China and Tajikistan, who have said they will cooperate on counterterrorism and security.
Shareholders of Alibaba Group Holding will gather in Hangzhou for their annual general meeting. The dual-listed group has faced negative headlines including from a sexual assault case involving employees, which prosecutors dropped last week. It is also grappling with Beijing's clampdown on allegedly monopolistic practices by tech companies.
Japan LDP campaign starts
The race to replace Yoshihide Suga as head of Japan's ruling party officially kicks off, but it remains uncertain how the Liberal Democratic Party's major factions will align themselves.
Three contenders have declared to run so far. Faction leader Fumio Kishida was the first to challenge Suga, who has since declined to run for reelection and cleared a path for vaccine minister Taro Kono. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Suga's patron, is backing the conservative lawmaker Sanae Takaichi, who could be Japan's first female leader.
Paradigm shift: Young LDP lawmakers have called for open polling on Sept. 29, instead of voting according to faction.