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Your Week in Asia

G-7 summit, China data security bill, Mongolia election

Your weekly lineup of Asia's biggest business and political events

A bill on how local and foreign companies handle the data of Chinese citizens is among the proposals China's main legislative body will consider at a four-day session starting May 7.   © Reuters

Welcome to Your Week in Asia.

International summitry resumes this week, as Boris Johnson welcomes his counterparts in person for the annual G-7 leaders' meeting. Not to be left out, China will gather Southeast Asian foreign ministers as it seeks to curry favor with the neighboring bloc amid the coup in Myanmar and territorial standoffs.

Thailand starts mass vaccinations Monday, and trade data is due from Taiwan on Tuesday.

Keep up with our reporting by following us on Twitter @NikkeiAsia.

MONDAY

China data security law

A new bill governing how local and foreign companies manage the data of Chinese citizens will be among the proposals considered by China's main legislative body when it begins a four-day session on Monday. Ahead of the review, U.S. automaker Tesla said last month that it will set up a data center in China for locally produced vehicles, following a dispute with a buyer over data.

ASEAN ministers in China

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will host his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Chongqing in person, as Beijing works to shore up ties with the bloc. Wang is expected to announce economic assistance to help ASEAN's recovery from COVID-19. But the ongoing crisis in Myanmar presents an awkward backdrop, as do long-simmering South China Sea disputes and Malaysia's complaint last week about airspace intrusions by China's military.

Gaokao college entrance exam

On the same day, nearly 11 million Chinese students will sit for the national college entrance exam through Tuesday. Known as gaokao, it is yet another sign of normal life returning in China after COVID-19, which postponed last year's exam by a month.

TUESDAY

Apple developer conference

Apple will kick off this year's Worldwide Developer Conference with a livestreamed keynote speech by CEO Tim Cook. It starts at 10 a.m. in California on Monday, early in the Asian morning. The company is expected to unveil new updates to Apple's various operating systems and details of upcoming products. It will be the second year for Apple to hold a virtual developer's conference, which before the pandemic typically drew thousands of developers to its headquarters.

WEDNESDAY

Huawei opens cybersecurity center

Meanwhile, Apple's Chinese rival Huawei will open a global cybersecurity and privacy protection transparency center in the Chinese city of Dongguang. With the center, the company is seeking to demonstrate openness and transparency as it faces a U.S. crackdown. Deputy Chairman Ken Hu is slated to speak at the opening.

Mongolia presidential election

Former Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa of the ruling Mongolian People's Party is the front-runner in the country's presidential election on Wednesday. Khurelsukh leads the race despite public frustration with the government's failure to control the spread of COVID-19. His challengers are Erdene Sodnomzundui, who is seeking to keep the presidency in the hands of the Democratic Party, and Enkhbat Dangaasuren of the new HUN party, who is known for helping improve internet service in the country.

THURSDAY

Australian universities report on 'Confucius' deals

Australian universities face a deadline on Thursday to submit details of their arrangements with Chinese Confucius Institutes for government review. The institutes have stirred controversy worldwide over concerns that they spread propaganda for Beijing, which insists they are purely educational. Some or all of the 13 Australian schools hosting the institutes could see their deals vetoed, just as Canberra tore up the state of Victoria's Belt and Road agreements amid a trade and geopolitical dispute with China.

Indonesia court rules on air pollution

A district court in Jakarta will rule Thursday on a lawsuit brought by residents who have accused the government of ignoring dangerous levels of air pollution in the Indonesian capital. The 32 plaintiffs have accused President Joko Widodo and his cabinet ministers of putting public health at risk by neglecting to address Jakarta's air pollution. The concentration of the air pollutant PM 2.5 in Jakarta is three times the World Health Organization's exposure recommendation.

FRIDAY

G-7 summit in Britain

Leaders of the Group of Seven nations will gather in Cornwall, U.K. for their first in-person summit in two years. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will attend the summit as well as a trilateral meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who was invited as an observer along with leaders from India, Australia and South Africa.

Biden, on his first foreign trip since becoming president, will proceed next week to the NATO summit in Brussels.

Shanghai International Film Fest begins

The Shanghai International Film Festival returns to in-person screening for 10 days, starting on Friday. Highlights include the Golden Goblet Awards and the release of over 400 titles, many of them with patriotic themes, ahead of the Chinese Communist Party's 100th anniversary on July 1.

Seoul court rules on wartime labor lawsuit

A Seoul district court rules Friday on a compensation lawsuit against 16 Japanese companies filed by 85 Koreans who claim that they were forced into labor during World War II. The court is expected to order Nippon Steel, Nissan Chemical and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, among others, to pay reparations to the plaintiffs, following the Supreme Court's previous rulings in similar cases.

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