South Korea cuts key rate to record low 0.5% to fight COVID-19 hit

SEOUL — The Bank of Korea cut its key interest rate to a record low 0.5% on Thursday in a bid to cushion economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

Underscoring the scope of that hit, the central bank also forecast that gross domestic product will contract 0.2% this year, a sharp reversal from its previous projection for growth of 2.1%.

The BOK said its seven-member monetary policy board lowered its benchmark rate by 25 basic points, or 0.25 percentage point, as domestic economic activity has slowed significantly. The bank said that the country faces multiple challenges in the form of

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Dengue complicates Southeast Asia’s coronavirus fight

JAKARTA — Southeast Asian countries are bracing for possible outbreaks of infectious diseases that show symptoms similar to those of the novel coronavirus ahead of the rainy season. Treatments for these seasonal infections are very different from those for COVID-19, complicating the work of front-line medical workers.

As of May 8, there were 53,660 cases of dengue fever in Indonesia. Infections are rising at a faster pace than last year. In 2019, Southeast Asia’s most populous country had 137,761 dengue fever infections, more than double the previous year, according to the country’s Health Ministry.

Singapore’s National Environment Agency also warned

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South Korea harnesses tech prowess in coronavirus fight

SEOUL — If any country in the world was prepared to deal with the consequences of a socially distanced world, it was probably South Korea.

A big part of that preparedness comes down to having one of the world’s most advanced internet infrastructures. Last year it became one of the first countries to switch on fifth-generation mobile services, and its household internet penetration rate was top among OECD members in 2018, at 99.5%.

So when the coronavirus pandemic hit, many aspects of South Korean society — from education to business — shifted online with relative ease.

But even in digital-savvy

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China and US to fight for tech primacy, not war: Tsinghua expert

The Covid-19 pandemic will intensify technological competition between China and the U.S., shifting their rivalry from a traditional geopolitical tussle to one for tech supremacy, a prominent Chinese international relations expert said.

Yan Xuetong, dean of the Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University, said in an interview with Caixin that the U.S. and China will compete over the coronavirus vaccine and digital technology, including advanced telecommunications networks.

“The more fierce China-U.S. tech competition gets, the less likely it is that they will resort to proxy wars for dominance on natural and geographic terms,” Yan said. “It’s not because they

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