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Global Developments and Analysis: Weekly Monitor, 25 April 2022 – 01 May 2022

Economic
World lost forest area greater than size of UK in 2021: Report

In 2021, the world lost an area of forest greater than the size of the United Kingdom, according to a report by Global Forest Watch – a trajectory that is set to fall short of global commitments made by world leaders at the United Nation’s COP26 climate summit in Scotland last year. About 253,000 square kilometres (97,600 square miles) of forest were lost during 2021, the report added. The figure amounts to about 10 football pitches per minute. The rate is about the same as in 2020, which saw a sharp increase from 2019, according to the report, which uses forest data collected by the University of Maryland. The loss was largely caused by human destruction, notably land clearing for cattle and crops. More than 40 percent of that loss occurred in Brazil, where some 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) were destroyed. The Democratic Republic of the Congo saw the second highest destruction of tropical primary rainforest, with 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) lost in 2021. Bolivia, meanwhile, lost nearly 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres). In colder regions, boreal forests found in the far northern countries reaches of Canada, Russia and Alaska lost more than 80,000 square kilometres (31,000 square miles) of area last year, the highest level since records began in 2001, according to the report. Click here to read…

US economy unexpectedly falls 1.4% annual pace in Q1, may continue poor performance amid inflation, rate hike woes

In the first three months of 2022, the US posted its poorest quarterly economic performance since the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the headwinds from soaring inflation, interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and the pullback from Omicron weighing on growth momentum. US GDP declined at an annualized 1.4 percent in the first quarter, the Commerce Department’s preliminary estimate showed on April 28, which is a significant slowdown from the 6.9 percent growth recorded in the fourth quarter of last year. The slowdown reflected a record US international trade deficit, lower government expenditure, and a decline in inventory levels as more enterprises take a wait-and-see approach before stepping up inventory volumes, experts said. The first quarter result was below economists’ and institutions’ forecasts. Economists polled by Reuters expected growth to slow to an annualized rate of 1.1 percent over the first three months. Goldman Sachs lowered its estimate to a 1.3 percent rate from a 1.5 percent pace, while JPMorgan slashed its forecast to a 0.7 percent pace from 1.1 percent. Consumption, which accounts for two-thirds of the US economic output, has not seen signs of consumer pulling back from goods even as food and gasoline prices soar. Click here to read…

Investors in the dark on China industrial transport as data curbs bite

A wave of COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai presents the biggest test yet for investors, trading companies and logistics managers trying to follow China’s economy after the government restricted firms from releasing real-time data. As China’s most populous city struggles to emerge from weeks of crippling coronavirus curbs, companies can no longer see how goods are moving in and out of the key port as a result of a recent data law that cracked down on data sharing. Industrial barometers from crude oil inventories at import terminals to high-frequency container throughput at ports were widely available previously, offering a real-time window on the world’s second-biggest economy unhampered by the delays and possible distortions of official economic data. But since China’s Personal Information Protection Law went into effect in November, crucial sources of information about the world’s biggest exporting nation have gone dark. Shipping companies and brokers have resorted to less accurate satellite-based tracking to monitor port delays. Traffic data to gauge truck shipping and commerce is no longer available. Traders track port activity by phone calls or even hand-counting ships. Organizations monitoring industrial or commercial activity in China must comply with strict rules on data classification, storage, cross-border transfers, and transparency and user consent management before they may publish such data to clients. Click here to read…

China economy: Politburo vows new tools, refined policies will help address coronavirus-induced turmoil

Beijing has shown confidence that it can realise its seemingly conflicting goals of achieving an economic growth rate of “around 5.5 per cent” for the year while also maintaining a zero-Covid policy that continues to have an outsized impact on the economy. The top leadership vowed on April 29 to speed up the implementation of existing tax-cut and supportive policies, as well as the use of new monetary policy tools and effective investment, while also refining regulatory policies, according to a statement following a quarterly economic meeting of the 25-member Politburo, the centre of power within the Communist Party headed by President Xi Jinping. Specifically, the widely watched Politburo meeting said that leadership will actively respond to the concerns and appeals of foreign investors, which have been greatly affected by fresh waves of coronavirus outbreaks that began last month. The meeting also showed signs that leaders may be keen on loosening their tight controls on internet firms and property developers. Just two days prior to the Politburo meeting, the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission unveiled a new infrastructure plan that prioritises national security, with a call to front-load construction projects and financing support. Click here to read…

hina capital outflows: as US battles inflation, Beijing goes on alert for ‘spillover effects’ from rate hikes

As the US shifts to more aggressive rate tightening, concern is mounting in Beijing about capital outflows and growing depreciation pressure on the yuan. The question on many people’s lips: how prepared is China to deal with it? Investors have withdrawn money from China at a rapid pace over the past two months, triggered by market expectations of further interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, the Omicron outbreak and the Russia-Ukraine war. Besides selling government bonds, foreign investors have dumped Chinese equities, resulting in a stock market rout that has prompted officials to pledge support for markets and the economy. The “unprecedented” rate of capital outflows has alarmed officials in Beijing and led President Xi Jinping to warn of negative policy spillover from “some countries”. The last time China experienced such severe capital exodus came between 2015-17, and it was only halted by heavy capital controls and the burning of a quarter of the national foreign exchange reserves. Now, more cautious observers are warning that any misstep during the US Federal Reserve’s current rate cycle could come at a heavy cost to the Chinese economy. US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said last week that a 50 basis point increase would be “on the table” in May. Click here to read…

Chinese president outlines big role for private capital – as long as it’s on a regulatory leash

Chinese President Xi Jinping has highlighted the importance of private capital to development as the country tries to rally an economy battered by the coronavirus and regulatory storms. But he also told a Politburo meeting on April 29 that capital must be monitored to ensure that it did not undermine the Communist Party’s vision of common prosperity. “By its nature, capital pursues profits, and if it is not regulated and restrained, it will bring immeasurable harm to economic and social development,” state news agency Xinhua quoted him as saying. “Attention should be paid to ensure economic development is inclusive and the primary distribution [of income] is fair. “We will unswervingly follow the road of common prosperity for all the people,” he said, referring to efforts to tackle social and economic inequality. He said China should encourage all types of capital to drive technological advances, market growth and improvements to the quality of life. But investors should be “educated and guided” to practice China’s core socialist values and “walk the right way”, Xi said. More action would be taken against corruption and to promote fair competition in capital, particularly against corrupt behaviour driving disorderly expansion of capital and “a monopoly of platforms”. Click here to read…

Russia Turns on Spending Taps to Blunt Economic Impact of War and Sanctions

Russia is assembling an economic relief package equivalent to tens of billions of dollars to soften the blow of Western sanctions and shield its population from the financial fallout of President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. Moscow’s measures—which focus on aid to struggling individuals and businesses—are unlikely to prevent Russia from spiraling into its sharpest slowdown in decades, economists say. But they show the deep pockets available to the Kremlin to tide the population through the disruptions of the wartime economy. Since the Feb. 24 invasion, Mr. Putin has signed several rounds of anticrisis legislation and ordered an emergency increase in payments to pensioners, state employees and the needy to compensate for surging inflation. He has also backed state-subsidized loans to companies battered by sanctions. Such a move could provide a lifeline to factories that have halted production because of a lack of imported components, such as computer chips. Russia can spend generously in bolstering its economy thanks to its low debt burden and ample energy revenues—even as it faces mounting costs from the war in Ukraine. In March, the first full month of the conflict, Russian federal government spending climbed 37% from a year before, driven in part by rising defense expenditures, according to data from the finance ministry. But oil and gas revenues more than doubled in ruble terms over the same period, nearly compensating for the entire increase in spending, the data show. Click here to read…

France shuts down 50% of nuclear reactors amid energy crunch

France, one of Europe’s leading electricity exporters, has taken 28 of its 56 atomic reactors offline due to defects or maintenance. The step comes amid a months-long energy crunch, one of the worst in European history. The 1,300-megawatt Golfech-2 reactor run by Electricite de France (EDF) in the south of country was shut down on April 29 for maintenance until April 30, the company said in a filing with grid operator RTE. The suspension, due to extended outages after corrosion issues were found at some sites, is expected to force EDF to purchase electricity from the European grid at a time of soaring demand exacerbated by natural gas shortages. Checks and repairs, along with scheduled halts for refueling and regular maintenance, have reportedly sunk French nuclear output to its lowest level in more than 10 years. The shutdowns are expected to aggravate Europe’s supply problems, with nuclear power accounting for more than two thirds of French electricity generation. Daily prices for electricity in France in 2022 have averaged nearly 30% more than in Germany, which relies more heavily on gas and coal to run its plants. They are reportedly four times higher than in the same period of 2021. Click here to read…

Huge rise in Russian gas supplies to China – Gazprom

Russian gas supplies to China have shot up by almost 60% in the first four months of 2022 compared to the same period last year, Russian energy giant Gazprom announced on May 01. The deliveries are made through the Power of Siberia pipeline as part of the contract between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the company said. When Russia launched its military operation against Ukraine in late February, Beijing refused to condemn Moscow or take part in the international sanctions, despite threats from Washington. The energy standoff between Russia and the West has led to gas supplies to countries outside the former Soviet Union dropping by 26.9% since the start of the year. A total of 50.1 billion cubic meters have been delivered over the past four months. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered gas payments from “unfriendly countries,” which include the EU, to be made in rubles from March 31. The measure was adopted after harsh sanctions were placed on Moscow amid the conflict in Ukraine. The EU initially rejected Moscow’s new rules, calling them “blackmail,” but the European Commission recently said there could be ways to pay for Russian gas in rubles without violating the sanctions. Click here to read…

China’s UnionPay shuns Russian banks as sanctions force caution

Even as China continues to distance itself from Western sanctions, the measures are affecting business decisions by companies like China UnionPay that worry about potentially being caught in the sanctions net themselves. The bank card services provider has refused to work with Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and halted talks with other Russian financial institutions targeted by sanctions, forcing them to scrap plans to issue UnionPay cards, according to local media. While UnionPay accounted for only about 1% of bank cards issued in Russia as of 2020, interest had surged after Visa and Mastercard halted services there in response to this past February’s invasion of Ukraine. But the Chinese company has been reluctant to take the opportunity to expand. More than 80% of Chinese companies in Russia have continued business as usual there, according to a list compiled by Yale University. This stands in sharp contrast to Japan, the U.S. and Germany, where roughly 90% of businesses have exited, scaled back or suspended operations in Russia or postponed plans there. But some in China have taken a more cautious approach. Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China have restricted financing for Russian commodities. Click here to read…

Chinese regions chase business opportunities in Russia as West exits

As Beijing opposes Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, local Chinese governments are eager to support companies’ expansion into a Russian market that global multinationals have abandoned. In an online forum geared toward investors, Shanghai-listed Senci Electric Machinery said it is looking for opportunities in Russia and Ukraine and will set up a sales team “at an appropriate time.” Such efforts have the support of authorities. In the company’s home city of Chongqing, the local branch of the China Chamber of International Commerce has partnered with Bank of Kunlun, a key player in China’s yuan-denominated international payments network, to help facilitate export transactions to Russia. According to authorities in Xiangshan County of Ningbo, an export hub for textiles in Zhejiang Province, five local companies and a Russian trading house agreed to consider doing business in an online meeting early this month. Shandong Province, which is home to a robust electronics industry, hosted a conference at the end of March for Russian economic officials as well as Russian and Chinese industry groups. Similar efforts are also underway in Heilongjiang Province in China’s northeast, which borders Russia. An organization dedicated to bolstering cooperation and trade with Russian companies launched this month in a pilot free trade zone in Harbin.Click here to read…

Russian energy giant to quit foreign exchanges

Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom said on April 29 it was delisting its depository receipts from international stock exchanges after the Russian government refused to agree on their further circulation. According to a statement on the company’s website, holders will have the “right to convert them into ordinary shares.” Gazprom also said it has notified the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority of its intention to cancel standard listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The company has also asked the LSE and the Singapore Exchange to delist its depositary receipts within 20 business days. Under a new law, the securities of Russian companies can be traded on foreign trading floors only with special permission by Russian authorities. Last month, LSE blocked trading in 27 Russian corporations, including EN+, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft, and Sberbank. The blacklist was part of Western efforts to cut Russia off from the international financial markets in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Click here to read…

Small Hainan takes on huge strategic role

Developments in the island province of Hainan get more interesting every year. It’s sometimes observed that it has not caught up with economic growth in southern China, especially the Greater Bay Area, despite its strategic position in the north of the South China Sea. But it may become the most important strategic province to the nation – because it is home to the most advanced naval hardware being built; it is key to defending China’s claims over maritime territories contested by at least four other countries and Taiwan. In this context, it’s even more intriguing that the 35,000 sq km island at the southernmost tip of the country is being turned into the world’s largest free-trade port with low taxes and more relaxed regulations to match, under a plan pushed by President Xi Jinping himself. As a free port and a naval hub, Hainan will likely become a main marker of Xi’s rule and its legacy, much like Shenzhen was for Deng Xiaoping. The Yulin Naval Base has been rapidly expanded in just the past two years. It can now reportedly berth up to 16 submarines, both conventional and nuclear, and host two aircraft carriers. Its proximity to the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos makes it the ideal jump-off point for naval operations. As well, with the submarines, it can coordinate underwater detection and surveillance with advanced remote sensors. Click here to read…

Amazon’s Flagship Online-Shopping Business Stalls After Decades of Growth

Amazon.com legendary e-commerce machine, which has grown at breakneck speed for more than two decades, is showing signs of stalling. The tech giant on April 28 reported its slowest sales growth in roughly two decades. Product sales have flatlined, and revenue at its main online-shopping business segment has stagnated for six months, one of the worst periods of anemic growth in Amazon’s history. And company executives said overall sales might slow down even more. The company’s multibillion-dollar hiring spree and logistics build-out, necessary to keep up with demand during the pandemic, have yielded painful results during a period of inflation and economic contraction in America. For years, Amazon managed to increase its share of U.S. e-commerce as it grew rapidly, widening its lead over competitors. But its market share grew by just 0.2% in 2021 and so far in 2022, the slowest rate in years, research firm Insider Intelligence estimates. A broad swath of companies across industries are experiencing an online-shopping slump. In March, online spending in the U.S. was down 3.3% from a year earlier, the first such decline since 2013, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks transactions made over the Mastercard payments network as well as survey-based estimates for spending with cash and checks. Spending at bricks-and-mortar stores, by contrast, was up 11.2%.Click here to read…

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia to discuss extending term of $3bn deposit

Saudi Arabia will discuss the option of extending the terms of its $3bn deposit in Pakistan’s central bank to help Islamabad’s faltering economy, according to a joint statement. In recent years, Saudi Arabia has provided Pakistan with $4.2bn of support in the form of a $3bn loan deposited with the central bank as well as $1.2bn in deferred oil payments to boost its foreign reserves. The cash-strapped nation’s foreign exchange reserves plunged below $11bn last month. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia affirmed its continuous support to Pakistan and its economy, including the discussion of augmenting the $3bn deposit with the central bank through term extension or otherwise,” a joint statement issued on May 01 said. The latest sign of support follows a visit to Saudi Arabia by Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who has inherited a crippling national debt, galloping inflation and a weak rupee. Saudia Arabia also pledged “to further enhance the financing of petroleum products” at a time when the South Asian country is suffering from frequent power cuts. The Gulf nation has long been a regular source of financial relief for successive governments. The statement comes after recent talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the release of funds under an existing $6bn aid programme that had stalled due to concerns about the pace of reforms. Click here to read…

Strategic
Intl rules not the rules of a small circle: Chinese FM on Truss warning China

International rules should be the norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, rather than the rules of a small circle or clique, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded on April 28 to UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ “warning” that China must play by international rules. “Countries must play by the rules. And that includes China,” Truss said in a speech at Mansion House in London. “They will not continue to rise if they do not play by the rules. China needs trade with the G7. We (the Group of Seven) represent around half of the global economy. And we have choices,” she said. Truss said NATO needed to have a global outlook that extended to democracies outside its membership, according to Reuters. In response, Wang said that the Cold War has long since ended, and NATO, as a product of the Cold War and the world’s largest military alliance, should assess the situation and make necessary adjustments. “However, NATO has long adhered to the old concept of security, engaged in confrontation between factions and become a tool for individual countries to seek hegemony,” Wang noted at April 28’s press briefing. Wang said that NATO claims to be a defensive organization, but in fact, it is constantly creating confrontations and disturbances. Click here to read…

Japan mulls classifying its key defense document – media

Japan is considering partially classifying its chief defense document in the wake of “security threats by China and Russia,” Kyodo News reported on April 30, citing government sources. Making the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG), the country’s 10-year military buildup policy, secret would be in line with the mostly classified US National Defense Strategy and would allow Tokyo to be “more specific” in making contingency plans involving North Korea, the sources told the Japanese news agency. The government in Tokyo will review the current defense guidelines, which are publicly available, by the end of the year, focusing on whether Japan can acquire weapons to launch counterstrikes on enemy bases, Kyodo News wrote. The matter is a sensitive issue, given Japan’s defense-oriented constitution that explicitly renounces war. “Having a document similar to the [US] National Defense Strategy is requisite,” a lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was quoted as saying. On April 27, the LDP proposed revising Japan’s most important defense and diplomacy documents amid what it described as an “increasingly severe” security environment. The lawmakers specifically urged the government to develop “counterstrike capabilities” and consider roughly doubling the defense budget to 2% or more of GDP, Japanese media said. Click here to read…

Bill to help Taiwan regain WHO status passes Congress, sent to Biden for signature

The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation on April 27 calling on the State Department to submit a plan to help Taiwan regain its observer status at the World Health Organization, seeking to boost the island as it faces pressure from China. The House passed the bill 425 to 0, sending it to the White House because it passed the Senate in August. Congressional aides said they expected President Joe Biden to sign the measure into law. Taiwan is excluded from most global organizations such as the WHO, the U.N. health agency, because of the objections of China, which considers the island one of its provinces and not a separate country. The measure directs the Secretary of State to establish a strategy for obtaining observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the WHO. Taiwan was stripped of that status in 2017. Urging support for the bill, Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly praised Taiwan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that it had only 37,000 confirmed cases despite a population of 23.5 million, and that it shared expertise and donated protective equipment internationally. China however has already signaled it will not support Taiwan’s participation at this year’s assembly. Click here to read…

Taiwan howitzers delayed, ‘crowded out’ of US production lines

Production issues have set back delivery of the first batch of US weapons approved for Taiwan by Joe Biden’s administration, according to the island’s defence ministry. The ministry said on May 02 it had been notified that next year’s expected delivery of howitzer artillery systems would be delayed until 2026. “The production line is crowded out,” it said. “We have cooperated with the United States to research and develop advanced alternatives to meet actual operational needs,” the ministry said, adding it would continue to communicate with the US on the issue. Taiwan’s United Daily News reported on May 02 that some lawmakers had been told by the defence ministry that the US could not supply the first batch of the promised 40 howitzer systems because of the war in Ukraine. Zhou Chenming, a researcher from the Yuan Wang military science and technology think tank in Beijing, said US commitments to provide weapons to Ukraine could be a reason for the setback but it might also reflect Washington’s delicate recalibration of its Taiwan policies. “This move can be interpreted as the US wanting to cool the warm ties with Taiwan for a while, as a supposed Boeing aircraft deal [also] went nowhere. But this cooling in ties is temporary and tactical, and won’t change the fundamental cooperation between the two sides.” Click here to read…

Ukraine, China in focus for Kishida on Southeast Asia visit

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida set off on April 29 for an extended visit to Southeast Asia, aiming to marshal regional responses to the Ukraine crisis as well as counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region. As Asia’s sole member of the Group of Seven (G7), Japan hopes to hold talks on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and consolidate responses in Southeast Asia, where only one nation, Singapore, has joined sanctions against Russia, officials say. Japan is also eager to discuss regional security issues relating to China’s growing assertiveness, while Southeast Asian nations wary of losing access to its economy look to steer clear of an intense confrontation between the United States, a key ally of Japan, and Beijing. Kishida will first visit Indonesia, which is this year’s chair of the Group of 20 major economies, of which Russia is also a member, and a major economic power in the region. Indonesia will also chair the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) next year. Kishida last month went to Cambodia, which heads the organisation this year. He will then go to Vietnam, followed by Thailand, host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) in 2022, before proceeding to Europe. Click here to read…

Japan foreign minister to go to South Korea leader’s inauguration

Japan plans to send Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi to South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s inauguration ceremony next week, deciding not to consent to Seoul’s wish for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to attend, government sources said May 02. Seoul had hoped for Kishida’s presence at the May 10 event to help improve bilateral relations that have soured over historical disputes which stem from Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. But the sources said Tokyo has decided the Japanese leader cannot go without any guarantee of progress on the disagreements. During his stay, Hayashi is expected to hold meetings with key officials of the new South Korean government with the hope they will agree to work toward mending political ties that have sunk to their lowest level in years under the administration of the current president, Moon Jae In, the sources said. Calling for a “future-oriented” approach, Yoon sent a delegation to Japan last week for meetings with Kishida, Hayashi and other ministers to seek to repair bilateral ties, with the prime minister telling the visitors, “We have no time to spare in improving Japan-South Korea relations.” Some Japanese ruling party lawmakers are also against Kishida heading to South Korea at this point out of concern that Japan’s stance could be interpreted as being too conciliatory. Click here to read…

The Marcos revival: How late Philippine dictator’s son went from exile to election favorite

Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the front-runner in next month’s Philippine presidential election, greeted thousands of rain-soaked supporters with a very personal shoutout: to his 92-year-old mother, Imelda. The former first lady would have joined this rally in her home city of Tacloban had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, said the 64-year-old candidate, widely known as “Bongbong.” “I’m sure my mom is watching on livestream. Let’s greet Imelda. Hello Imelda!” Marcos said, waving from the stage on April 9 during an event streamed live on Facebook. The drenched loyalist crowd erupted into applause and shouts. His words were more than a politician’s standard stump speech tribute to an aging parent. Imelda Marcos won global notoriety in 1986 when the ousting of her late husband Ferdinand’s Philippine dictatorship exposed her 3,000-pair shoe collection to the world. Legions of loyal supporters and young voters born after the corrupt and brutal Marcos Sr. dictatorship are propelling the family’s redemption. Filipinos disillusioned with the political establishment that came after the restoration of democracy are feeling nostalgic for a Marcos presidency. Meanwhile, a barrage of online propaganda painting tyranny as the country’s good old days has put the Marcos patriarch’s polarizing legacy — defined by his 1972 imposition of martial law — at the center of the May 9 presidential poll. Click here to read…

Putin, Zelensky both invited to G20: Indonesian president

Indonesia has invited both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the Group of 20 (G20) summit in November, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said April 29. “Indonesia is ready to contribute to the peace effort,” Widodo said in a virtual press conference. “Indonesia wants to unite the G20. Do not let there be a split. Peace and stability are the keys to the world economic development.” The G20, he said, plays a catalyst role in the recovery of the world economy, adding that he had telephone conversations with both leaders of Russia and Ukraine this week. On April 28, Widodo and Putin discussed issues of Russian-Indonesian cooperation and various aspects of the activities of G20 in a phone conversation. In a conversation with Zelensky on April 27, Widodo turned down a request for arms from the Ukrainian president, saying that Indonesia is ready to provide humanitarian assistance. Click here to read…

Beijing centralises power in the provinces ahead of Communist Party congress

The new party boss for China’s tech hub Shenzhen, Meng Fanli, made his first public appearance last month at Lianhuashan Park to honour the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping for his pioneering market reforms. “We must consistently align our ideology, politics and actions with the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core,” he said, according to media reports from Shenzhen, in southern China’s Guangdong province. The 56-year-old, from Shandong province in the east, is the latest addition to Guangdong’s senior leadership, in a reshuffle that has seen an increasing number of outsiders parachuted in to key positions that once traditionally went to locals. The shift towards promoting outsiders to provincial roles is not unique to Guangdong. Numerous studies measuring provincial leadership rotations show an intensifying trend towards centralisation of power. According to Li Tao, associate professor of government and public administration at the University of Macau, Beijing’s deepening political control of provincial offices suggests a shift in focus from economics to politics. “Political localism will shrink across China. Guangdong, which used to be a province with relatively few outsiders, is feeling the impact of centralisation much stronger than other provinces,” he said. He found the officials also served shorter tenures while rotation frequencies increased, pointing to political centralisation with less emphasis on localism, local expertise and the economyClick here to read…

Iran outlines joint goals with China

Iran sees its relations with China as part of an effort by like-minded powers to confront US unilateralism and create stability and order, President Ebrahim Raisi told Beijing’s visiting Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on April 27. Raisi said that the successful implementation of the 25-year strategic cooperation agreement between the two countries, signed in 2021, was a priority for Tehran, according to state media. Wei said his visit was aimed at “improving the strategic defense cooperation” between Tehran and Beijing, which would have a “remarkable” impact on fighting terrorism and defusing unilateralism, “particularly in the current critical and tense situation.” Wei also met with Iranian Defense Minister General Mohammed Reza Ashtiani and reportedly invited him to visit China. In their meeting, Ashtiani stressed “the need to counter American hegemony in the world by strengthening multilateralism,” according to a statement by the Iranian Defense Ministry. Ashtiani also criticized the US military presence in the Middle East and elsewhere, saying that “wherever the US has had military presence, it has created waves of insecurity, instability, rifts, pessimism, war, destruction and displacement,” according to IRNA. The 2021 strategic cooperation treaty has paved the way to military cooperation between Iran and China, but also a variety of economic activities ranging from oil trade to transportation and agriculture. Click here to read…

Blinken defends Iran deal talks against congressional criticism

Despite an apparent impasse in talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has defended efforts to revive the agreement against congressional criticism, stressing that a return to the pact would curb Tehran’s nuclear programme. Testifying at the United States Senate on April 26, Blinken told lawmakers that the deal succeeded in limiting Iranian production of fissile material needed to build a nuclear weapon – until the former US administration withdrew from the agreement. “We continue to believe that getting back into compliance with the agreement would be the best way to address the nuclear challenge posed by Iran, and to make sure that an Iran that is already acting with incredible aggression doesn’t have a nuclear weapon or the ability to produce one on short notice,” he said. Senator Bob Menendez, chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and James Risch, the top Republican on the panel, had grilled Blinken about what they described as the limitations of the agreement, which does not tackle Iran’s ballistic missile programme or its regional policies. “No agreement is better than a bad agreement. I would urge you to move on [from the talks],” Risch told Blinken. Click here to read…

What Pakistan suicide blast reveals about the Balochistan insurgency and China

China and its belt-and-road projects in Pakistan are a collateral casualty of the insurgency in Balochistan region, rather than the target, according to politicians, dissidents and analysts. The suicide bombing on April 26 by a militant Baloch nationalist, which killed three Chinese academics and their Pakistani driver inside Karachi University, was a strategic move to build pressure on Pakistan’s security establishment, the observers told This Week In Asia. “The Baloch dissidents’ agenda is primarily directed against the Pakistani state,” said Mushahid Hussain, a ranking member of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party who chairs the Senate committee on defence. The China factor became an “add-on” issue only after the US$60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was established in 2015, he said. Balochistan is a vast, largely inhospitable province in western Pakistan that is rich in natural resources. Separatists in the region have long fought for greater control over their minerals and political autonomy. Nawab Akbar Bugti, a former governor and chief minister, launched the insurgency in 2005. Pakistani politicians in 2006 and 2015 came close to reaching peace settlements with Baloch militant leaders, but these efforts were sabotaged by establishment hardliners, said Hussain. Click here to read…

Eight months on, Taliban’s rule is far from stable

When the Taliban, loaded with guns and firepower and riding on the promise of “peace, stability and unity,” took over Kabul in August last year, few at the time believed the militant group’s seizure of power marked a transition from war to peacetime stability. Fast forward eight months, the Taliban’s fractious regime is far from stable, either politically, economically or geostrategically. The poor economic situation, with the country careening towards widespread famine, is only one side of the Taliban’s problem. Emerging power centers within Afghanistan pose a direct challenge to the Taliban’s claims to be the only representative party or power wielder. And those competing political forces are making their point in an explosive fashion. On April 29, a blast in Kabul in a mosque belonging to a Sunni minority group – the Zikris – killed at least 50 people. On April 28, a bomb blast in a van carrying Shiite Muslims in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif killed at least nine people. The attack on the Shiite van came after Taliban leaders claimed to have captured an ISIS-K mastermind of the previous attack in Mazar-e-Sharif on a Shiite mosque that killed at least 31. These attacks challenge the Taliban leadership’s claims to have eliminated opposed terror groups like ISIS-K, offered full protection to minorities and claimed groups like ISIS-K do not pose a serious threat. While their claims have by now clearly been proven wrong, there is little denying that the continuing success of ISIS-K is directly tied to the Taliban regime for several reasons. Click here to read…

Turkey Tries to Remain Neutral as Russia’s War Persists

Turkey has proven adept at maintaining neutrality in regards to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. While Ankara has condemned Russia’s “special military operation,” it has also declined to follow the lead of its NATO allies in supporting US-led sanctions on Moscow. According to local experts, its reasons for doing so are both economic and political, and reflect Turkey’s varied approach to its relations with Russia. “Turkey is a neighbor to both countries, with whom it has intense economic relations,” Halil Akinci, who served as Turkey’s ambassador to Russia from 2008 to 2010, told The Epoch Times. “So it’s in Ankara’s interest to stay on good terms with them both.” Neutrality, he added, also left Turkey in the perfect position to mediate—thus raising its international profile—“since we’re the only ones acceptable to both sides.” When the Russian operation first began on Feb. 24, Turkish officials condemned it as “unacceptable” and a “violation of international law.” They were also quick to stress, however, that Ankara—unlike its NATO allies—had no intention of enforcing US-led sanctions on Russia. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, a political analyst and head of the Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy, an independent think-tank, said Turkey had “reasonable grounds” for declining to support sanctions. Click here to read…

Erdogan’s visit to the Kingdom is expected to usher in a new era of cooperation between the two countries

Following April 28’s meeting in Jeddah between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the strained relationship between the two countries is expected to dramatically improve. The ice-breaking meeting — the highest-level diplomatic rendezvous between Turkey and Saudi Arabia since 2017 — is part of broader efforts by Turkey to improve its relationships with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in recent months, during which economic ties have been revived and Turkey has abstained from regional conflicts. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on Turkish goods, which had been in effect for four years. As a result of Erdogan’s visit, the two countries are set to boost bilateral cooperation in health, energy, food security, defense, agriculture and finance. Turkey’s emerging drone technology may also be of interest to Riyadh. The two-day visit is expected to signal a new chapter not only in economic terms, but also in regional politics — forming a bloc that will have greater influence over regional crisis points. A political alignment between the two countries will offer Ankara greater weight when it comes to issues including Syria, Egypt, Iraq and the Eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish-Saudi defense partnership reached its peak in 2016 when ASELSAN, one of the top Turkish defense companies, signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi defense companies TAQNIA and KACST. Click here to read…

Medical
Measles cases surge worldwide, UN agencies warn

Measles cases have surged by nearly 80 percent worldwide this year, the United Nations said on April 27 adding that the rise in cases of measles was a forewarning of the likely outbreaks of other diseases. The coronavirus pandemic interrupted vaccination campaigns for many diseases around the world, creating a “perfect storm” that could now put millions of children’s lives at risk, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement. “Almost 17,338 measles cases were reported worldwide in January and February 2022, compared to 9,665 during the first two months of 2021,” the UN agencies said, adding that cases of highly-transmissible measles tend to show up quickly when vaccination levels decline. The agencies are now concerned that the outbreaks of measles “could forewarn outbreaks of other diseases that do not spread as rapidly”. There have been 21 large and disruptive measles outbreaks in the last 12 months up to this month, most of them in Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, UN data shows. Somalia recorded by far the most measles cases in the last 12 months with more than 9,000 cases, the UN data shows, followed by Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Ethiopia – all countries facing some form of conflict. Click here to read…

Climate change increases risk of new viruses emerging: Research

Climate change will drive animals towards cooler areas where their first encounters with other species will vastly increase the risk of new viruses infecting humans, researchers warned on April 28. There are currently at least 10,000 viruses “circulating silently” among wild mammals that have the capacity to cross over into humans, mostly in the depths of tropical forests. As rising temperatures force those mammals to abandon their native habitats, they will meet other species for the first time, creating at least 15,000 new instances of viruses jumping between animals by 2070, according to a study published in the journal Nature. “We have demonstrated a novel and potentially devastating mechanism for disease emergence that could threaten the health of animal populations in the future, which will most likely have ramifications for our health too,” said study co-author Gregory Albery, a disease ecologist at Georgetown University. “This work provides us with more incontrovertible evidence that the coming decades will not only be hotter, but sicker,” Albery said. The study, five years in the making, looked at 3,139 species of mammals, modelling how their movements would change under a range of global warming scenarios, then analysing how viral transmission would be affected. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, May 03, 2022

New yuan loans rise in Yangtze River Delta in Q1: Xinhuanet
May 3, 2022

New yuan loans in the Yangtze River Delta region stood at 2.83 trillion yuan (428.14 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three months, an increase of 349.5 billion yuan from the same period last year. The balance of loans in the region stood at 53 trillion yuan at the end of March, up 14.6 percent from the same period last year, according to the People’s Bank of China Shanghai Head Office. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland reports 368 new local confirmed COVID-19 cases, 274 in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
May 3, 2022

The Chinese mainland Monday reported 368 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 274 were in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission’s report Tuesday. Click here to read…

Shanghai reports 274 confirmed, 5,395 asymptomatic local COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
May 3, 2022

China’s Shanghai reported 274 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 5,395 local asymptomatic cases on Monday, the municipal health commission said Tuesday. Click here to read…

Govts, companies step up to help needy: China Daily
May 3, 2022

Governments, communities and major State-owned enterprises are helping people with special needs-especially seniors living alone, the sick and the disabled-to tide over the recent COVID-19 resurgence in Shanghai. Click here to read…

More Shanghai residents permitted outdoors: China Daily
May 3, 2022

About 60 percent of city’s population live in zones with no cases for 2 weeks. More Shanghai residents living in areas where zero COVID-19 community transmission has been achieved have been permitted limited outdoor activities during the five-day Labor Day holiday after declines in the city’s daily tally of new infections. Click here to read…

Makeshift hospital builds study and reading rooms: China Daily
May 3, 2022

The makeshift hospital at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai is committed to providing more guaranteed and diversified living needs for its patients. In the hospital, study rooms and reading corners have been set up to guarantee students’ needs and enrich patients’ daily lives. Click here to read…

Beijing to conduct three straight days of testing: China Daily
May 3, 2022

Beijing will require all residents living and working in 12 districts to take three consecutive nucleic acid tests on May 3, 4 and 5 to curb the COVID-19 epidemic and cut transmission, a senior official said on Monday. Click here to read…

US howitzer sale to Taiwan ‘halted,’ but mainland should remain alert over ‘advanced alternatives’: Global Times
May 2, 2022

The first deal approved by the Biden administration to sell $750 million worth of arms to Taiwan, including 40 155mm M109A6 medium self-propelled howitzers, has been halted by the US, Taiwan’s defense authority said. Click here to read…

World’s 1st Omicron-specific inactivated vaccine administered in China’s Hangzhou: Global Times
May 2, 2022

The first dose of COVID-19 inactivated vaccine specifically against the Omicron variant was administered on Sunday during a clinical trial in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province, bringing hope to people in the regions hit by the highly transmissible variant. Click here to read…

An IT director is under criminal investigation for being involved in subversive activities, says Hangzhou state security bureau: Global Times
May 3, 2022

A man surnamed Ma was under criminal enforcement action, suspected of colluding with outside forces and try to subvert the state and split the country, the state security bureau in Hangzhou of East China’s Zhejiang Province said on Tuesday. The case is under investigation. The Global Times confirmed with related department about the man’s information and learned that his name has three Chinese characters. Reports on the man’s name of two Chinese characters are not accurate. Click here to read…

Liaoning aircraft carrier group passes through 1st island chain, ‘likely for routine drills’: Global Times
May 3, 2022

Led by the aircraft carrier Liaoning, a very powerful Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy flotilla reportedly entered the West Pacific via the Miyako Strait on Monday, in a move analysts said on Tuesday could be the carrier group’s first routine far sea drills of 2022. Click here to read…

Shanghai issues 43.5 million yuan in coupons for tech companies to tide over epidemic: Global Times
May 2, 2022

The Omicron-troubled Chinese metropolis Shanghai continued to push work resumption, as the city issued thousands of work resumption certificates and travel passes to workers, while rolling out policies to support local technological companies, officials disclosed on MondClick here to read…

Chinese carrier sails through waters near Okinawa, Japan says: Reuters
May 3, 2022

Eight Chinese naval vessels, including an aircraft carrier, passed between islands in Japan’s southern Okinawa chain on Monday, Japan’s defence ministry said in a news release. The ships, which included several destroyers, sailed between the main Okinawa island and Miyakojima, according to the ministry. Although there was no incursion into Japan’s territorial waters, helicopters on board the Liaoning carrier took off and landed, the ministry said. Click here to read…

Solomon Islands to supervise Chinese police operating there: Reuters
May 2, 2022

China’s police presence under a new security pact will boost the capabilities of the Solomon Islands but they will not use techniques seen in Hong Kong, the Pacific island country’s top diplomat to Australia said in a radio interview on Monday. Click here to read…

China backs Sri Lanka’s decision to work with IMF to restructure debt: Reuters
May 2, 2022

China supports crisis-hit Sri Lanka’s decision to work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restructure its debt, Beijing’s ambassador Qi Zhenhong told Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ali Sabry at a meeting on Monday. Click here to read…

Hopes dim on finding more survivors in Changsha: Taipei Times
May 3, 2022

Hopes of finding more survivors from the rubble of a collapsed commercial building in central China faded yesterday, at the end of a 72-hour “golden” rescue period identified by authorities. The building in Changsha City, Hunan Province — which housed apartments, a hotel and a cinema — caved in on Friday, sparking a massive rescue effort with hundreds of emergency responders. Click here to read…

The cloud of anti-Western nationalism hanging over China’s Communist Party congress: South China Morning Post
May 3, 2022

Generations of modern Chinese rulers have taken pride in China’s political system, touting its ability to transcend the ideological divides and partisanship that have plagued Western politics. Deng Xiaoping urged China “not to argue” so it could focus on economic growth. Hu Jintao called on the country to bu zheteng, or not to rock the boat with ideological debates.
But that approach is being tested this year with a polarised – and in many cases, ugly – debate on Chinese social media, on topics from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the virtues of China’s zero-Covid policy, to the efficacy of some kinds of traditional Chinese medicine. Click here to read…

Coronavirus: Shanghai adds 73 new Covid-19 cases outside quarantine zones, putting societal zero-Covid goal further out of reach: South China Morning Post
May 3, 2022

Shanghai’s daily new Covid-19 cases in unguarded zones rose for the second consecutive day, a worrying trend in the presumed low-risk zones that further clouds the outlook for any easing of the restrictions the mainland’s commercial capital has been living under since April 1. Local officials had hoped to confine infections within quarantined areas. Instead, the local health commission detected 73 cases in the “precautionary zones” – those that have not had an infection in the previous 14 days and their neighbouring areas – up from 58 a day earlier. Click here to read…

White House ties missiles used by Kyiv to its China competition bill: South China Morning Post
May 3, 2022

The White House has tried to shore up support for legislation that aims to boost domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing by linking it to US military aid for Ukraine. The Bipartisan Innovation Act (BIA), initiated by the Joe Biden administration, is mainly designed with China in mind, as Washington tries to reduce its dependence on foreign semiconductor chips. In an attempt to rally political support for the Act, Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing on Monday it was vital to US national security that the semiconductor chips used in the weapons sent to Kyiv should be made domestically. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: May 03, 2022

Afghanistan
Ghani: National Consensus Solution to Current Afghan Crisis: Tolo news

Former President Ashraf Ghani in an audio message said the forming of a national consensus and regional cooperation is the solution to the current Afghan challenges. He made the remarks in an Eid greeting message. Click here to read…

Kabul Faces Criticism for Not Yet Gaining Intl Recognition: Tolo News

Politicians and political analysts said that the Islamic Emirate has not engaged in effective diplomacy over the past eight months toward gaining international recognition. Click here to read…

Analyst Credits Efforts by Taliban Gov’t in Controlling Drug Trafficking: The Khaama Press

Ministry of Transportation and Civil Aviation (MTCA) said Saturday its department sees a significant drop on trafficking of gold, cash and drugs at Kabul airport over the past 8 months – a timeframe the Islamic Emirate has been ruling the country since the takeover. Click here to read…

Ex-Army General Sees War Against Taliban Only Way Out: The Khaama Press

A former army general says the Taliban rule since the takeover has convinced him that military action is only way forward, according to sources, vowing war against the group after Eid al-Fitr. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Good news from Nasrul Hamid: Gas discovered in Sylhet’s Kailashtila- The Daily Star

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid, today (May 2, 2022) said gas has been discovered in the Kailashtila field in Sylhet. Click here to read…

Closed state-owned jute mills: Laid-off workers still not paid arrears- The Daily Star

Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) could not pay arrears and benefits to all the laid-off government jute mill workers even after about two years. Click here to read…

Launch services suspended on Munshiganj routes fearing nor’wester- The Daily Star

Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) suspended operations of 85 launches on the Shimulia-Majhikandi, Madaripur-Banglabazar and Sharaitpur-Majhikandi river routes this evening fearing possible nor’wester on the Padma river. Click here to read…

‘Initiate an impartial probe’- The Daily Star

Eminent citizens of the country have expressed concerns over the burning of indigenous-owned Jhum gardens by a rubber company in Bandarban. Click here to read…

Bhutan
𝗚𝗶𝗿𝗹𝘀 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝘆𝘀 – 𝗕𝗖𝗦𝗘, 𝗟𝗖𝗦𝗖 – Bhutan Today

In both the categories, Bhutan Certificate of Secondary Examination (BCSE), and Language and Cultural Studies Certificate (LCSC), girls are head and shoulders above the boys. Click here to read…

With encouraging health data Govt brings in more relaxations and softens quarantine for Bhutanese travelers- The Bhutanese

The government announced additional relaxations based on the good health data so far. While for international travelers, the five days mandatory facility quarantine will continue to monitor emerging variants, in-bound Bhutanese travelers can home quarantine for fie days. Click here to read…

Covid-19 testing centres close today- Kuensel

With the announced Covid-19 relaxation coming into effect from today, all Covid-19 testing centres in Thimphu will also be closed. Click here to read…

Civil servant demoted for criticising govt. policies on social media- Kuensel

The economic affairs ministry’s human resource committee demoted a chief in the ministry for criticising the government’s policies and actions on social media. Click here to read…

Delay in loan disbursement hampers farmer’s groups in Sarpang- Bhutan Times

A group of three farmer’s association in Chuzergang gewog, Sarpang is waiting in vain to kick-start their venture as their loan, despite being approved about six months ago, is yet to be realized. Click here to read…

Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa elects party president and vice-president- BBS

Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa, the latest political party to announce its intention to contest the 2023 parliamentary elections, held its first party convention in Paro today. The party president and vice-president were also elected during the convention and the party charter also drawn and approved. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Will South Korea stop bankrolling Myanmar’s military? – Korea Expose

In response, many energy companies across the world have pulled out from Myanmar, unwilling to have their money soaked in Burmese blood. This list includes Malaysia’s Petronas, Australia’s Woodside, France’s Total, America’s Chevron, and Japan’s Mitsubishi. Notoriously missing from this list, however, is South Korea, supposedly a bastion of democracy in Asia. Click here to read…

ACFID published updated sanctions fact sheet showing Australian Government inaction on Myanmar – Mirage News

Myanmar’s military machine is fuelled by its control of conglomerates, Myanmar Economic Corporation, Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited, and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise. These conglomerates export oil, gas and mining resources which have been put under sanction by the EU, UK, US and Canada, with Australia absent from this move to end support for Myanmar military. Click here to read…

Resistance Forces Attack Burma Army In Kalay – BNI Online

Resistance forces have pinned down the Burma Army (BA) after relentless ambushes on its soldiers travelling south from Kalay town in Sagaing Region. During two days of clashes, at least 13 BA soldiers were killed by People’s Defence Forces (PDF), Chin National Defence Force and Ranger Kalay Defend Force. Click here to read…

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi charged with bribery as new trial opens – ABC News

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi went on trial Monday in a new corruption case against her, alleging she took $550,000 in bribes from a construction magnate. Click here to read…

Japan’s ENEOS withdraws from Myanmar gas project – Daily Times

Japanese energy conglomerate ENEOS Holdings said Monday it will withdraw from a gas project in coup-hit Myanmar, days after its Thai and Malaysian partners announced they would pull out. ENEOS is the latest energy giant to retreat from the Southeast Asian country, whose military has waged a widespread crackdown on dissent since it ousted and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last year. Click here to read…

Pro-junta militia calls for killing of Myanmar reporters and their family members – RFA

A pro-junta militia that recently claimed responsibility for the slaying of opposition party members is now openly threatening to kill journalists and their families over content the military regime has dubbed “destructive to the state.” Click here to read…

Cambodia PM urges Myanmar junta boss to let ASEAN envoy meet Aung San Suu Kyi – RFA

Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged Myanmar’s military junta to allow the ASEAN special envoy to visit and meet deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Cambodia’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. Click here to read…

Nepal
Import ban ‘govt’s knee-jerk reaction’- The Himalayan

The government recently decided to ban import of non-essential items listed under 10 categories to narrow the country’s trade deficit and shore up foreign exchange reserves. Click here to read…

NC leader Koirala calls for worker-friendly local levels- The Himalayan

Central member of the Nepali Congress Shekhar Koirala has said all local levels should be made friendly for workers. Nepali Congress is committed to ensuring the rights of workers, he said, adding that it respected labour. Click here to read…

Official booked for accumulating illegal assets- The Himalayan

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has filed a chargesheet at the Special Court against a nayab subba (non-gazetted first class officer) of Customs Clearance Office in Tinkune, Kathmandu, for allegedly accumulating disproportionate assets worth around Rs 18.7 million. Click here to read…

Tax dispute between govt and private sector should end: FinMin- Republica

Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said that the conflict between the Ministry of Finance and the private sector over tax collection should end. Click here to read…

Nepal records nine new cases, 18 recoveries and zero death on Monday- Republica

Nepal recorded nine new cases of COVID-19 along with 18 recoveries and zero death from the virus on Monday, according to the information released by the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP). Click here to read…

Pakistan
Extreme heat events expose climate vulnerabilities: Dawn

Extreme heat episodes over the past two months have particularly been devastating for the agriculture sector, forcing farmers and experts to demand urgent government measures to build climate resilience at the grass-root level. Click here to read…

Rashid vows to stand with Imran if there’s ‘war with institutions’: The Express Tribune

Former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that if there is a war with institutions, then he will stand by former prime minister Imran Khan like a rock because he considers him to be on the right side. Click here to read…

‘Regime change’: Imran Khan seeks explanation from Biden administration: The News

Former prime minister Imran Khan on Monday posted a series of tweets asking some questions from US President Joe Biden’s administration and calling upon the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to form a judicial commission to probe the US-backed conspiracy to oust his government. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Centre allows TN to send relief material to Sri Lanka: Hindustan Times

The central government has accepted Tamil Nadu’s request to send relief material to neighbouring Sri Lanka which is reeling under an acute economic crisis. Chief minister MK Stalin reacted to the development, saying the “humane gesture” will improve relations between the two nations. Click here to read…

Galle Face Protesters Call for Arrest of Gota for Killing Tamils and Remove Military from Tamil Areas: News Wires

Huge protests against Sri Lanka President Gothabaya Rajapakse is continuing in the capital city Colombo’s sea front Galle Face. People from different background are actively taking part. Click here to read…

Tanker strike worsens fuel woes in crisis-hit Sri Lanka: The News International

A strike by owners of fuel tankers over the weekend renewed Sri Lanka’s long queues for diesel and petrol on Monday as pumps ran dry, compounding the island nation’s economic and energy crisis. Click here to read…

In Sri Lanka, Protests Against President Rajapaksa Enter Day 24 As Govt Face No-trust Vote: Republic World

Anti-government demonstrations in Sri Lanka are nearing their first month as the island nation remains mired under crippling economic crises. The ongoing unrest sparked on March 16 when thousands of people gathered outside the Presidential Secretariat at Galle Face in Colombo, enraged by the surge in prices of fuel and essential items. Click here to read…

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 18, 2022)

Welcome to Africa Now, your weekly newsletter for Africa, presenting the most important developments in the continent – news that matters.

COMMENTARY

The Future of Israel-Africa Ties

In February 2022, the annual summit of the African Union (AU) took place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, also headquarter of the African Union. Click here to read…

Africa Day 2022 comes amid a divided continent

Fifty-nine years have passed on since the proclamation of the need for a United States of Africa and with it hopes and dreams. Click here to read…

NEWS

Israel Offers Support to Morocco Over Western Sahara After Summit

On March 27th, Israel hosted a landmark summit in which foreign ministers from Morocco, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States met to discuss a myriad of international issues. Click here to read…

Algeria threatens to halt gas exports to Spain

The warning from Algeria comes against the background of already-soaring gas prices driven by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Click here to read…

Libyan parliament lashes out as Algeria recognises GNU

The Libyan House of Representatives has condemned Algeria’s recognition of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU) and refusal to acknowledge the competing government in Tobruk. Click here to read…

Sudanese people protest against military rule in anniversary

Demonstrators marched across Sudanese cities to mark the deadly sit-in protests during the military takeover of the government where over 60 people were killed in the capital Khartoum in 2019. Click here to read…

Guinea to move to civilian rule in three years

The head of Guinea’s military government has announced the country will return to civilian rule after a 39-month transition period. Click here to read…

UN condemns Mali’s ban on French media

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights criticised Mali’s decision to ban French media outlets and called on its military rulers to reverse their decision. Click here to read…

China deployed Surface-to- Air Missiles (SAM) in Zimbabwe?

China has reportedly deployed and installed new generation of surface-to- air missiles (SAM) in Zimbabwe, Team pachedu has alleged. Click here to read…

Biya Bets on Russia

Cameroon’s president signs a security deal with Putin amid war in Ukraine and conflict at home. Click here to read…

UN chief to make West Africa trip to Senegal Niger Nigeria

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is heading to West Africa on Saturday to join Muslims marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan and to highlight the impact of the Ukraine war on the African continent. Click here to read…

Raila horse trading in Nairobi governor race

Kenya’s presidential contender Raila Odinga has moved to broker a pre-election power-sharing deal in Nairobi among the political parties in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party, defusing tensions that threatened to derail his campaign. Click here to read…

AfDB President garners strong support for robust 16th replenishment of African Development Fund

African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina concluded a three-day official visit to Washington DC on Saturday. Click here to read…

OPEC Fund to finance Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline

The OPEC Fund for International Development will finance 14.3 million U.S. dollars for the second phase of the studies in the submarine Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project. Click here to read…

Chinese Lending to Africa Fell to 16-Year Low When Pandemic Hit

Chinese lending to African governments fell to a 16-year low in 2020 as the impact of the coronavirus deterred countries on the continent from borrowing. Click here to read…

Ethiopia says Tigrayan peacekeepers victims of rebel ‘propaganda’

More than 500 UN peacekeepers from Tigray who were deployed to Abyei, a disputed border region between Sudan and South Sudan, have asked Khartoum for asylum, citing fears for their safetyClick here to read…

Central African Republic accepts Bitcoin as legal tender

After El Salvador and a Honduras SEZ, and the city of Lugano, the Central African Republic has also accepted the Bitcoin as the legal tender in the country. Click here to read…

Guinea considers proposals for political transition

Guinea’s military junta announced that it has received “proposals” for a political transition in the country. The proposals range from 18 to 52 months. Click here to read…

Kenya distances itself from US-led pact against internet shutdowns

Kenya has distanced itself from a United States listing of 60 signatories to an agreement that commits countries from arbitrarily shutting down the internet. Click here to read…

Nigeria’s opposition to pick presidential candidate at end of May

Nigeria’s opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said on Monday it will choose a presidential candidate at the end of May to contest elections set for February next year as it seeks to return to power after losing office seven years ago. Click here to read…

Few optimistic about DRC peace talks in Kenya

The Congolese presidency said on Thursday that the first round of peace talks to end one of the world’s worst and longest-running humanitarian emergencies had concluded. Click here to read…

Libya is losing $60m a day in oil shutdown: Oil minister

Libya is losing tens of millions of dollars a day from the shutdown of its oil facilities, while global prices are at their highest in years, the country’s oil minister told AFP. Click here to read…

Tunisia president unwilling to compromise as democracy fears grow

As Tunisia’s political crisis rumbles on, President Kais Saied has made several moves that critics say are designed to entrench him in power and appears increasingly unwilling to compromise. Click here to read…

Somalia: Parliament elects new speaker after security standoff

Somali lawmakers have elected a new parliamentary speaker after a tense standoff between African Union peacekeepers and police, underscoring bitter divisions within the country’s security forces exacerbated by delayed elections. Click here to read…

Guinea and Burkina Faso Juntas Risk More Sanctions Over Transition Delays

Guinea’s ruling junta on Monday signalled it might break a deadline to set out its plans to return to civilian rule, opening up the prospect of more sanctions from West Africa’s political and economic bloc. Click here to read…

Joint West African force claims 20 rebels killed in Lake Chad

Troops participating in a West African joint military force claim to have killed an estimated 20 rebel fighters in the Lake Chad basin. Click here to read…

Sudan: West Darfur clashes leave 200 dead

Clashes in West Darfur left at least 200 people dead and over a hundred injured, local authorities said on April 27. The clashes unfolded between members of the non-Arab Massalit community and Arab fighters near West Darfur’s state capital El Geneina. Click here to read…

Togo to join Commonwealth

TOGO COULD become the latest country to join the Commonwealth after MPs passed a vote asking its Government to make a formal bid for membership on Friday. Click here to read…

Benin celebrates return of royal treasures after 130 years
The much-celebrated return of 26 treasures from the Kingdom of Dahomey has culminated in a month-long celebration of heritage and art at the Museum of the Marina in Cotonou, Benin, attracting large crowds. Click here to read…

Will AU give support to Ukraine after Zelensky’s second request to address African leaders?

The African Union has said there was need for a “peaceful solution to the conflict with Russia”. Click here to read…

NZ peacekeepers to stay in Africa, Middle East

New Zealand will extend its peacekeeping contributions in South Sudan and the Middle East. An international relations expert said the deployments were a chance for troops to get specialist training and learn from overseas counterparts. Click here to read…

China aids Zambia in debt restructuring process

President Hakainde Hichilema has thanked China for coming on board to commit and join other creditors in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Zambia debt restructuring process. Click here to read…

Malawi looks to cannabis for profits amid declining Tobacco demand

Under a scorching sun at a trading post in Malawi, Chikumbutso Chekeni and his wife head to their tobacco sheds to dry their newly harvested leaf. Click here to read…

Suspected Islamic State terrorists blow up gas pipeline in Egypt’s Sinai

Suspected Islamic State terrorists blew up a natural gas pipeline Saturday in Egypt’s restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, causing a fire but no casualties, security officials saidClick here to read…

Senior Eritrean delegation on working visit to Russia

Senior Eritrean delegation composed of Mr. Osman Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Presidential Adviser Mr. Yemane Gebreab is on a two-day working visit to Russia on invitation of Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Click here to read…

Bitcoin not a panacea for Africa’s economic woes: IMF

Bitcoin is not a cure-all for Africa’s economic woes, the International Monetary Fund warned Thursday, after the Central African Republic adopted the cryptocurrency as legal tender. Click here to read…

Pressure mounts for Chad to delay its national dialogue

Pressure is piling on the Chadian government to delay the date of a national dialogue set to start in two weeks as rebel groups and representatives of the country’s transitional council are yet to reach an amnesty agreement seen as a crucial condition for the success of the talks. Click here to read…

Angola’s historic first oil platform to be launched in June

The Angolan oil sector has reason to smile with export figures more than satisfactory at the end of 2021-beginning of 2022. In the same vein, the historic launch of the very first oil platform in the country will take place next June. Click here to read…

South Africa likely in new Covid wave, says health minister

South Africa has likely entered a new wave of Covid-19 earlier than expected as new infections and hospitalisations have risen rapidly over the past two weeks, the country’s health minister said on Friday. Click here to read…

South Africa Offers to Co-Chair Zambia’s Creditor Committee

South Africa has indicated its interest in co-chairing Zambia’s official creditors committee together with France, the nation’s finance ministry said. Click here to read…

More faithful in South African mosques during Ramadan this year

South African Muslims are pleased to see more faithful gathering at mosques during this year’s holy month of Ramadan. Click here to read…

Paul Rusesabagina: Hotel Rwanda hero’s family files $400m US lawsuit

The family of Paul Rusesabagina, the subject of Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda, have filed a $400m (£307m) lawsuit in the United States over his alleged abduction and torture. Click here to read…

Gabon launches new economic zon

The Gabonese government has announced the construction of a new special economic zone (SEZ), the Mpassa-Lebombi, in the south-eastern province of Haut-Ogooué. Click here to read…

Africa-Vietnam fashion trade ties yet to hit full potential: Vietrade

Despite significant growth Vietnam-Africa bilateral ties in recent years, the trade relationship between the two had not achieved its full potential, especially in the fashion industry, according to Le Hoang Tai, deputy director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade). Click here to read…

Mauritania working to promote 28 offshore blocks open for bids

African energy sector investment platform Energy Capital & Power (EPC) has created a coalition with Mauritania’s Energy Ministry and NOC to attract foreign stakeholder interest in the country’s potential renewable projects and 28 offshore blocks that are open for bids, EPC announcedClick here to read…

INDIA IN AFRICA

Madagascar FM calls Indo-Pacific a ‘legitimate vision’; bats for peaceful military ties with India

The visiting Madagascar Foreign Minister Richard Randriamandrato has called the “Indo-Pacific vision a legitimate vision”, an important remark given the country’s key location in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Click here to read…

Why are Indian Army and ‘Made in India’ vehicles in Africa’s oil-rich Abyei?

Realising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India a self-reliant nation in defence manufacturing, an Indian Army peacekeeping battalion equipped with homemade wheeled armoured personnel carriers has been deployed in Africa’s oil-rich Abyei region, which sits between northern and southern Sudan. Click here to read…

Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra urges Indian diaspora to register as Overseas Voters

Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra has urged members of the Indian Community to register as Overseas Voters. He also told the NRI community that extension of Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) facility to overseas voters is being contemplated.Click here to read…

Over 1,000 Indian Peacekeepers Get UN Award for Serving In South Sudan

Over 1,100 Indian peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) were awarded UN medals, honouring them for their exceptional service in the strife-torn East African country. Click here to read…

Kenya delegation visits DFCCIL freight corridor

A delegation from Kenya visited the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor along with N Srinivas, the Director of Operations & Business Development, DFCCILClick here to read…

Mozambique: EDM Awards Power Line Construction Work to India’s L&T

Mozambique’s publicly owned electricity company, EDM, has awarded the construction of the interconnection power line with neighbouring Malawi to “Lasern & Toubro” (L&T), India’s infrastructure development companyClick here to read…

ICRISAT’S 50th Anniversary Celebration Held in Malawi

Since its founding in March 1972, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has been celebrating 50 years of scientific innovation and impact in the drylands. Click here to read…

India to send first wheat cargo to Egypt

India is scheduled to ship its first wheat cargo to Egypt, following the latter’s phytosanitary approval of India-origin crop earlier in April. Click here to read…

Gov’t urges Ghanaian, Indian pharmaceutical companies to access AfCFTA opportunities

The AfCFTA, whose Secretariat is hosted in Accra, provides duty-free and quota-free trade access for businesses and companies. Click here to read…

Navy Chief hands over navigation charts to Maldives and Seychelles

Continuing with what has been New Delhi’s approach on strengthening bonds with countries in the Indian Ocean Region, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral R Hari Kumar has visited Seychelles and Maldives. Click here to read…

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham to completely fund university studies for students from Africa

India’s top private university Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has announced a new scholarship program to support 350 students from across Africa to travel to India for higher education. The announcement made at the Amrita-Africa Summit in New Delhi was attended by ambassadors from across Africa and hosted by dignitaries from the universityClick here to read…

India, Mauritius trade pact may include safeguard mechanism related provisions

The sources said a chapter on general economic cooperation is also expected to be included in the pact, which is officially termed as Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA). Click here to read…

Ethiopian Airlines to boost India flights, eyes higher traffic from BRICS

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest carrier in Africa, is allowed to operate 35 flights per week to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai. Click here to read…
Guptas used former president Zuma against people of S Africa: Commission of Inquiry

A report said Jacob Zuma “would do anything that the Guptas wanted him to do for them”, including firing competent ministers and senior officials at parastatal institutions. Click here to read…

CM Yogi Adityanath invites Mauritius businessmen for UP Summit

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has invited Mauritian investors to invest in the state as well as participate in the Global Investors Summit proposed to be held in the state soon. Click here to read…

Jaishankar congratulates Tanzania on country’s Union Day

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Tuesday congratulated Tanzania Foreign Minister Liberata Mulamula and the people of the country on the 58th anniversary of their Union DayClick here to read…

UNESCO funds launch of Seychelles first-ever balloon satellite

In a significant initiative towards boosting scientific temper and enthusiasm for space technology in the young citizens of Seychelles, an Indian organization facilitated the launch of Seychelles’ first-ever balloon satellite. Click here to read…

Karnataka: Ugandan woman dies falling from hostel terrace, students stage protest

Tension prevailed at GITAM University campus on the outskirts of Bengaluru after a 22-year-old student fell to her death from the sixth floor of the hostel building on Wednesday night, the police said. Click here to read…

India’s Gupta’s brothers used South Africa’s Ex-President in capturing Eskom

In one of the latest reports issued by the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, the three Gupta brothers have been held responsible for capturing the parastatal electricity supplier, Eskom and provoking South African natives against their former President Jacob Zuma. Click here to read…

Guptas used former president Zuma against people of S Africa: Commission of Inquiry

A report said Jacob Zuma “would do anything that the Guptas wanted him to do for them”, including firing competent ministers and senior officials at parastatal institutions. Click here to read…

India’s UPL applies to flush toxic pesticides into South African sea

Indian agrochemicals manufacturer UPL Ltd has applied for permission to flush water contaminated by a toxic pesticides spill in South Africa’s city of Durban directly into the sea or the sewerage system, the company said on Saturday. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: May 02, 2022

Afghanistan
Mullah Hassan Akhund Calls to End Intl Meddling in Afghan Affairs: Tolo News

Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the Islamic Emirate Prime Minister, on Sunday urged Afghanistan’s neighbors and the international community to stop interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. Click here to read…

Blinken Gauges Taliban Promises on Girls Education in Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the Islamic Emirate government fell back on its promise to reopen secondary and high schools for girls’ education, according to sources, marking the remarks before the US senate committee Friday evening. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Energy sector: India to step up co-op with neighbour- The Daily Star

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said India will take lead in structuring partnership for production, transmission and trade of energy, especially hydropower, between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. Click here to read…

Haor farmers could avoid huge loss thanks to govt’s timely steps: Deputy Minister- The Daily Star

Farmers have harvested 90 percent of Boro paddy in haor areas, AKM Enamul Haque Shamim, deputy minister for water resources, said today. Click here to read…

Dhaka to probe sinking of ship in Kolkata- The Daily Star

The Department of Shipping has formed a three-member investigation committee to probe the sinking of Bangladeshi vessel MV Marintrust-1 at the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata over a month ago. Click here to read…

AL, BNP at loggerheads- The Daily Star

A top Awami League leader has said they favour the transparent Supreme Court Bar Association election, while BNP alleged that “one-sided” announcement of the results by ruling party-backed lawyers was “terrible injustice”.Click here to read…

Ashrayan project: Construction of 88 houses halted over irregularities- The Daily Star

Brahmanbaria Deputy Commissioner Shahgir Alam has halted the construction work of two shelter projects after finding severe irregularities. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Foreign ministers inaugurate three projects- Kuensel

Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji and India’s external affairs minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar inaugurated three projects that were completed through Indian assistance yesterday. Click here to read…

Delay in loan disbursement hampers farmer’s groups in Sarpang- Bhutan Times

A group of three farmer’s association in Chuzergang gewog, Sarpang is waiting in vain to kick-start their venture as their loan, despite being approved about six months ago, is yet to be realized. Click here to read…

Bhutan-Bengal ties go beyond boundaries, MoEA Minister- Bhutan Times

The Minister for Economic Affairs, Loknath Sharma, during the sixth Bengal Global Business Summit held on 20-21 April, said West Bengal is a very crucial partner and a close ally of Bhutan. Click here to read…

Gaydrung retrenchment to cost Nu 44.594M- Kuensel

According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the special retirement scheme—a year salary starting from April this year and leave travel concession (LTC) and leave encashment—will be paid for their recognition of their dedicated service to the country as per the pay revision Act of 2019. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives is preserving its pre-Islamic heritage, with some help from India: Indian Express

A financial grant of approximately Rs. 2.75 crores (4 million Maldivian rufiyaa) by India is helping restore one of the many archeological sites in the Maldives, that are remnants of the country’s Buddhist past. Click here to read…

Maldives top international destination for Indian travellers; Thailand, UAE follow suit: Financial Express

Keeping at bay the fear of new COVID-19 demand, Indian travellers are tapping their pent-up demand. South Asian island nation Maldives is the top destination for Indian wanderers in terms of international travel, this is followed by Thailand and the United Arab Emirates as their next favourite travel destinationClick here to read…

PPM flouts decree, hangs 40ft banner linked to ‘India Out’ movement: The Sun

large banner linked to the ‘India Out’ movement has been put up outside the building where the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) office is located, less than two weeks after a banner outside the same building. Click here to read…

Myanmar
KNLA commander killed in attack on Myanmar junta base in Karen State – Mizzima

The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) reports that one of their top military commanders was killed in a battle to occupy Kyauk Nyat outpost, a Military Council base. Colonel Saw Htoo Ka Shaw, a strategic commander for the KNLA 5 th Brigade was killed in combat with the junta soldiers in Hpapun District, Karen State on 28 April in the morning. Click here to read…

Critics rap Japan for training Burmese military cadets – Mizzima

The Burmese community in Japan has condemned the Japanese government and its ministry of defense for accepting four Burmese soldiers to train at Japanese military facilities, reports DVB. Japan’s Minister of Defense, Nobuo Kishi, said he will accept four cadets from the Myanmar military for military training during a parliament committee session on 26 April. Click here to read…

Myanmar’s refugee crisis creates problems for Asean members – NST

While we have always maintained the core principle of non-interference, even with regards to the Rohingya conflict, we must see that Myanmar’s actions have imposed upon us all, and Malaysia in particular, challenging domestic issues that require our government to act for our own peace and stability. Click here to read…

Anti-Chinese sentiment turns violent in Myanmar, Balochistan – The Federal

Within a day of the deadly suicide bombing at Karachi by a Baloch lady that killed three Chinese nationals, an underground group fighting military rule in Myanmar threatened to attack Chinese interests. Click here to read…

Nepal
Everyone must enhance freedom of expression, says Minister Karki- Himalayan Times

This year’s National Journalism Day (May 7) will be celebrated in a grand manner under the slogan ‘Professional and Responsible Journalism’. Click here to read…

No domestic flights after 8 pm from Friday, airline operators say- Himalayan Times

The Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) has said that no domestic commercial flights will be operated beyond 8:00 pm from Friday, citing technical reasons. Click here to read…

New transmission line planned along Postal Highway- Kathmandu Post

Nepal Electricity Authority wants a $400m loan from India to fund the project. Click here to read…

Election crowds could give rise to fresh surge in Covid-19 cases, experts warn- Kathmandu Post

Health Ministry says it has asked agencies to step up vigilance and maintain supply of essential medical items including the reagents. Click here to read…

Above-normal rains could come as a boon, but fertiliser crisis may dampen farmers’ hopes- Kathmandu Post

As the economy faces a crisis, the situation is unlikely to improve with concerns stemming from high food prices. Click here to read…

Between home and the deep blue sea- Nepali Times

The highs and lows of working on and off-shore oil rig in the Gulf and coming back to business as usual in Nepal. Click here to read…

COVID’s new Omicron sub-lineages can dodge immunity from past infection, study says- Republica

Two new sublineages of the Omicron coronavirus variant can dodge antibodies from earlier infection well enough to trigger a new wave, but are far less able to thrive in the blood of people vaccinated against COVID-19, South African scientists have found. Click here to read…

Pakistan
S. Arabia agrees to discuss extending term of $3bn loan: Dawn

Saudi Arabia affirmed its continuous support to Pakistan and its economy, including discussion of augmenting $3bn deposit with the central bank through term extension or otherwise, and exploring options to further enhance the financing of petroleum products and supporting the economic structural reforms for the benefit of Pakistan and its people. Click here to read…

Chinese nationals to get security boost: The Express Tribune

In view of potential threats being faced by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other joint ventures between the two countries, the premier would assess all the mechanisms earlier devised for ensuring the security of the Chinese nationals and the new plan being devised by the planning and interior ministries. Click here to read…

Inflation in April hits two-year high of 13.37pc: The News

Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), reached a two-year high of 13.37 per cent in April 2022, compared to the same month a year ago, and was 1.6 per cent higher than the previous month, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Sunday. Food and energy costs were the primary contributors to the high level of inflation. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
No country offers loans to Sri Lanka, SJB said: The Island

Main Opposition SJB says that the international rating agencies have downgraded the country, banks and financial institutions in April as a defaulter and watch negative status. As a result the country has been plunged into a dangerous financial crisis from political and economic crises where it cannot face the international community for any financial transactions. Click here to read…

Why Lanka’s failed dairy experiment is glass half full: Indian Express

Nirupama Subramanian writes: Crippled by an acute shortage of dollars, Sri Lanka has restricted all its imports, including essential food items. At the time Kurien ventured into Sri Lanka, the country’s annual milk powder import bill was $60 million. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka hikes price of medicines 40% amid economic crisis: BBC

Sri Lanka has sharply increased prices of commonly used medication, the second such rise in six weeks, as it struggles to deal with an economic crisis. Antibiotics, certain painkillers and medication for heart conditions are among those hit by a 40% mark-up. Click here to read…

Centre to share Tamil Nadu’s relief materials with Sri Lanka: Deccan Herald

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said the relief materials to be supplied by the Tamil Nadu government will be shared with Sri Lanka to be “distributed appropriately” in the current circumstances, two days after the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution seeking permission in this regard. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka’s Opposition barking up the wrong tree by blaming presidential system for current mess: First post

Recently, Sri Lanka’s chief Opposition party proposed a constitutional amendment to change its presidential system to a parliamentary system. From a purely political standpoint, some may justify such a proposal on account of the appropriation of power by the Rajapaksa family. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, May 02, 2022

Communist youth league of China has over 73.7 mln members: Xinhuanet
May 2, 2022

The Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) has over 73.7 million members nationwide as of December 31, 2021, according to statistics released by the CYLC Central Committee on Monday. Click here to read…

Chinese president appoints new ambassadors: Xinhuanet
April 29, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping has appointed three new ambassadors in accordance with a decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, according to a statement from China’s top legislature on Friday. Cui Wei has been appointed ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, replacing Zhang Tao. Du Xiaohui has been appointed ambassador to the Republic of Zambia, replacing Li Jie. Ji Shumin has been appointed ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan, replacing Liu Bin. Click here to read…

New Party chief for Inner Mongolia appointed: Xinhuanet

April 30, 2022

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has appointed Sun Shaocheng as new Party chief for the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Shi Taifeng, who no longer serves as secretary of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPC, will be given another appointment, according to a decision by the CPC Central CommitteeClick here to read…

China further specifies prosecution standards on economic crimes: Xinhuanet
April 29, 2022

China issued a revised regulation Friday further specifying standards for registration and prosecution of economic crimes under the jurisdiction of public security organs. The revised regulation, formulated by China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security, covers 78 kinds of economic crimes. It will come into force as of May 15. Click here to read…

Xi stresses healthy development of capital in China: Xinhuanet
May 1, 2022

On Friday afternoon, the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held its 38th group study session. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the session, which is about regulating and guiding the healthy development of capital in China according to law. Click here to read…

China, U.S. have established 284 “sister” pairs: Xinhuanet
April 29, 2022

China and the United States have formed 284 pairs of sister provinces, states and sister cities over a period of several decades, according to a video dialogue between China-U.S. sister cities on Thursday. Click here to read…

China-Laos low-carbon demonstration zone unveiled in Vientiane: Xinhuanet
April 30, 2022

The inauguration ceremony of the Vientiane Saysettha Low-Carbon Demonstration Zone jointly built by China and Laos was held via video conferencing on Friday. The event indicates construction of the demonstration zone has entered a new phase, opening a new chapter for China-Laos cooperation to address climate change in the framework of South-South cooperation. Click here to read…

China reiterates call for peace between Russia, Ukraine through talks: Xinhuanet
April 29, 2022

China has always supported Russia and Ukraine to overcome difficulties and continue negotiations, and welcomes all efforts by the international community to promote peace, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday. Click here to read…

China EximBank issues bonds to aid anti-epidemic efforts in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
May 1, 2022

The Export-Import Bank of China (China EximBank), a state-owned policy bank, has issued special bonds worth 5 billion yuan (about 755.55 million U.S. dollars) to aid the anti-epidemic efforts and ensure daily supplies in Shanghai. Click here to read…

China’s endeavor to becoming intellectual property powerhouse: Xinhuanet
May 1, 2022

Thirty-seven years ago when Hu Guohua applied for a patent he had to queue overnight outside China’s patent office. Eight months later, he received a patent certificate for his invention, a color display device to help analyze satellite images. Soon after newspapers splashed photos of the spectacled aerospace engineer, who became the country’s first patent rights holder. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland reports 846 new local COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
May 2, 2022

The Chinese mainland Sunday reported 846 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 727 were in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission’s report Monday. Apart from Shanghai, 13 other provincial-level regions on the mainland saw new local COVID-19 cases, including 36 in Beijing. Click here to read…

Shanghai reports 727 confirmed, 6,606 asymptomatic local COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
May 2, 2022

China’s Shanghai reported 727 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 6,606 local asymptomatic infection cases on Sunday, the municipal health commission said MondayClick here to read…

Beijing reports 55 new local COVID-19 cases: Xinhuanet
May 1, 2022

Beijing reported 51 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases and four asymptomatic cases between 3 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, local authorities have said. A makeshift hospital located in Xiaotangshan Township in the capital’s northern suburb was put into use on Sunday, and has received 12 patients, Li Ang, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission, told a press conference on Sunday. Click here to read…

9 suspects detained after building collapses in central China: Xinhuanet
May 1, 2022

Public security authorities detained nine people on Sunday after a self-constructed residential building collapsed Friday in central China’s Hunan Province. According to police in the provincial capital of Changsha, the owner of the building surnamed Wu, and three others in charge of building design and construction surnamed Long, Ren and Xue were suspected of the crime of causing a major-liability accident. Click here to read…

Beijing adds four more risk areas for COVID-19: Xinhuanet
April 30, 2022

Four more areas in Beijing were classified as medium-risk areas for COVID-19 on Saturday, the municipal government said. The latest classifications have brought the total number of high-risk areas in Beijing to six and medium-risk areas to 23, said a press conference on local epidemic prevention and control work. Click here to read…

Beijing building makeshift hospitals: Xinhuanet
April 30, 2022

Beijing is preparing to construct makeshift hospitals to cope with the latest upsurge of the novel coronavirus, said a press conference Saturday. So far, about 4,000 beds have been reserved for COVID-19 infections in Beijing, and more venues are being transformed into large-scale makeshift hospitals in case of need, said Li Ang, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission. Click here to read…

HKSAR gov’t continues tracing COVID-19 through sewage surveillance: Xinhuanet
May 1, 2022

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced on Sunday that the COVID-19 virus has recently been detected in sewage samples from some areas in the city, indicating that there may be hidden cases in the premises in these areas. Click here to read…

Chinese leadership analyzes economic situation, reviews plan on talent development: Quishi
April 30, 2022

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Friday presided over a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee to analyze the current economic situation and economic work. Click here to read…

Prioritizing infrastructure creation set to stabilize economy: Quishi
April 29, 2022

China’s efforts to bolster infrastructure construction in a precise manner will help buttress the nation’s economic growth this year amid a complicated external environment and resurgent domestic COVID-19 cases, experts said. Click here to read…

China revs up infrastructure investment to spur growth: Quishi
April 29, 2022

Investment, a traditional key driver of China’s economic growth, is unleashing new energy as the central authorities have made fresh arrangements to modernize the country’s infrastructure for sustained growth. Click here to read…

Policies help manufacturing sector overcome COVID-19 impact: Quishi
May 2, 2022

Amid unexpected headwinds brought by the domestic COVID-19 resurgences, China has proactively taken countermeasures to assist manufacturing companies in emerging from the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. Click here to read…

China’s top legal departments urge abduction suspects to surrender: China Daily
May 2, 2022

Three of China’s top legal departments have jointly issued a circular urging all suspects involved in the abduction of women and children to surrender themselves to the authorities. Click here to read…

CPC stresses need to keep economy stable: China Daily
April 30, 2022

A key Party meeting has underlined the need to ensure economic stability and coordination of the nation’s COVID-19 response and economic growth, reiterating that the country will actively respond to the concerns of foreign businesses to stabilize foreign investment and international trade. Click here to read…

World’s highest automatic weather station to be set up on Mt Qomolangma: China Daily
May 1, 2022

Chinese scientists are mounting efforts to establish a meteorological monitoring station at an altitude of 8,800 meters on Mount Qomolangma, the world’s highest peak, on the China-Nepal border. Click here to read…

Mass nucleic acid testing to continue in the capital: China Daily
May 2, 2022

Beijing has taken strict control and prevention measures during the May Day holiday and will conduct more rounds of nucleic acid testing in some areas to curb the COVID-19 outbreak in the city. Click here to read…

John Lee delivers policy platform, highlighting governance efficiency, housing support, and HK youth future: Global Times
April 29, 2022

John Lee Ka-chiu, the candidate for the upcoming election for Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, unveiled his policy platform on Friday, focusing on strengthening local governance, fixing housing woes, enhancing the overall competitiveness of the city and building a caring society for young people. Click here to read…

Shanghai dispatches 160,000 personnel for disinfection covering 13,000 residential compounds as new cases keep declining: Global Times
May 2, 2022

As part of achieving the goal of eliminating the COVID-19 cases at the community level, Shanghai is carrying out citywide cleaning and disinfection covering 13,000 residential compounds in the city, local authority said on Monday, noting that nearly 1 million delivery packages are being disinfected every day. Click here to read…

Shanghai achieves phased results in latest battle against Omicron with 6 districts basically registering no community transmissions: Global Times
May 1, 2022

The risk of COVID-19 community transmission in Shanghai has been effectively contained and six districts, including Fengxian, Jinshan and Chongming have basically realized no community transmissions, Shanghai local government said on Sunday, amid the easing of a citywide lockdown for more than 15 million residents. Click here to read…

Special fund for rehabilitation of the Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi given in the wake of the terrorist attack: Global Times
April 30, 2022

A special fund was given by the Chinese International Education Foundation for rehabilitation of the Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi, Pakistan, in the wake of the terrorist attack on its shuttle bus killing 3 Chinese Tuesday. The fund of 500,000 yuan ($75,660) on April 30 will be also used to offer relief to the victims and their families. Click here to read…

Serbia displays ‘powerful, affordable’ Chinese air defense missiles for the 1st time, ‘not meant as a threat but rightful natl defense devt’: Global Times
May 1, 2022

Serbia displayed its latest addition to its arsenal, the Chinese-made FK-3 air defense missile system, to the general public for the first time on Saturday, after concentrated sorties of Y-20 large transport aircraft from the Chinese Air Force delivered the weapon to the European country in April. Click here to read…

China suspends freight train operations with North Korea amid virus: Kyodo
April 29, 2022

China has suspended freight train operations with North Korea amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the Chinese border city of Dandong, the Foreign Ministry said Friday. Since earlier this week, many residential compounds in Dandong, which lies opposite the North Korean city of Sinuiji, have been locked down against a backdrop of the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, while people living in such areas have been compelled to stay home. Click here to read…

Serbia shows off Chinese missiles, raising concerns: Taipei Times
May 2, 2022

Serbia on Saturday publicly displayed a recently delivered Chinese anti-aircraft missile system, raising concerns in the West and among some of Serbia’s neighbors that an arms buildup in the Balkans could threaten a fragile peace in the region. Click here to read…

Shanghai lockdown sends chill down meat trade: Reuters
May 2, 2022

The protracted lockdown in Shanghai, China’s financial hub, is slowing the nation’s normally booming meat trade, with stringent COVID-19 measures causing logistics logjams across the food industry in a sign of the broadening disruptions to business. Click here to read…

Outspoken market analyst’s Chinese social media accounts suspended: Reuters
May 1, 2022

The Chinese social media accounts of an outspoken Hong Kong-based market strategist were suspended after a series of downbeat commentaries and a slump in mainland equities to two-year lows on COVID-19 lockdowns and global political tensions. Click here to read…

Setback for Shanghai’s COVID battle; Beijing focus on mass testing: Reuters
May 2, 2022

China’s commercial capital of Shanghai was dealt a blow on Monday as authorities reported 58 new COVID-19 cases outside quarantine areas while Beijing pressed on with testing millions of its people on a May Day holiday few were celebrating. Click here to read…

Elderly death mix-up adds to Covid-19 turmoil for Shanghai residents: South China Morning Post
May 2, 2022

Shanghai authorities are investigating after a senior citizen was mistaken for dead by staff at an elderly care centre and sent to the morgue. Videos circulating widely on Chinese social media showed two men who appeared to be morgue workers with a yellow body bag outside the Shanghai Xinchangzheng welfare hospital in Putuo district on Sunday afternoon. Click here to read…

Coronavirus: Shanghai reports 58 new cases in unguarded, low-risk zones in setback for city’s ‘societal zero-Covid’ push: South China Morning Post
May 2, 2022

Shanghai’s daily new Covid-19 cases rebounded in unguarded low-risk zones after staying clear for two days, a reversal that underscored the challenges in stamping out the highly transmissible Omicron variant, even amid a month-long citywide lockdown. New cases declined for the ninth straight day, dropping 6.8 per cent to 7,333 in the previous 24 hours, according to official data released on Monday. Symptomatic cases fell 7.7 per cent to 727, while the death toll decreased by 16 per cent to 32 from a day earlier. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: April 29, 2022

Afghanistan
9 killed, 13 Wounded in Two Blasts in Balkh: Tolo News

At least nine people were killed and 13 others were wounded in two blasts occurring on Thursday evening in Mazar-e-Sharif of Balkh province, security officials said. Both blasts targeted public transportation. Click here to read…

Russia to Work Towards ‘Full Diplomatic Recognition’ Under Conditions: The Khaama Press

Russia says it wants to work towards “full diplomatic recognition” of the Taliban leadership under a condition, where the Islamic Emirate will establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan. Click here to read…

EU Delivers 34 Tonnes of Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

European Commissioner for Crisis Management Jenez Lenarcic on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, said that the European Union has delivered 34 tonnes of food and medical supplies to Afghanistan in a bid to help medicated the Afghan humanitarian crisis. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Offshore Smart City: Can a parliamentary committee recommend a project to PM without due diligence?-The Daily Star

Can a parliamentary standing committee recommend a project directly to the prime minister without any due diligence? The law explicitly does not permit it. Click here to read…

Rohingya camps: Support community learning-The Daily Star

At least 25 national and international rights bodies and civil society organisations have made an urgent call for the government to support the community-led learning facilities in Cox’s Bazar’s Rohingya refugee camps. Click here to read…

Procurement of paddy begins countrywide-The Daily Star

The government has started procurement of paddy directly from farmers at Tk 27 per kg, said Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder yesterday. Click here to read…

Dutch exhibit: Agri ministry defends its decision to send officials-The Daily Star

The agricultural ministry defended the participation of officials’, in phases, in a six-month-long exhibition in the Netherlands, without mentioning the exact number of delegates. Click here to read…

Bangladesh most important in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’: Jaishankar-The Daily Star

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today stressed that Bangladesh features as the most important country in the Indian Foreign Policy objectives of “Neighbourhood First Policy”. Click here to read…

If connectivity is increased, India’s northeast can have access to Ctg port: PM tells Jaishankar-The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (April 28, 2022) emphasized the importance of improving connectivity between Bangladesh and India for mutual benefit, saying that steps have been initiated to reopen various cross-border roads between the two nations that were closed in 1965. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Government stops scholarship to private schools this year- Kuensel

The government will not provide scholarships for class XI students to study in private schools this year. Click here to read…

India’s External Affairs Minister to visit Bhutan tomorrow- Kuensel

India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar, will be on a two-day official visit to Bhutan from April 29 to 30. Click here to read…

‘Druk Neykor’ – TCB launches nationwide pilgrimage attraction- BBS

An interesting element of the Druk Neykor package is the use of the Druk Neykor Stamp Book (DNSB) which contains pictures of 108 sites consisting of temples and sacred places spread across the country. Visitors can get the seal/stamp of the sites as a souvenir of the visit. Click here to read…

Construction of a state-of-the-art infectious hospital to commence soon- BBS

An initiative of Health Minister Dechen Wangmo, the RCID, a 100-bedded state-of-the-art hospital is the first of its kind in the country that was planned even before the global pandemic started. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives and India to constitute parliamentary friendship group- The SUN

The leaders of the parliaments of Maldives and India have discussed creating a ‘friendship group’ between the parliaments. Click here to read…

Dhiraagu renews support to Blind and Visually Impaired Society of Maldives- The SUN

Dhiraagu has announced the renewal of its support for the Blind and Visually Impaired Society of Maldives – a non-governmental organization that advocates for the rights and wellbeing of the blind and visually impaired. Click here to read…

Nasheed: India first, won’t allow for China to ‘grab’ land- The SUN

Parliament Speaker, former president Mohamed Nasheed states Maldives will continue to uphold its ‘India First’ policy, will not allow China to ‘land grab and debt trap’. Click here to read…
https://en.sun.mv/74395

President ratifies Electronic Transections bill- The SUN

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday ratified the Electronic Transactions Bill (Law No: 2/2022). Click here to read…

Gender Ministry: Women played major frontline-role in combatting covid- The SUN

State Minister for the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services Zifleena Hassan has stated that women played a major role on the front lines in combatting the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Click here to read…

Maldives-China sign Certificate of Assistance for Foreign Ministry- The SUN

Maldives and China on Wednesday signed the Certificate of Assistance for the Maldivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Click here to read…

Case filed at Civil Court to null presidential decree on ‘India Out’ campaign- The SUN

Main opposition party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has filed a case at Civil Court to nullify the decree issued by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih last week declaring the ‘India Out’ campaign as a threat to national security. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Thai Foreign Ministry Appoints Special Envoy for Myanmar Issues – The Diplomat

Thailand has appointed its first special envoy for Myanmar, who will be tasked with representing the country at meetings and summits pertaining to the country’s escalating crisis. The appointment of Pornpimol Kanchanalak was made in a letter dated April 25 and signed by Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. Click here to read…

Junta troops torch 500 homes in 3 days in Myanmar’s Sagaing region- RFA

Junta troops torched more than 500 homes in five villages over the past three days in Myanmar’s Sagaing region, residents said Thursday, where nearly three-fourths of townships have been cut off from internet access since early March amid ongoing military raids. Click here to read…

How Myanmar’s military supporters are using Facebook to justify violence – Global Voices

In Myanmar, conversations about the military regime happen on Facebook. On the platform’s groups, pages, and individual profiles, the population is divided between democracy and military supporters. Every social media post carries evolving narratives that shape the makeup of the convulsed nation, yet mainstream media outside Myanmar have failed to report on them. Click here to read…

Myanmar Junta Officially Endorses Militias to Attack Anti-Regime Civilians – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s regime has officially endorsed pro-junta militias that are increasingly targeting civilians who oppose military rule. Junta spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun told the regime-controlled media in Naypyitaw on Wednesday that the regime was implementing a “public security system” and will strengthen them to eliminate “terrorist” forces. Click here to read…

Myanmar’s Revolution Must Succeed: NUG Humanitarian Minister – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military regime has killed civilians, torched houses and looted valuables in resistance hot spots across the country. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by fighting and Dr. Win Myat Aye, the humanitarian affairs and disaster management minister in the shadow National Unity Government (NUG), recently talked to The Irrawaddy about how his team is helping displaced people. Click here to read…

Nepal
Visitors trickle back, but climbing mecca Nepal seeks more- Himalayan Times

Nepal is putting a 21st-century spin on a tourism sector dominated by activities unchanged for generations as it looks to boost a vital part of an economy decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring import bills. Click here to read…

Two Indian nationals arrested with 150kg marijuana in Bara- Himalayan Times

Bara police have arrested two Indian nationals with 150 kilo grams of marijuana from Kalaiya Sub-Metropolitan City-10 of Bara district on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Nepal economy projected to grow by 5.84 percent this fiscal year- Kathmandu Post

Statistics bureau’s projection is higher than that by World Bank and ADB, which estimated 3.7 percent and 3.9 percent respectively. Click here to read…

Private domestic airlines threaten to halt services- Kathmandu Post

The operators say they’ll ground their planes from Friday after the civil aviation authority’s order to reschedule flights to night without consultation. Click here to read…

NAC wide-body aircraft makes successful test flight at Gautam Buddha Int’l Airport- Republica

A wide-body aircraft of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has successfully conducted an ‘operational performance test flight’ at the Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) on Thursday evening. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Country-swelters-as-power-outages-disrupt-daily-life: Dawn

The menace of loadshedding swept across the country on Thursday, leaving homes and businesses in the dark as temperatures continued to rise ahead of a forecast heatwave. Click here to read…

Pti-makes-ready-for-islamabad-push: Dawn

In a meeting, chaired by PTI chairman Imran Khan, it was decided that two million people would be gathered in the federal capital for the “freedom and independence of Pakistan”. The meetings of PTI’s core committee and parliamentary party will be held on May 9 to finalise arrangements for this ‘Azadi March’. Click here to read…

SBP reserves fall $328m to $10.56b: The Express Tribune

On April 23, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $10,558.2 million, down $328 million compared with $10,885.7 million on April 16. Click here to read…

Violation of Constitution: High treason case on the cards: The News

The PMLN-led coalition government has decided to file a high treason case against President Arif Alvi, ex-PM Imran Khan, National Assembly’s ex-deputy speaker Qasim Suri and Punjab Governor Umar Sarfraz Cheema for allegedly violating the Constitution. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Lankan Hospitals in crisis: Indonesia throws a lifeline- The Island

Faced with an unprecedented shortage of medicine and medical equipment amidst the worst ever forex crisis, Sri Lanka has sought assistance from friendly countries. In response to Sri Lanka’s request, Indonesia has assured 3.1 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka. Click here to read…

Myanmar white rice controversy: House probe on, Trade Ministry claims agreement rescinded- The Island

Chairman of the Committee of Public Finance (COPF) Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, MP yesterday (27) said that for want of proper Finance Ministry supervision, cash-strapped Sri Lanka suffered staggering losses in both local and foreign transactions. Click here to read…

Int’l humanitarian assistance, including medicine, for cash-strapped Lanka- The Island

The ICRC has indicated its readiness to provide humanitarian assistance, based on Sri Lanka’s requirements. The Foreign Ministry, in a communique, said yesterday that the offer of assistance had been made when head of the ICRC Delegation in Sri Lanka Loukas Petridis paid a farewell call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, on 25 April, 2022, at the Ministry. Click here to read…

Strike today to pressure President, govt. to quit- The Island

Over 1,000 unions would join today’s strike, to pressure President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the government to resign, Ravi Kumudesh of the Collective of Trade Unions and Mass Organisations said, adding that the striking unions were from the state, semi-government and private sectors. Click here to read…

PM may resign soon– MP- The Island

Communist Party Member of Parliament for the Matara District Weerasumana Weerasinghe said yesterday that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa might resign, paving the way for an interim government. Click here to read…

Business disrupted at country’s biggest fish market- The Island

Yesterday’s countrywide strike badly affected business the fish market at Peliyagoda yesterday with only 10 per cent of the scheduled lorries carrying fish, crabs, prawns and cuttlefish arriving, traders said. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, April 29, 2022

Land-sea trade corridor connects 107 countries, regions: Xinhuanet
April 27, 2022

The New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, a trade and logistics passage, has expanded its reach to 315 ports in 107 countries and regions, according to the municipal government of southwest China’s Chongqing. The corridor is jointly built by Singapore and provincial-level regions of western China, with Chongqing as its center of operations. Click here to read…

Digitalization helps more people in China discover joy of reading: Xinhuanet
April 27, 2022

Cheng Zhiwu, a 70-year-old from central China’s Hubei Province, has downloaded some 600 digital books on a reading App on his tablet computer. “I’ve found so much joy in reading or listening to digital books as a way to keep up with the times and enrich my golden years,” said Chen, adding that he spends some four to five hours a day on the reading App. Click here to read…

Cooperation center for China-Pacific Island countries climate change launched: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

A cooperation center for China and Pacific Island countries on climate change was launched Thursday in east China’s Shandong Province. Jointly built by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and Shandong Province, the center is located in Shandong’s Liaocheng City, according to the foreign affairs office of the provincial government of Shandong. Click here to read…

Chinese vice FM defends China-Solomon Islands security agreement: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng on Thursday defended the signing of the inter-governmental framework agreement on security cooperation between China and Solomon Islands as a right of two sovereign states. Click here to read…

China urges “crisis maker” U.S. to clarify bio-military activities: Xinhuanet
April 29, 2022

A Chinese defense spokesperson on Thursday called the United States the true creator of bio-crises and urged the country to clarify its bio-military activities. Noting that biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction, Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, said that the recently uncovered bio-military activities conducted by the United States in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) have become a source of concern for members of the international community, including China. Click here to read…

China to temporarily adjust coal tariffs to zero: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

China will impose provisional zero tariffs on coal imports from May to secure energy supply, an official statement said Thursday. According to the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, over the next 11 months, starting May 1, seven types of coal products including coking coal and brown coal will enjoy zero tariffs. Click here to read…

Beijing green-lights pilot operation of vehicles with unmanned driver’s seat: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

Beijing on Thursday became the first Chinese city to green-light the pilot commercial operation of self-driving passenger vehicles without anyone in the driver’s seat. With safety supervisors in the front passenger seat, the first batch of 14 driverless cars received approval to hit the road under pilot commercial operation. Click here to read…

China launches learning app for middle, primary school students: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

China has launched a mobile app to provide middle and primary school students with more convenient ways to study online amid COVID-19 resurgence, according to the Ministry of Education. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland reports 5,646 new local COVID-19 cases, 5,487 in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
April 29, 2022

The Chinese mainland on Thursday reported 5,646 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 5,487 were in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission’s report Friday. Click here to read…

Shanghai new COVID-19 cases: 5,487 confirmed, 9,545 asymptomatic: Xinhuanet
April 29, 2022

China’s Shanghai reported 5,487 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 9,545 local asymptomatic carriers on Thursday, the municipal health commission said Friday. Of the newly confirmed cases, 5,062 had previously been reported as asymptomatic carriers, the commission said in a statement. Click here to read…

South China airport cancels flights amid COVID-19 outbreak: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

Baiyun airport in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province, has announced the cancellation of domestic passenger flights following the discovery of more COVID-19 cases. Click here to read…

Shanghai requires enterprises to pay employees during COVID-19 quarantine: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

Shanghai on Thursday issued a guideline stating that enterprises should pay wages to their employees who cannot work normally due to COVID-19 quarantines. According to the document released by the municipal human resources and social security bureau, enterprises are banned from terminating labor contracts when employees are placed in quarantine for treatment or are under medical observation, or they cannot work normally due to other emergency measures implemented by the government. Click here to read…

East China city orders routine nucleic acid testing for COVID-19: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

The eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou on Thursday ordered routine nucleic acid testing for local residents as it strives to cut off transmission of the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19. Click here to read…

Beijing schools to start holiday one day earlier over COVID-19: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

All primary and secondary schools, kindergartens and secondary vocational schools in Beijing will start the May Day holiday one day ahead of schedule due to the COVID-19 epidemic, local authorities said Thursday. Click here to read…

Shanghai enhances capacity to handle epidemic-related waste: Xinhuanet

April 28, 2022

Shanghai has expanded its capacity to dispose of epidemic-related waste to over 1,400 tonnes daily at present, from 300 tonnes per day before the latest round of COVID-19 resurgence started in March, according to the municipal bureau of ecology and environment. Click here to read…

HKSAR chief executive stresses staying vigilant in fighting COVID-19: Xinhunaet
April 29, 2022

Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam on Thursday stressed that the HKSAR government will not let its guard down in fighting COVID-19 despite dwindling infections in the global financial hub. Click here to read…

Just-concluded online Canton Fair enjoys great popularity: Quishi
April 29, 2022

The online Canton Fair, which is hailed as the “barometer” and “wind vane” of China’s foreign trade, has built a unique economic and trade bridge for Chinese and foreign exhibitors and buyers. Click here to read…

China, Oman vow to promote strategic partnership, military cooperation: China Military
April 29, 2022

Senior officials from China and Oman pledged on Thursday to further promote their strategic partnership and boost military cooperation. They made the pledge during a meeting between Omani Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs Sayyid Shihab bin Tarik Al Said and visiting Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe in Muscat, capital of Oman. Click here to read…

U.S. should return to rational, pragmatic policy toward China: People’s Daily
April 29, 2022

As the spillovers of the Ukraine crisis continue to spread, the international situation is increasingly complex and grave. The U.S., the instigator of the crisis, has neither reflected on its mistakes nor done its duty for world peace and security by trying all means to promote a ceasefire and peace talks. Click here to read…

Flights canceled in Guangzhou after workers test positive for coronavirus: China Daily
April 28, 2022

All domestic flights to and from the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport before noon on Thursday have been canceled and a portion of the flights will be carried out in the afternoon after some workers at the airport tested abnormally against the coronavirus on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Beijing health code app attacked by hackers: China Daily
April 28, 2022

Beijing Jiankangbao, a mobile-based app used to check health codes and provide nucleic acid testing results during the COVID-19 epidemic, has been attacked by overseas hackers according to Wei Bin, an official from the capital’s municipal government. Click here to read…

Beijing approves nation’s first driverless robotaxi permits: China Daily
April 29, 2022

Beijing granted China’s first autonomous driving permits to two robotaxi operators-Baidu Inc and Pony.ai-on Thursday that for the first time allows the removal of a safety operator from the driver’s seat on public roads in the capital. Click here to read…

International Forum on People-to-People Exchange and Academic Cultural Season of Confucius Institute held in Peking University: Global Times
April 28, 2022

On April 25, 2022, “The International Forum on People-to-People Exchange and Academic Cultural Season of Confucius Institute, Peking University,” co-hosted by the Office of Confucius Institute, the Institute for Global Cooperation and Understanding (iGCU), and the Office of Global Communication was officially launched at the Moonlight Hall of the Overseas Exchange Center at Peking University. Click here to read…X

Guangzhou launches mass nucleic acid testing in three districts after four infections discovered: Global Times
April 28, 2022

Guangzhou in South China’s Guangdong Province launched mass nucleic acid testing in three districts on Thursday after discovering three confirmed cases and a silent virus carrier at the Baiyun International Airport on the same day. Click here to read…

Pakistan urged to fix counter-terror shield for all Chinese projects and personnel, especially during political reshuffle: Global Times
April 28, 2022

After claiming responsibility for the terror attack that struck the Confucius Institute within the University of Karachi on Tuesday and killed three Chinese teachers and a Pakistani driver, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a militant separatist group, warned China of more deadly attacks, and Chinese experts urged the Pakistani government to take immediate and firm actions on protecting Chinese nationals and projects and to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts. Click here to read…

More than 12 mln in Shanghai can leave homes as COVID risk ebbs: Reuters
April 29, 2022

As many as 12.38 million Shanghai residents, nearly half the population of China’s financial hub, are now in lower-risk areas, meaning they can leave their homes, the government said on Friday. Shanghai, battling China’s biggest ever COVID-19 outbreak, put the entire city into lockdown at the beginning of the month, though it has cautiously lifted some restrictions on residential areas that have gone two weeks without a positive case. Click here to read…

One case sees Guangzhou mass test and cancel flights: Taipei Times
April 29, 2022

The Chinese megacity of Guangzhou yesterday canceled hundreds of flights and launched mass testing of 5.6 million people after one suspected COVID-19 case, while Beijing closed some public spaces and stepped up checks at others, as most of the capital’s 22 million residents turned up for more mass testing aimed at averting a Shanghai-like lockdown. Click here to read…

Beijing called on to let Morrison Lee leave China: Taipei Times
April 29, 2022

An international human rights group has called on Beijing to release Morrison Lee, a Taiwanese who served a 22-month prison sentence for spying in China, but since his release last year has been prevented from leaving the country. Beijing’s refusal to allow Lee to depart contravenes China’s domestic laws and international treaty obligations, Safeguard Defenders wrote in a news release on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Liao Guoxun, mayor of China’s port city Tianjin, dead at 59: South China Morning Post
April 29, 2022

Liao Guoxun, mayor of the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin, has died after a sudden illness, according to the municipality’s Communist Party newspaper. He was 59.
Tianjin Daily said on its WeChat account on Thursday that Liao, who was also the city’s deputy party chief, had died a day earlier, without elaborating on the cause of death.
He was last seen in public on Monday, along with Tianjin party chief Li Hongzhong and other officials at a meeting about curbing pollution. According to video clips of the event broadcast on Tianjin TV, Liao appeared to be in good health. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: April 28, 2022

Afghanistan
Officials: Some Vaccines Not Available in Country: Tolo News

Javid Hajir, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said that although there were more than 25,000 treatment centers in the country, some vaccines, including the rabies vaccine, were not available, and neither were cold storage facilities. Click here to read…

Guterres Urges Intl-Community to Create Condition for Cash Injection in Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres has again expressed concern over the absence of cash in Afghanistan and has urged the international community to create conditions so the cash is injected into the economy of the war-torn country. Click here to read…

US Left $7bn worth of Military Equipment in Afghanistan: DoD: The Khaama Press

Department of Defense of the United States said that they have left behind $7.12 billion worth of military hardware in Afghanistan as the Taliban has taken over the country. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Bangladesh Railway: Hefty loss of Tk 13,492cr in 12 years-The Daily Star

Bangladesh Railway has incurred Tk 13,492.70 crore in losses in 12 years between fiscal 2008-09 and FY2019-20, according to BR documents. Click here to read…

Jaishankar to fly in today-The Daily Star

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is expected to land in Dhaka today for his on a one-day visit. Click here to read…

Keen on taking more Bangladeshi peacekeepers-The Daily Star

Bangladesh Army Chief, General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, has held bilateral meetings with several senior officials of the UN Headquarters on various issues of mutual interest, including peacekeeping operations. Click here to read…

‘No scope for complacency’-The Daily Star

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday warned that while Bangladesh is witnessing zero deaths and a very low Covid positivity rate, there is no scope for complacency. Click here to read…

Parliamentary body blames foreign ministry behind US sanctions on Rab-The Daily Star

A parliamentary body has blamed the foreign ministry behind US sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and its officials. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Enagic product distribution and promotion is pyramid scheme: OCP- Kuensel

Both online and offline scheme in Bhutan that deals with Enagic machines or Kangen water filter is a pyramid scheme, according to the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP). Click here to read…

Rural weavers regard National Design & Art Competition as marketing platform- BBS

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the economic sustainability of the textile sector in the country. Click here to read…

External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to visit Bangladesh and Bhutan from April 28 to 30- Indian Express

The Indian foreign minister will be Bhutan’s first high-level visitor from abroad since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Click here to read…

Maldives
India remains first, won’t allow China to ‘grab’ land, says ex-Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed: The Print

Former Maldives president and Speaker of the Maldivian Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has said that his country will always follow the ‘India First’ policy, and will not allow China to continue with its plan of “land grab and debt trap”, which has led to huge debt for the island nation. Click here to read…

‘India and Maldives plan to build transmission interconnection: Power Technology

The governments of India and the Maldives plan to establish an interconnection for transmitting clean energy between the two countries, according to Indian news agency PTI. Click here to read…

India-Maldives Parliamentary Friendship Group to be constituted, Om Birla said: The Times of India

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday held a bilateral meeting with his Maldivian counterpart Mohamed Nasheed, stressing that regular dialogue between the parliaments of two countries is helpful in effective functioning of democratic institutions. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Japan to Train New Cadets, Officers from Abusive Myanmar Military – HRW

During the parliamentary committee session on security on April 26, 2022, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi revealed that Japan will once again accept Myanmar military personnel for training at Japan’s defense facilities. This is the second time since the February 2021 coup in Myanmar that Japan has accepted members of the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, for a program that began in 2015. Click here to read…

Is the Ukraine War Boosting China’s Influence in Myanmar? – The Diplomat

Amid Russia’s new offensive in eastern Ukraine, Myanmar’s generals continue to face fierce opposition to the February 1, 2021, coup, recently vowing to “annihilate” resistance groups across the country. Click here to read…

Myanmar court sentences Suu Kyi to 5 years for corruption – NPR

A court in military-ruled Myanmar convicted the country’s former leader Aung San Suu Kyi of corruption and sentenced her to five years in prison Wednesday in the first of several corruption cases against her. Click here to read…

CDF-Mindat admits receiving military training and arms from Arakan Army – Narinjara

The Chin Defense Force-Mindat Township (CDF-Mindat) said on 26 April that it had received military training and weapons from the Arakan Army (AA). In a released video, the outfit stated that 30 of their soldiers have returned after receiving military training and arms. Click here to read…

Nepal
Cash-strapped Nepal bans imports of cars, cuts work week- Himalayan Times

Nepal banned imports of cars, alcohol, tobacco and other luxury items Wednesday and shortened its work week to help conserve its dwindling supply of foreign exchange. Click here to read…

Nepal records 11 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday- Himalayan Times

The national active Covid-19 caseload of Nepal active caseload has reached to 252 on Wednesday as eight people tested positive for the infection in past 24 hours. Click here to read…

Nepali Congress in turmoil as alliance politics chafes scores of local leaders- Kathmandu Post

Insiders say leaders and cadres in lower committees deprived of their right to speak up. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Investigators say varsity blast intended to sabotage Pak-China ties: Dawn

Police on Wednesday launched an investigation into the suicide bombing at Karachi University Confucius Institute that claimed lives of three Chinese academics and their local van driver and caused injuries to four others, including one Chinese teacher, on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Depletion of foreign currency reserves: Pakistan to seek additional package of $3.2bn from Saudi Arabia: The News

Pakistan has decided to seek an additional package of $3.2 billion from Saudi Arabia for jacking up the total facility to $7.4 billion from the existing $4.2 billion during the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in order to avert further depletion of foreign currency reserves. Click here to read…

Petrol dealers warn of a nationwide strike: The Express Tribune

Speaking at a news conference, the association’s information secretary Nauman Ali Butt claimed that international and local companies were involved in the diesel crisis, regretting that people were unfair in casting suspicions over the petrol dealers. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
How can Sri Lanka overcome its economic emergency?: Aljazeera

Rallies against the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa escalated on April 19, after police in the central town of Rambukkana shot dead a man amid protests over fuel prices. Authorities have pledged an inquiry into the killing, the first fatality in more than a month of anti-government protests. Click here to read…

World Bank to give $600-million aid to Lanka to overcome economic crisis: Business Standard

The World Bank will extend $600 million in financial assistance to Sri Lanka in two phases to address its economic crisis, according to a statement from the president’s office of the country. Click here to read…

Nearly 1000 public, private unions to launch massive protest tomorrow: ANI

Protesting the Sri Lankan government led by Rajapaksa, around 1000 public and private sector unions are set to launch a massive strike on April 28. Click here to read…

People Know “Who I Am, What I Am”: Sri Lanka PM Says He Won’t Resign: NDTV

Sri Lanka’s embattled Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has not asked him to resign and claimed that they were on the “same page” to resolve the worst economic crisis, amidst reports of a rift between the two brothers in running the debt-ridden island nation. Click here to read…

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa willing to form an all-party government amid economic crisis: WION

Amid an unprecedented economic crisis in the country, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday (April 27) said that he is willing to form an all-party government that can be formed after the Prime Minister and Cabinet resigns. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, April 28, 2022

China to intensify policies to stabilize and boost employment, further smooth international and domestic logistics: Xinhuanet
April 27, 2022

China decided on greater policy support for keeping payrolls stable and boosting job creation, in a bid to maintain employment stability and ensure stable economic performance, according to a decision made at the State Council’s Executive Meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Senior Chinese official stresses ethnic unity, development in Inner Mongolia: Xinhuanet
April 27, 2022

A senior Chinese official urged north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to reinforce the sense of all ethnic groups being within the community of the Chinese nation, while pursuing long-lasting stability and prosperity as well as high-quality development. Click here to read…

Vice premier stresses importance of national territory spatial planning: Xinhuanet
April 27, 2022

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Wednesday called for efforts to ensure the high-quality completion of national territory spatial planning work. Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks at a teleconference. Click here to read…

Data products published in China to support sustainable development of BRICS: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

A Chinese institution has published a series of data products to support scientific research on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of BRICS countries, according to the BRICS Forum on Big Data for Sustainable Development held in Beijing on Wednesday. Click here to read…

China to advance research in philosophy, social sciences: Xinhuanet
April 27, 2022

The Chinese authority published a plan Wednesday to develop philosophy and social sciences during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). The country aims to develop philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics, which have considerable academic frameworks, strong academic capacities, high research levels, and international influence, noted the plan issued by the general office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. Click here to read…

Shanghai new COVID-19 cases: 1,292 confirmed, 9,330 asymptomatic: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

China’s Shanghai reported 1,292 confirmed locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 9,330 local asymptomatic carriers on Wednesday, the municipal health commission said Thursday. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland reports 1,494 new local COVID-19 cases, 1,292 in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

The Chinese mainland on Wednesday reported 1,494 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 1,292 were in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission’s report Thursday. Click here to read…

Tibet improves infrastructure to boost tourism: Xinhuanet
April 28, 2022

Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region pooled more than 500 million yuan (about 76.2 million U.S. dollars) into tourism infrastructure projects to boost its tourism industry in 2021, said the regional tourism development department Wednesday. Click here to read…

Iranian president meets with Chinese defense minister: China Military
April 27, 2022

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with the visiting Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe in Tehran on Wednesday. Ebrahim Raisi said that Iran and China share weal and woe and hold similar stances and support each other in international affairs. Click here to read…

New measures to help logistics sector: China Daily
April 27, 2022

With COVID-19 lockdowns posing a threat to supply chains, China has adopted stronger measures to ensure unimpeded logistics-especially for daily necessities and key production materials-to shore up economic growth and protect public well-being. Click here to read…

Ministry prioritizing finding jobs for new graduates: China Daily
April 28, 2022

The employment of young people, college graduates in particular, will remain the priority of the nation’s work in stabilizing the job market this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said on Wednesday. Click here to read…

Beijing’s neighbor in Hebei locked down: China Daily
April 27, 2022

Sanhe, a county-level city in Langfang, Hebei province, was ordered to enter a “static” state on Wednesday afternoon after a resident tested positive for COVID-19. Under static conditions, all residents in the city, which is a near neighbor of Beijing, are required to stay home. Stores and other businesses are suspended, according to a notice from the city’s office for COVID-19 prevention and control on Wednesday afternoon. Click here to read…

Survey highlights sources of anxiety in young Chinese: China Daily
April 27, 2022

Nearly 70 percent of young Chinese internet users face varying degrees of anxiety mainly caused by their studies, work, appearance, and health, according to the Survey Report on the Social Mentality of Young Internet Users in China (2009-2021) which was released recently. Click here to read…

Internet hospital opened in Guangdong for occupational diseases: China Daily
April 28, 2022

Guangdong province has taken the lead in the Chinese mainland in opening an internet hospital for occupational diseases, offering online consultation, diagnosis, treatment and related medical services. Click here to read…

Students identified as key group in Beijing outbreak: China Daily
April 28, 2022

Beijing has registered more than 100 COVID-19 cases in the latest outbreak and more than 30 percent of those infected are from schools and kindergartens, a senior official said on Wednesday. Click here to read…

President Xi calls for advancing infrastructure development: Global Times
April 27, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, chairman of the Central Military Commission, and director of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs (CCFEA), presided over the 11th meeting of the CCFEA on Tuesday to discuss matters on comprehensively advancing infrastructure development and implementing decisions and plans made by the CCFEA since the 19th CPC National Congress in 2017. Click here to read…

China’s Ministry of Public Security vows to punish those who profit from disaster and crack down on violations that disrupt market order: Global Times
April 27, 2022

China’s Ministry of Public Security vowed to severely punish those who profit from disaster and strictly crack down on violations that disrupt the order of the market economy to maintain and stabilize the epidemic prevention and control work following multiple violations amid the fight against COVID-19. Click here to read…

China agrees with subjecting UNSC veto to debate, but also raises concerns over its potential procedural confusion: Global Times
April 27, 2022

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution that allows it to convene automatically when a veto is cast. China’s UN representative said that China understands the original intention of the move, but is also concerned over the procedural confusion and inconsistency in practice it may cause, and whether it can achieve its intended purpose. Click here to read…

Chinese and US politicians call on both sides to jointly push forward bilateral relations: Global Times
April 28, 2022

Diplomats, experts and scholars from both China and the US said on Wednesday that a path should be found to let go of differences and move toward stability and peace, especially at a moment when bilateral relations are most challenging. Click here to read…

Chinese firms in Pakistan step up security measures after deadly attack: Global Times
April 27, 2022

Chinese businesses in Pakistan are operating without disruption, though they are ramping up precautions to ensure the safety of personnel and projects in accordance with official guidelines, after a terrorist attack in Karachi killed three Chinese nationals on Tuesday afternoon. Click here to read…

Guangzhou Baiyun Intl Airport cancels 90% flights following abnormal nucleic test result: Global Times
April 28, 2022

Guangzhou Baiyun Intl Airport cancelled 90% flights on Thursday morning following abnormal nucleic test result, according to flight information provider VariFlight and the airport statement. Click here to read…

Chinese industrial park project wins approval in Afghanistan: Global Times
April 28, 2022

Chinatown in Kabul, a Chinese business group in Afghanistan, is expected to see considerable expansion after the “Chinatown industrial park project” won government approval recently, a source with the group told the Global Times on Wednesday. Click here to read…

China ranks first globally in international patent applications for third consecutive year: People’s Daily
April 28, 2022

China has ranked first in the world in terms of the number of international patent applications for a third consecutive year, said a recent press conference. Officials with the administration for market regulation in Haigang district, Qinhuangdao, north China’s Hebei province introduce intellectual property rights protection to a merchant, April 20, 2022. Click here to read…

Shanghai’s focus shifts to vaccination of elderly as new cases decline: Reuters
April 28, 2022

The COVID-hit city of Shanghai is making more resources available to improve vaccination rates among the elderly as daily case numbers decline and it looks for a way out of four weeks of stringent lockdown restrictions. Click here to read…

COVID lockdowns upset the rice bowls of China’s commuter workers: Reuters
April 28, 2022

When the town of Yanjiao near Beijing was suddenly plunged into a COVID-19 lockdown last month, taxi driver Dong Tiejun was forced to drive hundreds of kilometres to avoid roadblocks and get a passenger to Tianjin, a metropolis on the northeast coast. Click here to read…

China reports first human case of H3N8 bird flu: Reuters
April 27, 2022

China has recorded its first human infection with the H3N8 strain of bird flu, but the risk of its spread among people is low, the health authority said. The variant was found in a four-year-old boy from the central province of Henan province who showed fever and other symptoms on April 5, the National Health Commission said in a statement on Tuesday. Click here to read…