Tag Archives: Iran

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…

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 15, 2022)

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

COMMENTARY

Justice for Thomas Sankara

This week, Blaise Compaoré was jailed for his role in the murder of Burkinabe revolutionary Thomas Sankara –but real justice can only be won by a movement that fights to bring Sankara’s socialist vision back to life. Click here to read…

Corridor in uncertainty

The Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, a joint initiative of India and Japan, was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting of the African Development Bank in 2017Click here to read…

NEWS

Morocco, Spain mend ties after change in policy on Western Sahara

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez and Moroccan King Mohammad VI met in Rabat after a year of tense relations. Spain said it backed the kingdom’s plan of limited autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty for Western Sahara. Click here to read…

EXCLUSIVE- Draft Sudan deal seeks to cement military’s grip

Factions aligned with Sudan’s military have drawn up a deal to form a transitional government that would cement the army’s control and bypass pro-democracy groups it shared power with before an October coup. Click here to read…

Russia blocks UN security council request for investigation into Moura massacre

A UN Security Council request for independent investigations into the alleged Moura massacre in Mali has been blocked by Russia. Click here to read…

Despite a recent agreement, new clashes broke out between supporters of South Sudan’s rivals

Less than a week days after a major agreement was sealed between South Sudan’s rival leaders, fighting erupted in the North of the country. Click here to read…

Sparring Somali leaders now at odds over expulsion of African Union envoy

Somalia’s prime minister on Thursday expelled the African Union representative because of “acts incompatible with his status” but the president rejected the order, signalling a new rift between the leaders of the Horn of Africa nation. Click here to read…

Tunisia to compensate victims of revolution

Tunisian President Kais Saied, facing political and economic crisis and accusations that he took power in a coup, announced compensation on Sunday for the families of those killed and wounded in the 2011 revolution that brought democracy to the country. Click here to read…

DR Congo’s Tshisekedi signs EAC Treaty

Tshisekedi’s accession signature immediately brought the DR Congo into the realms and provisions of all the protocols and regional policies of the EAC. Click here to read…

Nigeria’s electricity grid collapses for the second time in a month

Nigeria’s national electricity grid has collapsed for the second time in a month, the federal ministry of power said on Saturday, leaving the parts of the country it serves, including capital Abuja and Africa’s biggest city Lagos, without power. Click here to read…

Burkina ex-president moved to home after house arrest

Burkina Faso’s military-led government said in a statement that former president Kabore would return to his home after house arrest. Click here to read…

Eastern Libyan military commanders urge closure of road to west

Military commanders in eastern Libya said on Saturday they had suspended participation in a U.N.-backed joint military council, accusing the Tripoli-based government of failing to hand power to a new cabinet and calling for the road west to be closed. Click here to read…

The Gambia votes for a new National Assembly

Gambians to vote for 53 legislators on a five-year term, with President Barrow picking five others, including the parliament’s president. Click here to read…

What is happening with Chad’s peace talks in Doha?

About 300 rebels landed in the Qatari capital, seeking a peace deal, but find themselves in a curious cohabitation. Click here to read…

Guinea junta chiefs warns mining giants over inequality

The head of Guinea’s ruling junta, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, has warned foreign mining companies to build processing factories locally and to share revenues with the country equally. Click here to read…

Angola: UN Supports Angola’s Transition to Middle Income Country

The resident coordinator of the United Nations in Angola Zahira Virami reaffirmed Wednesday the support of the UN system in the preparation process of Angola’s transition from Least Developed Country to Middle Income Country. Click here to read…

New COVID-19 variant discovered in Botswana

A new COVID-19 variant has been discovered in Botswana, a government official said. The new variant, which has characteristics of both the Alpha and Delta variants, has yet to be named. Click here to read…

Kenya’s Odinga running his fifth presidential race. Why outcome means so much for Kenya

“Odinga has a common touch that resonates with Kenyans who have felt locked out of the power matrix controlled by two ethnic groups.” Click here to read…

Life sentence for Burkinabe ex-leader Compaoré for Sankara murder

The long-awaited verdict brings to close a six-month trial for the assassination of Thomas Sankara on October 15, 1987. Click here to read…

Separatist commander killed in infighting in Cameroon’s restive Anglophone region

Security and local sources said on Saturday that a notorious separatist commander has been killed in Cameroon’s war-torn Anglophone region of Northwest in clashes between rival separatist groups. Click here to read…

Ghana on high alert against terrorist attacks – Minister of National Security assures

The Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, has given the assurance that the country will be able to respond and ward off any terrorist attacks in the country. Click here to read…

Coptic Christian Priest Killed in Egypt’s Alexandria

On Thursday 7 April 2022, the Ministry of Interior announced on its official Facebook page the arrest of a 60-year-old man who stabbed an archpriest to death in Alexandria. Click here to read…

US Alarmed by Reports of Atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

The United States expressed concern Friday about reports of ethnically motivated atrocities in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Click here to read…

Draghi Heads to Algeria as Italy Seeks to Cut Russia Gas Imports

Mario Draghi will visit Algeria on Monday as part of a plan to wean Italy off Russian natural gas. Click here to read…

Zambia’s President Hichilema goes eight months without salary

The Zambian leader, who was elected into office last August, says a salary was not his motivation for seeking public office. Click here to read…

Togo dismisses more teachers in new dispute with teachers’ union

The Togolese government has dismissed nine teachers, within a week of firing 137 others, even as the teacher’s union continues to demand that the Faure Gnassigbe administration honour its promises to them. Click here to read…

The problem with gaming in Uganda

The gaming industry in Uganda is highly informal, with individual-owned gaming parlours charging per hour of game time. However, the opportunity is huge. Click here to read…

Tanzania commemorates 100 years of founding leader Julius Nyerere

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Saturday joined fellow citizens in commemorating 100 years of the birth of founding leader Julius Nyerere. Click here to read…

Negotiating Local Business Practices with China in Benin

Beninese officials have shown how even small countries can use close coordination between ministries and other negotiating tactics to strike deals with Chinese counterparts that better protect their own interests. Click here to read…

Mozambique: All eyes on suitors as they await news on bid round qualification

Thirteen players — including two from Russia — will hear this week if they have succeeded in their plans to take part in Mozambique’s upcoming licensing round. Click here to read…

29,000 COVID-19 Vaccines Expired in Botswana: Official

At least 29,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have already expired and some will expire at the end of April in Botswana, an official said Saturday. Click here to read…

INDIA IN AFRICA

Haryana signs collaboration deal with Ethiopia to strengthen trade, investment ties

The FFC was signed by Haryana’s Principal Secretary Yogender Choudhary and Ethiopian Ambassador Dr Tizita Mulugeta. Click here to read…

India, Kenya holds 2nd Foreign Office Consultations, review bilateral relations

India and Kenya on Friday held the 2nd round of Foreign Office Consultations (FoC) and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including political and economicClick here to read…

MoU with Congo-based foundation

MS University has signed an MoU with the Vinmart Foundation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for our scholarships to students of Congo who will be coming to Vadodara to pursue higher education. Click here to read…

Haryana, Ethiopian panel sign trade framework

During the two-day meeting of the Haryana-Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC), a framework of collaboration (FFC) was signed between Haryana and the EIC. Click here to read…

Madagascar joins India-backed Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

Madagascar has become the 30th country to join the India-backed Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) that aims to help small island nations develop resilience to deal with the adverse impact of climate change. Click here to read…

Fishermen team meets Kanimozhi for release of five captains from Seychelles

Thoothukudi MP and DMK leader Kanimozhi has assured a delegation from the International Fishermen Development Trust (INFIDET) that she will take efforts for the release of five captains and their boats detained in Seychelles. Click here to read…

Rwandans in India pay tribute to genocide victims

The Rwandan High Commission in New Delhi, India in collaboration with the India Africa Trade Council commemorated the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi on April 7Click here to read…

Why India’s beautiful flowers miss the plane of exports while Kenya & Ethiopia fly high

Ethiopia and Kenya have promoted floriculture in key markets, offered tax holidays, organised producers and worked to create infrastructure for farmers. Click here to read…

Why is a dragon carved on Jain temple in Mangalore? Medieval Africa-China trade holds answer

While many of us have heard of Indian interactions with Southeast Asia and China, or even Arabia, Africa is a gaping hole in how we think about premodern trade. But it was one of the most prosperous. Click here to read…

Review: India-Africa Relations: Changing Horizons by Rajiv Bhatia

A meticulously detailed book that tells us why Africa matters so much to India and presents good suggestions on how the India-Africa relationship should be enhanced and pushed ahead. Click here to read…

Chibuzor, who once ruled Kolkata football, dies in Nigeria

Nigerian striker Chibuzor Nwakanma – the first foreigner to play for Kolkata’s big three clubs and whose unique nose for goals often set the field afire with his special somersault celebration – is no more. Click here to read…

Egyptian Govt expresses interest to buy Indian wheat

Team from Cairo to visit New Delhi next week, to inspect facilities for imports by supplies and commodities authorityClick here to read…

Nigeria Exports Crude Oil worth NGN774.5 Bln to India in 4Q

Nigeria exported crude oil worth 774.5 billion Nigerian naira ($1.86 billion) to India in the fourth quarter of 2021, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics said in a report. Click here to read…

Paree Sanitary Pads Eyes Global Expansion, Enters Tanzania, Africa, and Nepal

With an objective to cater to women’s needs and make sanitary pads easily accessible, Paree Sanitary Pad has now expanded its operations to Tanzania, Africa, and Nepal. Click here to read…

Indian community to strengthen economic relations with Ghana

The Indian community in Ghana has said it will expand business operations as part of efforts to boost investment and increase its economic relations with the country. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, January 19, 2022

Xi stresses further promoting full, strict Party governance: Xinhunaet

January 18, 2022

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Tuesday stressed rigorous and unswerving efforts in further promoting full and strict Party governance. Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while addressing the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline InspectionClick here to read…

Xi stresses full, strict Party governance, vows zero tolerance on corruption: Xinhunaet
January 18, 2022

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Tuesday stressed rigorous and unswerving efforts in further promoting full and strict Party governance. Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, vowed to maintain a zero-tolerance stance on corruption while addressing the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). Click here to read…

China pledges to further support employment of people emerging from poverty: Xinhuanet
January 18, 2022

In an effort to consolidate its poverty elimination achievements, China will strive to ensure that at least 30 million people who have been lifted out of poverty are employed this year, a senior official said on Tuesday. In 2021, some 31.45 million people lifted out of poverty found jobs, Liu Huanxin, deputy chief of the Office of the Central Rural Work Leading Group and head of the National Rural Revitalization Administration, told a video conference. Click here to read…

China urges U.S. to compensate victims of secret experiments: Xinhuanet
January 18, 2022

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Tuesday urged the United States to offer apologies and compensation to victims of secret experiments. Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily press briefing when asked to comment on a Danish Radio documentary which exposed the secret human body experiments practiced on 311 Danish children in the 1960s, allegedly funded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Click here to read…

China unveils plan to improve transportation networks by 2025: Xinhuanet
January 18, 2022

China has unveiled a plan outlining major targets for transportation network development in the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). High-speed railways will stretch to a total length of 50,000 kilometers in 2025, up from 38,000 kilometers in 2020, and 250-km ones are expected to cover 95 percent of cities with populations above 500,000, per the document released by the State Council. Click here to read…

China’s ex-senior provincial political advisor prosecuted: Xinhuanet
January 18, 2022

A public prosecution has been initiated against Xiao Yi, a former senior political advisor in east China’s Jiangxi Province, over suspected bribe-taking and abuse of power. The Hangzhou Municipal People’s Procuratorate in Zhejiang Province recently filed a lawsuit with the Intermediate People’s Court of Hangzhou, an official statement said Tuesday. Click here to read…

Former official feels ‘liberated’ behind bars: China Daily
January 19, 2022

One-time Beijing vice-mayor yielded to enticement of corruption and bribery. To fulfill a dream, Chen Gang, a former member of the Leading Party Members Group of the China Association for Science and Technology, asked real estate developers to build a private garden for him in Huairou, Beijing, from 2002 to 2014. Click here to read…

PLA Xinjiang Military Command gets new air defense missiles, artillery, rocket launch systems: Global Times
January 18, 2022

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang Military Command recently commissioned a large batch of advanced air defense missiles, artillery and multiple rocket launch systems, which analysts said on Tuesday are expected to enhance the troops’ emergency response capabilities under complicated situations. Click here to read…

China, Russia, Iran to hold joint maritime exercise: Global Times
January 19, 2022

China, Russia and Iran will hold a maritime joint exercise, media reported on Tuesday, citing the Russian navy’s Pacific Fleet, without releasing a specific time for the drill. It is not the first time for the three countries to hold similar joint exercises. In 2019, the Chinese Navy, together with its Russian and Iranian counterparts, conducted a four-day military drill on the Gulf of Oman to deepen cooperation between the navies of the three countries. The drill also conveys a goodwill gesture and exhibits China’s ability to maintain world peace and maritime security, according to Chinese military officials. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, January 12, 2022

Xi stresses better understanding, use of CPC’s centenary historical experience: Xinhuanet
January 11, 2022

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Tuesday called for efforts to deepen the review, study, education and promotion of the CPC’s history so as to better understand and make good use of the historical experience of the Party over the past century..Click here to read…

Vice Premier calls for more efforts to stabilize employment: Xinhuanet
January 11, 2022

Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua on Monday called for stronger efforts to keep employment stable. Hu made the remarks while addressing a meeting of the leading group on employment work under the State Council in Beijing..Click here to read…

New energy car registration in China up nearly 60 pct in 2021: Xinhuanet
January 11, 2022

The number of new energy cars registered in China reached 7.84 million in 2021, up more than 59 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Public Security showed Tuesday. The figure represents 2.6 percent of the total number of cars in the country, said the ministry, adding that China has seen the number of newly registered new energy cars increase rapidly in the past five years..Click here to read…

China working to make IPR public services more convenient, smarter: Xinhuanet
January 11, 2022

China will endeavor to provide more convenient and smarter public services in the field of intellectual property rights (IPR) during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), according to a plan issued by the National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA)..Click here to read…

Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador Sun Weidong at Webinar Themed on “Together for a Shared Future”: Global Times
January 12, 2022

Mr Wan Xuejun, Deputy Director General of International Relations Department, Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,.Click here to read…

Aerial refueling-capable Z-20, stealth chopper expected in China, says chief designer: Global Times
January 11, 2022

China’s Z-20 utility tactical helicopter could get upgrades including the ability to receive aerial refueling, the chopper’s chief designer said on Tuesday, who also suggested the possible existence of a stealth helicopter and the development of the country’s domestically built heavy-lift helicopter..Click here to read…

China unveils guidelines to stabilize trade: Global Times
January 12, 2022

The State Council, China’s cabinet, on Tuesday called for efforts to ensure domestic supplies of commodities, as part of guidelines to stabilize exports and imports as a countercyclical buffer against uncertainty clouding the trade landscape..Click here to read…

Seawin makes progress in fertilizer trade dispute with Sri Lanka through negotiation: Global Times
January 11, 2022

Seawin Biotech, a Chinese company involved in a $49.7 million fertilizer trade dispute with Sri Lanka, has made progress in exporting organic fertilizers to Sri Lanka, the Economic and Commercial Office of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka told the Global Times on Tuesday. The dispute, which started in October, centers on Sri Lankan officials’ rejection of the Chinese fertilizers, citing what Chinese sources call shady claims of quality issues. .Click here to read…

China unveils plan to safeguard water security: China Daily
January 12, 2022

China has released a plan to improve the country’s capability to safeguard its water security during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025). The plan, jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Water Resources, is the first five-year plan for water security to be implemented on the national level..Click here to read…

14th Five-Year Plan outlines stronger online copyright protection: China Daily
January 12, 2022

The National Copyright Administration of China recently published the 14th Five-Year Plan for Copyright Protection, outlining 26 key tasks in six areas: the copyright law system; the administrative protection system; the need to crack down on infringement and piracy; the social services framework; international cooperation and exchange; and the development of related sectors. According to the plan, more than 5 million copyrights will have been registered by 2025, and the contribution of the copyright industry to GDP will have grown to 7.5 percent..Click here to read…

Chinese cities tighten COVID-19 curbs as Tianjin battles Omicron outbreak: Reuters
January 11, 2022

Cities across China are imposing tougher restrictions to try to control new outbreaks of COVID-19, with Tianjin battling the highly contagious Omicron variant which has been detected to have been transmitted locally in two other provinces. A Tianjin official told a Tuesday press briefing that 49 domestically transmitted cases with confirmed symptoms have been detected during the latest outbreak. The city of 14 million people, around 100km (62 miles) from Beijing, is now implementing tough controls to stop the coronavirus from spreading, especially to neighbouring Beijing..Click here to read…

China’s civil servants ordered to tighten their belts: South China Morning Post
January 12, 2022

For Timothy Tian, like millions of other Chinese civil servants, the forthcoming Lunar New Year promises to be an austere one as government workers face the toughest round of belt-tightening in a decade.Even if Covid restrictions allow it, the city government worker from the eastern province of Zhejiang cannot afford to travel after his monthly pay packet was cut by about 2,000 yuan (US$315) to 5,000 yuan..Click here to read…

China buys sanctioned oil from Iran: Taipei Times
January 12, 2022

China last year doubled down on imports of Iranian and Venezuelan crude, taking the most from the US-sanctioned regimes in three years, as refiners brushed off the risk of penalties to scoop up cheap oil. Crude processors in the world’s biggest importer were observed to have bought 324 million barrels from Iran and Venezuela last year, about 53 percent more than a year earlier, data from market intelligence firm Kpler showed. That is the most since 2018, when China took 352 million barrels from the two nations..Click here to read…

West Asia – Review- June, 2021

Abstract:

As the US decided to withdraw some of its defence equipment like Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia and some other countries, it conducted Falcon Claws 4 joint exercises with Saudi land forces. It also retaliated against Hezbollah and Iraqi militia groups justifying that the US military targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one in Iraq in response to drone attacks by the militia against US personnel and facilities in Iraq. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed “We took necessary, appropriate, deliberate action that is designed to limit the risk of escalation, but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message”. Iraqi militia groups aligned with Iran in a statement named four members of the Kataib Sayyed al-Shuhada faction who were killed in the attack on the Syria-Iraq border. They vowed to retaliate. Iraq’s government, wary of getting dragged into a US-Iran conflict, condemned the strikes on its territory and said it would “study all legal options” to prevent such action being repeated. Syria called the strikes a “flagrant violation of the sanctity of Syrian and Iraqi lands.” However, observers believe that these actions could have been taken within the knowledge of the Iraqi establishment. Iraq’s military issued a condemnation of the US strikes. US forces came under fire after the attacks.

On June 28-29, US and Italy organised an anti-ISIS Coalition conference which was attended by a large number of countries from the region including Saudi and Qatari and Israeli foreign ministers and the Arab League. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan stressed “we must not ignore the fact that the organization is still a threat. This demands that all sides continue efforts and coordination to contain and eliminate ISIS completely.” On the sidelines of the meeting, Prince Faisal met with United Nations envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen, and his counterparts from the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag; France, Jean-Yves Le Drian; Libya, Najla al-Mangoush; Iraq, Dr. Fuad Hussein; and Jordan, Ayman al-Safadi and Joseph Borrel of EU.

Palestinian Authority faced continuous demonstrations pursuant to the death of a video blogger and activist Nizar Banat in police custody. Officials in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the Fatah party accused the Gaza-ruling Hamas of plotting chaos in the West Bank and a coup against the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Hamas has felt emboldened after the recent Gaza-Israel war.
President Sisi, who brokered peace between Israel and Hamas spoke to the new Israeli Pm Naftali bennet urging that reconstruction of Gaza should be the priority along with finding a permanent solution for the Israel-Palestine issue. Bennet thanked Egypt for help find two missing Israeli soldiers since 2014 Gaza and wants them back as a precondition. However, it allowed passage of relief material as well as fuel supplies. Egypt and Qatar have pledged $500 million each for reconstruction in Gaza, where two-thirds of 2 million residents are dependent on aid.

Arch enemies Iran and Israel had new leadership. While Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party could not muster enough seats the “Coalition for Change” with eight political parties across the spectrum led by Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennet formed the government with a margin of only one seat (61 to 59) in the parliament. Netanyahu, who after his recent show of strength in the Israel -Hamas war hoped for the 5th election in two years, vowed to return to power. While Bennet became the new PM for half the term Yair Lapid became the new Foreign Minister as Benny Gantz retained his portfolio of defence ministry. First the Arab “Ra’am” Party supported the government in Israel and cut a deal to look after the interests of the Israeli Arabs and hopefully act as mediator with the Palestinians who are facing their own leadership crisis.

On the other hand the Iranians had a preconceived outcome as the ultra-conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi, head of judiciary and closer to Ayatollah, won the Presidential election by 62% votes. Economy, unemployment and spiralling inflation as well as the pandemic will be the main priority for him when he takes over in mid-August. Meanwhile, he extended his full support to the resumption of the JCPOA nuclear deal and Vienna talks. Obviously Israel is unhappy with his election and the US efforts to re-join the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) without addressing the issues of Iranian missiles and proxy militias across the region.

After his visit to Rome and meeting with Bahraini counterpart as well as Secy Blinken and others, Israeli FM Lapid visited UAE for inaugurating their Embassy in Abu Dhabi and consulate in Dubai while carrying forward the dialogue and to address some of the concerns regarding the Palestinian conflict with his counterpart.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that the Palestinian Authority have submitted a 30 items list to the Biden Administration for reviving the Peace deal with Israel. But whether those will be acceptable to Tel Aviv is a big question apart from how far US is willing to get involved, although Washington has agreed to restore its consulate in Jerusalem for maintaining relations with Ramallah.

The leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq met in Baghdad to discuss the developments in the region from Israel-Palestine conflict to economic cooperation. This was their 4th meeting. First Trilateral Summit was held in Cairo in March 2019. This was also the first visit by an Egyptian President to Iraq since the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 when ties broke between Egypt and Iraq. In February, the two countries had signed 12 MoUs including Iraq supplying 12 mn barrels of light crude in 2021. Jordanian FM Safadi said that Iraq must be isolated from regional interventions referring to Iranian influence. US welcomed this Arab Alliance that might help in security and economic cooperation and stability in the region. Meanwhile, Egypt has agreed to supply 700 MW of electricity to Iraq to tide over the immediate crisis.

Sudan was approved for debt relief of $2.5 bn by IMF as US sanctions had been lifted.

75 Libyan delegates met in Geneva under the aegis of UNSMIL to discuss and iron out differences over the December 24 elections. The Berlin II process also began to address security issues and to ensure steady movement forward. Holding elections and removal of foreign forces, militias and mercenaries were fundamental to the success of stability in Libya.

Post rapprochement between Qatar and Saudi led Quartet at Al Ula Summit, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani received the credentials of the new Saudi Ambassador to Doha, Prince Mansour bin Khalid bin Farhan. Likewise, Egypt has appointed a veteran diplomat, Amr el-Sherbini previously, ambassador at large at the Egyptian foreign ministry. Normalisation of Qatar’s relations with UAE and Bahrain are still moving at a slow pace.

PM Modi congratulated both Prime Minister Bennet and President elect Ebrahim Raisi hoping for continued good relations with both the countries.

Dr S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister visited Kuwait and held discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues with their leadership. In Rome he also met his Saudi counterpart among others. He also chaired a meeting with the Heads of Missions in the Gulf region and asked them to explore possibilities of early and smoother return of Indian work force which had to be evacuated under ‘Vande Bharat” missions due to pandemic and economic downturn.

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Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi emerges winner in Iranian Presidential Race

The current Chief Justice, Ebrahim Raisi appeared as the clear winner in the Presidential election held on 18 June securing 61.95 percent of total votes. The presidential election held on 18 June 2021 saw the lowest turnout at 48.8 percent since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Interestingly, the no vote option received more votes than the first runner up, Mohsen Rezaei followed by the only moderate candidate; Abdolnasswer Hemmati.1 Raisi would join office in August 2021.

Raisi’s victory has consolidated the gains for the conservative faction that already controls the parliament. He enjoys good relationship with the clerical hierarchy, intelligence, security forces and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Critics have expressed concerns over possibility of renewed social oppression including arrests of journalists and activists and further curbs in the already restricted cyber space. Amnesty International has called for investigation for crime against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance against Raisi during his long tenure within the judiciary.

On the nuclear issue, the Iranian delegation made some progress to renew the JCPOA with the US. Raisi has supported the nuclear deal however, sceptics have raised concern that the new president could complicate the possible US return to the nuclear deal. The US during the talks has insisted on extending the dialogue not only on nuclear issue but also on missile programme and IRGC’s activities in the region. The new Iranian President is not likely to concede to the new demands. Meanwhile, Joe Biden administration on 10 June lifted sanctions on three former Iranian oil executives and two companies indicating US’ willingness to carry forward dialogue.

In second week of June, it was widely reported that an Iranian destroyer, Sahand and intelligence gathering vessel, Makran are sailing in the Atlantic Ocean. Iran’s Deputy Army chief, Habibollah Sayyari called the expedition as navy’s longest and most challenging voyage. Iran is hoping that it would improve its navy’s seafaring capacity and provide long term durability in facing unfavourable weather conditions in the Atlantic Ocean. The goal of the mission is inconclusive however, the US officials have concluded that the vessel may be headed to Venezuela.

Anti-Netanyahu coalition takes control over Israel

Israel since 2019 has witnessed four elections to form a stable government. Due to the fracture in the right wing coalition, Benjamin Netanyahu despite receiving highest number of seats failed to present a stable government. Netanyahu after third election in 2020 managed to form a unity government with Benny Gantz led Kahol Lavan. The unity government eventually dissolved in December 2020 leading to fourth election in March 2021. The new government led by Naftali Bennet was formed after weeks of negotiations among right wing, centrist, leftist and an Arab party to replace Netanyahu. Bennet after serving as the Prime Minister for two years would be succeeded by Yair Lapid. The uneasy coalition is highly fragile and Netanyahu is likely to use the fissures to weaken the government.

In early June, Isaac Herzog, the former leader of the Labour party has been elected as the new President by 87 votes in the 120 member Knesset. Herzog is the son of former President Chaim Herzog. He is expected to hold office for a single seven year term starting on 9 July.

Israel-Palestine issue

Israeli air force conducted series of airstrikes at several locations in Gaza on 16 June reportedly targeting Hamas meeting sites. The air raids since the ceasefire with Hamas in May were carried out in response to incendiary balloons being launched by Palestinians in Gaza. Palestinians have condemned the provocative rally carried out by Israeli ultra-nationalists in East Jerusalem chanting “Death to Arabs” and “May your village burn” on 15 June to celebrate the Israeli takeover of the whole city after 1967 Arab-Israel war.

The parade and its prior approval was a difficult challenge for Prime Minister Naftali Bennet who has promised a pragmatic approach currently presiding over a delicate, diverse coalition government. Despite warnings about renewed escalation, Bennett went ahead with approving the rally in order to consolidate his right-wing support base. The leader of the United Arab List, Mansour Abbas who is currently a coalition partner in the Bennet led government called the rally as “an attempt to set the region on fire for political aims,” and undermine the new government.

Notably, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid condemned the racist slogans on Twitter calling it “a disgrace to the Israeli people,” adding, “The fact that there are radicals for whom the Israeli flag represents hatred and racism is abominable and unforgivable.”

Defence Minister Benny Gantz met with the military chief of staff, the police commissioner and other senior security officials highlighting the need to avoid friction and protect the personal safety of both Jews and Arabs. The Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, called the march an “aggression against our people.” The Jordanian Foreign Ministry condemned the march as “unacceptable diluting the efforts to reduce friction between Israel and the Palestinians.

Moreover, according a poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, around 53 percent of Palestinians have favoured Hamas as the most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people and only 14 percent has expressed preference for Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas’ 11 days conflict with Israeli forces in May has contributed to its increase in popularity.

In other news, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has halted “intelligence mapping” or the practice of conducting night time raids in Palestinian homes in the West Bank to derive information about the residents. IDF came under intense pressure by Israeli civil society and human rights groups i.e. Yesh Din; Physicians for Human Rights Israel and Breaking the Silence. The activist groups published a detailed report concluding arbitrary invasions of private Palestinian homes does not serve any strategic purpose and only leads to oppression and intimidation of the Palestinian population causing deep psychological trauma.

US’ UN Ambassador assures Humanitarian Relief to Syrian Refugees

The US Ambassador to Turkey, Linda Thomas-Greenfield during her visit to Turkey between 2 and 4 June, has announced that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing US$ 240 million to support humanitarian efforts for Syrian refugees settled in Turkey. The US has reportedly spent around US$ 13 billion in humanitarian relief for Syrian refugees in the last ten years. She met with UN agencies and NGO partners to provide-life saving assistance to millions.

The Ambassador met with senior Turkish leaders to discuss opportunities to strengthen bilateral ties, collectively address global challenges; upgrade the level of cooperation on Syria including management of refugees. The US recognised the crucial role of Turkey to facilitate cross border assistance and providing refugees.

Peace talks fail between Sudanese Government and Rebel Group

The transitional government in mid-June failed to accomplish the peace deal with the rebel group, Sudan Popular Liberation Movement – North led by Abdel-Aziz al Hilu. The government and PLM – N on 15 June shut down the negotiations and agreed to discuss the disputed points at a later date. Reportedly, only four out of 19 points remain unresolved. The group is demanding secular constitution; disbanding militias erected during Omar Al Bashir’s tenure and reforms in military. The government has been negotiating with the rebel group since the last two years and recently signed a declaration of principles entailing roadmap for talks. The current talks are mediated by South Sudan. PLM-N operates in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan provinces and threatened to call for self-determination in the areas under their control in case the demands remain unfulfilled.

In other news, Sudanese transitional government has indicated that it will review the agreement with Russia to establish a naval base. The naval base would hold up to 300 Russian troops and host up to four navy ships including nuclear powered vessels in Port Sudan. Russia had committed to provide weapons, military equipment and training, Sudan concluded the agreement during the presidency of Oman Al-Bashir. The deal was never ratified by the parliament.

Spain Reopens Embassy in Tripoli

Spain in early June reopened its embassy in Libya’s capital, Tripoli after a gap of seven years. The decision was made after Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez held discussion with Libyan Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah. Spain has agreed to start the authorisation process to expedite visas to improve mobility between both states. The Spanish Prime Minister expressed hope that it would pave the way for cooperation and benefit the Libyan political process.

Turkish President’s visit to Azerbaijan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 15 June visited Azerbaijan and met with President, Ilham Aliyev in the historic city of Shusha. Shusha is an important cultural centre for Azerbaijan which came under Armenian control in 1992. Azerbaijan recaptured the strategic city in November 2020 during the six weeks conflict with Armenia. Turkey was crucial military ally for Azerbaijan supplying weapons and UAVs.

Both leaders signed declaration in order to deepen relations in several areas including security. Erdogan became the first foreign leader to visit Shusha. Turkey promised to set up a consulate in the city extending support for Azerbaijan’s control over city and other areas in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.