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Issue #1686      May 27, 2015

Region Briefs

International communities celebrated the 125th birthday (May 19) of Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. In a celebration in New Delhi, India, guests recalled President Ho’s visit to India in 1958, saying that many Indians still remembered the leader’s sincerity and modesty, and they also highlighted President Ho’s contribution to Vietnam and to revolutionary movements of the world.

The Vietnamese and Chinese military have created a joint border patrol. This patrol is one of many activities of the second Vietnam-China Border Defence Friendship Exchange. The two countries’ Defence Ministers attended the exchange, and they said that “the exchange was successful and reflected the solidarity and friendship between the two armies and two peoples.” They also confirmed that the next exchange would be held next year. The Vietnamese side stressed the importance of the exchange to maintain a peaceful, stable and mutual-benefiting cooperation. The Chinese side praised the Vietnamese army’s contribution, building a peaceful and friendly border line with China.

Vietnam’s North Central Region will provide health insurance to 95 percent of local people whose incomes are just above poverty line, by the end of 2015, and the percentage will increase by three percent the following year.

A six-person Chinese medical team has arrived in Jamaica, providing free medical services under the Chinese government’s foreign aid project. The team will stay in the country for 10 days and operate 200 cataract surgeries and outpatient services. They will also donate around A$400,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies to local hospitals. The team had offered similar medical support to Antigua, Barbuda, Trinidad, Tobago Guyana and Dominica before going to Jamaica. This foreign aid is part of China’s Bright Journey project that have benefited many Asian and African patients since 2003, and this project now also applies to the Caribbean region.

Japanese Communist Party Diet (parliament) member, Koike Akira, has criticised Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s proposal that planned to increase the length of the international technical intern training program from the current three years to five years. Akira said that the proposal would allow illegal companies to exploit overseas workers even more. There are 33,000 companies and 169,000 overseas workers under this program, with 79.6 percent of the companies violating the Labor Standards Act. For instance, 20 Chinese trainees sued the Nissan Tokiwa Corporation for not paying wages. The workers said that they only had two days off every year and were forced to work overtime more than five hours a day, but their hourly wage was only AU$3.50 compared to the AU$6.79 legal minimum. Akira demanded the government remove illegal labour-practice companies from the program and implement the workers’ labour rights.

Next article – Culture & Life – The hypocrisy of capitalism

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