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Issue #1689      June 17, 2015

Region Briefs

The Philippines and Japan recently conducted a joint navy exercise, after the Philippines’ President visited Japan. During the visit, the President compared China with Nazi Germany, flattering Japan by supporting its militarism in order to form an alliance with Japan to contain China’s peaceful development. In 2014, the Philippines passed a bill that allowed the US to station troops and weapons in the country, while Japan passed the Collective Defence Right that allowed the military to send troops overseas (a new Fascist Axis is forming in Asia-Pacific). According to data released by Japanese Defence Ministry, 25 Japanese Self-Defence Force members in Afghanistan and 29 in Iraq have committed suicide after they returned from their overseas posts. The suicide number is 10 times higher than for the ordinary Japanese population. The actual suicide number is even higher as the data only started to be recorded from 2004.

Vietnam’s Vice Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai visited China’s Yunan province for the opening of the third China-South Asia Expo. During the visit, the Vice Prime Minister met Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, and he proposed a number of suggestions that would foster the partnership between the two countries, such as maintaining high-level meetings and implementing agreements for win-win cooperation in all fields, and promoting people-to-people exchange. Li said that the Party and the government of China always sought neighbourly friendship and cooperation with Vietnam. He spoke highly of the bilateral relationship in the past and hoped to actively enhance comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

Vietnam and China will jointly build the first eco-plastic plant in Vietnam’s province of Mekong Delta, hoping to reduce plastic bag pollution. The plant is worth over A$11 million and it will be constructed jointly by Vietnam Plastic House Co Ltd and its Chinese partner, a biodegradable plastics company in Guangzhou. The compostable bio-plastic bag is made from wheat flour and uses Vietnamese local materials. The plant will produce 3,000 tonnes of bags every year, hoping to replace the traditional plastic bags by 65 percent by 2020 in Vietnam’s supermarkets and 50 percent in other domestic markets.

At a recent national climate change and emissions reduction meeting in Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that “China is committed to full, effective and sustainable implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”. He stressed that the country was ready to work with all parties to ensure a comprehensive, balanced and strong agreement at the upcoming Paris Conference. China will engage with other countries bilaterally and multilaterally on the issue, especially to provide capital and technological support to developing countries, small island nations and least developed countries for climate protection purpose. Energy saving and emissions control were prioritised in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), the country’s energy consumption dropped by 29.9 percent and carbon dioxide emission dropped by 33.8 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 levels.

Next article – Culture & Life – Media culture’s class act

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