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Issue #1695      July 29, 2015

Region Briefs

According to China’s Ministry of Housing, another 7.4 million affordable housing units will be constructed by the end of this year, making the total number 39.7 million (the goal is 36 million) from 2011 to 2015. The country’s Ministry of Finance allocated nearly A$29 billion to build the units for improving people’s living standards. The money will also be used to subsidise low-income families’ rent for public-housing. The Chinese government approved an affordable housing program in 1999, and with the aim of offering cheaper housing units to low-income families, helping them to live better in cities at a very low cost.

The Embassy of China in Australia recently condemned a violent attack by Tibetan militants on the Chinese Consulate in Sydney. Ten Australian Tibetans attacked the Consulate, pulling down the Chinese national flag and attacking a female worker. The Embassy spokesperson said that “this is a very serious attack on diplomatic and consular institutions, which fully exposes the violent nature of the Tibetan separatists”. He called on the Australian government to follow The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, ensuring safety and dignity of Chinese institutions and personnel in Australia. The attack once again showed the Dalai Lama and his separatist gangs engaging violent and terrorist activities.

Vietnamese President Sang Tan Truong met former Soviet Union cosmonaut Viktor Vasilyevich Gorbatko who took part in a space flight with Vietnamese astronaut Pham Tuan 35 years ago. Pham Tuan expressed the honour of being the first Vietnamese astronaut, while Gorbatko said the trip with Pham Tuan was unforgettable and he always remembered the friendliness and warm welcome from Vietnam and its people.

Vietnam plans to implement 28 infrastructure projects worth over A$100 million by 2020, building and upgrading public and private social support centres in the city of Hanoi for the elderly, war veterans, people with disabilities and who suffer from mental health problems. The Hanoi municipal government encouraged organisations and individuals to invest in social service, and it will offer supporting policies and allocate land in order to ensure the implementation of the projects.

Two-thirds of Japanese university researchers opposed Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s decision to increase cooperation between universities and the military: the government reduced funding to universities but increased investment in military research. According to the National Test and Research Institutions, 64 percent of surveyed researchers said they would not get involved in researching projects funded by the Japanese Defence Ministry or sponsored by the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency. The survey participants said that the increase in military research contradicted the country’s constitution and that the classified military research would not contribute to scientific progress.

Next article – Culture & Life – Ukraine, demonic possession and movies

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