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Issue #1697      August 12, 2015

Region Briefs

Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, met his Lao counterpart, Thongsing Thammavong, in Hanoi. They agreed to push wide-ranging cooperation that was reached at the two countries’ politburo annual meetings and the 37th inter-governmental committee on Vietnam-Lao cooperation. The two countries will increase high-level delegation visits, co-organise major anniversaries and celebrations, share experience on Party building, reach over A$2.3 billion bilateral in trade by the end of this year, and prevent terrorism, sabotage and drug trafficking in border regions. The two countries will also co-evaluate the Mekong River’s hydropower dams’ impact on the environment and the local people.

Myanmar was hit recently by severe flood that had killed 88 people and affected another 330,000. Yunnan, China’s southwest province, which has a shared border with Myanmar, donated 14 fully loaded emergency relief aid trucks to one of Myanmar’s worst-hit areas. The aid included 1,000 tents, 500 boxes of milk powder, 1,000 bags of rice, and 10,000 boxes of instant noodles. Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar, Hong Liang, said that the two countries were fraternal brothers, and China would never stop helping Myanmar when there was a natural disaster. Since June, heavy rainfall hit Myanmar, and later flooding affected 13 regions, destroying infrastructure, farmland and houses.

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, at a China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting, said that China would prioritise assistances for infrastructure construction and international cooperation in production capacity in accordance with the needs of target countries. He explained that due to ASEAN countries’ unique characteristics (at a different stage of industrialisation), China will help the countries according to the “most in need”. He also noted that “China had no intention of competing with other countries in the process of cooperation”.

Twelve countries’ trade ministers failed to sign an agreement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact that was drafted by the US. The Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head, Yamashita Yosiki, commented that the failure of the TPP showed that it only benefited multinational corporations, undermined working people’s living standards and the countries’ economic sovereignty. Japan Family Farmers’ Movement Chair, Shiraishi Jun’ichi, argued that the US imposed its rule in the region by pushing the TPP. He then criticised Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo for selling off the country’ agricultural interest to the US. He believed that the failure of the signing was a result of the campaigning by international movements.

Next article – Culture & Life – The anti-Communist origins of IS

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