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Issue #1706      October 14, 2015

Region Briefs

Chinese President Xi Jinping celebrated with 13 grass-root ethnic minority representatives, who contributed greatly to ethnic solidarity, in Beijing on the eve of China’s October 1 National Day. The representatives were from the country’s five autonomous regions of Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Guangxi and Ningxia. The President took the opportunity to thank the representatives for their outstanding work and sent his festival wishes to all 56 ethnic groups in China. He says that all ethnic groups contribute to its development and that no single ethnic group should be left behind in the process of building a comprehensive and prosperous modern society. He urged people from all ethnic groups to “love each other like brothers and sisters and make efforts to safeguard unity”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping won applause at the UN’s General Debate as he called for protecting the interests of developing countries and supporting underdeveloped nations. He said that “we firmly support greater representation of developing countries, especially African countries, in the international governance system”. The President explained China’s future support for world peace and development: China will fund AU$1.42 billion to support the UN’s work; it will provide AU$142 million to the African Union for responding to crisis situations; it will train 2,000 foreign peacekeepers for minesweeping missions; offer AU$2.8 billion to support South-South Cooperation; China will cancel debts owed by the least developed countries; also provide 150,000 scholarships to citizens of developing countries for the purpose of receiving training and education in China.

The newly founded Cambodian General Department of Immigration has deported 2,659 male and 567 female immigrants from 46 countries since April 2014. Eighty-seven percent of the immigrants are from Vietnam and there are at least another 160,000 such immigrants currently living in the country. According to the country’s immigration law, any foreigner without a valid visa, passport and work permit is considered as an illegal immigrant and is deported.

Cambodia garment and footwear workers agreed with a trade unions’ proposal that demands employers increase the 2016 monthly minimum wage from the current AU$182 to AU$239. The Garment Manufactures Association in Cambodia (representing factory employers’ interests) however said that the factories could only afford a AU$6.7 monthly wage increase, because many factories might not survive. The government will announce the new minimum wage for the workers next week. The country currently has 700,000 garment workers in 1,100 factories, and they have exported AU$4.7 billion worth of products to overseas markets in the first six months of 2015, 80 percent of the country’s total export.

Next article – Culture & Life – Global goals vs TTIP

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