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Issue #1714      December 9, 2015

Region Briefs

Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, recently met with delegates from the Communist Party of France (PCF), headed by its National Secretary, Pierre Laurent. The PM expressed his sympathies on the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. He thanked the PCF’s contribution and asked it to continue to support the friendship between the two parties and cooperation between Vietnam and France. Laurent praised Vietnam’s contribution to the mitigation of climate change, stressing the importance of ensuring environmental protection while pursuing economic development.

Vietnamese President, Truong Tan Sang, held a meeting with visiting Head of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Jang Byong Gyu. The President urged that the two sides work even harder. He said the Vietnamese Party and the state would strengthen relations with the DPRK. Jang agreed with the President and thanked Vietnamese people’s support on DPRK’s national construction, pledging that he would do his best to promote the traditional friendship between the two countries.

Celebrations were held in Laos and Vietnam to celebrate Laos’ 40th National Day. Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairman, Nguyen Sinh Hung, congratulated the Lao party and people on their achievements, and he believed the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party would lead people to success, building socialism and national construction. Laos has achieved an annual economic growth of between seven to eight percent, the per capita income has reached over A$2,000 and the rate of poor households has dropped to 6.5 percent in 2015. Laos will prioritise plans for industrialisation, modernisation and increasing regional influence for the period from 2016 to 2020.

Shell Pakistan’s Lubricant Oil Blending Plant in Keamari stationed a number of paramilitary personnel to intimidate workers who intend to form a union. The plant then employed 100 new workers and said it would outsource the work if the workers were still committed to form the union. The Pakistan Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Union supported 300 workers from the plant in August, helping them to become permanent contract workers. The workers then planned to register their own union at the plant. Shell claims that the workers are not official employees.

The Japanese government is strengthening relations with its domestic academic institutes, hoping to get them more involved in military research. Historically, the representative body of Japanese Scientists in all fields, the Science Council of Japan, issued a statement in 1950, stating that it must refuse engagement in military research. Since 2006, the Japanese Defence Ministry has been exchanging information on technology with many public research institutes and universities. The Japanese government started to provide funds for selected research proposals this year, and the Defence Ministry already received 109 proposals (80 of them were from public institutes and universities).

Next article – Culture & Life – A message to the world from the Wampis

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