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Issue #1717      February 3, 2016

Region Briefs

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) successfully concluded its eight-day 12th National Congress. The Congress reviewed and passed important political and economic reports. It also elected 200 Central Committee members. The first Plenum of the Congress elected the General Secretary, 19 politburo members, 21 Inspection Commission members and its Chief, and the three-member Secretariat. Nguyen Phu Trong was re-elected as the General Secretary of the CPV. He thanked the delegates of the Congress for putting their trust in him and noted that Congress showed the spirit of solidarity, democracy, discipline and renovation. Standard Chartered Global Research expects Vietnam’s GDP growth in 2016 will reach 6.9 percent, 0.3 percent higher than that in 2015.

China’s Presidential special envoy, Song Tao, who is also the Head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, recently visited Laos. Song received a warm welcome from and had working-level meetings with newly elected Lao People’s Revolutionary Party’s (LPRP) top leaders. Song conveyed the President’s greetings and best wishes to Choummaly Sayasone, the new General Secretary of the LPRP, expressing appreciation of Choummaly’s contribution to the two countries’ friendship. China hoped to deepen its comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership with Laos.

A group of women from the Philippines gathered outside the presidential palace, protesting against the country’s policy of participating in the US and Japanese military alliance. Protestors argued that women in the Philippines could become the new generation of comfort women used as sex salves if the country joined the US and Japanese military alliance. The Philippines in recent years has strived to strengthen military ties with the US and Japan, allowing the US military forces to reopen bases in the country and holding more military exercises with the two countries.

in a protest action, over 200 Pakistani students and teachers from the Bacha Khan University in the country’s northwest left classrooms empty on the opening day. They condemned the Taliban militants who gunned down over 20 people in an attack at their campus the previous week, and they demanded the government ensure campus security, shouting “you must protect us”. A teacher said that many students were not on campus as they were concerned about their personal security.

China’s State Council and the Chinese Communist Party issued a document, giving more support to workers living in rural areas and rural workers working in cities. The government will provide more training to the workers (especially female workers) and help them to start businesses in their hometown, encouraging them to build a better economy and services in rural areas. The government will give rural workers who move to work in cities full urban residential status, helping them with free education and housing benefits.

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