VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 11th April, 2018

Pakistan and China are iron brothers, says PM Abbasi: Hindustan Times
April 10, 2018

Pakistan and China are “iron brothers” and their friendship is the bedrock of strategic stability in “our region”, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday. Addressing the BOAO Forum for Asia being held in the southern Chinese city of Boao, he praised the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which he said is fast reaching fruition. “It is an excellent example of an open, coordinated, and inclusive development paradigm that benefits all stakeholders,” Abbasi said on the CPEC, a project opposed by India as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Click here to read...

Nepal and India to discuss waterways link in Pokhara: Kathmandu Post
April 11, 2018

Nepal and India will discuss incorporating the agreement reached on inland waterways in the framework of Transit Treaty between the two countries at the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) meeting scheduled for April 24-27 in Pokhara. During Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to India, from April 6-8, the two countries issued a joint statement on new connectivity through inland waterways, opening the door for Nepal to connect to sea through the waterways. This new shipping initiative will efficiently move cargo to Nepal. As per the joint statement, PM Oli had noted the enormous impact the additional connectivity would have on Nepal’s business and economic growth. Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Chandra Kumar Ghimire said the two sides would discuss incorporating waterway connectivity as part of the Transit Treaty between the two countries at the IGC meeting. “It is for the first time that India decided to provide transit facility through waterways to Nepal. The topic will feature at the IGC meeting for the first time,” Ghimire said. Click here to read...

Students rally across Bangladesh after 100 injured in protest over gov't job quotas: Daily Sabah
April 9, 2018

Thousands of students across Bangladesh staged protests and sit-ins Monday after clashes at the country's top university left at least 100 people injured. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at Dhaka University students fighting what they complain are discriminatory quotas for government jobs in favor of special groups. It was one of the biggest protests faced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her decade in power. Following the violence that erupted Sunday and continued into the early hours of Monday, classes at Dhaka University ground to a halt as thousands occupied the main square chanting "Reform, reform!". Students at state-run universities in Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal, Rangpur, Sylhet and Savar also boycotted classes and staged sit-ins, police and media said. Click here to read...

Indian Helicopters were not “gifted” to Maldives: Haveeru
April 10, 2018

A government official on Monday claimed that the agreement between the Maldives and India on the two helicopters provided by the latter did not specify that the aircrafts had been “gifted” to the Maldives. India had presented the first naval helicopter in 2010 during former President Mohamed Nasheed’s government, and the second in April 2011. The first chopper is based in Addu Atoll’s Gan while the other is operated from the hangar developed by the Indian government in Laamu Atoll’s Kahdhoo. The Maldivian government, which recently decided to return the first helicopter to India over certain unresolved concerns, had been referring to the helicopters as gifts from the South Asian neighbour. However, a government official on Monday stated that the helicopters were being operated by the Indian military under a friendly agreement between the two countries. “They weren’t gifts from India to the Maldives. None of the agreements pertaining to the two helicopters contain any clauses that infer that they had been gifted,” the official claimed. Click here to read...


China's defense setting in Nansha Islands automatic right: spokesperson: People's Daily
April 11, 2018

China has claimed sending troops to and setting up territorial defense equipment on the islands and reefs of Nansha Islands is the automatic right as a sovereign state.Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks on Tuesday when answering a question on China's defense. Click here to read...

Nation opening ‘wider and wider’: China Daily
April 11, 2018

President Xi Jinping introduced on Tuesday powerful measures, including lowering tariffs on automobiles this year, to open the world’s second-largest economy “wider and wider”.“We will take the initiative to expand imports,” Xi said in the keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia in the southern island province of Hainan. Click here to read...

US security head Bolton would risk military conflict with China to achieve goals, former US officials say: South China Morning Post
April 11, 2018

The new US national security adviser is willing to risk a military conflict with China to achieve President Donald Trump’s goals for America, two former senior US officials have told the South China Morning Post. Click here to read...

Xi says China will continue to support free trade: Xinhuanet
April 10, 2018

China will continue to support free trade, President Xi Jinping said Tuesday when meeting with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde during the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference. China is a responsible nation, and a constructor of and contributor to the current international system, the president said. Click here to read...

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