VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 20th April, 2018
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PAKISTAN
China desires consolidated ties with Pakistan: Dawn
April 20, 2018

Chinese Def¬en¬ce Minister Wei Fenghe has said that China is willing to work with Pakistan to focus on building a community of human destiny, consolidate the all-weather friendship and deepen pragmatic cooperation between the two armed forces. Talking to Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mah¬mood Abbasi here on Thursday, Wei said China and Paki¬stan were good neighbours, good friends and good partners. He said his country was ready to provide security guarantees for the One Belt, One Road project. He said that under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, the people throughout the country were striving hard to realise the Chinese dream. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
Khalilzad Admits US Made Mistakes In Its Afghan Policies: Tolo News
April 19, 2018

The United States’ former ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said on Wednesday night that the United States has made some mistakes in its policies towards Afghanistan in recent years. However, the diplomat said efforts are ongoing to reform these mistakes. In a debate on TOLOnews’ Black and White show – on the country’s foreign policy – Khalilzad said the presence of the US in the country was in Afghanistan’s favor. The former foreign minister and former national security adviser, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, also took part in the debate and said he was in favor of Afghanistan having an impartial foreign policy. “Sixteen years of efforts by us showed that United States of America was unstable in the combat against Pakistan and had a mistaken strategy,” Spanta said. Click here to read...

NEPAL
In China, FM Gyawali outlines five areas of cooperation: Kathmandu Post
April 20, 2018

Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali has said Nepal counts on Chinese support and cooperation for realising its national development aspirations. Gyawali, who is on a five-day visit to China, outlined five interlocking areas where Nepal and China can work together for spurring economic growth in the smaller neighbour. At a roundtable organised by the China Reform Forum in Beijing on Wednesday, he emphasised partnership with China. Transport and connectivity; agriculture, industries and technology transfer; unlocking human potential; natural resources and environment; and trade and investment are the five core areas where Nepal and China can work together, said Gyawali. Connecting China through rail, road, power, telecommunication and airways was the top priority of the Nepal government. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
New deal on future of unity government to be signed after April 24: Daily Mirror
April 19, 2018

The SLFP ministerial committee appointed by President Maihtripala Sirisena to look into the future of the unity government has made strong recommendations to drastically bring down the Cost of Living and provide facilities to achieve accelerated development in agriculture, industrial and education sectors and create employment opportunities, committee chairman and Minister Sarath Amunugama said yesterday. He said a fresh agreement based on the recommendations of the five member cabinet committee will be signed between the UNP and the SLFP after President Maithripala Sirisena returned on April 24. Minister Amunugama told the Daily Mirror that President Sirisena would discuss the recommendation of the SLFP committee with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe before signing the agreement by the General Secretaries of the UNP and SLFP. Click here to read...

CHINA
Xi Jinping claims progress on national security in meeting of secretive commission: South China Morning Post
April 20, 2018

President Xi Jinping has told a top-level meeting that the ruling Communist Party is gaining “the upper hand” in its national security campaign. Click here to read...

China’s unmanned submersible Qianlong 3 to conduct first dive: China Daily
April 20, 2018

China's self-developed 4,500-meter-level unmanned submersible Qianglong 3 will conduct its first dive in the South China Sea on Friday. It’s projected to reach a depth of 3,500 meters. The orange clownfish-shaped autonomous underwater vehicle is 3.5 meters long, 1.5 meters high and weighs 1.5 tons. Click here to read...

Silk Road freight route becomes vital trade artery: China Daily
April 20, 2018

The international Chang'an rail freight route, which departs from Xi'an, has further opened western China to the outside world over the past five years, helping increase trade with nations in Central Asia and Europe. Some 182 freight trains completed journeys on the route during the first quarter, seven times the number during the same period last year. Click here to read...

China, Turkey should maintain high-level exchanges, deepen strategic mutual trust: Xi: China Daily
April 19, 2018

China and Turkey should maintain high-level exchanges and deepen strategic mutual trust, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over phone on Thursday. Xi pointed out that the China-Turkey strategic cooperative relations have witnessed steady development in recent years and achieved positive results in cooperation in various fields, saying both sides need to tap potential in lifting bilateral relations to a higher level as well as into broader areas. Click here to read...

Xi congratulates Miguel Diaz-Canel on election as Cuba's new president: China Daily
April 19, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Miguel Diaz-Canel on his election as the new Cuban president in a message on Thursday. Xi said in the congratulatory message that China and Cuba are good comrades, good friends and good partners that sincerely trust each other and share the same fate, adding that the two peoples have cultivated deep friendship through long and hard struggles, serving as a strong force to promote the development of bilateral ties. Click here to read...

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