VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 26th March, 2018
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CHINA
India and China must be frank with each other to prevent another Doklam, ambassador warns: South China Morning Post
March 24, 2018

China and India have to be “frank and candid” to reduce their ongoing tensions, Delhi’s ambassador to Beijing has said ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to China in June. Click here to read...

Chinese air force conducts high-sea training: People's Daily
March 26, 2018

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force recently conducted a high-sea training mission in the West Pacific and a joint combat patrol mission in the South China Sea, an air force spokesperson confirmed Sunday. Shen Jinke, spokesperson for the PLA Air Force, said a formation, including H-6K bombers and Su-30 fighters, carried out a real combat training mission in the West Pacific via the Miyako Strait. Click here to read...

New PBOC chief intends to accelerate opening-up: People's Daily
March 26, 2018

China will work to accelerate financial opening-up, further taxation reform and continue strengthening regulations to reduce systemic risks and control the debt level, senior officials said on Sunday. Yi Gang, the newly elected governor of the People's Bank of China confirmed at the China Development Forum 2018 that the next step in facilitating opening-up of the financial sector, a series of reforming measures to ease market access for foreign investors will be launched in the future. Click here to read...

China launches crude oil futures trading: Global Times
March 26, 2018

China on Monday launched trading of the yuan-denominated crude oil futures contracts at the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, which is the first futures listed on China's mainland to overseas investors. The listed futures for trading are contracts to be delivered from September this year to March 2019. The benchmark prices of 15 contracts were set at 416 yuan (65.8 US dollars), 388 yuan and 375 yuan per barrel, varied by delivery dates. Click here to read...

SRI LANKA
CCTV shows Sri Lankan police aid anti-Muslim riots: Al Jazeera
March 26, 2018

Police and politicians backed by the country's former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa joined anti-Muslim riots that rocked Sri Lanka's Kandy district this month, according to witnesses, officials and CCTV footage reviewed by Reuters. Scores of Muslim mosques, homes and businesses were destroyed as mobs ran amok for three days in Kandy, the central highlands district previously known for its diversity and tolerance. Click here to read...

MALDIVES
UN delegate visits Maldives as 'coolant' to political crisis: Avas Online
March 25, 2018

United Nations has assured a political affairs delegate dispatched from the international watchdog is currently active and present in Maldives to subside the intensified political crisis. The Maldivian branch of UN on Sunday has tweeted that the "UNDPA team is on a working visit to Maldives for the next three days to continue engagement with the government, political parties and civil society representatives." Click here to read...

BANGLADESH
Bangladesh to celebrate 47 years of independence with developing nation eligibility: bdnews24
March 26, 2018

The nation is waiting for the 31-gun salute heralding the celebrations at dawn on Monday. President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lead the nation in commemorating the martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan. After they place wreaths on the National Memorial in Savar on the outskirts of the capital early in the morning, the memorial will be open for all to show respect to the valiant children of the country. Hasina will also join a gathering of children at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka in the morning. Click here to read...

PAKISTAN
US sanctions seven Pakistani firms for ‘nuclear trade’: Dawn
March 26, 2018

The Trump administration has added seven Pakistani companies to a list of foreign entities that presumably pose a significant risk to the national security and policy interests of the United States by allegedly engaging in nuclear trade. The move could undermine Pakistan’s ambition of joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an elite club of countries that can trade fissile materials and nuclear technologies. The move forms a series of decisions aimed at putting a squeeze on Pakistan. Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN
EU Asks Taliban to Join Peace on Eve of Tashkent Summit: Tolo News
March 25, 2018

The head of the EU delegation in Afghanistan said the EU will again urge the Taliban to respond to government’s peace offer. Pierre Mayaudon, the European Union (EU) Head of Delegation to Afghanistan on Sunday called on the Taliban to take advantage of the peace opportunity and enter into dialogue with the Afghan government to end the ongoing bloodbath in the country. Click here to read...

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