VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 27th March, 2018
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CHINA

Kim Jong-un is in Beijing on first-known trip outside North Korea since 2011, say multiple sources: South China Morning Post
March 27, 2018

Kim Jong-un is visiting China in what is his first trip outside North Korea since 2011, multiple sources have told Bloomberg. The reports come after a heavy police presence was noted at the border of China and North Korea, and at a Beijing hotel popular with foreign dignitaries, according to sources who spoke to the South China Morning Post.Click here to read...

Chinese premier vows to deepen reform, opening up: Xinhuanet
March 27, 2018

China will continue to promote its reform and opening up drive, and improve investment environment for foreign companies, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday. Li made the remarks when meeting with a group of chief executives of Fortune 500 companies and renowned scholars, who had participated the China Development Forum (CDF) from Saturday to Monday in Beijing.Click here to read...

China reminds U.S. of rules rather than power in global trade: Xinhuanet
March 26, 2018

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said here Monday that the United States should know that in the 21st century, global trade requires rules rather than power. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks at a daily press briefing, when commenting on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's remarks that recent U.S. trade moves meant the "era of economic surrender is over."Click here to read...

China ‘ready’ for a post-Doklam engagement with “partner” India: The Hindu
March 26, 2018

China on Monday reiterated its position that Doklam was part of its territory, but stressed that with the military standoff in the area behind them, Beijing was looking forward to a new round of engagement with New Delhi. In response to a question on remarks by India’s Ambassador to China, Gautam Bambawale, in an interview with the South China Morning Post, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said that, “Last year thanks to our concerted efforts, our diplomatic efforts, and wisdom we properly resolved this [Doklam] issue.”Click here to read...

SRI LANKA

‘Cannot ignore India’s influence in Sri Lankan elections’, Namal Rajapaksa: The NEWS Minute
March 26, 2018

Namal belongs to a political family accused of carrying out some of the most brutal human right violations during Sri Lanka's civil war. Seven members of the Rajapaksa clan have been arrested for corruption. This, after his father’s former aide Maithripala Sirisena defeated the incumbent government in 2015, toppling a stunned Mahinda Rajapaksa from a throne he had held for two terms.Click here to read...

BANGLADESH

Bangladesh not expecting much help from foreign donors for Rohingya refugee island: The Straits Times
March 27, 2018

Bangladesh is not expecting much help from foreign donors as it forges ahead with plans to relocate 100,000 Rohingya refugees to an uninhabited island, an undertaking that does not yet have a timeline, a state minister said in an interview. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Mohammed Shahriar Alam, told Reuters on Friday (March 23) that Bangladesh was paying the entire roughly US$280 million (S$366.43 million) to build homes and fortify the muddy island in the Bay of Bengal from cyclones, and that it was mulling a formal request for international funds.Click here to read...

PAKISTAN

Hundreds respond to protest call by Pastun Movement: Dawn
March 27, 2018

Hundreds of supporters of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), civil society activists and workers of various political parties on Monday responded to a call for protests against the arrest of Fata Political Alliance chief Arif Khan Wazir and three other PTM leaders in Wana a few days ago, and demanded an end to the alleged victimisation of Pashtuns.Click here to read...

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan Officials Optimistic Ahead of Tashkent Summit: Tolo News
March 26, 2018

Talking on the significance of the peace conference on Monday, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah expressed hope that the conference would lead to sustainable peace in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Shahhussain Murtazawi has said that one of the core components of the Tashkent summit will be to create a broader consensus among the region and in the world towards fighting terrorism and promoting the importance of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.Click here to read...

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