VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: 28th March, 2018


Trump White House divided over Pakistan: Dawn
March 28, 2018

The Trump White House is divided over how to deal with Pakistan, with some officials favouring a hardline approach and others warning against alienating a nuclear-armed country of 200 million people, the US media reported on Tuesday. The divide — reported by the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine — is reflected in recent statements by US officials who continue to urge Pakistan to do more for eliminating terrorism but also acknowledge that Pakistan has taken “some positive steps in the right direction”. Click here to read...


Tashkent Calls On Taliban To Embrace Peace Offer: Tolo News
March 27, 2018

On Tuesday, delegates from 23 countries and two organizations adopted a seven-page, 24 item, declaration pledging support to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. The conference was opened by President Ashraf Ghani and his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev and attended by Foreign Ministers of Russia, all Central Asian republics, Pakistan, deputy ministers of Iran, China, India and the US and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and senior diplomats from the UK, Germany, UAE, Qatar among others. Click here to read...


Sri Lanka PM seeks India and Japan investment to balance China: The Times of India
March 27, 2018

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka is seeking foreign investment from India, Japan and others amid criticism over his country's reliance on Chinese loans for infrastructure projects. In an interview in Colombo, Wickremesinghe defended a deal last year that gave a joint venture led by state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings Co Ltd a 99-year lease to the southern port of Hambantota. The agreement gave Sri Lanka $1.1 billion in revenue at a time when it's spending 80 percent of government revenues on servicing outstanding debts. Click here to read...


Stepping back from Maldives, India tells China: The Indian Express
March 28, 2018

India has told China it will not intervene in the Maldives and expects it to reciprocate this measure of “strategic trust” by not crossing certain “lines of legitimacy” even as the two countries size each other up in the aftermath of the Doklam crisis last year when they faced off on the plateau. “The days when India believed that South Asia was its primary sphere of influence and that it could prevent other powers, such as China, from expanding its own clout are long gone,” a senior government official told The Indian Express. Click here to read...


Bangladesh sees meth boom amid Rohingya crisis: The Straits Times
March27, 2018

Bangladesh security forces have seized nearly nine million methamphetamine pills in less than three months as a massive influx of Rohingya refugees brings increased smuggling from Myanmar, officials said Tuesday (March 27). Increased raids on fishing boats on the Naf river, which divides the neighbours, have reaped the massive haul of 'yaba' pills which are snapped up by Bangladesh youth. Click here to read...


Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un hold talks in Beijing: People's Daily
March 28, 2018

At the invitation of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), paid an unofficial visit to China from Sunday to Wednesday. During the visit, Xi held talks with Kim at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan held a welcoming banquet for Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju and watched an art performance together. Click here to read...

Li: Use dialogue to address friction: China Daily
March 28, 2018

Premier Li Keqiang called on the United States to work with China in solving trade friction through dialogue and negotiations, but China is fully prepared to respond to any possible trade war. Li reiterated China’s stance facing a possible trade war between the two countries for a second consecutive day when he met with a US congressional delegation headed by Senator Steve Daines in Beijing on Tuesday. Click here to read...

Despite deficit, US benefits from trade exchange with China: People's Daily
March 28, 2018

Despite the trade deficit, the US side is benefiting from bilateral economic and trade cooperation with China, an expert told People’s Daily. On March 22, US President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum based on the Section 301 investigation results to impose large-scale tariffs on goods imported from China as well as restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States. Click here to read...

Xinhua Headlines: Truth behind China-U.S. trade "imbalances": Xinhuanet
March 27, 2018

A "huge" trade deficit with China is reportedly behind the U.S. administration's plan to slap tariffs on up to 60 billion U.S. dollars of Chinese imports and restrict Chinese investment. But data sometimes lies, and could shield the bigger picture. Click here to read...

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