VIF Information Alerts -9th January 2019
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China faces 'unstoppable' population decline: Study
Published: The Tribune

08 Jan 2019

China will face an "unstoppable" population decline over the coming decades, with fewer workers struggling to support an increasingly aging society, according to a new study. The study by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a leading state-sponsored think-tank, was released on Tuesday, more than three years since China officially ended its controversial decades-long one-child policy. It warns that the "the era of negative population growth is almost here", forecasting that the country's population will peak at 1.44 billion in 2029.Click here to read..

Trump wanted a big cut in troops in Afghanistan. New U.S. military plans fall short.
Published: The Washington Post

08 Jan 2018

The U.S. military is drafting plans to withdraw a few thousand troops from Afghanistan while continuing all major missions in the longest war in American history, U.S. officials said, three weeks after President Trump sought options for a more drastic pullout.

The planning is underway after Trump ordered the Pentagon to prepare the withdrawal of up to half of the roughly 14,000 U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan, six officials said. The officials, who work in several parts of the government, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.Click here to read..

Sheikh Hasina takes oath with ‘young’ team
Published: The Telegraph

08 Jan 2019

Sheikh Hasina was sworn in for the fourth time as Prime Minister — third in a row since 2009 — of Bangladesh on Monday. She took guard with 31 first-timers in a cabinet of 47, with the inclusion of the new faces hinting that the Prime Minister was preparing a team for the future.Click here to read..

Bangladesh to cultivate more effective ties with India, China: New Foreign Minister
Published: The Economic Times

08 Jan 2019

Bangladesh would cultivate more effective ties with India and China, pursuing a vigorous economic diplomacy, newly appointed Foreign Minister Abdul Kalam Abdul Momen said Tuesday. Momen, 71, also said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed him to intensify cooperation with neighbours on the basis of "solid partnership" and ensure that the foreign office acts as a partner of other ministries to draw more foreign investments in the country. Click here to read..

Chinese military equips troops in Tibet with mobile howitzers: report
Published: The Asian Age

08 Jan 2019

After the recent induction of light-weight battle tank in Tibet bordering India, the Chinese military has equipped its troops stationed at the Himalayan plateau with new vehicle-mounted howitzers to improve their combat capability, official media in Beijing reported on Tuesday.

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) stationed in Tibet Autonomous Region has been equipped with mobile howitzers which aims to boost the troops' high-altitude combat capability to improve border security, state-run Global Times reported.Click here to read..

Offsets fail to take off with merely 20% completion rate in a decade
Published: The Economic Times

09 Jan 2019

Defence offsets may be at the centre of the Rafale deal controversy but the initiative aimed at boosting the Indian manufacturing sector through contracts from foreign vendors has not really taken off since 2008, the latest government numbers indicate.

The offsets route — which mandates foreign companies outsource at least 30% of the value of large contracts to India — had been estimated to bring in $11.2 billion over the 2008-2024 period, calculations by the defence ministry show. However, with more than half the period over, barely 20% of this target has been met and efforts to liberalise the policy have stalled after the Rafale controversy. Click here to read..

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