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Asia Pacific

China Boosts Support for Myanmar Army, Countering U.S. Sanctions | Source: Bloomberg

China says its policy toward Myanmar remains unaffected by the country’s domestic situation, bolstering support for a regime that has faced multiple rounds of sanctions from the U.S. and its Western allies following a coup four months ago.

Source: Bloomberg


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Beijing ready to pass ‘anti-sanctions’ law against the US and the EU | Source: Asia News

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) is preparing to pass a law to counter sanctions imposed by other countries on China. Beijing wants to give legal status to its countermeasures against the punitive actions taken against China by the United States, the European Union and their allies.

Source: Asia News


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China Hosts Southeast Asian Ministers as It Competes With US | Source: The Diplomat

China is hosting foreign ministers from 10 Southeast Asian nations amid heightened competition between Beijing and Washington for influence in the region. Beijing has been building influence with these countries, despite frictions with some of them over rival territorial claims in South China Sea. The U.S. has expressed concerns over China’s growing presence, particularly its impact on security and Beijing’s political influence over fragile democracies.

Source: The Diplomat


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Trans-Pacific trade deal members agree for UK to start joining process | Source: Reuters

Member nations of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, with 11 member countries) officially agreed to allow the United Kingdom to start the process of joining the pact. The United Kingdom’s admission into CPTPP would bring the nominal gross domestic product of the zone covered by the pact almost on par with that of the European Union.

Source: Reuters


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Australia, New Zealand Unite in ‘Concerns’ over Beijing After NZ Was Accused of Seeking ‘Fast Chinese Buck’ | Source: Fars news

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison pledged unity in standing up to various Chinese policies.

Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zeland issued a joint statement expressing concern over Beijing’s “intensification of destabilising activities” in the South China Sea and accused China of taking steps to undermine the autonomy of Hong Kong. Relations between Australia and China have deteriorated significantly since Australia called for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

Source: Fars news


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China promises economic support for sanctions-hit neighbour North Korea | Source: South China Morning Post

North Korean ambassador to China Ri Ryong-nam (left) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi link arms in Beijing on Thursday. Wang reaffirmed Beijing’s commitment to “traditional friendship” with the North.

China has pledged to keep up strategic communication with North Korea and help the sanctions-hit nation cope with worsening economic problems amid a prolonged nuclear stalemate with the US, at a time when both are being targeted as security threats by the United States and its allies.

Source: South China Morning Post


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Japan ruling party seeks big defense budget rise amid China threat | Source: Japan Today

A joint defense panel of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has approved a draft proposal for the government to “drastically” increase the country’s defense budget in the face of the increased security threat posed by China in the East and South China seas. The move comes as neighboring countries including China are increasing their defense budgets.

Source: Japan Today


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US and China hold first ‘candid’ trade talks under Biden tenure | Source: The Guardian

Top US and Chinese trade negotiators have held “candid” talks, their first under the Biden presidency. Trade relations between the world’s two largest economies have deteriorated since the presidency of Donald Trump. The Biden administration has vowed to continue some of Trump’s trade policies towards China, while seeking Beijing’s cooperation on other issues.

Source: The Guardian


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Hong Kong passes sweeping pro-China electoral rules | Source: TRT World

Pro-China lawmakers attend the second meeting of “Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021” at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on May 27, 2021. (AP)

Hong Kong’s legislature has passed a bill amending electoral laws that drastically reduces the public’s ability to vote and increases the number of pro-Beijing lawmakers making decisions for the city. The number of seats in Hong Kong’s legislature will be expanded to 90, with 40 of them elected by a largely pro-Beijing election committee.

Source: TRT World


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central asia

Total Suspends Gas-linked Cash Payments To Myanmar Army | Source: International Business Times

Total suspended cash payments linked to gas pipeline partly owned by the Myanmar military due to “the unstable context” in the country.

French energy giant Total said that Myanmar’s army would no longer receive cash payments linked to a pipeline it operates through a joint venture with the military, following February’s military coup. It added that it “condemns the violence and human rights abuses occurring in Myanmar” and would comply with any potential sanctions against the junta from the EU or US.

Source: International Business Times


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