• China tells Taiwan to abandon independence 'hallucination' after vote

    17/Jan/2016 // 279 Viewers

     

    Taiwan should abandon its “hallucinations” about pushing for independence, as any moves towards it would be a “poison”, Chinese state-run media said after a landslide victory for the island’s independence-leaning opposition.

    Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won a convincing victory in both presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday, in what could usher in a new round of instability with China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own.

    Tsai pledged to maintain peace with its giant neighbour China, while China’s Taiwan Affairs Office warned it would oppose any move towards independence and that Beijing was determined to defend the country’s sovereignty.

    Reacting to Tsai’s victory, China’s government-controlled media used noticeably less shrill language than that levelled at Chen Shui-bian, the DPP’s last president, and noted her pledges for peace and to maintain the “status quo” with China.

    But the official Xinhua news agency also warned any moves towards independence were like a “poison” that would cause Taiwan to perish.

    “If there is no peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s new authority will find the sufferings of the people it wishes to resolve on the economy, livelihood and its youth will be as useless as looking for fish in a tree,” it said.

    China called Chen, who led Taiwan from 2000-2008, a troublemaker and a saboteur of cross-strait ties, even as he tried to maintain stable relations with Beijing.

    Warns of ‘crossing the red line’

    The Global Times, an influential tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper, said in an editorial that if Tsai’s administration sought to “cross the red line” like Chen, Taiwan would “meet a dead end”.

    “We hope Tsai can lead the DPP out of the hallucinations of Taiwan independence, and contribute to the peaceful and common development between Taiwan and the mainland,” it added.

    In Taiwan, the China-friendly China Times called on Tsai to be a “dove for cross strait peace”.

    “Peace across the Taiwan Strait is the most important external factor for Taiwan’s stable development,” it said in an editorial.

    Tsai won 56 percent of the vote to sweep aside rival Eric Chu of the China-friendly Nationalist Party that had ruled Taiwan under incumbent president Ma Ying-jeou since 2008.

    Tsai’s DPP also made huge gains in the parliamentary polls to gain an absolute majority with 68 seats in the 113-seat legislature, giving her administration a far stronger policy-making lever over the next four years, and potentially more leverage over Beijing on cross-strait deals and affairs.

    ‘Only one China’

    China’s Foreign Ministry, in its reaction to her victory, said Taiwan was an internal matter for China, there is only one China in the world and the island’s election neither changes this reality nor international acceptance of it.

    “There is only one China in the world, the mainland and Taiwan both belong to one China and China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will not brook being broken up,” the ministry added.

    “The results of the Taiwan region election does not change this basic fact and the consensus of the international community.”

    Tsai has been thrust into one of Asia’s toughest and most dangerous jobs, with China pointing hundreds of missiles at the island it claims, decades after the losing Nationalists fled from Mao Zedong’s Communists to Taiwan in the Chinese civil war in 1949.

    The White House said on Saturday it congratulated Tsai and said the United States maintained a “profound interest” in peace between Taiwan and China.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    (REUTERS)


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  • We will not tolerate another provocation by North Korea - US, Japan, South Korea

    19/Apr/2016 // 309 Viewers

     


    Seoul (AFP) - South Korea, Japan and the United States on Tuesday warned North Korea of harsher sanctions and deeper isolation if it went ahead with a fifth nuclear test or other provocations.

    The warning, which followed a trilateral meeting of top diplomatic officials, came amid growing speculation that Pyongyang is in the final stages of preparing an underground nuclear detonation at its Punggye-ri test site.

    Such a move would be a dramatic act of defiance by North Korea in the face of strong UN sanctions imposed after its most recent nuclear test in January.

    "If North Korea conducts another provocation despite the international community's repeated warnings, it will face even stronger sanctions and deeper isolation," said South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-Nam.

    Lim was briefing reporters after talks with his US and Japanese counterparts, Tony Blinken and Akitaka Saiki.

    "We will not tolerate another provocation by North Korea," Lim said.

    South Korean President Park Geun-Hye told her cabinet Monday that intelligence sources had detected signs that Pyongyang was preparing a new test, an assessment echoed the same day by her defence ministry.

    North Korea is gearing up for a rare and much-hyped ruling party congress early next month, at which leader Kim Jong-Un is expected to take credit for pushing the country's nuclear weapons programme to new heights.

    Numerous analysts have suggested the regime might carry out a fifth nuclear test as a display of strength just before the congress opens.

    Describing North Korea as the region's "most acute threat," Blinken said the US and its two key Asian allies had agreed to expand cooperation on sanctions implementation in response to the North's "provocative and destabilising behaviour."

    The sanctions agreed by the UN Security Council after the North's January 6 test were the toughest imposed to date on North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme.

    Blinken said the measures were only just beginning to bite and it would take time for North Korea to really feel the extra pressure.

    "If North Korea undertakes additional provocations, the existing Security Council resolutions call for additional significant measures ... so that's exactly what the international community would do," he added.


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  • Bizarre! Pakistani Woman Throws Acid at Man Who Refused to Marry Her

    19/Jun/2016 // 485 Viewers

    It marks an unusual case in a country where rates of violence against women are high


    (ISLAMABAD) — A woman in Pakistan was arrested for allegedly throwing acid on a man who refused to marry her, police said Friday, marking an unusual case in a country where rates of violence against women are high.

    Local police official Bashir Ahmed said the 32-year-old woman, Monil Mai, was arrested Thursday, hours after she attacked her boyfriend Sadaqat Ali when he went to her home in the Mukhdoom Rashid neighborhood of Multan, a city in central Pakistan.

    Ahmed said that Mai had been having an affair with Ali for several years. She wanted him to marry her so that she could divorce her husband, he said.

    Ali was being treated at a hospital in Multan, in the eastern Punjab province, Ali said.

    Acid attacks and other so-called honor crimes against women are not unusual in Pakistan, but women are rarely the perpetrators of such attacks.

    “It is a rare incident in which a woman has been accused of throwing acid on a man,” said Zohra Yusuf, who heads the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She urged the government to take steps to stop the sale of acid to unauthorized persons.

    “There is a need to make checks on the availability of acid to common people to prevent such future attacks against men or women,” Yusuf said. Acid is easily available at markets in many parts of Pakistan, although the government says it was tightening controls to stop illegal sale of chemicals.


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  • America's apology for dropping the bomb welcome but must denuclearize - Japan

    19/May/2016 // 331 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 19, 2016: (DGW) - Japanese survivors of the atomic bomb have said that an apology from the USA for dropping the bomb on two Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 would be welcome but insist the USA and other countries with nukes must denuclearize to make the world safe for all.

    President Obama will be visiting the pearl of the East, Hiroshima to be precise thus making him the first incumbent US president to pay such a visit where America killed thousands of souls in a nuclear holocaust.

    For making nuclear non-proliferation as the centrepiece of his administration agenda, the first Black African US president was awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Price. 

    America has consistently said the dropping of the bomb was necessary and  justified at the time thus making the proposed visit hotly contested back home which should not be misinterpreted as an apology from the US

    Terumi Tanaka, a native of Nagasaki who was 13 when the bomb hit, said on Thursday an apology for the human suffering would be welcome.

    His words, "We would definitely like an apology to people who lost their lives, those who lost loved ones, parents who lost their children," 

    "The strongest feeling of survivors is that this should not become a barrier to getting rid of nuclear weapons," he said.

    The bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed thousands of people instantly and about 140,000 by the end of the year. About 27,000 people were killed instantly in Nagasaki and about 70,000 by the end of the year.

    Japan having seen the devastating effect of the bomb on Nagasaki  had no option but to unconditionally surrender six days after.


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  • Pentagon: Chinese fighter jets in near collision with US aircraft

    19/May/2016 // 446 Viewers

     


    In the latest episode of the ongoing saga in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials said Wednesday that two Chinese fighter jets had carried out an “unsafe” intercept of a US reconnaissance plane.

    The incident, which took place Tuesday in international airspace over the contested body of water, involved “a routine US patrol”, in which the Chinese jets came within 50 feet of the reconnaissance plane, forcing the US pilot to dive 200 feet to avoid a collision.

    While China disputes the allegations, the disagreement is part of ongoing tensions in the region, as interested parties seek to find a balance between avoiding conflict and defending what they each regard as their legitimate rights.

    “If this happens again next week, and then the week after that, it would signal a return to a more tactically aggressive phase in China’s attempts to get the U.S. to back off,” Ashley Townshend, a visiting fellow at the Asia-Pacific Center at Fudan University, Shanghai, told Bloomberg.

    “No one can tell at what level this behavior was sanctioned. We can’t read too much into one incident,” he added.

    In spite of the fact that this encounter needs to be regarded in the wider context of the ongoing struggle in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials were at pains to avoid undue alarmism, highlighting the fact that they have “made progress reducing risk between our operational forces and those of the People’s Republic of China by improved dialogue at multiple levels.”

    “Over the past year, D.O.D. [Department of Defense] has seen improvements in P.R.C. [People’s Republic of China] actions, flying in a safe and professional manner,” a Pentagon official told The New York Times.

    China rejected the claim there was anything unsafe about the incident, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei saying “the US allegations are untrue” and telling reporters that “the Chinese aircraft kept a safe distance.”

    Whatever the details, the disagreement represents a spike in activity, coming just a week after China scrambled jets as a US Navy ship undertook a “Freedom of Navigation” exercise, sailing close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea.

    In the eyes of China, it is the United States that is the aggressor, interfering in a region relatively close to the shores of the Chinese mainland, yet far from US soil.

    “Who is engaging in massive military exercises in this region?” asked China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a recent interview with Al Jazeera. “Who is sending a lot of advanced weaponry to the South China Sea and building new military bases? The answer is all too clear: the United States.”

    Washington would counter that its activities are designed simply to exercise the right of “innocent passage,” seeking in fact to “avoid any conflict with China’s sovereignty claims,” as Julian Ku, professor of law at Hofstra University, wrote in Foreign Policy.

    “Instead, by conducting the operations under the rules of 'innocent passage,' the U.S. Navy assumed China might have sovereign rights,” wrote Dr. Ku, “but simply challenged China’s domestic law requirement that foreign warships give prior notification before entering what China claims is its territorial sea.”

    And the US is not alone in its efforts to counter Chinese activities, as the People’s Republic lays claim to various islands and reefs in the South China Sea and undertakes the construction of installations, some of which are arguably military in nature.

    In a claim filed by the Philippines in 2013, the United Nations is considering the legitimacy of China’s claims in the South China Sea. The ruling is expected in the coming weeks, and while it may have little practical influence on China, it could undermine or legitimize the sovereignty claims. 


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  • Breaking: World's fastest supercomputer entirely made in China (See photo)

    20/Jun/2016 // 707 Viewers

     

    China has built the world's fastest supercomputer using locally made microchips, a survey said Monday, the first time the country has taken the top spot without using US technology.

    The Sunway TaihuLight machine is twice as fast as the previous number one, which was built in China with chips from US firm Intel, the Top500 survey of supercomputers said on its website www.top500.org.

    China also has more top-ranked supercomputers than the US for the first time since the survey began, with 167 compared to 165.

    Located at China's national supercomputer centre in the eastern city of Wuxi, the Sunway TaihuLight will be used for climate modelling and life science research.

    Its performance ends "speculation that China would have to rely on Western technology to compete effectively in the upper echelons of supercomputing," the survey's website said.

    The supercomputers on the Top500 list, which is produced twice a year, are rated based on speed in a benchmark test by experts from Germany and the US.

    Of the top ten fastest computers, two are in China, with four in the US, the ranking said. Others are in Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia.

    China has poured money into big-ticket science and technology projects as it seeks to become a high-tech leader.

    It plans to open the world's largest radio telescope in southeastern China this year, state media reported.

    But despite some gains the country's scientific output still lags behind, and its universities generally fare poorly in global rankings.


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  • Liberia 2017: NEC releases dates

    20/Jun/2016 // 366 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JUNE 20, 2016: (DGW) Ahead of 2017 general elections, the National Elections Commission has released timetable for the 2017 Liberian presidential and legislative elections.

    The diamond-rich West African state says the election dates are subject to review and change according to the country's electoral body, the National Elections  Commission.

    "But as for October 10'', according to NEC,  ''it will remain unchanged because that is provided for by the Constitution as the official date for the elections."

     


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  • Israel to bring in 20,000 Chinese construction workers

    20/Sep/2015 // 341 Viewers

    © AFP | A worker stands on a beam on a construction site in Beijing on September 9, 2015
    JERUSALEM (AFP) - 
    Israel plans to bring in 20,000 Chinese construction workers to help build new apartments as part of efforts to lower housing costs, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

    Netanyahu announced the plan at the start of a cabinet meeting, his office said. The finance ministry later said the cabinet had approved it.

    Israeli attorney general Yehuda Weinstein has opposed the move because the two countries lack a formal agreement related to such cooperation.

    The lack of an agreement can lead to immigrant workers paying middlemen hundreds or even thousands of dollars to obtain permits.

    Chinese workers are currently brought into Israel under private contracts between Israeli and Chinese companies. The two countries have engaged in negotiations on working conditions, but have not yet reached an accord.

    A statement from the finance ministry said that due to the urgency of the matter, the workers would be brought without a bilateral agreement, while creating mechanisms to ensure their rights were protected and prevent them from paying middlemen for permits.

    Netanyahu said that it was important to move forward despite "side costs," with the cost of living a major issue in Israel.

    "In my view, this is a necessary and important step to lower housing prices," Netanyahu said.

    Israel's construction sector employs 216,000 workers, including 37,000 Palestinians and 6,000 foreigners, with some 3,700 Chinese.

    The finance ministry said the lack of skilled Israeli and Palestinian construction workers, as well as the instability in employing Palestinians -- whose permits can be revoked due to the security situation -- have created a shortage of workers.

    The Chinese's pace of work in building high-risers was 50 percent higher than that of Israelis, Palestinians and others, the finance ministry said.

    China told Israel in June it will not allow migrant builders to work on settlements in the occupied West Bank.

    Construction in settlements, where some 400,000 Israelis live, accounts for about three percent of the total.

    ? 2015 AFP


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  • Two key opposition leaders executed in Bangladesh

    21/Nov/2015 // 195 Viewers

    Bangladeshi Minister of Justice has confirmed the execution of two opposition leaders today for war crimes committed back in 1971 during the independence war with Pakistan.

    Speaking to reporters in Dhaka the Minister of Justice, Anisul Huq said the senior opposition leaders namely Salahudeen Ku' ader and Mohammad Mujaheed last-minute reprieve could not save them from the gallows.

    The duo of Mohammad Mujaheed and Salahudeen were eventually hanged at 18:45 GMT


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  • Asia-Pacific summit season to wrap up

    21/Nov/2015 // 226 Viewers

    © AFP | Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) shakes hands with US President Barack Obama (C) prior to the ASEAN Summit Leaders dinner at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on November 21, 2015

    KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - 

    Asia-Pacific leaders on Sunday wrap up a week of diplomacy on trade and security issues that has been jolted by revulsion over the recent jihadist attacks.

    Heads of government from 18 countries including the United States, China, India, Japan and Southeast Asia hold an annual summit hosted this year by Malaysia.

    At the summit President Barack Obama and other leaders on Saturday expressed the rising international alarm over the deadly attacks in Paris, Mali and Lebanon, calling for global cooperation to fight extremism.

    "The perpetrators of these cowardly and barbaric acts do not represent any race, religion or creed," Prime Minister Najib Razak of Muslim-majority Malaysia told the summit.

    "They are terrorists."

    The Kuala Lumpur diplomatic-political meetings follow a trade-related forum in Manila earlier in the week that included many of the same leaders and similar expressions of concern over terrorism.

    Obama is on something of a victory lap for his newly signed 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact, which Washington is pushing signatories in the region to ratify so it can eventually be implemented.

    China's push to expand tiny atolls in the South China Sea into full islands capable of supporting a sustained military presence has also hung over the meetings.

    Obama met Saturday with his ASEAN counterparts, and a joint statement emerged that stressed the need to maintain freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea.

    Washington has warned that traffic through the South China Sea, a key conduit for world trade, could be threatened by China's moves.

    It recently sent US naval vessels to the region to stress the right to free passage, a move that angered Beijing.

    Earlier in Manila, Obama called on China to cease the island-building, while announcing hundreds of millions of dollars of new aid to regional allies worried by China's territorial assertiveness.

    China insists on sovereignty over virtually all the strategic and resource-endowed South China Sea, which also is claimed in part by a handful of other countries.

    Southeast Asian foreign ministers who met Friday in Kuala Lumpur issued a joint statement saying they were "seriously concerned" over the land reclamation.

    In Kuala Lumpur, Southeast Asia leaders will declare the establishment on Sunday of an "ASEAN Economic Community" (AEC), inspired by Europe.

    The move takes ASEAN a step closer to an envisioned single Southeast Asian market with free flow of goods, capital and skilled labour across borders.

    But the AEC's realisation remains a distant goal -- if it is ever fully achieved -- due to significant non-tariff and other barriers and large development gaps across the diverse region, and the declaration is largely symbolic

    Source: AFP


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