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FAR EAST - page 7

Iraqi Parliament rejects Kurdistan independence referendum


Iraqi Parliament on Tuesday (September 12) voted to reject Kurdistan independence referendum scheduled for September 25. Iraqi Parliament rejected with a majority vote the referendum on independence of Kurdistan following a session on the issue. Parliament also authorized Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to take all measures to preserve the unity of Iraq. A member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) bloc in Iraqi parliament, Mohammed Othman, told NRT that Kurdistan Region’s referendum was put in the parliament’s session on the request of 80 lawmakers. The decision to reject Kurdistan independence referendum was made without taking views of the Kurdish lawmakers, Othman added. He further aid Kurdish lawmakers left the session after the other members of Iraqi parliament did not listen to the Kurdish lawmakers, who called for a committee to tackle the issue.

How the US can get Chinese and Russian support for regime change in North Korea


Both China and Russia share borders with the North and are the key to any solution. They each have economic interests that favour stability in the region.  North invests heavily in its military and advanced weapons programmes, spends an estimated 23.3 per cent on the military, in comparison to the South’s 2.6 per cent. The only reason for such high service numbers in both countries is the very palpable threat of renewed conflict. A key sticking point to any solution remains the American troop presence in South Korea. US military personnel are there currently, and multiple installations serve as deterrents to aggression by the North. America benefits in this case not only from the avoidance of nuclear conflict, but also from its continued strong commercial connections with an enlarged Korean market, and the military cost savings of withdrawal. The new reality also ensures greater geopolitical stability in the region (important to allies Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan), and serves as a confidence-building measure for further cooperation by the US with China and Russia on other issues.

Chinese bank ban ‘threatens to tighten chokehold’ on trade with North Korea


Beijing has reportedly ordered Chinese state banks to suspend accounts held by North Koreans. Bank of China (China Construction Bank and Agricultural), border with city of Yanji, Jilin province, had suspended transactions through accounts held by North Koreans. Chinese analysts said: traders might still be able to find loopholes to bypass the ban, but China’s decision not change. Zhang Liangui, a North Korea specialist at the Central Party School, said big transactions, such as Chinese oil exports to North Korea, would be particularly hard hit because banks were integral to the trade. The UN Security Council is expected to vote on Monday a set of new sanctions against North Korea, the US has been pushing for a full ban on oil supplies to the country, North Korea textile exports, for work overseas, as well as an asset freeze. This is not the first time China has tightened its financial sanctions against North Korea. Last year, an ICBC  (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) branch in the border city of Dandong, froze accounts belonging to North Koreans.


Nepal and China fast track rail link in aftermath of Sino-Indian border row


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also said hoped Nepal could be a bridge between China and India. After talks with Nepalese Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Wang said China and India should work hard to make sure their ties don’t derail, become confrontational or get out of control. China and India are partners and they have a opportunity for development, instead of sticking to the old mindset of perceiving each other as a rival or threat he said. Wang said China had no intention of bullying a small country, or interfere with Nepal’s internal politics. At the time,  Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahara saying that Nepal will not get dragged into the border dispute, nor be influenced by either China or India.

China detects rising radiation levels in areas close to North Korean nuclear blast site


The nuclear test by North Korea, relase a radiation level in Changbai Korean, closest Chinese urban area in Punggye-ri, the estimated 100 kiloton. Guo Qiuju, a professor of radiation protection at the school of physics at Peking University, said it was too early to be certain what had caused the rising trend at the monitoring stations as radiation levels change over time even under normal conditions. The current radiation levels were far below anything that could be regarded as a risk to people’s health, she said, but if the figures keep going up it may require a closer look. Guo explained that it was considered normal for readings to fluctuate within a 20 nanogray range due to the effects of wind, rain and cosmic rays. Radioactive materials floating high in the atmosphere could be carried down into the soil by rain, she said. Several regions close to the test site had recorded rain in the past few days, according to Chinese weather authorities.

Xi: Emerging nations deserve role


President Xi Jinping, spoke while presiding over the dialogue of emerging market and developing countries on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit. The dialogue was attended by leaders from: Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and five other developing countries, which are Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand. Xi announced that China was setting aside 76 million dollar, for economic and technological cooperation. This dialogue will strengthen the solidarity and cooperation among emerging and developing countries.


Nearly 90,000 Rohingya escape Myanmar violence as humanitarian crisis looms


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that more than 73,000 Rohingya Muslims have reached Bangladesh in an attempt to escape Myanmar army’s and the Buddhist nationalists’ attacks in Rakhine State. European Rohingya Council (ERC) President Hla Kyaw said that the government will later “attempt a massacre”. He also said that the advancement of Rohingya genocide is the primary goal of the army. He added, “the second goal is to leave them for dead by preventing aid”. Rohingya Muslims were grateful to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his reaction against the Myanmar government. On Friday he stated that the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims was equivalent to a genocide. The massacre against Rohingya Muslims is being protested around the world.

Islamabad reacts at President Ghani’s remarks of ‘Peace with Pakistan First’


Pakistan’s foreign minister Khawajah Asif on Saturday reacted at President Ghani’s remarks regarding Kabul’s readiness to hold peace talks with Pakistan. Asif told reporters “Pakistan’s position on Afghanistan is very clear: we want to see peace and stability in the country.” In his message on the first day of Eid Al-Adha, President Ghani said the Afghan government is fully prepared for the peace talks and that negotiations with Pakistan for peace is on the agenda of the government.Previously, he Afghan officials have been criticizing Pakistan for allowing the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network to use its soil for planning and coordinating attacks in Afghanistan, calling it as one of the major barriers in forcing the militant groups to participate in talks.

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