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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

Sisi signs three deals with China’s president at BRICS summit

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Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi held talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Tuesday, signing three agreements on security, transport and satellite technology.The two leaders met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in the Chinese city of Xiamen, Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA reported.According to Alaa Youssef, Egyptian presidential spokesperson, El-Sisi signed two agreements and one memorandum of understandin regarding the creation of a new electric train service in Egypt.The two ministries are already engaged in cooperation on security issues, having signed a technical cooperation deal in September 2016 relating to security and counter-terrorism operations. Egypt is battling a terrorist insurgency based in North Sinai, while China is engaged in counter-terrorist operations in its restive northwestern province of Xinjiang.

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