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Asia & Pacific Political News

RUSSIA POLITICS: ‘Russia to Overtake West in Terms of Military Technology:’ Vladimir Putin Russian President

RUSSIA POLITICS: ‘Russia to Overtake West in Terms of Military Technology:’ Vladimir Putin Russian President

Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “The ability of our economy to increase military production and services at a given time is one of the most important aspects of military security. To this end, all strategic, and simply large-scale enterprise should be ready, regardless of ownership.”

“Our army and navy need to have the very best equipment — better than foreign equivalents,” he said, according to AFP. “If we want to win, we have to be better.”

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Bashar Assad in Surprise Vladimir Putin Meeting

RUSSIA POLITICS: Bashar Assad in Surprise Vladimir Putin Meeting

“I’d like to introduce you to the people who played a key part in saving Syria,” Putin told Assad as he introduced the men in green uniforms. “Of course, Mr. Assad knows some of you personally. He told me during our talks today that thanks to the Russian Army, Syria has been saved as a state.”

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Putin Plan to Rejuvenate Russian Politics Bringing in Young People With ‘Fire in Their Eyes’

RUSSIA POLITICS: Putin Plan to Rejuvenate Russian Politics Bringing in Young People With ‘Fire in Their Eyes’

Putin has said his aim is to create “a new governors corps of young promising modern people who will think about the future of the region and all of Russia.”

Critics say the Kremlin’s emphasis on youth is window-dressing designed to create the illusion of political change in a system bereft of real competition.

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CAMBODIA POLITICS: Hun Sen Challenges US to Cut All Aid to Cambodia

CAMBODIA POLITICS: Hun Sen Challenges US to Cut All Aid to Cambodia

“Samdech Techo Hun Sen confirmed that cutting U.S. aid won’t kill the government but will only kill a group of people who serve American policies,” Fresh News reported, using Hun Sen’s official title.

It did not identify the people suspected of serving U.S. policies but added:

“Hun Sen … welcomes and encourages the U.S. to cut all aid.”

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CHINA POLITICS: ‘Dual Suspension’ Proposal Still Cest for North Korea: China Says

CHINA POLITICS: ‘Dual Suspension’ Proposal Still Cest for North Korea: China Says

China said on Thursday a “dual suspension” proposal to handle North Korea was still the best option, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had rejected a “freeze for freeze” agreement.

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MYANMAR POLITICS: Military Denies Atrocities Against Rohingya, Replaces General

MYANMAR POLITICS: Military Denies Atrocities Against Rohingya, Replaces General

Myanmar military said its own internal investigation had exonerated security forces of all accusations of atrocities. The investigators’ findings were posted on the Facebook page of the military’s commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

The developments came ahead of a visit on Wednesday by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He is expected to deliver a stern message to Myanmar’s generals, over whom national leader Aung San Suu Kyi has little control.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea Nuclear Arsenal too Developed to Destroy Quickly, Says Moon

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea Nuclear Arsenal too Developed to Destroy Quickly, Says Moon

Speaking to reporters in the Philippines, Moon said that if North Korea agreed to hold talks, negotiations could be held with all options open.

“If talks begin to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, I feel it will be realistically difficult for North Korea to completely destroy its nuclear capabilities when their nuclear and missile arsenal are at a developed stage,” Moon said in a briefing.

“If so, North Korea’s nuclear programme should be suspended, and negotiations could go on to pursue complete denuclearisation.”

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PHILIPPINE POLITICS: Trump, Duterte Unite at Asia Summit

PHILIPPINE POLITICS: Trump, Duterte Unite at Asia Summit

“Ladies and gentlemen, I sang uninvited, upon the orders of the commander-in-chief of the United States,” Duterte said later, according to the ABS-CBN news channel.

Roque described the relationship between Trump and Duterte as “warm, friendly and candid”.

“It’s very apparent that both of them have a person who they consider as not a best friend,” he added.

“They have similar feelings towards former U.S. President Barack Obama.”

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ASIA POLITICS: Trump Offers to Mediate on South China Sea

ASIA POLITICS: Trump Offers to Mediate on South China Sea

“If I can help mediate or arbitrate, please let me know,” Trump said in comments at a meeting in Hanoi with Vietnam’s president, Tran Dai Quang.

Trump acknowledged that China’s position on the South China Sea was a problem.

“I‘m a very good mediator and arbitrator,” Trump said.

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CHINA POLITICS: Countering Trump, China’s Xi Touts Cooperation in Asia-Pacific

CHINA POLITICS: Countering Trump, China’s Xi Touts Cooperation in Asia-Pacific

“Should we steer economic globalisation, or should we dither and stall in the face of challenge? Should we jointly advance regional cooperation or should we go our separate ways?” Xi asked.

“Openness brings progress, while self-seclusion leaves one behind,” he said.

During the past year, Xi has positioned China as a defender of globalisation in speeches around the world, contrasting himself with Trump, who has pursued his “America First” agenda, and pulled the United States out of the regional Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Opposes US Draft UN Resolution on Syria Chemical Probe Extension: RIA

RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Opposes US Draft UN Resolution on Syria Chemical Probe Extension: RIA

“I stress that we are in no way raising the question of ending this structure’s activities,” RIA state news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying. “We are in favour of its maintenance, but on a different basis.”

The draft U.N. resolution by the United States says Syria must not develop or produce chemical weapons, and it calls on all parties in Syria to provide full cooperation with the international probe.

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia’s ‘Strategic Nuclear Forces Capable to Inflict Guaranteed Unacceptable Damage to Aggressor’: Moscow Says

RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia’s ‘Strategic Nuclear Forces Capable to Inflict Guaranteed Unacceptable Damage to Aggressor’: Moscow Says

Reporting on the state of the Russian strategic nuclear forces on Tuesday, General Valery Gerasimov said some 74 percent of the arsenal employed cutting-edge technology.

“Today the strategic nuclear forces are capable to inflict a guaranteed level of unacceptable damage to any aggressor, including those possessing antiballistic missile defense,” he said. Gerasimov added that Russia was working on improving the arsenal in ways that did not violate the country’s international obligations on proliferation and arms reduction.

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BANGLADESH POLITICS: Police Arrest Abu Siddiq Sohel Suspected of Killing US Blogger Avijit Roy

BANGLADESH POLITICS: Police Arrest Abu Siddiq Sohel Suspected of Killing US Blogger Avijit Roy

Sohel, who was identified after analysing CCTV footage, was arrested in the capital, Dhaka, on Sunday night, Rahman told Reuters.

A total of eight people took part in the killing, Sohel said in court on Monday, court officials said. However, he denied he was directly involved in the killing, saying four people carried out the actual attack on Roy while others assisted.

Al Qaeda and Islamic State have also claimed responsibility for a series of killings over the past few years, including Roy‘s.

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CAMBODIA POLITICS: Fight for Grassroots Democracy in Cambodia Sidelines US

CAMBODIA POLITICS: Fight for Grassroots Democracy in Cambodia Sidelines US

Sin Rozeth believes the strategy of promising change locally as well as nationally helped explain her party’s success.

Facebook Live videos show the diminutive and energetic figure getting drains built through muddy streets of Battambang, famed for Cambodia’s finest jasmine rice and its French colonial architecture, winning her followers far beyond the city.

“I went out to meet people and get to know their problems. I went to funerals to pay condolences even if I didn’t know the people,” said Sin Rozeth.

“We just have to show what we can deliver day by day,” she said. “We’re a new generation and we want to show that administration can be effective and clean and free of charge.”

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Sanctions on Russian Officials By Canada ‘Absolutely Senseless, Reprehensible’: Russia Retaliates

RUSSIA POLITICS: Sanctions on Russian Officials By Canada ‘Absolutely Senseless, Reprehensible’: Russia Retaliates

Canada’s move to impose sanctions on 30 Russian officials was “senseless and reprehensible” and has led to retaliatory measures, Russian officials said. Canada announced the sanctions on Friday against Russian officials it accused of complicity in the death of anti-corruption

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Media Attacks Attempt to Discredit Russia’s Almaz-Antey S-400 System

RUSSIA POLITICS: Media Attacks Attempt to Discredit Russia’s Almaz-Antey S-400 System

Regular media tirades that attempt to discredit Russia’s S-400 system are taking place. Each time, they coincide with the successful export of Russian air defense systems.

The previous outburst took place in January 2017, when influential US publication Defense News reported that Russian S-400 systems had failed to detect Israel’s F-35 fighters that were hitting targets in Syria. This material was later deleted from the Defense News website, but excerpts were broadly scattered through English- and Russian-language online social networks and blogs.

Today, Russian-made S-300, S-300V4, S-350 and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems can effectively repel large-scale air attacks by all modern air assault weapons and can operate in conditions of intensive radio-electronic warfare in any region of the world.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: How to Bring Change in North Korea: Defector Thae Yong Ho Reveals

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: How to Bring Change in North Korea: Defector Thae Yong Ho Reveals

Thae, 55, who now lives in South Korea, is making his first visit to Washington since his 2016 defection as deputy chief of mission at the North Korean Embassy in London.

He said he supported the Trump administration’s policy of exerting “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang, but said it should be coupled with “maximum engagement” of North Korea’s leadership and efforts to end the isolation of the country’s 24 million people.

“I strongly believe in the use of soft power before taking any military action,” said Thae, the most senior North Korean defector since the nation’s ambassador to Egypt fled and resettled in the United States in 1997.

North Korea has called Thae “human scum” and accused him of embezzling government money and committing other crimes.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea as Nuclear State Unacceptable: Moon Jae-in Says

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea as Nuclear State Unacceptable: Moon Jae-in Says

“According to the joint denuclearization declaration made by North and South Korea, we cannot tolerate or recognize North Korea as a nuclear state. We too, will not develop nuclear (weapons) or own them,” President Moon Jae-in said.

“Our government was launched in the most serious of times in terms of security. The government is making efforts to stably manage the situation it faces as well as to bring about peace on the Korean peninsula.”

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CHINA POLITICS: Beijing, South Korea Agree to Reconcile After THAAD Standoff

CHINA POLITICS: Beijing, South Korea Agree to Reconcile After THAAD Standoff

South Korea recognized China’s concerns over THAAD and made it clear the deployment was not aimed at any third country and did not harm China’s strategic security interests, China’s foreign ministry said.

China reiterated its opposition to the deployment of THAAD, but noted South Korea’s position and hoped South Korea could appropriately handle the issue, it added.

“China’s position on the THAAD issue is clear, consistent and has not changed,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing in Beijing.

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Syrian Government Will Control Its Eastern Border, ISIS Will Cease to Exist Before 2017 End: Duma Defense Chief

RUSSIA POLITICS: Syrian Government Will Control Its Eastern Border, ISIS Will Cease to Exist Before 2017 End: Duma Defense Chief

Russia began its Air Force operation against the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria on September 30, 2015, at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad. In mid-March of this year, President Putin ordered Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu to begin the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria, as most of the initial objectives of the operation had already been achieved by that time.

However, the president also decided to maintain Russia’s military presence at the port of Tartus and at the Khmeimim airbase in order to monitor the ceasefire arrangements in Syria.

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