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Pacific Rim Trade ministers discuss ways to build back better from pandemic

Pacific Rim Trade ministers discuss ways to build back better from  pandemic

Pacific Rim Trade ministers are discussing ways to improve over the pandemic at an online meeting on Saturday hosted by New Zealand.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum has long focused on removing trade barriers.

The trade ministers’ meeting was effectively called due to travel restrictions that exist in this region As the virus spreads, many countries are still struggling to obtain multiple COVID-19 vaccines.

On this agenda, there is a declaration of assistance in moving goods necessary to fight the epidemic. This is in line with global trade rules that have been imposed in recent years.

Especially under the administration of President Donald Trump, which supports impressive trade deals with individual countries.
Trade ministers attending Saturday’s meeting discussed with business leaders on Friday how to manage the health and financial crisis caused by Friday’s pandemic.

“We need to ensure that trade plays a role in combating the worst effects of COVID-19 through the vaccine trade. basic medical supplies and related products openly and without limitation,” said Rachel Tolelai, Chairman of the APEC Business Advisory Board.

In many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the proportion of people vaccinated so far is in the low single digits. This includes places such as Thailand and Taiwan. which at first was able to avoid widespread protests. But now we are facing the worst outbreak.

APEC members Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand Ranked among the worst developed countries for vaccinating against COVID-19. lower than many developing countries such as Brazil and India. Australia has also performed poorly.

This week, President Joe Biden announced that the United States Surplus vaccines of 25 million doses will be donated rapidly abroad through the UN-sponsored COVAX program. by promising to vaccinate Asia Central and South America, Africa, etc.

This will be an important and urgent support for the delayed COVAX effort, which so far has distributed only 76 million doses to countries in need.

While some countries have limited vaccine exports. chemicals needed in production or protective equipment such as surgical masks But it is unclear whether tariffs and other trade barriers Is it the main problem? This is because countries such as Japan and New Zealand impose burdensome approval requirements with delayed vaccination.

Also Read: Global warming trend to continue over next 5 years: WMO

The average vaccine tax rate is as low as 0.8%, according to the APEC Secretariat. However, jobs on other products such as freezer equipment, small vials, and alcohol solutions can be as high as 30% for some countries.

Although the average vaccine tax rate is very low within APEC (just 0.8%), the tariffs are much higher for many items that are very important in the vaccine supply chain.

Vaccine patent regulation has also proven to be a controversial issue.

There are many risks: beyond the potential to save lives or lose. Trade-in vaccines and related equipment were $418.5 billion in 2019, according to the latest available data, and has a tendency to increase in 2020.

In addition to solving the current crisis, The APEC meeting also focused on ways to accelerate the recovery of the epidemic and “Build Better” distributes resources to improve health, education, and social security networks, officials said.

Although the region is still in the middle of the worst coronavirus outbreak to date. But the Pacific economy is expected to recover this year, with a recovery in excess of 6% from a 1.9 percent contraction in 2020.

APEC brings together 21 economies across the Pacific. from a small Brunei to the United States, Chile, and New Zealand. One of the long-term goals is to promote free trade zones in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Taiwan plans $9 bln boost in arms spending, warns of ‘severe threat’

Taiwan plans  bln boost in arms spending, warns of ‘severe threat’
Photo: Reuters

TAIPEI, Sept 16 – On Thursday Taiwan proposed an additional T$240 billion ($ 8.69 billion) defense over the next five years, including new arrows, as it warned of an urgent “urgent need for China’s largest neighbor.”

Taiwanese President Xi Ying-wen has made armed militants – well-armed but ashamed of the Chinese – a very important factor and increasing security spending, especially as Beijing increases its political pressure on the island. “Holy” is a Chinese place.

The new money, valued at T$471.7 billion in military spending by 2022, will have to be approved by parliament, where the ruling Tsai party has a large margin, meaning its passing must be smooth.

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“Chinese communists have continued to invest heavily in national defense budgets, their military capabilities are growing rapidly and they often send planes and ships to attack and disrupt our seas and territories,” the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense said in a statement. . meeting.

“In the face of major threats from the enemy, the country’s military has been involved in military recruiting and preparatory work and it is urgent that we have a massive production of weapons and equipment in a timely manner.”

Defense Secretary Wang Shin-lung has told the media that all new weapons will be developed in the domestic market as Taiwan strengthens its manufacturing capacity, although the United States is likely to remain a major supplier of goods and technology.

Taiwan was determined to show that it could defend itself, especially in the midst of questions about whether the United States would help if China attacked.

Also Read: China shows off defence diplomacy with multinational peacekeeping drill

“Only if we ensure our safety and show determination will the international community think well of us,” said Lo Ping-Cheng, a Cabinet spokesman. “Others will only help us if we help ourselves.”

The weapons Taiwan intends to buy with the money include archers and warships, the department said.

Taiwan is testing long-range missiles in its southern and eastern parts, and while it did not provide details, strategists and experts said they could not hit targets far from China.

More money may have been received by Washington, pressuring Taiwan to modernize its troops so that it could move more and more into a “pig” that is difficult for China to attack.

Taiwan has already introduced a new category of highly sophisticated warships, Taiwan has been dubbed the “aircraft killer” due to the addition of arrows and is developing its own submarines.

The announcement comes as Taiwan is in the middle of a military exercise in the year of Han Kuang. Learn more

On Thursday, the Taiwanese military aimed to prevent an offensive attack by firing into the sea off the coast of its southern coast.

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China shows off defence diplomacy with multinational peacekeeping drill

China shows off defence diplomacy with multinational peacekeeping drill
REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

QUESHAN, China, Sept 15 – Chinese troops completed their first peacekeeping mission on Wednesday, demonstrating their ability to fight with drones and mine-clearing robots as they seek to create a better image.

As the Asian giant upgrades and strengthens its troops, raising hundreds of billions of dollars a year in its defense budget, it has also sought to reassure other countries that its military is power for great, not a danger.

Also Read: Taiwan plans $9 bln boost in arms spending, warns of ‘severe threat’

About 1,000 soldiers from China, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Thailand took part in a ten-day training program for the People’s Liberation Army in Queshan County in central Henan Province, though most of the soldiers appear to be Chinese.

The mission, inscribed with the name “Shared Destiny 2021,” emphasized China’s position “as a defender of world peace and security,” Colonel Lu Jianxin, a military expert in China, told reporters.

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Soldiers, in front of a small group of journalists, observed the clashes between terrorists and peacekeepers in the war-torn land of Karana.

The operation was based on a 2016 incident in Mali when a Chinese peacekeeper killed one of them.

The military also reported the location of an incident based on another incident in 2016 in South Sudan, where peacekeepers were supposed to protect civilians involved in clashes between groups.

In another case, unmanned planes flew to the battlefield to retrieve bombs, which, in turn, detonated robots. Drones also doubled as speakers and distributed colorful tracts urging people to stop fighting.

Exercise has also been an exhibition of Chinese military equipment. Foreign troops are being trained in Chinese weapons and equipment.

“The utilization of Chinese hardware by unfamiliar soldiers could be viewed as an indication of work on military participation … also, fully intent on offering it to unfamiliar soldiers, said Collin Koh, a security researcher in Singapore at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

China has repeatedly tried to alleviate concerns in neighboring countries even more with its military intentions, even though it regularly conducts tests near Taiwan called China and the disputed South China Sea.

China shows off defence diplomacy with multinational peacekeeping drill
Pakistan soldiers take part in a multinational U.N. peacekeeping military exercise with troops of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Mongolia, and Thailand, on the outskirts of Zhumadian, Henan province, China September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

China is proud to be the world’s largest peacekeeping force, represented by five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

As the second-largest financial contribution, China accounted for 15% of the total cost of UN peacekeeping operations by 2020.

Since 1990, it has sent 50,000 troops to take part in 25 international peacekeeping missions, built or repaired more than 10,000 miles [17,000 km] of roads and bridges, and cleared 18,000 mined, says expert Lou.

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Three killed after gas explosion destroys residential building in Russia

Three killed after gas explosion destroys residential building in Russia
via REUTERS

MOSCOW, September 11 – Three people, including an 11-year-old girl, were killed in a gas explosion in a two-story building in a Russian suburb on Saturday morning, said by Igor Artamonov, the head of Lipetsk region.

Videos show the damage to a building in Solidarnost, a village about 400 km (250 miles) south of Moscow, and local rescuers, who are trying to clear away debris.

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Six other people were injured, the TASS agency reported, quoting Vassily Razmunov, head of the local emergency department.

The regional branch of the Russian Commission of Inquiry said a gas explosion in the center of the building caused the collapse.

Investigators say they have launched a criminal case on the grounds that the services provided do not meet security requirements.

Gas explosions are very common in Russia because of the aging infrastructure and minor safety regulations related to gas use. Two people were killed earlier this week when a nine-story building exploded.

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Taiwan says strong typhoon may hit land this weekend

Taiwan says strong typhoon may hit land this weekend
REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI, Sept 10 – Taiwan said on Friday that typhoon Chanthu could reach the country this weekend, bringing strong winds and rain to the first hurricane to hit the island in two years.

Taiwan’s Central Meteorological Agency said the storm was expected to hit a small coastal area and mountains east of the island before reaching the northeast corner Sunday afternoon near the capital Taipei and then head for Zhejiang.

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Taiwan’s Department of Transportation said 12 domestic flights had already been canceled, although there was no impact on international flights.

The Tropical Storm Risk watchdog reported that it would hit Taiwan as a hurricane in phase 4, one level below the hurricane, with winds of up to 250 km / h (156 mp / h) and a flow of energy.

However, according to the Central Meteorological Agency, it may be far enough away from the world’s largest Taiwan semiconductor plants on the west coast to avoid damaging chip plants that provide everything from smartphones to cars.

In 2009, streak floods and avalanches brought about by Hurricane Morakot killed at least 700 individuals in Taiwan, the deadliest storm on the island.

Taiwan’s underground state relies on a storm to fill its dams, but with no one arriving on the island last year, water levels have dropped dramatically, leading to the worst drought in Taiwan in history and widespread water restrictions.

The drought ended after heavy rains in late spring and early summer.

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US, NATO allies back to square one in Afghanistan after 20 years war on terrorism

US, NATO allies back to square one in Afghanistan after 20 years war on terrorism
Getty Image

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) returns to first place in Afghanistan. They ended their journey to a war-torn nation where they started 20 years ago.

The United States and its NATO allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 to overthrow the Taliban, considered a “terrorist war,” and spent billions, but the end led to the formation of the “Islamic Emirate” Taliban in Afghanistan.

According to the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), this never-ending war in the so-called “Empire Cemetery” has left the Taliban unharmed and unscathed thanks to Pakistan’s ongoing gratitude for more than 20 years.

It is important to understand that Pakistan, which has controlled terrorist groups such as the Haqqani Network, Quetta Sura, and the Al Qaeda leadership, has never been fully accepted by the United States and its allies.

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For its part, NATO also ignored a number of details during its alliance with Pakistan, given a decade-long confrontation that sparked many negative thoughts, IFFRAS said.

For the provinces concerned, it is a matter of question as to whether this multi-billion dollar project was really worth it.

Establishing terrorist bases in Afghanistan will be easier with Taliban control, as camps for groups such as LeT and JeM are reportedly migrating to Afghanistan from Pakistan to avoid the blacklist of FATF, reports IFFRAS.

In addition, the NATO-backed government and all other institutions built over the past 20 years have been completely destroyed and the Taliban have openly declared that women’s rights are in Sharia.

Although many big statements are made by the Taliban, the human rights situation on the ground, especially for young women and women, is getting worse with each passing day.

In addition, the cost of the war to the United States and its NATO allies was billions. According to US government figures, when the country had more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2012, military spending rose to nearly $ 100 billion a year, reports IFFRAS.

The United Kingdom and Germany had sent a large number of troops to Afghanistan behind the United States and spent $ 30 billion and $ 19 billion respectively during a long crisis.

It can be acknowledged that large amounts of investment in the country have disappeared as corruption, fraud, and account management for years, IFFRAS said.

In a report to the US Congress in October 2020, the person in charge of overseeing the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan estimated that approximately US $ 19 billion was lost in this way between May 2009 and December 31, 2019.

Today, Americans, NATO allies, and Afghans are disappointed with the price of the war. The United States and other NATO countries have lost thousands of people and most of the Afghan people have died although people continue to be evacuated.

In addition, billions of American dollars are still a debt that American generations have to bear. But Afghanistan has finally returned to where it was, under Taliban rule, just as the world had found it, almost 20 years ago, IFFRAS said.

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Russian Minister dies trying to save a cameraman during Arctic exercise

Russian Minister dies trying to save a cameraman during Arctic exercise
Russia's Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev sits in a helicopter as he accompanies President Vladimir Putin in a flight over wildfires sites in Chelyabinsk region, Russia. via REUTERS

MOSCOW, Sept 8 – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former bodyguard, Yevgeny Zinichev, was killed while exercising in the Arctic city of Norilsk on Wednesday while trying to save the life of a former film star, his department said on Monday.

Yevgeny Zinichev, 55, who has been in charge of the emergency department since 2018, has been in the remote city of Norilsk to look for major tests in the area.

The ministry said in an explanation that he had passed on while attempting to protect Alexander Melnik, who had headed out to Norilsk to accomplish documentary work in the Arctic and North Sea Routes.

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He said Melnik slipped on a wet rock and fell. ” Evgeny strove to catch Alexander and he jumped up and followed him, but unfortunately, they both crashed after falling off a bluff and into a mountain river, ” he said.

Zinichev had been tipped as a possible successor to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pictured: Zinichev (left) and Putin during an April 2020 meeting
Zinichev had been tipped as a possible successor to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pictured: Zinichev (left) and Putin during an April 2020 meeting (Alexei Druzhinin/TASS)

Margarita Simonyan, the chief editor of Russian TV channel RT, commented separately on Twitter.

“There had been many witnesses – no one even had time to assume about what took place when Zinichev used to be thrown into the water of a fallen man and hit a rock that had come out,” he said.

The department said in a previous statement on Wednesday that Zinichev had visited the construction site of a new fire station in Norilsk and a team of researchers and rescue workers in the area.

A biography quoted by state media reported that Zinichev was born in St. Petersburg.

He has served as Putin’s bodyguard and assistant, according to the RBC news website. numerous pics of Putin at public events over the days show Zinichev standing on Putin’s shoulder.

Zinichev later grew to become the deputy head of the Federal Security Service and served quickly as Kaliningrad’s appearing deputy. The Kremlin said Putin had expressed his grief.

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