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China to reduce military by 300,000: Xi BEIJING: China will reduce the size of its standing army -- the largest in the world -- by 300,000 troops, President Xi Jinping said ahead of a huge military parade.Beijing will "not seek hegemony" in the world, Xi said. Authorities have been making personnel cuts to the 2.3 million strong People's Liberation Army for decades in a bid to make it more efficient.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015 ...

Australia-Indonesia ties back in 'very good shape': FM SYDNEY: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Thursday said ties with Indonesia were in "very good shape" after plunging this year when Jakarta executed two Australians, hailing her relationship with "text buddy" counterpart Retno Marsudi.Canberra took the unprecedented step of recalling its ambassador after Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan faced the firing squad for drugs offences in April, with tensions already fraught over Australia's military-led efforts to turn back asylum-seeker boats.In the aftermath, Australia also froze ...
North korea warns Seoul over twisting peace deal SEOUL: North Korea on Wednesday accused the South of misrepresenting their agreement to defuse tensions and warned the hard-won deal was being undermined by claims Pyongyang had made an apology for border landmine blasts.The explosions maimed two South Korean soldiers on patrol last month and triggered a crisis that brought the rivals to the brink of armed conflict.A deal to de-escalate tensions was reached last week following marathon talks in the border truce village of ...
China chemical plant explosion kills one BEIJING: An explosion at a chemical plant in China killed at least one person, local media reported Tuesday, just weeks after a massive blasts in a northern port killed 159.Pictures said to show a fireball in Dongying, in the eastern province of Shandong, circulated on social media. Their authenticity could not be immediately verified.The explosion occurred on Monday night at the Diao Kou Xiang Bin Yuan Chemical Co., according to a news website run by ...
China cabinet to relax requirements for fixed-asset investment BEIJING: China's cabinet will relax requirements for fixed-asset investments, including lowering minimum capital requirements, a statement published on its website said on Tuesday. China would also establish a 60 billion yuan ($9.43 billion) national small- and medium-enterprise development fund, it said. The move comes as China's economy sputters after decades of double-digit growth and stock markets are subject to continued volatility after routs earlier this summer. Also on Tuesday, weak August factory data increased investors' ...
Japan defence ministry asks for record budget TOKYO:Japan's defence ministry on Monday made its biggest ever budget request, as Tokyo bolsters its military amid lingering territorial rows and worries over China's expanding naval reach.The ministry wants 5.09 trillion yen ($42 billion) for the next fiscal year, with the focus on strengthening protection of a string of southern islands that stretch from Japan's mainland to waters near Taiwan.The request, if approved, would mark the fourth straight annual defence budget increase and a 2.2 ...
Malaysia PM reasserts command with National Day parade KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's government reclaimed the streets of the capital Monday after massive weekend protests demanding the premier's ouster, staging its own show of force with National Day celebrations attended by thousands.With Prime Minister Najib Razak presiding, masses of flag-waving spectators cheered a colourful parade of soldiers, police and civil servants through the city centre, symbolically underlining the government's clout despite pressure for change.Organisers of the peaceful weekend demonstrations said more than 200,000 people came ...

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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyAugust 27, 2015
Reserves $18.509 bln