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China probes official in Xi's 'second hometown' BEIJING: Chinese authorities are investigating a senior official in a province President Xi Jinping has dubbed his "second hometown", the Communist Party's internal watchdog said Friday, amid a much-publicised anti-graft campaign.Xu Gang, the vice governor of Fujian in eastern China, is being probed for "alleged serious violations of the law," according to a one-sentence announcement posted on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.The phrase is usually a euphemism for corruption, an issue which causes widespread public anger in China.Xi, who took office in 2013, was born in Shaanxi in the north but spent nearly two decades working in various positions in Fujian.On a visit to the province last year, he called it "my second hometown", the state-run China Daily newspaper reported.When Xi was Fujian's governor in 2000-2002, Xu was the provincial government's deputy secretary-general.In the two years since he took office, Xi has pledged to root out ...

Japan to expand SE Asia security ties with Indonesia pact TOKYO/JAKARTA: Japan will sign a defence pact with Indonesia next week, officials in both governments said, the latest effort by Tokyo to forge closer security ties with Southeast Asian nations and build a counter-balance to China.Japan has already bolstered partnerships with the Philippines and Vietnam, the two countries most at odds with China over a territorial row in the South China Sea. Japan itself is embroiled in a bitter dispute with China over uninhabited islands ...
South Korea, US forces to start massive military landing drill SEOUL: South Korea and the United States will launch a massive landing drill next week, the climax of an ongoing joint military exercise which North Korea views as an invasion rehearsal.The amphibious drill will start March 28 and run until April 1 at the port of Pohang, some 360 kilometers (223 miles) south of Seoul, the US-South Korea Combined Forces Command said in a statement.It will include some 1,000 US Marines, three US amphibious ships ...
Japan, China in security talks after 4-year break TOKYO: Japan and China held security talks Thursday after a four-year hiatus because of simmering territorial tensions, in a meeting expected to touch on the flashpoint issue of maritime crisis management, officials and reports said.The first such dialogue between the two Asian rivals since January 2011 was held at Japan's foreign ministry in Tokyo, a government official said, in the latest sign of a hastening thaw in once-frozen relations.The talks involved top officials from each ...
Aid starts flowing to Vanuatu as remote islands plead for help TANNA: Aid was due to reach some of cyclone-hit Vanuatu's worst affected islands Wednesday but others remained isolated, with flights over the Pacific nation showing desperate villagers spelling out the letter "H" for help.Relief agencies are battling tough conditions and logistical challenges in the sprawling archipelago with a lack of landing strips and deep water ports hampering their efforts to reach distant islands and get a better grip on the full scale of the disaster.Vanuatu ...
China, Japan, South Korea to hold first FM talks in three years TOKYO: China, Japan and South Korea will this week hold the first meeting of their foreign ministers for three years, Tokyo said Tuesday, the latest sign of a gradual thaw in East Asian relations.The three men will meet in Seoul on Saturday, a Japanese foreign ministry official said."Cooperation among the three countries is important for Japan and we naturally hope this foreign ministers' meeting will lead to a summit in the future," the official said.He ...
China probes top executive of state energy giant CNPC SHANGHAI: A top executive of China National Petroleum Corp, the country's biggest energy company, has been put under investigation, authorities said as the Communist Party's anti-corruption drive targets more state firms.CNPC general manager Liao Yongyuan is being investigated by the ruling party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) for "severe violations of discipline and law", the watchdog said in a statement late Monday.It gave no details, but the phrase typically refers to official corruption.Liao was ...

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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-999 mln
Exports $2.064 bln
Imports $3.063 bln
WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
Reserves $16.273 bln