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China's Xi wants 'simple' Mao celebration: media BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling for restraint ahead of the 120th anniversary of Mao Zedong's birth, even as the late leader's hometown spends billions on the highly-anticipated event."We need to earnestly implement President Xi Jinping's instructions, which were that the ceremony needs to be solemn, simple, and pragmatic," Xu Shousheng, secretary of the Communist Party committee in Hunan province, told officials after a visit by Xi this week, the state-run Global Times reported Friday. The Chinese founding father's birthplace of Shaoshan lies within the central Chinese province.Soon after taking office in March, Xi launched a national austerity campaign with the goal of cutting back on banquets and other over-indulgences at a time when many ordinary Chinese are lashing out at official corruption and lavish spending.But the Mao anniversary, which China will celebrate on December 26, has been marked not by austerity but instead by a host of high-profile ...

Failure to end China's labour camps shows limits of Xi's power BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping has been blocked in efforts to dismantle the country's labour camp system in a clear sign that he has yet to cement his grip on the ruling Communist Party a year after gaining power, leadership sources said. Xi, whose father was sacked as vice premier and then imprisoned for seven years during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, is deeply opposed to the use of labour camps for arbitrary detention and ...
First time China to head UNESCO BEIJING: For the first time a Chinese representative has been elected president of the UNESCO's general conference since the organization was established in 1946.China is willing to deepen cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after Hao Ping was elected president of its 37th general conference in Paris, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing Wednesday when asked to comment on Hao's election.With the development of a multi-polarized ...
Thai PM defends amnesty bill in face of protests BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday defended a controversial political amnesty bill that has sparked mass anti-government protests, urging the country to "forgive" after years of civil strife.Opponents fear the legislation would allow fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra -- Yingluck's brother -- to return from self-imposed exile.Yingluck said the amnesty was needed to reunite the country after years of turmoil culminating in a bloody crackdown by the previous government on pro-Thaksin "Red ...
Japan 'disappointed' at South Korean leader remarks TOKYO: Japan is "extremely disappointed" that South Korean President Park Geun-Hye sees no point in a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an official said on Tuesday.The comments come after Park said a sit-down would get the two sides nowhere while Tokyo refuses to apologise for "past wrongdoings".Abuses carried out during Japan's repressive 1910-45 colonial rule remain a source of deep anger and resentment in South Korea, particularly the treatment of women forced to work ...
Thai protesters march against amnesty BANGKOK: Thousands of protesters marched through Bangkok on Monday, seeking to raise pressure on the Thai government over its controversial political amnesty bill.The opposition, which organised the demonstration, fears that the legislation could allow fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return.More than 10,000 protesters joined the march to the Grand Palace from a railway station in the city where they had held several days of rallies since Thursday, according to police."Today is a significant ...
'Anonymous Indonesia' hacks Australia sites over spying SYDNEY: Activist group Anonymous Indonesia on Monday claimed it had defaced more than 170 Australian websites to protest at reports of Canberra spying on its nearest neighbour and strategic ally."Hundreds of Australian Websites Attacked for #OpAustralia By Indonesian Hackers," it posted on Twitter, listing the sites which appeared to be mostly small businesses that ended with the Australian domain .au.Calling up the web pages was met with the message: "Stop Spying on Indonesia" underneath an ...

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Banking Review 2013

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 18, 2014
Reserves $13.525 bln