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Philippine President Duterte plans to meet with Chinese ‘friend’ Xi on April 8

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said he would meet next week virtually with his “friend,” Chinese leader Xi Jinping, as Filipino and U.S. forces conduct one of their largest joint exercises in years in the Southeast Asian nation bordering the disputed South China Sea. The presidential office in Manila announced the upcoming meeting while troops, during…

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With an eye on China, Japan plans 2 + 2 talks with Philippines, India

Japan plans to hold so-called “two-plus-two” meetings with the Philippines and India to discuss maritime security including in the South China Sea, a move analysts say could send a message to Beijing about Tokyo’s determination to foster ties with like-minded partners. “Two-plus-two” are ministerial-level meetings that involve both foreign and defense ministers of participating countries….

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Upward trend in Myanmar online wildlife trade endangers biodiversity and public health

Upward trend in Myanmar online wildlife trade New research by WWF shows that online illegal wildlife trade in Myanmar increased by 74% from 2020 to 2021. The report, ‘Going viral: Myanmar’s wildlife trade escalates online,’ details 173 different species being advertised for sale online in 2021, up from 143 species the year before. Sales of…

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Indonesian foreign minister calls on Russia to stop war with Ukraine

During a meeting with her Russian counterpart in China this week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said she pressed Moscow to end its war with Ukraine, citing the urgent humanitarian situation and the conflict’s ripple effects on the world economy.  Her Wednesday talk with Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of an international meeting to discuss…

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Cambodia’s small but growing opposition party threatens to boycott upcoming elections

Cambodia’s opposition Candlelight Party, whose popularity has been steadily increasing, is threatening to boycott local elections on June 5 if its activists and members continue to be harassed by officials from Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). Some political observers believe the Candlelight Party poses the greatest challenge to the CPP in…

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