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APD | Philippines armed clashes displace some 50000 people

By APD writer Melo M. AcuñaMANILA, Mar.24 (APD) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross reported clashes between forces of the Philippine government and a number of non-state armed groups over the last few weeks in the southern island of Mindanao. The fightings resulted in the displacement of about 50,000 people in Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao provinces.In a statement released late Friday, the ICRC said the clashes also resulted in casualties and injuries among parties to the conflict.“The ICRC teams from different offices on the ground have been assessing the humanitarian needs on the ground, and have started to provide direct response, working in coordination with other agencies, notably, the Philippine Red Cross,” the statement said.In Lanao del Sur along, some 9,000 people were reported displaced since last week due to fighting between the Philippine military and the Islamic State Ranao also known as Maute group. The displaced persons are reported in nearby evacuation centers while some sought shelter with their relatives.Over in Bukidnon province, the ICRC reported the displacement of some180 families since the last week of February due to clashes in their villages and now in dire need for sleeping facilities and access to water and sanitation services.In Maguindanao province, the ICRC quoted the government-run Department of Social Welfare and Development which reported the fighting raged between government troops and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),which now runs what was once known as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).Some 39,000 people fled to safer confines. The ICRC reported they have extended medicines and medical supplies to government health facilities in the area.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

APD | China remains largest importer of Vietnamese rubber

By APD writer AliceHANOI, Mar. 24 (APD) -- China remained the largest importer of Vietnamese rubber in the first two months of 2019 as it splashed out more than 196 million USD on buying 153,190 tonnes, a year-on-year surge of 35 percent in value and 53.7 percent in quantity.However, the rubber price in this market dropped 12.1 percent year-on-year to 1,279 USD each tonne, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia are three main rubber suppliers to China. In 2018, China increased rubber imports from Vietnam, hitting 1.02 million tonnes worth 1.4 million USD, up 16.6 percent in volume but down 4.4 percent in value as compared to the previous year.The Vietnamese rubber price also slid in India, the second biggest consumer of Vietnamese rubber. Each tonne of rubber was sold at 1,339 USD in the market, a year-on-year fall of 12.14 percent. In the two-month period, Vietnam exported 21,100 tonnes of rubber to the southern Asian country and pocketed 28.4 million USD, shooting 42.87 percent in volume and 23.99 percent in value.Vietnam’s rubber shipments to the Republic of Korea inched up 7.7 percent in the period while those to the US and Germany dwindled 6.6 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively.The General Department of Vietnam Customs said that Vietnam gained over 305 million USD from shipping more than 237,000 tonnes of rubber abroad in January-February, up 11.5 percent in value and 27.3 percent in volume from the same time last year.The average rubber price in February stood at 1,322 USD per tonne, jumping 4 percent from the previous month but falling 11.5 percent as compared to the same month in 2018.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

APD | Indonesia fails orangutan smuggling attempt through flight

By APD writer Aditya NugrahaJAKARTA, March 24 (APD) -- Indonesia’s Bali airport authorities have failed an attempt to smuggle an orangutan conducted by a Russian national, bringing the perpetrator to face legal process that carries a sentence of 3 years punishment.The airport’s aviation security guards found a sedated baby orangutan stashed inside a bamboo-weaved basket carried by a Russian passenger after conducting a screening procedure prior to the flight.Along with the baby orangutan, the aviation security guards also found sedative drug, a syringe, a gecko and a lizard in the basket.The Russian national, identifies as AZ, was scheduled to fly back to Russia with an international flight with stopover in South Korea on 22.30 p.m. local time on Friday.In an interrogation conducted by airport authorities, AZ said he bought the male baby orangutan aged 2 years old in Java with a price of US$ 300.He planned to inject the orangutan with the sedative drug while the flight stopovers in South Korea to make the orangutan sleep along the flight to Russia.“Orangutan is a protected animal here. He also tried to smuggle the gecko and lizard. He carries the live animals without any official necessary documents. We will keep all of those live animals,” Head of Bali’s Denpasar Quarantine Office I Putu Terunanegara said on Saturday.The Russian national was brought to a police station for further legal process related to his attempt to smuggle live protected animals from Indonesia.Indonesia legal authorities may charge the Russian national with violation on national quarantine law that carries a sentence of 3 years imprisonment and 150 million rupiah (around US$ 10,500) of fine.Population of orangutan in Indonesian jungles has been drastically decreasing due to massive expansion of plantations in their habitats in the forest.According to a report issued by International Union for Conservation in 2016, population of orangutans was roughly stood at 100,000 in Indonesian forests with threats on their livelihood remains continue in the wild.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

The Belt and Road

2018 Silk Road Business Summit to be held in Zhangjiajie City on October 16, 2018

On September 29, the press conference of 2018 Silk Road Business Summit in Zhangjiajie city was successfully held in Changsha, Hunan Province. Leaders from the China Association for Friendship, Hunan Sub-council of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Zhangjiajie Municipal Government, Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC), and more than 30 mainstream media representatives attended the press conference. The announcement was made for the summit to be held in Zhangjiajie city on 16-17 October 2018. The summit is to actively respond to the Belt and Road Initiative, to build a multilateral economic and trade platform, to promote the formulation of international standards and the building-up of the Belt and Road brands, to explore the new mode of cultural exchange, to create the international tourist attractions, to facilitate the synergy of cultural industries, cultural undertakings, and cultural tourism as contribution to the development of a shared future for the world. The abundant resources of SRCIC will uplift Hunan province in its advantages in the Belt and Road construction and in its strategy of “Innovation Leads and Open Policies for Rise” to expedite Hunan province as an important inland hub of the Belt and Road.  The Zhangjiajie Summit is the 3rd silk road business summit organized by SRCIC, following the successful summits in 2016 and 2017. It’s the first summit with its venue in a city away from Xi’an. The summit in Zhangjiajie city will give a full play to the city’s unique natural resources, ecological culture, and its tourist economy.By report, Silk Road Urban Alliance Roundtable: Belt and Road International Cooperation on Tourism is scheduled at the summit. Themed with strengthening the tourist cooperation and facilitating the Belt and Road construction, the participants are expected to share views on setting up mechanisms for the Silk Road Urban Alliance and have in-depth discussion on promoting tourist and economic development. The summit will release consensuses, international standard proposals and tourist destination development strategies.Over the five years, the Belt and Road Initiative has gained strong support from the Belt and Road countries. International commercial associations and enterprises are important participants in the Belt and Road construction. SRCIC, one of the summit organizers, is the first transnational business confederation named after the Belt and Road and mainly composed of national chambers of commerce from the Belt and Road countries. Since its establishment in 2015, SRCIC is devoted to narrating the Belt and Road stories, initiating the Belt and Road voices, and facilitating the cultural exchanges in building up pragmatic platforms for win-win cooperation. Currently SRCIC has 129 organizational members from 79 countries, including state-level business organizations and millions of affiliated enterprises. SRCIC serves as a bridge connecting enterprises and governments, providing a cooperative platform between business associations and SRCIC members. It plays a vital role in advancing economic and social development with an emphasis on international collaboration and global governance.According to the plan, the annual silk road business summits are to be held in different SRCIC member countries for bigger influence and popularity, and for building up more cooperative platforms to benefit SRCIC commercial association members and enterprise members. (ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)


Belt and Road Initiative paves way for win-win cooperation between China and Czech

By APD Writer He WeiIn July last year, the first China-EU freight train departed from Prague, captial of Czech,to Yiwu, a city in east China’s Zhejang Province. The new cargo train service marked the official launch of “the Belt and Road Initiative” in Czech. Thanks to joint efforts of both sides, the economic and trade ties between China and Czech Republic is heading for a bright future.During the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May 2017, two months before the opening, China signed the Memorandum of Understanding to Jointly Coordinate and Promote Cooperation and Project Implementation with Czech. According to the memorandum, more efforts will be made to set up a China-Czech Cooperation Center under the Belt and Road initiative, a key project bank and a cooperation platform, integrate domestic and foreign resources, as well as adjoin and implement projects On the sidelines of the The Working Conference of China-Czech Jointly Coordinating and Monitoring Cooperation Plan and Projects under the Framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, Liu Jielei, vice chairman of the Czech-China Friendship Association, told the Asia Pacific Daily (APD) that besides geographic advantage, Czech enjoys a sound investment environment because of its stable domestic policies, friendly policy toward China, lower business taxes and labor cost than that of in other European countries.The "Yixin’ou (Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe) cargo train, which began in Yiwu, was hailed as an important bridge linking Asian and European continents and a signficiant achievement in the early stage of the initative by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xu Jie, general manager of Rongsheng Travelling (Czech) Investment Co., Ltd., said because of its important location, they have launched two projects including the Czech-Chinese Technology Business District (CCTBD) project and the South Moravia Chinese Herbal Spa Project in Prague during the past two years, stressing that initial success has been achieved thanks to the initiative.Transalated by Hu Yahui(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)