APD | Weekly top 10 hot news (June.11- June.17)



Every weekend, Asia Pacific Daily will provide you with a run-down of the latest hot news.

This week, the following hot news you should know:

Top 1 | Xi, Putin hold phone talks


Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday held a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During their conversation, Xi noted that since the beginning of this year, bilateral relations have maintained a sound development momentum in the face of global turbulence and transformations.

The economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has made steady progress, Xi said, adding that the Heihe-Blagoveshchensk cross-border highway bridge has opened to traffic, creating a new channel connecting the two countries.

Top 2 | 69 countries oppose interference in China's internal affairs at UN human rights session


A group of 69 countries at the ongoing 50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday opposed exploiting human rights issues to interfere in China's internal affairs.

On behalf of these countries, Cuba told the council that the affairs of Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet are China's internal affairs. They reject the politicization of human rights issues, double standards, and meddling in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.

Delivering a joint statement signed by the group of cross-regional countries, Lisandra Astiasaran Arias, counsellor of the permanent mission of Cuba to the UN Office at Geneva, said respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states are the basic norms governing international relations.

Top 3 | Biden announces another $1 billion in military aid for Ukraine


U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the U.S. is providing Ukraine with an additional $1 billion in security assistance including anti-ship systems, artillery rockets and howitzers rounds, following a telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

"The United States is providing another $1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, including additional artillery and coastal defense weapons, as well as ammunition for the artillery and advanced rocket systems," Biden said in a statement after the call.

The president also announced an additional $225 million in humanitarian assistance, which he said will "help people inside Ukraine, including by supplying safe drinking water, critical medical supplies and health care, food, shelter, and cash for families to purchase essential items."

Top 4 | China rejects competition with U.S. in bilateral talks


China firmly opposes using competition to define its ties with the U.S., senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi told U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in a nearly five-hour meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

The meeting – which both sides called "candid, in-depth and productive" – followed a May phone call between the two officials and a in-person meeting in Rome in mid-March.

Yang, who is a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said Washington has "contained and suppressed" Beijing in "an all-round way," plunging China-U.S. relations into "a very difficult situation" and severely damaging exchanges and cooperation in bilateral areas.

Top 5 | UN rights body should serve as platform for cooperation, dialogue: Chinese envoy


Multilateral human rights mechanisms should serve as a platform for cooperation and dialogue, rather than a venue for division and confrontation, China's permanent representative to the UN Office in Geneva Chen Xu said on Tuesday.

Chen told the ongoing 50th session of Human Rights Council that in recent years, "the Human Rights Council has become increasingly politicized and confrontational, and disinformation has become rampant, which seriously runs counter to the original purpose of the Human Rights Council."

Chen said that all parties should promote multilateralism in the field of human rights, uphold the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity and non-politicization, and jointly promote the sound development of the international human rights cause.

Top 6 | EU threatens legal action over UK's N.Ireland trade bill


The EU threatened legal action against Britain after the UK government on Monday introduced legislation proposing a unilateral overhaul to the post-Brexit trade deal it signed for Northern Ireland.

"It is with significant concern that we take note of today's decision by the UK Government to table legislation," European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said in a prepared statement to reporters in Brussels.

He said that the EU would not renegotiate its divorce deal and that Brussels would now consider reopening a suspended "infringement procedure" against Britain, as well as opening fresh cases.

Top 7 | Britain urges EU to change post-Brexit trade rules with N. Ireland


British Foreign Minister Liz Truss told the European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic on Monday the bloc must be willing to change post-Brexit rules governing trade with Northern Ireland, repeating that London wanted a "negotiated solution."

"Our preference is a negotiated solution, but EU must be willing to change the Protocol itself," she tweeted.

In another phone call on Monday, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told Truss that her plans to override parts of the Northern Ireland protocol would create a "whole new set of uncertainties and mark a low point in its approach to Brexit," Coveney's spokesperson said in a statement.

Top 8 | Wang Yi calls for further deepening cooperation with Seoul, Tokyo


Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday sent a congratulatory message to the International Forum on Trilateral Cooperation, where he called for further deepening cooperation with its two neighboring countries.

The forum, hosted by the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS), serves as a trilateral cooperative framework among China, the Republic of Korea and Japan hoping to promote peace and common prosperity in the region.

The three countries share wide common interests. Over the past 20 years, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo have maintained practical cooperation and have preserved peace and development to East Asia, the Chinese diplomat said in the message.

Top 9 | China, Panama vow to boost cooperation on 5th anniversary of diplomatic ties


China and Panama on Monday said they will continue to boost cooperation on a wide range of areas as Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes exchanged congratulations on the fifth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

On June 13, 2017, the two countries' foreign ministers signed a joint communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations in Beijing. According to the communique, the government of the Republic of Panama severed its so-called "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan as well as official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan.

In Monday's message, Wang said since the establishment of diplomatic ties five years ago, under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, China-Panama relations have developed rapidly, with deepening political mutual trust, steady progress in cooperation in various fields and growing friendship between the two peoples.

Top 10 | Asian shares up after Fed lifts rates to tame inflation


Asian stocks rose on Thursday, while longer-dated U.S. government bond yields fell and the dollar was down from two-decade highs after the U.S. Federal Reserve delivered an aggressive rate hike and cut its growth projections.

The U.S. central bank on Wednesday approved its biggest interest rate hike since 1994, lifting the target federal funds rate by 75 basis points to a range of between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent. Fed officials also see further steady rises this year, targeting a federal funds rate of 3.4 percent by year-end.

Investors appeared to take comfort from the view that the U.S. economy will benefit in the long run if prices are brought under control in the short term.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan tracked a higher close on Wall Street, adding 0.40 percent in the morning session. Seoul's KOSPI added 1.24 percent, while Australian shares rose 0.49 percent and Chinese blue chips added 0.12 percent.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei was up 1.70 percent.