APD | Weekly top 10 hot news (Jan.08- Jan.14 )



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 | China welcomes media from all countries to cover the Winter Olympics


China welcomes media from all countries to cover the Winter Olympic Games and will, as always, protect their rights and interests and will facilitate their reporting, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Thursday.

China encourages the journalists to offer constructive suggestions but opposes making up fake news and information under the excuse of freedom of the press to smear China and the Beijing Winter Olympics, Wang Wenbin told a press briefing.

As many as 2,500 reporters and photographers have applied to report the Games.

Top 2 | Kazakh state secretary says the country was under terrorist attack


In an exclusive interview with CGTN the Kazakhstan State Secretary Erlan Karinan said Kazakhstan has suffered from an international terrorist attack and the situation is now under control.

“Kazakhstan suffers from aggression by international terrorism. The series of events that have taken place is absolutely an act of international terrorism,” Erlan Karinan said.

He also said, “The situation stabilized within a few days. Now, the state of emergency is still in effect, but the country is gradually backing to normal life.”

Top 3 | Chinese, Russian FMs hold phone call on bilateral ties, situation in Kazakhstan


Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday held a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on bilateral ties and the situation in Kazakhstan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to China and his attendance at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics will not only be the first in-person meeting between the two countries' heads of state in nearly two years, but also a major event in international relations at the start of this year, Wang said.

China is ready to strengthen coordination with Russia to ensure the complete success and fruitful results of the "get-together for the Winter Olympics" and "meeting in the Spring Festival" between the two countries' heads of state, Wang said.

Top 4 | NATO-Russia Council meeting ends without clear result


Talks on Wednesday between representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Russia concluded without a clear outcome, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg describing the differences between the two sides as "significant" and "not be easy to bridge."

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said that NATO's "ignoring" of Russian security proposals created the risk of "incidents and conflicts," Interfax news agency reported.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Wednesday that Russia was ready to discuss strike weapons with the U.S.-led NATO alliance, including their locations and verification measures.

Top 5 | Dutch Prime Minister Rutte sworn in again after mammoth negotiations

f8a8ae8246f846d798daea68044c1e40.pngNo one believed in it anymore, except maybe Mark Rutte... For the fourth time, the prime minister stood on the steps of the Royal Palace in The Hague as head of a Dutch government.

After 10 months of complex negotiations, the outgoing four-party coalition of Liberals and Christian Democrats finally decided to continue working together.

To most people's surprise, their new agreement is more progressive than before, with big spending earmarked for climate change, the pandemic, infrastructure, defense and housing. The country's finances are in good shape: the budget deficit for 2021 was 5.1 percent and will fall to 2.4 percent this year.

Even after all the extra expenditure for aid packages related to the pandemic, the national debt stands at 56.4 percent, well below the European limit of 60 percent of GDP. At just 2.9 percent, unemployment is at a historic low and is expected to decrease even more in the next couple of months.

Top 6 | China, France hold 22nd strategic dialogue


Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday co-chaired the 22nd China-France Strategic Dialogue with Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic counselor to French President Emmanuel Macron, in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu Province.

The two sides had long and in-depth communications and candid exchanges, and both expressed the willingness to further give play to the strategic leading role of head-of-state diplomacy, highlight the pillar role of practical cooperation in bilateral relations, and leverage the exemplary role of China-France ties in China-EU relations to promote the sound and steady development of both China-France and China-EU relations.

Wang said China and France, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, shoulder important international responsibilities. The two countries should adhere to the independent diplomatic tradition, enhance mutual trust through dialogue and consultation, and deepen cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefit and win-win, to make a good start for both China-France and China-EU relations.

Top 7 | Iran says disputes 'decreasing' in Vienna nuclear talks


Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said Saturday that the disputes, or so-called "open parenthesis," are decreasing in the Vienna talks, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Bagheri Kani made the remarks at the end of meetings between representatives of Iran and other remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal before leaving the Coburg Hotel in Vienna, where the negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program are continuing.

The Iranian negotiator also told reporters that the talks are moving forward, according to the report.

Iran and the five other remaining signatories to the Iranian nuclear pact, namely China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany, have held rounds of talks in Vienna, with the United States indirectly involved, in a bid to revive the deal, which Washington quit in 2018 under former President Donald Trump.

Top 8 | Former Nigerian leader Ernest Shonekan dies


Former Nigerian leader Ernest Shonekan, who was ousted in a coup in November 1993, has died at the age of 85, President Muhammadu Buhari announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, Buhari paid tribute to the life and legacy of Shonekan, who died in Lagos on early Tuesday, describing him as "the peacemaker, who, even at the twilight of his lifetime, never stopped believing and working for a prosperous and democratic country."

"As an internationally-respected statesman, with courageous wisdom, Chief Shonekan left his flourishing business career to become the Head of Government, at a delicate time when the country needed someone of his calm mien and pedigree to save the ship of state from sinking," the Nigerian president said, noting the departed former leader "demonstrated to all that the love for country and commitment to her development, peace, and unity transcends the trappings of office and the transient nature of political power".

**Top 9 |**China, Sri Lanka promise to boost ties, carrying forward spirit of Rubber-Rice Pact


Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Sri Lankan leaders pledged on Sunday in Colombo to further develop bilateral relations, carrying forward the spirit of the Rubber-Rice Pact.

Wang, during his visit, met with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, and attended a ceremony to launch a series of events marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Sri Lanka, and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact.

Wang said the two countries opened the door for friendly exchanges by signing the pact, demonstrating their national spirit in the fight against hegemony and power politics, and breaking the Cold War isolation imposed by the West.

"The spirit of the pact characterized by independence, self-reliance, unity and mutual support is deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples, and such spirit should be carried forward."

Top 10 | Fauci: Omicron will infect 'just about everybody' in U.S.


U.S. infectious disease expert and White House chief medical advisor Doctor Anthony Fauci on Tuesday warned that just about everybody in the country will be exposed to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

"Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will, ultimately, find just about everybody," Fauci told the Center for Strategic and International Studies in a "fireside chat."

"Those who have been vaccinated and vaccinated and boosted would get exposed. Some, maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death," he said.