ASEAN envoy says that ‘even 'superman cannot solve the Myanmar problem’
The other news of the day: COVID-19 cases are up on the Chinese island of Hainan. The row over the Chinese survey ship bound for Sri Lanka continues. Japan's trade surplus collapses. Ukrainian grain has not yet arrived in Lebanon. Armenia calls for international intervention on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Speaking after recent meetings of ASEAN foreign ministers, the organisation’s Special Envoy Prak Sokhonn said that, “even Superman cannot solve the Myanmar problem.” According to a local humanitarian group, the military has killed 2,100 people since the February 2021 coup.
Today Chinese authorities have imposed multiple COVID-19 lockdowns on the island of Hainan, a popular tourist destination. Since the start of the month, the number of cases has topped 1,400, stranding 25,000 tourists. The new outbreak puts further pressure on the Chinese government, required to follow Xi Jinping's zero COVID policy, this despite the damage it is doing to the country’s economy.
SRI LANKA – CHINA – INDIA
After India voiced objections, Sri Lanka asked China to delay the arrival of its survey ship Yuan Wang 5 at the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota. The navy ship was expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on Thursday. Indians fear that the Chinese-run port will turn into a Chinese naval base.
In the first six months of the year, Japan's trade surplus shrank by 63.1 per cent to US$ 25.9 billion, the worst figure in eight years. The decline is mainly due to the high cost of oil imports and a weak yen.
LEBANON – UKRAINE
A ship carrying Ukrainian grain did not reach Lebanon yesterday as planned. The vessel is still waiting in Turkey. Lebanese authorities have not provided any explanation for the delay. The shipment was made possible by a recent agreement signed by Ukraine and Russia after Ukrainian grain exports were blocked by Russia’s invasion.
Vakhtang Kipshidze, a spokesman for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, said that "the Church does not encourage the faithful to burn LGBT books since it is a socially dangerous action.” This follows reports that LGBT books were burnt in various places. Nevertheless, any initiative against the LGBT “ideology” is allowed if it falls within existing laws.
ARMENIA – AZERBAIJIAN
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that if the security of the Nagorno Karabakh border cannot be guaranteed by the Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani tripartite agreement, it will be necessary to resort to other international mechanisms. Pashinyan did not say which ones, but noted that Moscow will still have to play a relevant role.