04/09/2024, 10.52
ASIA TODAY
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Bahrain releases 1584 detainees on parole including anti-government protesters

Today's news: Record gold seizure at Hong Kong customs worth more than million; For the Thai premier, it is time for talks with the coup junta in Myanmar, which is starting to 'lose strength'; Beijing blocked a popular Tibetan-language blog; Meeting between the foreign ministries of Russia and China, Putin's visit to Xi Jinping on the agenda. 

BAHRAIN
Bahrain yesterday granted conditional release to 1,584 prisoners, including some serving life sentences and others convicted of participating in protests during the Arab Spring. The release occurred under a 2017 law that grants "alternative sentences" to those who have already served half their sentence. About 65% of those affected by the measure were in prison for rioting, many linked to the 2011 Shiite demonstrations.

HONG KONG
The authorities of Hong Kong - one of the main goldsmith centers in the world - have announced a record seizure of gold, the largest ever made in history: airport customs intercepted over 146 kg of contraband of the precious metal, melted and molded inside of air compressor parts including motor components, screws and gears. The operation dates back to last month (but was made official yesterday), the goods were headed to Japan and had an estimated value of 10.7 million dollars.

THAILAND - MYANMAR
For Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin it is time to start negotiations with the junta in Myanmar, protagonist of the 2021 military coup, because he "is starting to lose strength". In the former Burma, revolts and insurrections have broken out on various fronts, promoted by rebel groups or ethnic militias supported by the democratic government in exile. “Perhaps - said the prime minister, author of multiple initiatives directed at Naypyidaw - the time has come to reach out and make an agreement”.

CHINA - TIBET
Beijing has shut down a popular Tibetan-language blog, sparking the ire of the local population and Tibetans in exile for whom it is an essential channel for disseminating news. The head of Luktsang Palyon (Tibet Sheep in English) said that the WeChat website and blog were blocked for alleged copyright infringement. A move that is part of the campaign launched in recent years by China to limit the use of the Tibetan language, even online.

PAKISTAN - SAUDI ARABIA
Islamabad and Riyadh intend to "accelerate" the start of the first phase of Saudi investments in the country, worth five billion dollars. This was reiterated by Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on a visit to the Saudi capital and by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Among the objectives are the "strengthening" of relations and a solution to the Kashmir issue with India.

RUSSIA - CHINA
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Beijing to discuss with his counterpart Wang Yi the issues of the war in Ukraine, bilateral relations with the UN and the G-20 and the situation in the Asian region on the Pacific Ocean. Also on the agenda is the preparation of Vladimir Putin's visit to Xi Jinping, scheduled for next May.

TURKEY - TAJIKISTAN
Following the attack on the Krokus in Moscow, Turkey has reinstated the entry visa regime for citizens of Tajikistan, without clarifying whether it will be possible to obtain the document at the border or it will be necessary to request it at the consular offices. Dushanbe's Foreign Ministry said it would take similar measures, advising Tajiks to avoid Turkey.

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