EU sues China at WTO for illegal trade practices against Lithuania
Today's headlines: The Olympic Committee to meet with former Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai; The Philippines' economy beats expectations; India cracks down on illegal immigration; Qatar to supply gas for Europe in case of Russian invasion of Ukraine; Jehovah's Witness sented to labour camps in Russia; The purge of Nazarbayev supporters continues in Kazakhstan.
The EU has reported China to the World Trade Organisation for illegal practices against Lithuania. The use of the word "Taiwanese" for Taiwan's diplomatic mission in Vilnius has triggered a commercial retaliation by China, which considers Taipei a "rebel province".
The International Olympic Committee has announced that it will have a meeting with Peng Shuai during the Beijing Winter Olympics, which opens on 4 February. The former Chinese tennis player disappeared and reappeared in November after reporting sexual violence by a Chinese Communist Party leader. Questions remain about her personal status.
Boosted by domestic consumption, the Philippine economy beat expectations and posted an annual growth of 7.7% in the last quarter of 2021. Overall, the gross domestic product grew by 5.6% last year, above government estimates. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Manila's GDP was -9.6% in 2020.
Indian police arrested six people in a crackdown on illegal immigration. Last week, four Indian citizens froze to death along the US-Canadian border. Every year hundreds of immigrants from Gujarat and Punjab attempt to enter Canadian or US territory braving polar temperatures.
Doha says it could divert part of its liquid natural gas exports to Europe in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine that would block supply lined. However, with the mediation of the US, Qatar will have to convince its client countries to share a quota of gas already purchased with the Europeans, at least for a short period.
The court in Astrakhan, at the mouth of the Volga River in the Caspian Sea, sentenced a 56-year-old woman, Anna Safronova, to six years in prison for belonging to Jehovah's Witnesses. The community has been banned in the country for more than three years, as it is considered "extremist". This is the harshest sentence for a member of the sect, which is increasingly persecuted throughout Russia.
Ruslan Shamshiev, a relative of former President Nazarbaev and top manager of the ROP operator company, accused of fomenting the riots at the beginning of January, committed suicide. The group's president, Medeta Kumargalieva, had been arrested a few hours earlier for corruption, along with the deputy minister for Ecology, Akhmetzhana Primkulova.