07/15/2022, 11.39
ASIA TODAY
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Myanmar, repayment of foreign loans suspended

Today’s headlines: Gotabaya Rajapaksa formalises his resignation; Japan and the UK on the brink of joint production of military fighter jets; in the Philippines a mayor has signed an ordinance requiring civil servants to smile; Russia blocks a site helping Buryats military personnel return home is blocked.

MYANMAR 

The Central Bank of Myanmar has ordered companies and individual debtors to suspend foreign loans repayment. The decision was made to prevent the country's foreign exchange reserves from falling further. For the same reason, the ruling military junta has banned the import of cars, luxury goods and restricted fuel imports. 

SRI LANKA 

It is official: from Singapore Gotabaya Rajapaksa formalized his resignation opening up a new phase that should lead to the election of a new government: parliament has up to 30 days to elect a new leader. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was appointed acting president, will be sworn in today. 

PHILIPPINES 

Mulanay city mayor, Aristotle Aguirre, who took office last month, fulfilling his campaign promises, has signed an ordinance requiring public employees to smile. There are disciplinary sanctions for those who do not comply with the new rule. The mayor said he wanted to send 'good vibes'. 

CHINA 

China's gross domestic product contracted by 2.6% in the second quarter of the year. Year-on-year growth was only 0.4% due to repeated lockdowns imposed on major cities for the 'zero covid' policy. It is the worst economic performance since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Xi Jinping visited Xinjiang for the first time since 2014, when he began his campaign of repression. 

JAPAN - UNITED KINGDOM 

Reuters sources report Japan and the UK may soon sign a defense agreement to develop a jet combining the features of the next-generation Tempest and FX fighters. This would be the first time Tokyo has collaborated with a non-US partner in the military field. 

IRAN 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran will have a "harsh response" to any "mistakes" made by Washington or its allies. The statements came just after US President Joe Biden and Israeli President Yair Lapid signed a joint agreement to deny Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. 

RUSSIA 

Russia has blocked the website of the foundation 'Free Buryatia', which helps the military of the local republic to dissolve their contracts and return home alive from the war in Ukraine. The site can no longer be accessed even using a Vpn, so far it had managed to help about 150 people return. 

TAJIKISTAN 

The authorities in Tajikistan are carrying out mass repressions against journalists, starting with the television journalist Zavkibek Saidamini and the radio journalist Abdusattor Pirmukhammadzodu, for their criticism of the government after the recent crackdown in the Pamir. 

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