04/03/2024, 10.58
ASIA TODAY
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Taiwan hit by worst earthquake in 25 years

Today's news: Phone call between Biden and Xi Jinping; Most Japanese feel insecure economically; In Thailand, the Move Forward party is getting closer to disbanding; Chinese military exercises on the border with Myanmar; New winds of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

TAIWAN

The island of Taiwan was hit by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, the most powerful shock recorded in the last 25 years. So far the authorities have reported the deaths of four people. In the area of the city of Hualien, where the epicenter was recorded, several landslides occurred. In some neighboring countries, a tsunami warning was issued, then withdrawn.

CHINA – USA

US President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping for nearly two hours yesterday on a range of topics including ownership of TikTok, tensions in the South China Sea and American sanctions against China. It was the first time since July 2022 that the two leaders spoke by telephone. In a week, Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Washington.

JAPAN

According to a government survey, 63.2% of Japanese feel economically insecure and have a negative outlook on the future. This is the worst result recorded since 2008, with an increase in 2023 of 0.7% compared to the previous year. In a separate survey, 46.1% of workers from dual-income families reported having financial difficulties.

THAILAND

Thailand's Constitutional Court said it had accepted the petition calling for the dissolution of the progressive Move Forward party, which won elections last year but was sidelined by the conservative establishment. The Electoral Commission had the request under the lèse majesté law, used to silence the opposition.

MYANMAR – CHINA

Over the past two days, the Chinese army has conducted military exercises along the border with Burma's Kachin State. Military spokesman Tian Junli explained that rapid maneuver tests were conducted to safeguard national sovereignty, border stability, people's lives and property. On Monday, the Chinese special envoy for Myanmar, Deng Xijun, met the head of the coup junta Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyitaw to discuss the "peace process" and the fraud operations still present along the border.

ARMENIA – AZERBAIJAN

New accusations of armed attacks are being bounced back at each other by the military structures of Armenia and Azerbaijan, for a shooting that allegedly took place on the evening of April 1st in the border towns of Geydarabad and Bičenek, in the territory of the Azerbaijani enclave of Nakhičevan between Armenia and Iran, while the Armenians speak of an attack on the nearby villages of Kut and Tekh.

RUSSIA – AFGHANISTAN

The Russian Foreign Ministry, together with the Ministry of Justice and other interested institutions, is preparing the review of the declaration of "terrorist organization" for the Taliban of Afghanistan, which dates back to 2003 and is now being considered to eliminate it in view of the Forum “Russia and the Islamic World” in Kazan in May, in which representatives of Kabul will participate.

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