01/26/2024, 09.20
ASIA TODAY
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UNHCR denounces sea massacres in Asia: 569 Rohingya dead in 2023

Today's news: China tries to push Iran to curb Houthi attacks in the Red Sea; Under threat of going underwater within the next 25 years, elections are held in Tuvalu;Taiwan initiates compulsory conscription extended to one year in response to the Chinese threat; The earth continues to shake on the border between Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and China; The precision landing of its space lander on the Moon boosts the ambitions of Japan's space programme.

MYANMAR - BANGLADESH

According to the United Nations, at least 569 Rohingya have died while fleeing by boat from Bangladesh and Myanmar in 2023. It is the highest number in 10 years. Thousands of Rohingya undertake dangerous sea journeys every year trying to reach Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that nearly 4,500 Rohingya, mostly women and children, made boat trips in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal in 2023.

IRAN - CHINA

Beijing is trying to leverage Tehran to slow down attacks on ships in the Red Sea by the Houthis, supported militarily by Iran, to avoid damaging the Middle Eastern country's trade relations with China. Discussions on the attacks and trade between China and Iran took place at several recent meetings in Beijing and Tehran, Iranian sources said.

TUVALU

Polls opened today in the tiny nation of Tuvalu: an election closely watched by China, Taiwan, the United States and its ally Australia, with the archipelago in the middle of the Pacific at the center of a struggle for influence in the region . Tuvalu, with a population of about 11,200 spread across nine islands, has launched an international campaign calling for more action to help nations just above sea level tackle climate change. According to estimates, the capital Funafuti risks being flooded by tides by 2050.

TURKMENISTAN - JAPAN

Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov paid an official visit to Japan to discuss the organization of the first Central Asia-Japan summit according to the 5+1 format with the General Secretary of the Tokyo Government Yoshimasha Hayashi, taking also agreements for the opening of Japanese factories in Turkmenistan.

TAIWAN

The first batch of new recruits began their year-long mandatory military service in Taiwan on Thursday. It is the first of this duration, after the conscription period was extended from four months previously due to government concerns about China's growing military threat.

LAOS

Six Lao villagers were arrested during a sit-in against the government's "land grab" for bribes from a private company, according to protesters. The village of , who allegedly bribed government officials to carry out the expropriation.

KAZAKHSTAN - KYRGYZSTAN - CHINA

Seismologists continue to record the tremors of the earthquake on the border between China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, whose epicenter is located 5 kilometers deep, 250 kilometers from the main Kazakh city of Almaty, detecting over 20 tremors of over 4 degrees after the main one of December 23, which continue to sow panic, but without serious damage.

JAPAN

The Japanese lunar lander “Slim” landed unusually precisely: within 100 m of its target. This was reported by the Japanese space agency. In recent days the country became the fifth to send a spacecraft to the Moon. Japan hopes the demonstration of what it called "a localized Moon landing" will revitalize a space program seeking to overcome setbacks in recent years by increasing collaboration with its US ally to counter China in space.

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