In the headlines of the day: the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs meets his Indian counterpart; a Vietnamese tries to cross India in a dinghy to join his wife; in Ukraine, an Uzbek restaurateur offers free meals to combatants; ASEAN envoy says situation in Myanmar won’t be resolved anytime soon; in Lebanon, the Christian politician Samir Geagea is accused of violence.
CHINA – SOLOMON ISLANDS
Australia fears China may reach security deal with Solomon Islands: according to drafts leaked to news agencies, Beijing would like to establish a military base on the archipelago, about 2,000 km from Canberra. The Solomon Islands government has since confirmed the news.
INDIA – CHINA
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is due to hold a surprise meeting with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar today. before flying to Nepal. Relations between India and China had cooled after clashes along the border in June 2020. Delhi and Beijing maintained similar positions towards Russia after the Ukrainian invasion.
A Vietnamese who tried rowing a dinghy in india was rescued yesterday by the Thai Navy near the Similan Islands. Ho Hoang Hung, 37, was trying to cross the Bay of Bengal to join his wife who works in India. He says they hadn’t seen each other in two years because of the pandemic. When he arrived in Bangkok, he found he needed a visa for India, so he decided to try rowing over 2,000 kilometres.
Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said yesterday that Myanmar’s civil war would take a long time to resolve because “the parties involved were not ready to cooperate and still insist on fighting and eliminating each other”. During a three-day visit as an ASEAN envoy, Sokhon met Burmese generals but was barred from meeting the country’s former leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Park Geun-hye, the former South Korean president and daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee, left the hospital she was admitted to and returned home yesterday. after almost five years in prison. Park, 70, was charged with corruption in 2017 and forced out of office.
A military tribunal indicted Christian politician Samir Geagea behind the violent clashes in Beirut last October. Geagea, a vocal critic of Hezbollah, says the charges are politically motivated. The Lebanese presidential elections are in two months.
RUSSIA – UKRAINE
Russian armed forces partially occupying the city of Mariupol are forcibly deporting thousands of Ukrainian citizens to Russian territory, according to the city council, which estimates that more than 15,000 residents have already been taken by bus.
Uzbek cook Shakhobiddin Jusipov, who has been in Kharkiv for 25 years, where he opened the Asian cuisine restaurant “Nawruz”, becomes a local hero: known to all as “Shak”, he offers free hot meals to Ukrainian doctors and fighters for days. The restaurant building miraculously remained standing, even though it was under fire from the Russians.