Tue, Mar 26, 2019 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

No Xinjiang trip yet: EU

EU ambassadors in Beijing will not visit Xinjiang this week after receiving a government invitation, as such a trip needs “careful preparation,” a spokesperson for the bloc said yesterday. A spokesperson for the EU Delegation to China said it, along with embassies of member states, had on Thursday received a formal invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send ambassadors to Xinjiang from tomorrow through Friday. “While the EU and EU member states in principle welcome the invitation, such a visit requires careful preparation in order to be meaningful,” the spokesperson said. “The EU remains open to a future visit taking into account our expectations.”

SOUTH KOREA

Northerners return to office

Some North Korean officials yesterday returned to an inter-Korean liaison office in the border town of Kaesong, three days after the North abruptly withdrew its entire staff citing unspecified instructions from “higher-level authorities,” the Unification Ministry said in a statement. It was not immediately clear why some workers were sent back or whether Pyongyang would restore a full staff, it said. Those who returned told Seoul officials that they came to work their usual shifts.

AUSTRALIA

Cyclone Veronica weakens

Slow-moving Cyclone Veronica was weakening yesterday from a Category 3 storm, on a scale in which 5 is the strongest, to a Category 2, the Bureau of Meteorology said. The storm was expected to continue to track west away from the coast of the sparsely populated Pilbara region of Western Australia state and weaken to below cyclone strength late yesterday, the bureau said. However, it is still on track to hit the nation’s biggest gas export hub. There have been no reports of injuries or major structural damage from two major cyclones that hit the coast over the weekend, but damage assessment had only just begun yesterday.

NEW ZEALAND

Ardern sets quick China trip

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday said that she would travel to China on Sunday to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and Premier Li Keqiang (李克強). She told a news conference that the trip had been trimmed down to a one-day visit in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 50 people and she would return home on Tuesday next week. “It was intended to be a longer visit, including a business delegation, but under the circumstances that just didn’t seem appropriate and I do want to acknowledge that our hosts, China, have been incredibly accommodating of those needs,” Ardern said. Talks would include discussions around an upgrade to the free-trade agreement as well as other issues, she said.

AUSTRALIA

NSW coalition wins poll

The Liberal-National government has won a third term in New South Wales (NSW), giving heart to their embattled federal colleagues who face their own tough election in May. Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Saturday became the first woman to be elected as premier in the state, after taking the leadership two years ago. While suffering a 2.5 percent swing away from her coalition, she said she expects to form a majority government with between 47 and 49 seats in the 93 seat lower house of parliament. “We will do everything we can to support you and your government’s re-election,” Berejiklian told Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday.

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