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    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Southeast Asian leaders said a 1982 U.N. oceans treaty should be the basis of sovereign rights and entitlements in the South China Sea, in one of their strongest remarks opposing China’s claim to virtually the entire disputed waters on historical grounds. The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations took the position in a statement issued by Vietnam Saturday on behalf of the 10-nation bloc. ASEAN leaders held their annual summit by video on Friday, with the coronavirus pandemic and the long-raging territorial disputes high on the agenda. “We reaffirmed that the 1982 UNCLOS is the basis for determining maritime entitlements, sovereign rights, jurisdiction and legitimate interests over maritime zones,” the ASEAN statement said. The leaders were referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a 1982 international agreement that defines the rights of nations to the world’s oceans and demarcates stretches of waters called exclusive economic zones where coastal states are given the right to exclusively tap fishery and fuel resources. They said in their statement that “UNCLOS...
    Satellite image of the construction along the Galwan River. New satellite images reveal that Chinese authorities are building infrastructure in the Himalaya area where it occurred this month the worst border incident between Chinese and Indian soldiers in 45 years. The confrontation occurred in the Galwan Valley, at the de facto border between the two countries, and left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead, according to New Delhi. The Indian government also claims that there was chinese casualties, but Beijing has not confirmed it. The new escalation of tensions between the two nuclear powers has caused alarm in the international community, because despite their continuous friction in the area, no fatality had been registered in more than four decades. Since the last incident, the two nations have tried to publicly calm tensions and have held high-level talks. Last Wednesday, the Indian Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reaffirmed that both sides “should sincerely implement the withdrawal and de-escalation agreement reached by the military high command on June 6. ” What the pictures show In...
    New York — Satellite images suggest China is building infrastructure in a disputed area with India China appears to be advancing on the disputed border with India. New satellite images suggest that Chinese authorities are building infrastructure in the Himalaya area where it occurred this month the worst border incident between Chinese and Indian soldiers in 45 years. The confrontation occurred in the Galwan Valley, on the de facto border between the two countries, and left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead, according to New Delhi. The Indian government also claims that there was chinese casualties, but Beijing has not confirmed this. The new escalation of tensions between the two nuclear powers has caused alarm in the international community, because despite their continuous friction in the area, no fatality had been recorded in more than four decades. Since the last incident, the two nations have tried to calm tensions publicly and have held high-level talks. Last Wednesday, the Indian Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reaffirmed that both sides “should sincerely implement the withdrawal and...
    Hong Kong (CNN)A bill that changes the status of an island chain claimed by both Japan and China was approved by a city council in Okinawa on Monday, in a move that threatens to inflame tensions between the two Asian powers.The Ishigaki City Council in Japan's Okinawa prefecture approved the legislation that changes the administrative status of the uninhabited island group, 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo.The islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China, have been administered by Japan since 1972, but both Tokyo and Beijing say their claims to the group date back hundreds of years.China warned before Monday's vote against any change in the status quo over the islands."Diaoyu island and its affiliated islands are China's inherent territories," a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday said. "We ask Japan to abide by the spirit of the four-principle consensus, avoid creating new incidents on the Diaoyu Islands issue, and take practical actions to maintain the stability of the East China Sea situation."Read MoreOne of those four principles was that Japan acknowledge...
    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — It’s a clash over water usage that Egypt calls an existential threat and Ethiopia calls a lifeline for millions out of poverty. Just weeks remain before the filling of Africa’s most powerful hydroelectric dam might begin, and tense talks between the countries on its operation have yet to reach a deal. In an interview with The Associated Press, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Gedu Andargachew on Friday declared that his country will go ahead and start filling the $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam next month, even without an agreement. “For us it is not mandatory to reach an agreement before starting filling the dam, hence we will commence the filling process in the coming rainy season,” he said. “We are working hard to reach a deal, but still we will go ahead with our schedule whatever the outcome is. If we have to wait for others’ blessing, then the dam may remain idle for years, which we won’t allow to happen,” he said. He added that “we want to make it clear that Ethiopia will not...
    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal’s upper house of parliament on Thursday signed off on a proposed constitutional amendment that would change the nation’s political map to include strategically important territory also claimed by India. Already approved by the lower house, the proposed amendment still needs to be signed by the president before becoming official. The proposed map has been strongly criticized by India and soured relations between the South Asian neighbors and a formal constitutional amendment is likely to further strain ties. Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli’s government has pushed for the amendment and it has widespread public support. Nepal has long claimed the areas of Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh in accordance with an 1816 Sugauli treaty with the British Raj, although the areas have remained under the control of Indian troops since India fought a war with China in 1962. India does not recognize Nepal’s claims, and says talks should be held on any outstanding boundary issues. The border dispute between the two countries heated up again last month when India opened a Himalayan link road through one...
    NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian Army has raised the death toll in a clash with Chinese troops on disputed border from 3 to 20 Indian soldiers. Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal’s Parliament on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to change the nation’s political map to include territory claimed by both India and Nepal. The voting follows the government’s issuing of a new map last month that showed the disputed territory within its borders. That move was strongly criticized by India and soured relations between the South Asian neighbors. The constitutional amendment is likely to further strain ties. House of Representatives Speaker Agni Kharel said all 258 members who were present voted in favor of the proposal. To pass, it needed approval from two-thirds of the 275 lawmakers. “This is in favor of the people and national interest. This was unanimous agreement with no opposition,” Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli told reporters. “It is not just the Parliament, but the entire nation is behind this.” Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Saturday that India had already made its position clear on the matter. “This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable,” he...
    CAIRO (AP) — Three key Nile basin countries resumed negotiations on Tuesday over a giant $4.6 billion hydroelectric dam that Egypt fears will constrict its water supply, following months of deadlock, Sudanese officials said. Sudan Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas told reporters in the capital, Khartoum, that technical talks about Ethiopia’s contentious megaproject got underway in a “positive spirit,” though pessimism has grown about the possibility of a deal before July, when Ethiopia has pledged to start filling the dam with water. The dispute over what will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam pits Ethiopia’s desire to become a major power exporter and pull millions out of poverty against Egypt’s concern that the dam will curtail its critical share of the river if filled too quickly. Sudan, long caught between the competing interests of Egypt and Ethiopia, had pushed the two sides to resume negotiations, which had been hamstrung since Ethiopia skipped out on the last round of talks brokered by the Trump administration in February. Abbas did not describe the sticking points, but said Egypt hoped for a return...
    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine defense chief and top military officials flew to a disputed island in the South China Sea on Tuesday to inaugurate a beach ramp built to allow the “full-blast” development of the territory in a move likely to infuriate China. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana brought journalists to witness the ribbon-cutting ceremony on the island, internationally called Thitu, in what he said was a milestone in efforts to make the island, long occupied by Filipino forces and fishermen, more livable without militarizing it. The island, which Filipinos call Pag-asa, or hope, lies near one of China’s man-made islands in the Spratlys, the most hotly contested area of the South China Sea. Lorenzana said the Philippines has the right to develop its nine occupied islands as other claimants have done. He played down the prospect of a hostile Chinese reaction, citing cozier ties between Manila and Beijing under President Rodrigo Duterte. “This is a disputed area,” Lorenzana told journalists on the island in remarks provided by the Department of National Defense. “The Chinese have said that...
    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Burundi’s constitutional court on Thursday upheld the results of last month’s presidential election and rejected the complaints filed by opposition leader Agathon Rwasa, who had alleged widespread irregularities. The court upheld the win of ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye with 68% of the vote, with Rwasa receiving 28%. The court called Rwasa’s complaint unfounded and said any irregularities could not taint the entire electoral process in the East African nation. Rwasa, who is also the first vice president of the National Assembly, and CNL party spokesman Therence Manirambona were not available to comment. But Rwasa earlier told The Associated Press that he would take the matter to the East African Court of Justice based in neighboring Tanzania if he was not satisfied with the court’s decision. Rwasa had alleged the stuffing of ballot boxes and said the electoral roll had never been published. “Not a single district, no single province was spared,” he said after going to court. Burundi’s Catholic bishops conference also questioned the vote, saying they witnessed “intimidation and constraints exerted by some administration...
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