While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 26

Release of Huawei’s Meng a step towards better US-China ties, Beijing’s CPTPP goal

When the US Department of Justice unexpectedly announced on Friday that it was dropping charges against Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, it marked a turning point in a case that had soured ties between Beijing, Washington and Ottawa.

The case had always been a three-way one: Canada had detained Ms Meng at a Vancouver airport upon the request of the US.

Her release represents a step on the way to improved ties between Beijing and Washington.

It also highlights China’s efforts to gain support for its membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister says inter-Korean summit possible with ‘respect’

The influential sister of North Korea’s leader said in a statement on Saturday that an inter-Korean summit could take place, but only if mutual “respect” and “impartiality” are guaranteed.

It was the second statement in two days by Mr Kim Jong Un’s sister and key adviser Kim Yo Jong.

She had on Friday urged Seoul to end its “hostile policies” towards Pyongyang after South Korea’s President called for declaring an official end to the state of war with the North.


Britain looking at deal to remove China from nuclear project: Report

Britain is closing in on a deal which would remove China’s state-owned nuclear energy company China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) from involvement in building a new power plant, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

The newspaper said Britain was looking to take a stake in the 20-billion-pound (S$37 billion) project to build the Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, eastern England, alongside France’s EDF.

That would result in CGN, which currently has a 20 per cent stake in Sizewell, being removed from the project, it said, adding the plans could be announced as soon as next month.


France to double Covid-19 vaccine doses for poorer countries

France will double the number of vaccine doses it will send to poorer countries to 120 million, President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Saturday, in a video broadcast during the Global Citizen concert in Paris.

“The injustice is that in other continents, obviously, vaccination is very late…,” he said. “We have to go faster, stronger.

“France pledges to double the number of doses it is giving,” he added. “We will pass from 60 million to 120 million doses offered.”


Vietnam to relax Covid-19 restrictions to revive pandemic-hit economy

Vietnam plans to ease coronavirus curbs and allow businesses to restart production from next week to prop up an economy which has suffered under lengthy lockdowns, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said on Saturday.

The country, which until late April had maintained one of the world’s best containment records, is seeking to co-exist with the virus instead of trying to maintain a Covid-zero policy.

The current outbreak and related restrictions on movement have impacted its manufacturing-led economy, forcing the closure of some factories.


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