Burma Update: ASEAN to listen to Aung San Suu Kyi Opinion

INDONESIA’S foreign minister says the opinion of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and civil society will influence whether Myanmar is invited to chair the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2014.

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told The Associated Press he would travel to Myanmar in October as ASEAN assesses if the military-dominated country is on track, as it makes tentative steps toward reform.

He said Myanmar was extremely keen to take on the rotating chairmanship of the 10-member regional grouping, currently held by Indonesia. He described that as “an important opportunity to hasten change”.

Mr Natalegawa said: “I shall be keen to listen and to hear the voice of civil society, not least the voice of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.”


China gets tough on “Dairy Industry”

More than 20 % of China’s dairy producers will lose their licenses after inspections aimed at preventing a repeat of a huge 2008 milk contamination scandal.

The country’s dairy sector was rocked in 2008, when at least six children died and nearly 300,000 suffered kidney and urinary tract problems after consuming dairy goods laced with the chemical Melamine.

Since then, repeated cases of melamine contamination have complicated attempts to restore the industry’s reputation.

Note: A father of one child  that died of poisoning was jailed for 2 years for protesting

 about the low amount of compensation that was paid. He was charged and convicted for “causing a disturbance”

And this is same government that asked the New Zealand Government for extra compensation to be paid to families that lost their children in the recent earthquake.



“Double Standards” and / or  “Two Rules” must be Chinese Government policy, don’t you think?

Unbelievable Hey!


China’s yuan rises past 6.50 against the US dollar – Hello, Is the start of the bubble bursting?

China’s currency, the yuan, strengthened past a key level against the US dollar on Friday, as part of wider efforts to contain inflation on the mainland.

The yuan broke past 6.50 against the dollar, a level not seen since 1993.

Traders and currency strategists believe the move is a sign that China’s central bank is prepared to allow the currency to appreciate further.

A stronger currency means imported products become cheaper in China.

“The market is very excited,” said Dariusz Kowalczyk, a Hong Kong-based strategist at Credit Agricole CIB.
“Clearly, the People’s Bank of China is pushing for a stronger pace of appreciation.”
China’s central bank actively guides the level of the yuan, by effectively setting the rate at which it is allowed to trade.

Mr Kowalczyk said the yuan had gained by 0.9% against the dollar so far in April, roughly equivalent to its entire gain in the first three months of 2011.
Gradual appreciation
Friday’s gains mean the yuan has strengthened by 27.5% since 2005, when Beijing revalued the currency, effectively ending its peg against the US dollar.

That policy of gradual appreciation was temporarily frozen in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008.
Now, the spectre of rising prices in China has prompted its leaders to speed up the pace of appreciation, according to analysts.

“High inflation means you need to do more than just raise interest rates,” said Thio Chin Loo, a Singapore-based currency strategist at BNP Paribas.

“This just compounds the kind of dollar selling we’ve been seeing.”

China imports a great deal of food and fuel.

A more valuable currency would help reduce those costs, making daily essentials more affordable for the country’s 1.3 billion people.

Inflation is a growing social and political problem in China. It hit a high of 5.4% in March.

Mr Kowalczyk believes that if the yuan continues to appreciate at the current rate, it may gain as much as 10% by the year end.

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