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HomeLatestXinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Nov. 15

Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Nov. 15


BALI, Indonesia — The 17th Group of 20 (G20) Summit kicked off here on Tuesday, with issues pertaining to world economic recovery, world health systems and climate change taking the center stage.

During the two-day summit with the theme “Recover Together, Recover Stronger,” other issues including digital transformation and food and energy security will also be discussed.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the summit, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Indonesia hopes that the summit can be a catalyst for inclusive global economic recovery. (Indonesia-G20 Summit-Opening)

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CANBERRA — Australian authorities have approved Pfizer’s bivalent coronavirus vaccine.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) on Tuesday announced that it has approved the vaccine, which provides protection against the original and Omicron BA.1 strain of SARS-CoV-2, for use as a booster.

The approval comes days after Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Paul Kelly declared that Australia is in the midst of a new wave of COVID-19 infections. (Australia-COVID-19-Booster)

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SEOUL — South Korea’s money supply growth slowed down in September due to fast interest rate hikes, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The seasonally-adjusted M2, or broad money, stood at 3,744.2 trillion won (2.83 trillion U.S. dollars) in September, up 6.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It was lower than a 7.2-percent increase in the previous month amid the policy rate hikes. (South Korea-Money Supply)

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TOKYO — Japan’s economy unexpectedly shrank for the first time in four quarters in the July-September period, as the yen’s tumble to decade lows further inflated soaring import and living costs, the government here said Tuesday.

According to the Cabinet Office, the economy contracted an annualized 1.2 percent in the recording period, with the shocking decline compared to median economists’ expectations for growth of 1.1 percent on the heels of a revised 4.6 percent expansion logged in the second quarter.

Real gross domestic product, or the total value of goods and services produced in a country adjusted for inflation, dropped 0.3 percent from the previous quarter, compared to median economists’ forecasts for growth of 0.3 percent, the Cabinet Office also said. (Japan-GDP-Shrinks)

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TOKYO — Japan’s daily COVID-19 cases on Tuesday surpassed the threshold of 100,000 for the first time in two months, local media reported.

This came after the government scrapped COVID-19 border controls and introduced a domestic travel subsidy program in a bid to spur inbound and local tourism last month, Kyodo News reported.

As the nation braces for the eighth wave of infections, the figure recorded on Tuesday was the highest since Sept. 14, when the daily caseload stood at 100,260, the report said. (Japan-COVID-Daily Cases-Update)