Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, May 31


HONG KONG — Financial Secretary of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government Paul Chan said on Sunday that the national security legislation for Hong Kong will not affect free flow of capital into and out of Hong Kong, operation of the linked exchange rate system, and Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center.

Although the threatened U.S. sanctions have caused a little disruption on the market, the actual impact is limited for the time being, Chan wrote in his blog. (Hong Kong-National Security Legislation)

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KABUL — Afghanistan has recorded 680 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of patients infected with the disease to 15,205 in the country, spokesman of the Public Health Ministry Tawhid Shakohmand said Sunday.

According to the spokesman, eight patients have died due to the disease over the past 24 hours, totaling the number of COVID-19 related deaths to 257 since the outbreak of the disease in February in the country. (Afghanistan-COVID-19)

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TOKYO — The Japanese government has no immediate plan to reinstate a state of emergency for the capital of Tokyo and Fukuoka Prefecture despite an increase of COVID-19 cases in the two areas recently, Economic Revitalization Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Sunday.

Nishimura, also minister in charge of the government’s response to the pandemic, told the public broadcaster NHK that he did not expect the number of new infections to rise quickly as Japan restarted its economy, adding that he would continue to monitor the situation closely. (Japan-COVID-19-Emergency)

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CANBERRA — Australian Special Forces soldiers have been formally accused of committing war crimes while serving in Afghanistan.

News Corp Australia reported recently that several troops have received notices from the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) accusing them of breaching the laws of armed conflict in Afghanistan. (Australia-Afghanistan-War Crime)

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