Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, Jan. 17

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HONG KONG -- The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Investment Agreement signed between China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Australia entered into force on Friday, the HKSAR government announced.

The agreements are expected to provide Hong Kong traders and investors with legal certainty and more favorable access to the Australian market, while creating more business opportunities and enhancing trade and investment flows between Hong Kong and Australia. (HK-Australia-FTA)

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SEOUL -- South Korea's unification ministry said on Friday that the country's policy on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) belonged to a matter of sovereignty.

Lee Sang-min, the ministry's spokesman, told a press briefing that the policy on the DPRK belonged to the sovereignty of South Korea, saying the United States repeatedly expressed respect for the sovereignty through various channels. (S.Korea-DPRK-U.S.)

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BANGKOK -- A second Chinese tourist from Wuhan city to Thailand has been found infected with coronavirus, said a senior government official on Friday.

The 74-year-old female tourist, who was reported to have had a fast heart beat and a high fever at Suvarnabhumi airport, was sent to Bamrasnaradura Institute hospital where she was found in a lab test to have been infected with coronavirus, Public Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Sukhum Kanchanaphimai said in a press conference. (Thailand-China-Coronavirus)

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SYDNEY -- Australia's wildlife are likely to be the hardest hit by the country's ongoing and unprecedented bushfire crisis, according to an ecologist.

Prof. Christopher Dickman, an ecologist from the University of Sydney, told Xinhua that a large amount of wildlife are expected to be perished, which would provide food for scavenging animals, making it hard to ensure biodiversity. (Australia-Bushfire-Wildlife) Enditem

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