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

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KUALA LUMPUR -- The development of a major Malaysian business district by a consortium which includes a major Chinese company took off following a deposit and advance payment ceremony on Tuesday.

During a cheque presentation ceremony, representatives of IWH-CREC, the consortium comprising local developer lskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), handed over a cheque for 1.24 billion ringgit (300 million U.S. dollars) payment to TRX City, a company wholly-owned by Malaysia's finance ministry. (Malaysia-China-Business District)

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TOKYO -- A new main opposition party was formally launched Tuesday through the merger of the larger and former main Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) and the smaller Democratic Party for the People along with some independent groups.

The expanded party, headed by Yukio Edano, retained the same name of the larger CDPJ before the merger and with 150 members, which is the largest opposition force since the Democratic Party disbanded in 2017. (Japan-Opposition Party)

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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong announced Tuesday its third round of anti-epidemic fund worth about 24 billion Hong Kong dollars (3.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the latest effort to fight COVID-19 and bail out an economy reeling from the epidemic.

Some 13 billion Hong Kong dollars will be allocated to purchase vaccines, fend off a possible wave of epidemic in the coming winter, and promote no-touch payments at markets, among others. About 4.5 billion Hong Kong dollars will be used for propping up virus-hit sectors, including catering, tourism and transport, and assisting people in need. (Hong Kong-Anti-epidemic Fund)

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CANBERRA -- Australia has recorded its first day without a coronavirus death in over two months.

The national death toll remained unchanged at 816 as of Tuesday afternoon.

It ends a streak of 64 days with at least one death that dates back to July 13 when the national death toll was only more than 100. (Australia-COVID-19)

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TOKYO -- Yoshihide Suga, Japan's presumptive prime minister following his landslide win in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's presidential vote a day earlier, on Tuesday picked veteran lawmakers to assume top posts in the party's new executive lineup while his Cabinet is also taking shape before being officially formed Wednesday.

Most notably, Suga opted to retain the services of LDP heavyweight Toshihiro Nikai in the key post of secretary-general.

Hiroshi Moriyama, another LDP veteran, will stay in his post as Diet Affairs Committee chairperson. (Japan-Suga-Posts) Enditem

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