Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, Jan. 14

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MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines reported 1,912 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the country's total tally to 494,605.

The national death toll climbed to 9,739 after 40 more patients died from the coronavirus epidemic, the DOH said. It added that 746 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 459,252. (Philippines-COVID-19)

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JAKARTA -- Indonesia launched its massive COVID-19 vaccination program on Thursday with health workers as the main priority group, a day after President Joko Widodo received the first shot developed by China's biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.

On Thursday morning, a mass vaccination was held at state-run Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in central Jakarta. (Indonesia-COVID-19-Vaccination)

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SEOUL -- South Korea's top court upheld a 20-year prison sentence on former President Park Geun-hye Thursday in a retrial of the corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of the former head of state.

The Supreme Court sentenced Park to 15 years in prison for bribery and another five years for other charges with a fine of 18 billion won (16.4 million U.S. dollars) and a forfeit of 3.5 billion won (3.2 million U.S. dollars), upholding the high court's ruling in July last year. (South Korea-Park-Retrial)

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JAKARTA -- China stands ready to strengthen strategic communication and exchanges across all levels in the post-COVID-19 era with Indonesia to inject positive energy into regional and world peace, stability and development, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Wang made the remarks while holding talks with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Wednesday. (Indonesia-China-Visit) Enditem

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