Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Aug. 31

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BANGKOK -- Senior officials from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) wrapped up a two-day meeting here Wednesday in which they discussed trade promotion, regional reconnection and sustainable growth.

During the third APEC Senior Officials' Meeting Plenary, delegates from the member economies had refreshed conversations on APEC priorities this year, such as the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific in the post-pandemic context, safe and seamless cross-border travel and the bio-circular-green economy model, said Thani Thongphakdi, permanent secretary for foreign affairs of Thailand and APEC 2022 SOM chair. (APEC-Senior Officials-Meeting)

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ISLAMABAD -- The handover ceremony of 300,000 U.S. dollars in emergency cash assistance from the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) was held here on Tuesday night.

On behalf of the RCSC, the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong handed over the donation to the PRCS for assisting those affected by the recent floods in Pakistan.

Addressing the ceremony, Nong said the China-Pakistan ironclad brotherhood shares weal and woe, adding the Chinese government has decided to provide Pakistan with a relief package worth 100 million yuan (14.5 million U.S. dollars), including 25,000 tents and other humanitarian supplies. (China-Pakistan-Cash Assistance)

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TOKYO -- Japan's Defense Ministry requested on Wednesday a record 5.59 trillion yen (40.35 billion U.S. dollars) in spending for the next fiscal year, as the country looks to bolster its so-called defense capabilities while facing political, economic and social headwinds.

The ministry's latest request tops the previous record of 5.4 trillion yen (about 38.92 billion dollars) in defense spending mapped out in fiscal 2022 and comes after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the country's defense spending over the next five years would "substantially increase." (Japan-Military Spending-Next Fiscal Year)

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MACAO -- The Chinese central government is scheduled to issue renminbi-denominated bonds with a face value of 3 billion yuan (435 million U.S. dollars) in the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Sept. 7, the Macao SAR government said on Wednesday.

The issuance is a crucial initiative by the central government to continuously support Macao in developing modern finance and to facilitate the SAR's appropriate economic diversification, according to the notification issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Macao SAR government. (Central Government-Macao SAR-Bonds)

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COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka has made good progress in the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Nandalal Weerasinghe said here on Tuesday night.

"I can announce that we have made good progress in the negotiations with the IMF. Hopefully, we will be able to reach the first milestone, a staff-level agreement with the IMF soon. Once we reach that agreement with the IMF, it means that we have a credible program in our hands," he said. (Sri Lanka-IMF-Negotiations) Enditem

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