Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Feb. 2

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HONG KONG -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Thursday launched a campaign to lure tourists, business travelers and investors, with a series of incentives announced.

Hong Kong has prepared 500,000 free air tickets for global tourists, HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee announced at the launching ceremony of the "Hello Hong Kong" campaign. (HK-Campaign-Visitors)

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TOKYO -- A Japanese cargo ship sank in the Seto Inland Sea off the western prefecture of Ehime on Thursday after colliding with another cargo vessel, leaving two crew members missing, the coast guard here said.

According to the Imabari Coast Guard Office, the 716-ton cargo ship Seiryu collided with the 499-ton Koei Maru off the coast of Imabari City of Ehime Prefecture at around 19:30 local time. (Japan-Ship-Collision)

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BANGKOK -- The economic growth in East Asia is projected to accelerate in 2023 driven by an improvement in the Chinese economy, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said here on Thursday.

Quoting the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2023 report, the Bangkok-headquartered ESCAP told an online press briefing that economic growth in East Asia is forecast to rise to 4.4 percent in 2023 from an estimated 3.2 percent in 2022. (Thailand-UN-Economic Growth)

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YANGON -- Myanmar's State Administration Council (SAC) announced a cabinet reshuffle after the country's state of emergency was extended for six more months on Wednesday.

Under the cabinet reshuffle, a new chairman for the Union Civil Services Board, a new chairman for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and four new chief ministers of region and states were appointed. (Myanmar-Cabinet Reshuffle)

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SEOUL -- South Korea and the United States staged joint air drills involving strategic U.S. bombers and fighters, Seoul's defense ministry said on Thursday.

Mobilized for the combined air exercises were B-1B strategic bombers and F-22 and F-35B stealth fighter jets from the U.S. air force as well as F-35A fighters from the South Korean air force. (S. Korea-U.S.-Joint Drills)

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ISLAMABAD -- The Pakistani police have found a network of terrorists behind the deadly suicide bombing on a mosque in the northwest Peshawar city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, a senior police official said on Thursday.

KP Police Chief Moazzam Jah Ansari told a press conference that the police were close to tracing the terror network behind the attack, saying "we know the people responsible for it. We know the handlers and the operators as well." (Pakistan-Mosque Blast-Terror Network) Enditem

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