Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Nov. 9

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KUALA LUMPUR -- China is willing to make joint efforts with Malaysia to further advance bilateral ties as the two countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng said here Thursday.

During a meeting with Malaysian Supreme Head Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Han said China and Malaysia, as friendly neighbors across the sea, enjoy a long history of friendship, and that China will, under the guidance of jointly building a community with a shared future, work with Malaysia in high-quality Belt and Road construction, push forward the implementation of their respective national development plans, and enrich the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Han also met with Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in Putrajaya, Malaysia on Thursday, hailing China-Malaysia ties as a good example of friendly exchanges between countries. (Malaysia-China-Ties)

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BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- Hengyi Industries Sdn. Bhd., the largest joint venture between Brunei and China, witnessed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and China's Zhejiang University, extending its scholarship program for another five years to nurture local petrochemical talents.

"The MoU serves as part of the continuous efforts to provide scholarship programs in order to continue to equip Bruneians with the necessary skills via industrial exposure in China, followed by industrial training internships and employment at Hengyi in Brunei," said a press release from Brunei's Department of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office and Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam on Wednesday. (Brunei-China-Education Cooperation)

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TOKYO -- Japan posted a current account surplus of 12.71 trillion yen (about 84 billion U.S. dollars) for the first half of its fiscal year 2023, government data showed on Thursday.

The reading for the April-September fiscal period, which tripled from a year earlier, came as the country's trade deficit narrowed due to declines in global energy prices, according to the preliminary data issued by the Finance Ministry. (Japan-Current Account Surplus-H1)

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SEOUL -- South Korea's economy was expected to grow 2.2 percent in 2024 due to modest export recovery, a state-run think tank said Thursday.

It was down 0.1 percentage point compared to the estimate unveiled in August, according to the Korea Development Institute (KDI) (South Korea-Economy Growth-2024).

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PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia celebrated the 70th anniversary of its independence on Thursday, vowing to stay united as one to safeguard the kingdom's peace, security, stability and development.

The celebration was held under the auspices of the nation's King Norodom Sihamoni and was attended by National Assembly President Khuon Sudary, Senate President Say Chhum and Prime Minister Hun Manet. (Cambodia-Independence Day)

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JAKARTA -- Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday inaugurated Southeast Asia's largest floating solar plant, which occupies an area of 250 hectares above the Cirata Reservoir in West Java Province.

"Today is a historical day because our big dream of building a large-scale renewable energy plant is finally achieved. We managed to build the largest floating solar plant in Southeast Asia, and the third biggest in the world," Widodo said at the on-grid ceremony. (Indonesia-UAE-Solar Power Plant) Enditem

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