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China expresses anger at G7 statement on East, South China Seas

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BEIJING — China`s expressed outrage on Tuesday after foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies said they strongly opposed provocation in the East and South China Seas, where China is locked in territorial disputes.

“We urge the G7 member states to honor their commitment of not taking sides on issues involving territorial disputes,” China`s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The G7 should focus on global economic governance and cooperation against the backdrop of weak economic growth rather than hyping up disputes and provoking problems, it added.

On Monday, G7 foreign ministers said after meeting in the Japanese city of Hiroshima that they opposed “any intimidating coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions” in the East and South China Seas.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas, and is building islands on reefs to bolster its claims. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to parts of the waters, through which about $5 trillion in trade is shipped every year.

China also has a separate dispute with Japan over a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea.

China has every right to build on the Spratly Islands and there are no problems with freedom of navigation and overflight for the East and South China Seas, the foreign ministry said.

China is committed to resolving disputes through talks with countries directly involved via international law and on the basis of respecting historical facts, to maintain peace and stability while safeguarding its sovereignty, it said.

It repeated that China will neither accept nor participate in any arbitration “illegally forced upon it”, a reference to a case lodged by the Philippines against China.

“We urge the G7 member states to fully respect the efforts made by countries in the region, stop making irresponsible remarks and all irresponsible actions, and truly play a constructive role for regional peace and stability,” the ministry added.

Reuters

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Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala

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NEW DELHI — At least 12 people in India have died from a rare deadly and contagious virus known as Nipah virus, according to news reports.

Four deaths were reported on Monday, including of a nurse who treated the three initial infections at the EMS Cooperative Hospital in Perambra. The death of the nurse triggered panic among hospital staff who have had their leaves cancelled to treat the sick, Hindustan Times reported

Two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district. At least six persons are in critical condition and another 20 are under observation, state health officials said.

It was recorded in Siliguri district in West Bengal in 2001 and is being suspected in Kerala now, according to media reports

Humans get infected by consuming fruit or date-palm sap contaminated by infected bats but while human-to-human transmission through body fluids is rare.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nipah virus infection is an emerging disease that was first identified in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore.

The virus is thought to naturally infect fruit bats (of the genus Pteropus), but it can also infect pigs and other domesticated animals, as well as humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The virus can also spread from person to person.

CDC says Nipah virus can cause an inflammation of the brain known as encephalitis. Symptoms can include fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and confusion. People who are infected with the virus may fall into a coma within 48 hours of showing symptoms, the CDC says.

The virus can be highly lethal, with an average fatality rate of around 75 percent, according to the WHO.

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