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US to declare China among Worst Human Trafficking Offenders

The United States is set to declare China as one among the world’s worst offenders on human trafficking in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The report will be unveiled by the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the US Congress.

Salient Highlights

The declaration would place China in the same category as North Korea, Zimbabwe and Syria.

The move will be Donald Trump administration’s first major public rebuke of China’s human rights record. Trump’s administration has so far avoided direct public criticism of China. The report is expected to receive condemnation from China’s Communist government. The US is seeking China’s cooperation in combatting North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.

China will be placed in “Tier 3,” which will be the ranking system’s lowest category. Countries listed in this tier are those who have failed to meet minimum standards to prevent human trafficking. Countries like Sudan, Iran and Haiti have recently been on that list.

As per the report, forced begging in China which particularly affects children is a matter of great concern. In the previous year’s report, the US had placed China on its “watch list.” Countries which are placed in the watch list are those who are not meeting minimum standards. The 2016 report had called China as a “source, destination and transit country” for forced labour and sex trafficking. In this year’s report, China has been downgraded to the lowest classification as it had not increased its anti-trafficking efforts from the previous year.

Implications

Countries placed on Tier 3 are liable to be penalised with sanctions, including the withholding of non-humanitarian aid and assistance that could affect agreements with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Officials of the Tier-3 countries are also liable to be barred from participating in US government educational and cultural exchange programs. However, the US president retains the authority to waive the sanctions taking into account national interest or if he feels that the penalties could adversely affect vulnerable populations. The previous administrations of the US have often granted waivers for the tier-3 countries.

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Key Takeaways from Prime Minister Modi’s US Visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the first foreign leader to have a White House dinner after the US President Donald Trump assumed power.

Key Takeaways

Pakistan 

India and the US have asked Pakistan to make sure that its soil is not used for cross-border terror strikes. Both the countries have asked Pakistan to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai and Pathankot attackers to justice.

Drones 

The US has cleared the sale of Guadian Unmanned Aerial Systems to India. The drones would help India to keep a closer watch over the strategically important Indian Ocean.

Hizbul chief  

The US has designated Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist. The 71-year-old Salahuddin also leads the United Jihad Council, which is an umbrella organisation of militant groups operating in Kashmir.

Trade Barriers 

Donald Trump has asked India to maintain a fair and reciprocal trade relationship and has called for the removal of barriers for the export of US goods into Indian markets.

GST 

Donald Trump has given a thumbs up to India’s GST that will come into effect on July 1.

Naval Exercise 

Donald Trump has said that India and the US would join Japan to conduct the largest maritime war game ever conducted in the Indian Ocean.

Afghanistan  

India and the US have expressed concern over the rising instability in Afghanistan and vowed to strengthen cooperation for establishing peace in the war-torn country.

North Korea  

Trump and Modi have labelled the missile programs of North Korea as a grave threat to global peace.

Areas of Cooperation 

Prime Minister Modi has named trade, commerce and investment as key areas of mutual co-operation. In addition, he also said that India is actively looking at technology, innovation and knowledge economy

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Romania: Mihai Tudose named as Prime-Minister Designate

In Romania, President Klaus Iohannis has appointed outgoing economy minister Mihai Tudose as Prime Minister and thus paved the way for the formation of a new leftist Social-Democrat-led government in that country. According to the President of Romania, the decision has been taken keeping in mind the political crisis that risked damaging the country’s record economic recovery.

The ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) was ousted from the power following an internal power struggle. PSD filed a no-confidence motion against ex-Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu for causing delays in implementing reforms. Grindeanu has been ousted from power barely six months after PSD swept back to victory in elections.

The Prime Minister-designate Mihai Tudose will have 10 days to gain the vote of confidence.

Romania

Romania is the second poorest country of the European Union. It is the largest of the Balkan countries and has a coastline on the Black Sea. Romania was under the rule of the Roman, Ottoman and the Austro-Hungarian Empires. In the 2004 Romania got admitted into NATO and in 2007 it joined the European Union (EU).

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