Vietnam- Taiwan bilateral trade grows; Indonesian Police accused of fake terror attacks; Cambodia opposition claims victory in elections; Massive oil spill in Thailand; Singapore Foreign Minister visits India
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  • According to reports, bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and Taiwan reached US$5.4 billion in the first half of 2013, a year-on-year increase of 4.7 percent. Vietnam earned US$1.03 billion from exports to Taiwan, up by more than 11 percent compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, the country's import value stood at about US$4.4 billion, a year-on-year rise of 13 percent. Vietnam imports mostly steel, iron and cloth from Taiwan, while exports are mainly garments and textiles, rubber and seafood. 1
    In another development, according to reports, the Indonesian Police Watch (IPW) has criticized the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism unit for wrongfully arresting two men suspected of having links to the most-wanted terror fugitive Santoso. Police have been on high alert in the past weeks, following the appearance of Santoso in a YouTube video, in which he calls on his followers to keep fighting Densus 88, saying that the squad has slain, assaulted and jailed dozens of jihadists. 2

    Reports noted that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has set a conciliatory tone in his first public remarks since the recently held parliamentary elections. The leader told a crowd in Phnom Penh that he is open to discussions with the opposition and would support an investigation of alleged election irregularities if the National Election Commission thinks such a move is necessary. 3
    In other developments, reports noted that foreign Minister of Singapore, K. Shanmugam, who is on a three-day trip to India, toured the site of the new Nalanda University in Bihar. It was his first visit to the site. Mr Shanmugam also took the opportunity to view the ruins of the ancient university located some 12km from where the new campus is sited. 4
    According to the reports, an oil spill that has marred a tourist island in the Gulf of Thailand has spread to nearby smaller isles, as authorities raced to clean up the island's once-white sands and clear waters. The black tide of crude oil that washed up in Prao Bay on the west coast of Samet Island on Sunday night has been partly cleaned up, but the bay was still marred with oil slicks for the fourth straight day. 5