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“Unite to build an India of our dreams”: President Pranab Mukherjee greets nation on New Year’s Eve

"Let us unite to build an India of our dreams and pledge to make our beautiful country clean and pollution free," Mukherjee said

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President Pranab Mukherjee. VOA

New Delhi, Dec 31, 2016: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday greeted the nation on the eve of New Year and appealed to the people to “unite to build an India of our dreams”.

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“On the occasion of New Year, I extend my warmest greetings and best wishes to all my countrymen in India and abroad,” Mukherjee said in a statement.

“May the New Year bring progress and prosperity to our glorious nation,” he said.

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“Let us unite to build an India of our dreams and pledge to make our beautiful country clean and pollution free,” Mukherjee added. (IANS)

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President of Taiwan Rebuffs China, Defends Self-Rule

Beijing has mounted an aggressive posture towards the self-ruled island, carrying out numerous military exercises in the Taiwan Strait

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Taiwan
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen delivers a speech during a New Year's day press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, Jan. 1, 2019. VOA

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen says China must accept Taiwan ‘s status as a self-ruled island.

In a New Year’s Day address from her office, President Tsai said China had to “respect the insistence of 23 million people for freedom and democracy,” and for both sides to face the reality that there are fundamental differences between their “values and lifestyles” and political systems.

Afghanistan, China, Pakistan
Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, shake hands at the end of a joint press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, Jan. 26, 2016. VOA

Relations between Beijing and Taipei have been strained since Tsai, the leader of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, took office in 2016 and refused to accept the concept of China and Taiwan joined together as one China.

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Beijing has mounted an aggressive posture towards the self-ruled island, carrying out numerous military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, blocking Taipei’s participation in international organizations, and persuading several nations to switch diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China.

President Tsai called on China to seek “peaceful” ways to sort out their differences. (VOA)