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Abe wooed the top leaders of th
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PostPosted: 27 Jun 2019 10:40:34    Post subject:  Abe wooed the top leaders of th
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TORONTO, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas recorded team-highs of 23 points and 15 rebounds in a 98-87 victory over Indiana Pacers on Monday to tie 1-1 in their best four-out-of-seven NBA playoff series.


After a frustrating game 1 that saw him record 12 points and a franchise-best 19 rebounds in 21 minutes before fouling out, Valanciunas stayed out of foul trouble and played nearly 31 minutes in Monday's win to put up another double-double.


The Raptors big-man got out to a quick start with 13 points and 7 rebounds in the first quarter alone. By halftime, he had 19 points and 10 rebounds.


""I'm just doing my stuff,"" said a calm Valanciunas following the win in Toronto. ""I'm going out there and battling. I'm going to put my heart and battle for every single ball and every single position.""


With All-Stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan continuing to struggle with their shots, Valanciunas' effort helped carry the team in game 2.


""We all have to step up. It's not an individual sport,"" Valanciunas added. ""Some nights are tough for Kyle, tough for DeMar, tough for me. Everybody got hard time and got to pull for each other.""


In the first two games of the playoffs, DeRozan has averaged 12.0 points on 9-for-37 (24.3 percent) while Lowry has fared marginally better with 14.5 points on 7-for-26 (26.9 percent) shooting.


Meanwhile, Valanciunas has averaged team-highs of 17.5 points and 17.0 rebounds per game.


Despite being only 23 years old, the Lithuanian big man is not fazed by the pressure due to his experiences playing at home earlier in his career.


""It's just the most important moment right now. As players, you win or go home,"" said Valanciunas, relating the playoff-pressure to what he experienced before joining the NBA in 2012. ""You got to do everything to win the game. Not just on the court, on the bench too. You got to cheer for each other, pull for each other. In the locker room, talk to each other.""


As a teenager, Valanciunas led Lithuanian to 2008 FIBA Under-16, 2010 FIBA Under-18 and 2011 FIBA Under-19 Championships. He was also the MVP in all three tournaments, the only player to accomplish such a feat.


More recently, Valanciunas has helped his national team capture consecutive silver medals in EuroBasket tournaments in 2013 and 2015.


Having tied up the series at one-all, Valanciunas is not ready to relax and celebrate yet.


""Let's not get too excited. It's just game two,"" said Valanciunas. ""We still got three to go. I got to keep it quiet and do the same thing, come with the same energy to play game three. Job is not done yet.""


The series resumes on Thursday as the teams travel to Indiana to play games 3 and 4.

"

by Jon Day


TOKYO
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, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Beijing in November has been floated by numerous local media outlets Monday as an opportune venue for Japan and China to hold a summit.


However, whether the duo would use the platform to improve the soured relations stays unclear.


Tokyo had made illegal purchase of some of the Diaoyu Islands. And a number of other issues pertaining to history are casting shadow, exemplified by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visiting the contentious Yasukuni Shrine in 2013.


But whether or not the summit, which would be the first with Chinese leaders since Abe took office in 2012, comes to fruition, the onus of responsibility will still be on Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to take concrete steps towards improving relations that go beyond mere rhetoric and tackle some thorny issues squarely and honestly.


But as the recent-past dictates, for the hawkish Abe and his coterie of hard-nosed nationalists, facing controversial issues squarely, is hardly his, or their, forte.


"When it comes to foreign policy, we've seen a lot of gamesmanship from Abe and it's perfectly understandable why countries like China are becoming increasingly suspicious of Abe and his motives," political commentator and author Philip McNeil told Xinhua.


"Abe has consistently said he wants to rebuild relations with China and hold summit-level talks, but his actions continually seem to tell a different story," McNeil said.


He said Abe's recent trip to Latin America, which came just two days after Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up a tour to the region, was not solely about resource-poor Japan tapping into the region's rich resources, but also to sway diplomacy in the area as the Japanese leader has been doing on visits to 47 countries in the last 18 months.


"The timing is a little bizarre. Not only did the trip happen so soon after Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit, it was the first time in a decade a Japanese leader has visited the Central and South American region," said McNeil.


"I think it's safe to assume that Abe is looking to go head-to- head with China in the region economically, with Abe hoping to trade on Japan's cultural relationships with countries like Brazil, while at the same time pushing his agenda for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council," he said.


Japan and Brazil are both aiming to gain a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Abe agreed that they would work together in this regard as the United Nations approaches its 70th anniversary next year.


Abe and Rousseff said their governments would, henceforth, seek to forge stronger ties with both Germany and India, with the aim of creating a "Group of Four" nations-body, to, ultimately, attempt to reform the Security Council.


In the short-term, Abe wooed the top leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), in a bid to secure votes from these 14 nations and one territory, as Japan enters next year's autumn election to choose new nonpermanent members of the council.
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PostPosted: 27 Jun 2019 10:40:34    Post subject: Adv






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