Under the Radar News, 11.20.09

Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009 by Kolby Hanson

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia.

Ma Promotes ECFA (Taipei Times) Taiwanese President Ma Ying-Jeou argues that the proposed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China would reduce the chance of war with China. The agreement is in the works, and appears to be a large priority for both sides of the Strait.
But Ma Says Legislature Will Play a Role (China Post[Taiwan]) Ma also reiterates that he will not implement the ECFA without the legislature’s ratification, adding another roadblock to the deal.

Myint Swe Rumored to be Burma's Next Leader (The Irrawaddy) Inside sources say that Lt-Gen. Myint Swe will succeed Sr-Gen. Than Shwe (who is expected to step down in the next few years) as commander in chief of Burma’s military junta. Myint Swe is younger (58) and lower-ranking (3-star general) than most of the others on the shortlist, and is the country’s highest-ranking ethnic minority (Mon).
Tin Aung Myint Oo Steps Down (The Irrawaddy) Just last week, another leading candidate, 4-star Gen. Tin Aung Myint Oo, suddenly resigned from the government.

Chinese Censor Obama's Speech (Sydney Morning Herald) The Chinese government blocked access around the country to Obama’s speech to Chinese students. Television cut away after a few minutes and the live feed never went up on the internet as promised.

China Expands Supreme Court Petitions Office (Xinhua) China’s Supreme Court opens a larger petition office in order to receive more appeals. This is part of China’s at-least-nominally expanding anti-corruption and rule of law efforts, which include more extensive online corruption databases and a growing effort to publicly prosecute cases.

Taiwan and China Expand Financial Integration (China Post [Taiwan]) Taiwan and China sign a memorandum of understanding that allows greater interaction between their financial markets. Concerns are being raised in Taiwan about the possible effects of Chinese investors now being able to buy into the Taiwanese stock market.

India Reacts Harshly to China-U.S. Statement (Times of India) (People's Daily [China]) Indian leaders bristle at China’s increased regional role that they believe was implied in the Obama-Hu joint statement on Tuesday. Many fear that Chinese involvement in India-Pakistan issues may lead to greater hegemony in Asia.

Obama Meets with Chinese Religious Leaders (Sydney Morning Herald) Obama meets with church officials in China, who have faced a particularly stiff crackdown this year. This was the one clear move on the human rights front for Obama during his trip to China, in which he was largely criticized for ignoring human rights issues.

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