Under the Radar News, 1.8.2010

Posted on Friday, January 8, 2010 by Prashanth Parameswaran

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia

  • Myanmar’s ruling junta will boost the salaries of low-paid government employees starting Jan. 31 in a bid to placate civil servants ahead of this year’s critical general elections.

  • Thousands of Indonesian workers rallied in Bandung demanding the postponement of ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement implementation because it could trigger 40,000 layoffs in just three months.

  • Apple is reportedly blocking iPhone users in China from downloading applications about the Dalai Lama and exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.

  • Taiwan passed a refugee draft bill, finally creating a legal basis for the government to handle refugees and asylum-seekers.

  • The Eurasia Group, a global political risk consulting firm, found that South Korea is the most politically stable nation among a group of 24 emerging economies.

  • A top Chinese naval official proposed setting up a permanent base to support ships on anti-piracy missions, raising the possibility that China could build foreign bases elsewhere.

  • An increasing number of North Korean refugees are fleeing to northern Thailand to escape poverty and oppression.

  • Visiting Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh agreed to a joint statement on greater cooperation in maritime security, which includes joint training exercises and cooperative measures to deal with natural disasters.

  • A liquefied natural gas (LNG) agreement between China and Australia expired, mainly because the Australian company, Woodside, failed to supply gas as scheduled.
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