Under the Radar News 4.23.10

Posted on Friday, April 23, 2010 by Matthew Hallex

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia

  • Chinese and Indian diplomats have met to discuss the impact of Chinese hydroelectric projects on the flow of India’s Brahmaputra River. Concerns have been raised about the impact of Chinese dam projects on the flow of water and sediments vital to farmers who lived along many rivers in Asia including the Brahmaputra and the Mekong.

  • South Korea has announced plans to bolster its military presence in five islands along the west coast following the recent sinking of a South Korean patrol ship. This is a reverse of previous South Korean policy of reducing military presence in those areas by 2020.

  • A Taiwanese medical team has been deployed to Nepal to provide medical services to rural villages. Such moves are intended to bolster the soft power of Taiwan as part of efforts to achieve greater international recognition.

  • China has announced plans to establish state-level emergency rescue troops. These dedicated units will enhance the ability of the PLA to undertake non-traditional security missions including emergency response and disaster relief.

  • Several bombs were exploded at the site of a controversial dam project in northern Myanmar. The dam, which has been criticized by environmentalists and human rights activists, will displace 15,000 local residents when complete.

  • Indonesia’s state owned energy company has announced that it will stop importing oil by 2015. Investments in energy sector and the construction of new refineries will allow Indonesia to reverse trends which saw it become a net importer of oil in 2008.

  • Beijing is accepting applications for its first public elections. More than 1,400 people have applied online for a chance to run.

  • Thailand is the largest investor in Myanmar according to the Thai Board of Investment. Thailand has invested US$7.41 billion in Myanmar between 1988 and 2009 with over 80% of funds invested in the energy sector.
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