Under the Radar News 5.14. 2010

Posted on Friday, May 14, 2010 by Tiffany Chen

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia

  • A joint study between Japan, China, and South Korea on a trilateral FTA marked the first step towards commencing gAovernment-level negotiations on East Asian economic integration.


  • North Korea declares success in developing a nuclear fusion reaction, although its use in energy generation remains in the experimental stages. An official newspaper declared the event to be a “breakthrough” in the country’s nuclear technology development.


  • Taiwan and China have established the first official offices across the Strait since 1949. The recently opened tourism offices, staffed by government officials, seek to promote travel and cultural exchanges and mark a symbolic step in cross-Strait diplomatic relations.


  • China’s central government and Xinjiang will invest 1.5 billion yuan to promote the exploration of major minerals including coal, iron, copper, lead and zinc in the autonomous region.


  • Taiwan’s National Space Organization (NSPO) has successfully launched a scientific rocket, Sounding Rocket VII, to collect valuable ionosphere data for enhancing Taiwan’s global position system and telecommunications infrastructures.


  • China National Petroleum Corporation plans to establish its own tanker fleet to enter the international crude oil shipping market.


  • ASEAN Defense Ministers approved the guidelines for establishing the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus forum later this year. The ADMM+8 format is envisaged to be a platform for cooperation between ASEAN and its partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the U.S.


  • Singapore seeks to share its experience in corporate governance and developing infrastructure projects with Indonesia through the public-private partnership model.


  • Indonesian authority indicates that weapons from recently arrested terrorist suspects were mostly smuggled from the Philippines. Many of the suspects had undergone training in Mindanao, home to Muslim separatist rebels in the predominantly Catholic Philippines.


  • Japan has reopened its experimental nuclear reactor for the first time since its shutdown in 1995 because of a major accident and cover-up. This costly reactor uses plutonium fuel instead of conventional uranium and is expected to enter into full-fledged operation in 2013.
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