Under the Radar News 5.21.2010

Posted on Friday, May 21, 2010 by Evelyn Kusnawirianto

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia

  • South Korea is stepping up its expenditure for weapons systems to prepare for North Korea’s asymmetrical and irregular warfare and as tensions rise on the peninsula. The 3 trillion won ($2.6 billion) injection will be used to upgrade warship sonar, deployment of sound surveillance systems, three-dimensional anti-air radio, and bombs.

  • The Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)will work together to dispose landmines in conflict-areas in Mindanao as part of the peace negotiations.

  • Jakarta has offered to set up a Joint Working Group with China on social welfare cooperation to reduce poverty, provide better services for senior citizens and invalids, and disaster handling. China welcomes the initiative as improving welfare and natural disasters responses are important priorities to maintain internal security in China.

  • Taiwan has stepped up its naval “stealth” technologies by putting into service its first missile boats, the “Kuang Hua No.6”. This enhances the island’s defense capability although cross-Strait ties have warmed considerably.

  • Japan and Australia have signed the first bilateral Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA)to enhance defense and diplomatic cooperation. The armed forces will provide each other with food, fuel, and logistical support during peacekeeping and disaster-relief missions, and conduct joint military exercises and training.

  • Malaysia recently proposed a “Clean Energy Development Bank” to develop clean energy-related industries in Malaysia and in the developing states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

  • China has recently fine-tuned prosecution standards for financing terrorism. The new regulation outlines prosecution for 86 economic crimes and draws a clear-cut line between criminal and non-criminal acts.

  • The Korean Army will dispatch a 320-strong unit and 40 police officers to Afghanistan to protect Korean civilian reconstruction workers in Parwan Province.

  • China has cut its timber output by one-third less than the allowed level to protect the Greater Hinggan Mountains in an effort to protect the forest after decades of deforestation.

  • Australia is increasing its aid to various countries including Afghanistan, Indonesia and African countries. Among them, Afghanistan is one of the first countries to benefit from the aid increase to boost AusAID and Australian Federal Police numbers and the newly formed Australian Civilian Corps.
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