Under the Radar News 6.25.10

Posted on Friday, June 25, 2010 by Steve Gummo

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia

  • The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee approved a ten-year educational reform plan aimed at increasing the effectiveness and availability of Chinese educational institutions. As part of the reform, the PRC will increase education-related funding, with the ratio of education expenditure in terms of GDP to be 4% by 2012.

  • In response to repeated youth slayings and acts of terrorism, Indian authorities announced a total shutdown of the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir. The shutdown mandates the close of all businesses, government offices and public roads in addition to the enforcement of martial law.

  • According to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Japan will not raise its domestic sales tax for at least two years. This announcement follows a strong dip in governmental approval ratings and seeks to garner popular support before the upcoming Japanese parliamentary elections.

  • In an attempt to entice Taiwanese voters before Taipei’s upcoming mayoral elections, the Kuomintang (KMT) has undertaken a project to renovate Taipei’s Songshan Airport; converting it into a major international airport that links Taipei to Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo.

  • Indonesian governmental authorities are considering the implementation of a blanket internet filter that would prevent access to certain internet-based materials deemed “negative and immoral”. The conservative Muslim-majority country plans to enact further internet restrictions in response to a perceived immorality problem amongst the country’s estimated 40 million citizens with internet access.

  • The first of two water diversion tunnels was completed on Tuesday as part of the South-North Water Diversion project in the People’s Republic of China. The project, drafted by the Chinese government as a way to solve water scarcity in the northern regions of the country, is expected to take up to 40 years to become fully operational.

  • Vietnam announced plans for the construction of eight nuclear power plants over the next twenty years. A Russian firm was granted the contract for the construction and operation of the country’s first nuclear facility which will commence operations in 2020.

  • In spite of repeated warnings and threats of sanctions from the US government, Pakistan announced its intention to continue with negotiations on an Iranian-Pakistani natural gas deal which, if signed, would result in the daily exportation over 21 million cubic meters from Iran to Pakistan.
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