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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About the Project 2049 Institute
The Project 2049 Institute seeks to guide decision makers toward a more secure Asia by the century’s mid-point. The Institute is the only Washington-based think tank that focuses exclusively on future-oriented studies of the Asia Pacific.