Under the Radar News 9.24.10

Posted on Friday, September 24, 2010 by Amy Chang

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia

  • China launched its first cross-border long-distance air strike drill with Russia and Kazakhstan and other Central Asian members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. They showcase newly developed land and air capabilities and provide training for SCO member states’ armed forces.

  • North Korea’s ruling party will hold a rare leadership conference on September 28. The meeting is speculated to be the first formal step in a power transition from Kim Jong-il to his successor.

  • Myanmar has denied millions of citizens living in insurgency-plagued ethnic areas the right to vote in its election, inciting criticism and ire from opposition parties and voters.

  • Philippine Muslim rebels Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) drops demands for independence and calls for a “substate” under the unitary government. If negotiations with the Philippine government are successful, the MILF leader alludes to a final peace accord within two years.

  • The Singaporean and Thai navies are taking part in bilateral exercises in the South China Sea from September 20-29, aiming at enhancing interoperability and mutual understanding between the two militaries.

  • China has announced the next steps in building a nuclear power plant in Pakistan, both Indian and U.S. officials show concern over safety and proliferation risks.

  • Japan’s Defense Ministry is considering adding another 13,000 to 16,000 members to its Self-Defense Forces with the aim of improving its ability to deal with new security challenges.

  • The United States, in addition to reiterating its commitment to ASEAN countries, it also declares a peaceful resolution to territorial disputes and increasing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, inciting antagonism from China.

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