Under the Radar News 10.08.10

Posted on Friday, October 8, 2010 by Amy Chang

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • In an effort to usher in economic development to the region, China invests nearly $7.5 billion to for an expansive highway and road construction plan in Tibetan regional townships and along the Himalayan.

  • Latest polls reveal that Japanese Cabinet approval ratings dropped 16.8 percentage points from a 64.4 percent to 47.6 percent. The ratings reflect citizen dissatisfaction with how their government handled the Chinese fishing boat incident in the disputed Senkaku Islands and the Ichiro Ozawa money scandal.

  • The delivery of Russian defense systems such as the Gorshkov aircraft carrier and Akula-II nuclear powered submarine to India have been delayed, but resolved. India and Russia recently signed committed to maintain defense ties through 2020.

  • India and Japan will hold a second round of talks for bilateral civil nuclear cooperation. It is a sign of movement on a potential deal, but the issue is still sensitive and fraught with difficulties that must be carefully flushed out in the negotiation process.

  • The Indonesian military has recently joined the police in the fight against local militants to send a signal to terrorists that they are now enemies of the state. The change in strategy is sparked by the recent increase in terrorist activity in the country.

  • Malaysia has joined early talks on expanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an effort to tie economies along the Pacific into a free-trade zone. Current members include New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, and Brunei; Japan, the United States, Vietnam, Australia, Peru, and the Philippines have indicated interest in joining the talks. It is interpreted as an effort to counterbalance an area that is increasingly influenced by China.

  • On Thursday, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai inaugurated the High Council for Peace, an independent body designed to offer dialogue and reconciliation with Taliban militants. However, the Taliban have yet to accept its offers.

  • Public executions have been on the rise in North Korea, with reportedly 10 people executed in 2010 on charges ranging from robbery to narcotics smuggling. The executions are speculated to be a tool that tightens control over the populace during the regime change.

  • Tonga will send over 200 troops to Afghanistan over the next two years in an effort to show support for the International Security Assistance Force.

  • Two Chinese patrol boats leave waters off Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands after two weeks of sailing in and around the area.

  • In an effort to create a more strategic mobile force, South Korea plans to reinforce Marine Corps with increased personnel and equipment.

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