Under the Radar News 10.29.10

Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010 by Amy Chang

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • Amid tensions in the East China Sea, China boosts its maritime surveillance fleet and Japan considers increasing its submarine fleet to offset the expansion of Chinese naval presence. This comes as a Japanese Diet panel is presented a video of the recent boat collisions allegedly showing Chinese trawlers ramming into Japanese coast guard boats.

  • As part of an effort to secure its borders and increase surveillance capabilities, India seeks to acquire six to eight medium-range surveillance aircraft and high-altitude long endurance UAVs.

  • Japan announced a US$2 billion environment rescue package for developing countries in a bid to kickstart tense UN talks aimed at securing a pact on saving biodiversity.

  • Malaysia is expected to build the country’s first nuclear power plant by 2021 to alleviate growing energy demand and diversify energy sources.

  • Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen will not allow the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal to prosecute former low-ranking officers of the genocidal regime, citing concerns over endangering national peace. Critics accuse the Prime Minister of trying to prevent his political allies from being indicted.

  • India and Russia completed the Indra 2010 joint counterterrorist military exercises in the Himalayas. The two countries have conducted joint Indra exercises since 2003.

  • China aims to complete a manned space station by 2020; in addition to studying long-term manned space flights, the space station also aspires to boost Chinese national strength and prestige.

  • Sri Lanka eases several checkpoints around the nation’s capital, signaling an improved security atmosphere after defeating Tamil Tigers last May.

  • Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently released a report on national competitiveness. CASS forecasts that China will rise to second place (from 27th place in 2010) in global ranking of national competitiveness by 2050.

  • Transparency International released its Corruptions Perceptions Index, which indicated nearly three quarters of the 178 countries surveyed scored below five, on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). Corruption rankings in Asia run the gamut from very clean (e.g., Singapore, Japan) to highly corrupt (e.g., Central Asian countries, Vietnam).

  • Ministries within the Japanese government are split on whether joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership would result in economic gains or losses.

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