A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia
Japan's Cabinet adopted a new defense buildup program which eyes more proactive policies and "dynamic defense capability," which is designed to increase readiness, mobility and flexibility of Japan’s Self Defense Force.
Opium poppy cultivation surged in Southeast Asia by 22 percent in 2010, with production value rising over $100 million from 2009 figures to $219 million. It is hypothesized that the growth in production transpired from the poverty and instability of the global economic crisis.
Laos and North Korea have signed a cooperation agreement to enhance relations between their ruling parties, including increasing exchange visits and areas of traditional cooperation.
China's western push strengthens Pakistan links, including the acceleration of rail-link construction and a pipeline connecting the two countries. The investments indicate China’s long-term intentions to strengthen economic links in the region.
China, the world’s second-largest consumer of oil, is poised to buy more Saudi oil than the United States. While Saudi Arabia has also recently bought more Chinese goods (such as food, textiles, and hardware) than American ones, the U.S. remains its main supplier of military arms and technology.
China proposed investing $8 billion to set up a development bank with other member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Though details are vague, the bank would fund energy exploration and infrastructure projects such as oil and gas pipelines.
Thailand and Cambodia have revoked the need for entry visas between the two countries as a "gift" for their citizens to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
While some Pakistanis displaced by the devastating floods that hit their country are able to return to their homes, the United Nations and its partners warned today that humanitarian needs (food aid, shelter materials, and medical aid) remain enormous amid dwindling resources.
The Defense Consultative Talks between the U.S. and China restarted the bilateral military-to-military relationship. The two sides also discussed maritime safety and security concerns in Africa, North Korea, and Iran.
Please note that the opinions expressed by AsiaEye bloggers are theirs alone, and do not reflect the official positions of the Project 2049 Institute.
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.