Under the Radar News 02.25.11

Posted on Friday, February 25, 2011 by Sophia Tsirbas

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • Chinese state media announces that it will conduct its first Mars probe launch in November. The launch will mark China’s first entry into deep space exploration since its moon probe.

  • In North Korea, tunnels are being excavated in preparation for a possible third nuclear test. Its test will come on the heels of failed bilateral talks with the South.

  • China and Kazakhstan pledge to boost bilateral cooperation. Both countries signed cooperation agreements on cross-border water resource protection, high speed railway construction, and joint projects on petroleum, oil and gas resources. Time for An Agenda for US-Central Asian Relations?

  • Japanese public approval for Prime Minister Kan’s Cabinet falls to its lowest of twenty percent. Opposition calls for dissolution of Lower House and new elections.

  • Indonesia will send a team of civilian and military personnel to observe the Cambodia-Thailand border ceasefire. Both countries have pledged to end the violence and resume bilateral relations.

  • During a meeting in Thailand, Burmese ethnic armed groups decided to jointly negotiate with the military regime. The groups also agreed to form a United Nationalities Federal Council and pledged support for one another.

  • In New Delhi, a union-organized rally protests growing inflation. Tens of thousands protesters take to the streets in hopes of pressuring the government prior to its annual budget announcement next week.

  • China plans to invest 1.5 trillion Yuan in the aviation sector within the next five years. China is predicted to have the world’s fastest growing market for air travel by 2014. Project 2049 study on PRC commercial aviation

  • South Korean ambassadors in Africa stress need for greater energy cooperation calling the continent the “last market” for South Korean companies.

  • China pledges to act in a fair and neutral way as it prepares to assume the UN Security Council rotating presidency in March. China’s UN representative, Li Baodong, promises a focus on Africa and the Middle East.

  • Japan agrees to U.S. secret request for military plane propellers to be used by U.S. transport planes in Afghanistan.

  • More Japanese citizens register disputed territories as official places of residence. Public frustration grows over government handling of territorial disputes with Russia, China, and South Korea.
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