Under the Radar News 04.22.11

Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011 by Lana Buu

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • A 2-month ceasefire ended on the Thai-Cambodian border on Friday morning with the deaths of 3 Cambodian soldiers. Thai Supreme Commander Songkitti Jaggabatara placed Thai armed forces on high alert after the deadly attacks and ordered armed forces commanders to prepare to implement their own defense plans.

  • Indonesia’s state-run defense research institute, “Balitbang,” will join South Korea’s “Boramae” project to develop a new fighter jet. According to the deal, Balitbang will pay US$10 million ― 20% of the budget required ― over the next two years to Seoul’s Agency for Defense Development, which is leading the process. The participants in the process include Korea Aerospace Industries and LIG Nex1.

  • Representatives of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam discussed the Xayaburi hydropower project undertaken by Laos at a special session of the Mekong River Commission Joint Committee (JC) in Vientiane on Tuesday. Some Mekong countries, especially Cambodia and Vietnam, want to delay the project until the ecological concerns can be thoroughly investigated.

  • India plans on strengthening its presence along its border with Pakistan by deploying 2 squadrons of Su-30 MKI fighter s there in the next two years.

  • China's central bank, People's Bank of China (PBOC), said on Tuesday it had signed a US$106 million currency swap agreement with the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan to promote bilateral trade, investment and financial cooperation. China ranks first among countries investing in Uzbekistan and second among Uzbekistan's trade partners. The volume of bilateral trade in 2010 was $2.85 billion.

  • Burma has told the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that it wants to chair the regional bloc in 2014 after declining the post in 2006 amid Western criticism.

  • Taiwan plans to build a new 'stealth' warship armed with guided-missiles next year in response to China's naval build-up. The twin-hulled boat will be armed with up to eight home-grown Hsiung-feng II ship-to-ship missiles and eight other more lethal Hsiung-feng III anti-ship supersonic missiles.

  • An Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) forum, discussing how to cope with social impacts caused by the global financial crisis, natural disaster and political chaos, was held in Hanoi on Monday. The forum, titled "Social Security Network: Strengthening cooperation to cope with challenges in the post-crisis period", was attended by more than 150 domestic and foreign scientists and scholars from international organizations in Asian and European countries.

  • South Korea will set up an air and missile defense system by 2015 to protect densely populated areas like Seoul and major strategic facilities such as air bases and nuclear power plants against ballistic missile attacks from North Korea. Also, the South Korean Defense Ministry plans to bolster a cyber warfare unit that is responsible for combating North Korean hackers and handle offensive operations in cyberspace.

  • Singaporean President S. R. Nathan dissolved parliament on Tuesday paving the way for early general elections. Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has confirmed his candidacy for the coming general election.

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