Under the Radar News 04.29.11

Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011 by Sophia Tsirbas

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • Taiwan’s President Ma put an end to a proposed $25 billion petrochemical project . The decision was made to the favor of environmentalists and local residents who have voiced strong objections.

  • In response to a three day strike by truck drivers in Shanghai, the government has agreed to cancel fuel surcharges and reduce other fees. The strike was seen as a response to rising fuel costs and inflation.

  • Australia expressed openness to joint training with Japanese troops. Increased defense cooperation is seen as a reaction to rising threats from China and North Korea.

  • Burma has agreed to sign contracts with companies from China, Singapore, and South Korea for oil and gas exploration. The contracts will mark the first signed with foreign companies under the current civilian government.

  • China’s aircraft carrier with combat capabilities could set sail this year. The deployment of the country’s first ever aircraft may impact security in the South China Sea.

  • Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen wins the nomination of Taiwan’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party by a narrow margin. Tsai will run against current President Ma in the 2012 upcoming elections. Relations with China will be at the forefront of the policy debate.

  • Fighting continues as scheduled talks between Thai and Cambodian defense ministers to settle an ongoing border dispute were canceled. Crisis highlights inability of ASEAN to broker a peace settlement.

  • Tibetan exiles elect Harvard law academic as new prime minister . Elections were urged at the request of the Dalai Lama who announced plans to abdicate political control last month.

  • Chinese Defense ministry holds first monthly press conference in efforts to promote more transparency to the Chinese public and international community. Defense spokesman emphasized the defensive, non-threatening nature of China’s defense policy.

  • During Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao’s, visit to Indonesia, plans were announced to double bilateral trade to $80 billion by 2015. The two countries are also set to sign trade and banking agreements.
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