Under the Radar News 05.13.11

Posted on Friday, May 13, 2011 by Lana Buu

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • Chinese marine authorities on Sunday added a new ship to the fleet patrolling South China Sea. The South Sea fleet now has 13 patrolling ships, two planes and one helicopter.

  • China, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan , all member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), last Friday conducted a joint anti-terror drill in Kashi of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

  • Australia has struck a deal with the Malaysian government to accept thousands of refugees, mostly Burmese, living in the country in return for Malaysia taking on the burden of hundreds of boatpeople that arrive in Australia each year. Canberra announced its plan to send 800 asylum seekers to camps in Malaysia over the next four years.

  • Thai Prime Minister Abhisit received royal permission to dissolve Parliament seven months early and scheduled general elections for July 3rd. The Thai Election Commission has asked police to provide security for politicians and their supporters following an attempted assassination of Pracha Prasopdee, a former Pheu Thai MP for Samut Prakan.

  • On May 10th, Indonesia ratified the ASEAN-Aust-NZ FTA. Jakarta announced that the free trade implementation will start this year, but the some post-tariff implementation would be gradual, up to 2015.

  • China Nonferrous Metal Mining Co.(Group) (CNMC), the country’s non-ferrous metal giant, is expecting two of its major overseas projects--a wet copper smelting project in Zambia and nickel mining and smelting project in Burma--to begin operation this year. More on China’s copper appetite.

  • A local Taiwanese newspaper reported on Monday that the military had begun deploying indigenous Hsiung Feng-III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles on its warships in anticipation of the imminent launch of China’s first aircraft carrier early next year.

  • The United States has struck a deal with the Marshall Islands to continue using the key missile testing range at Kwajalein Atoll through to 2066.

  • A new rail connection for cargo between Antwerp in Belgium and Southwest China’s Chongqing was launched on May 9th, connecting the biggest transportation hub in western China to the second-largest port in Europe.

  • Japan, the United States and Mongolia are reportedly considering construction of a spent nuclear fuel storage and disposal facility in the central Asian nation.

  • The Tibet autonomous region is poised to become the country's leading solar power generation base with 10 more photovoltaic power plants to be completed within this year. There are plans to gradually expand the market to about 5 million kilowatts installation capacity in 2015 and 20 million kilowatts in 2020.

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