Under the Radar News 05.20.11

Posted on Friday, May 20, 2011 by Sophia Tsirbas

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • The Chinese central government has sent monitoring teams to fourteen provinces to ensure fair local and regional elections. This is seen as an effort to crackdown on rampant election misconduct and increase central regulation over local officials.

  • China, the world’s largest wind power developer, has announced plans to substantially boost offshore wind power by 2020. Wind power is vital to reduce local energy shortages for China’s eastern coastal areas.

  • DPP former national policy adviser, Ellen Huang, announced her plans to run as a third party, independent candidate in the upcoming Taiwanese president elections. Huang, a close ally of Chen Shui Bian, aims to reawaken the Taiwanese independence debate and bring it back to the election forefront.

  • Despite Myanmar’s announced cuts to jail terms of political prisoners, the US renewed economic sanctions against the regime. This decision comes amidst pressure by Asian countries to ease sanctions after the recent civilian elections.

  • South Korea revealed the location for its new science belt, which will host key research facilities. With estimated expenditures of US$4.67 billion, the government hopes to not only bolster long-term economic growth, but establish the country as a global technology innovator.

  • Chief of the general staff of the PLA, and seven other generals are leading the PLA's first trip to the United States. This visit marks an improvement in relations following the disruption of military ties due to the 2010 US-Taiwan arms deal.

  • Mongolia has agreed to build an electrical line that will import electricity from China. The supply of electricity will be distributed to Mongolia's Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining project in order to address a short-term energy need.

  • A high level forum between Latin American cabinet ministers and South Korean investors, held in Seoul, highlighted the importance of Latin America’s trade relationship with South Korea.

  • A report released by the World Bank predicts that Indonesia will be one of six countries accounting for half of global economic growth by 2025. In order to maintain a high level of growth, emerging economies must implement ‘structural changes’ to increase productivity and domestic demand.

  • China has agreed to provide 50 more JF-17 fighter jets to Pakistan on an "expedited" basis. This decision, following bin Laden’s death, showcases the increasingly close economic and military relations between China and Pakistan.
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