Under the Radar News 06.17.11

Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011 by Isabella Mroczkowski

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • Japan signed a $3 million MOU with the UN for Afghan National Police education. With NATO’s July transition from Afghanistan, chronic police illiteracy poses a main challenge to maintaining security. In a recent publication, Project 2049 provides insight on advancing ANP training and ensuring that the ANP will have the confidence to take charge.

  • The Philippines Navy removed Chinese markers in the South China Sea after the U.S. pledged its support for Manila in the Spratly Islands territorial dispute. Meanwhile China opposes U.S. and ASEAN interference in the sea and urges a bilateral solution to the territorial dispute.

  • South Korea redeployed surface to surface air missiles on the border with DPRK and plans to deploy 36 Apache choppers to a border island to guard against attacks by North Korea. Recent reports convey new North Korean capabilities to load a nuclear warhead atop a missile and confirm a new larger than expected naval base in Goampo.

  • During a state visit to Moscow, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Medvedev put forth agreements increasing bilateral trade to $200 billion by 2020. They vowed to works towards a strategic energy partnership. However disagreements over pricing hampered finalization of natural gas pipeline deal.

  • Protestors in Bangladesh held this month’s second series of strikes against government efforts to amend the constitution in favor of holding onto power in the 2014 elections.

  • Despite Pyongyang’s resistance to resume six party talks, Seoul urged North Korea to liberalize the economy and abandon its isolationist tendencies.

  • Vietnam struggles to balance demands to defend domestic interests while not provoking China in Spratly row. To address demands Vietnam considered a military draft.

  • Indonesia pursues a free trade agreement with the European Union, noting the complementarities of the EU’s capital and technology with Indonesia’s resources and textile industries. The proposed FTA will account for 95% of tariffs in nine years.

  • In China’s Guangzhou province, protests over abuse of power between vendors and security guards led to riots, with police resorting to tear gas. Tensions stem from migration restrictions laws that exclude China’s 350 million migrant workers from access to social benefits.

  • In the midst of reconstruction following February’s fatal earthquake, Christchurch, New Zealand faced another series of 6.0 aftershocks. In addition to the $11 billion in construction costs, Christchurch residents are increasingly relying on social services for anxiety, depression, and alcohol issues.
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