Under the Radar 07.01.11

Posted on Friday, July 1, 2011 by Maggie Rank

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia.

  • The U.S. “strongly and vehemently” supports a clean waiver for India from the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Outgoing ambassador Timothy Roemer stressed that this civil nuclear agreement will move the U.S.-India relationship in a positive direction.

  • The White House and the Congress have cleared an impasse over three key trade pacts with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia. After weeks of negotiations, the Trade Adjustment Assistance programs in relation to each of the three countries were renewed to provide workers unemployed due to international trade with benefits and services.

  • Chinese and United Kingdom companies have agreed to build three high-resolution earth observation spacecrafts. The satellites will be able to capture surface images less than one meter in diameter and are intended to record China’s rapid growth from orbit. Read more about China’s satellite program.

  • This week, the State Department removed the Philippines and Singapore from the annual Trafficking in Persons report. The only Asian countries that fully comply with the State Department’s human rights standards are Taiwan and South Korea. Read the Project 2049 Institute’s report on human rights in Asia.

  • AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt announced that U.S. arms sales to Taiwan will continue, but no commitment has been made in regards to the 66 requested F-16C/Ds, but the Taiwanese air force did receive the first six of 71 upgraded Indigenous Defense Fighters.

  • Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan Bank for International Corporation to increase and develop gas production. The head of the Indonesian Executive Agency for Upstream Gas and Oil says this is a crucial move for encouraging the Japanese to invest in Indonesia.

  • The Pakistani army rejects Afghan claims that it has fired more than 450 rockets into Afghan territory over the past three weeks. Afghan officials have expressed “great concern” over the issue and the alleged 36 killed.

  • The possible return of exiled Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra poses instability concerns for the July 3rd elections. Since his removal from office under in a military coup five years ago, Thailand has been very politically divided; Thailand’s current PM has warned that his return could herald increased turbulence.

  • The Bangladeshi Parliament repealed a 15-year-old requirement that general elections be supervised by nonpartisan caretaker governments through a Parliament vote of 291-1. The opposition claims the move could allow the current ruling party to rig the votes.

  • Russian navy chief says Russia will deliver a nuclear submarine to India by the end of the year. India sees Russia as a strategic counterweight to China but has suffered chronic delays to large weapons orders, including the Admiral Gorshkov heavy aircraft carrier.
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