Posted on Friday, August 26, 2011
by Isabella Mroczkowski
A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak embarked on his three-country tour of Central Asia. He elevated South Korean and Mongolian relations to "comprehensive partnership" status and signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) calling for greater cooperation in natural resource development, infrastructure investment, and defense. President Lee also signed a $4.1 billion deal to develop Uzbekistan’s Surgil gas fieldand two $4 billion deals to develop a thermal power plant and petrochemical complex in Kazakhstan.
Amidst South China Sea tensions the Philippines and Vietnam boost their defense capabilities. This week, Vietnam acquired the Gepard class frigate from Russia. The guided missile frigate is Vietnam’s most modern warship. Meanwhile the Philippines acquired the Hamilton-class cutter, a weather high endurance cutter, from the U.S.
Two Chinese fishing ships entered Japan’s territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands sparking a formal protest by Japan. The encroachment was a reminder of last year’s incident in which a Chinese fishing boat collided with a Japanese coast guard vessel, severing relations between the two nations.
The Philippines may have $1 trillion of untapped mineral resources in Mindanao, the site of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, (MILF). U.S. Representative Jerry Trenas argues that government-initiated peace talks with the MILF can propel the Philippines from "third world status to economic powerhouse."
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan resigns after necessary precondition—a renewable energy bill—passes. The new bill will subsidize electricity from renewable sources and facilitate Japan’s shift away from nuclear power after the Fukushima reactor meltdowns in March.
The 2011 Pentagon report on Chinese military buildup reveals China deployed nuclear capable CSS-5 MRBM missiles on India’s border as a “deterrent posture.” The report also warns that Chinese infrastructure investments on the border while aimed at facilitating economic development, may also support PLA border defense operations.
Please note that the opinions expressed by AsiaEye bloggers are theirs alone, and do not reflect the official positions of the Project 2049 Institute.
About the Project 2049 Institute
The Project 2049 Institute seeks to guide decision makers toward a more secure Asia by the century’s mid-point. The Institute is the only Washington-based think tank that focuses exclusively on future-oriented studies of the Asia Pacific.