Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011
by Jessica Drun
A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia
Japanese defense firm, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, reported a cyber attack on over 80 of its servers. The hackers were trying to access sensitive data on the country’s submarine, missile and nuclear power plant production lines. Though Mitsubishi claims that no information has been compromised, the Japan Ministry of Defense has called for a full investigation. Later, two other Japanese defense companies, IHI Corp. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries revealed that they had been victim to similar attacks.
India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONCG) is reportedly working with Vietnam in outlining plans for an oil-drilling plant in the South China Sea. The proposed drilling points are located near the disputed Spratly Islands, prompting China—one of the claimants of the islets—to criticize the move on grounds that it constituted interference and territorial encroachment. Despite repeated warnings from Beijing, ONCG has maintained its commitment to the venture.
The Burmese government loosened its strict control over the internet this week, allowing its citizens access to websites hosted by dissidents, international news sources, and YouTube.
Taiwanese and Chinese telecommunications companies committed to funding the development of a cross-Strait marine cable, linking Kinmen and Xiamen. The cable is expected to increase both the volume and quality of calls between Taiwan and China and is backed with the full support of national security agencies.
Torrential rain has devastated parts of China, causing severe flooding and landslides in Sichuan, Henan, and Shaanxi provinces. Damages are assessed to be around $2.7 billion and affecting over 12.3 million people. Records indicate that the flooding in Sichuan is the worst ever recorded.
The opposition candidate, Michael Sata, won the Zambian presidential election on the Patriotic Front’s ticket. He is known for his staunch stance against China, which stems from his criticism of the labor conditions at local Chinese mining sites. His victory may alter the landscape of Sino-Zambian relations. Following Sata’s victory, Chinese officials warned local expats to stay indoors.
South Korea is reportedly investing in a multi-billion dollar missile defense project. The stated purpose of the initiative is to safeguard populated cities, key military sites and nuclear power plants from possible North Korean attacks. The United States had approached the South Koreans with an invitation to join the U.S. missile defense system. However, Seoul was unsure of the system's overall effectiveness and wary of Beijing's response.
Vietnam expatriates living in Western nations composed a letter to the Vietnamese president calling for democratic reform. The letter outlined a list of grievances toward China, citing both historical incidents and current offenses, including resource exploitation and China’s aggressive actions in the Spratly Islands. The expats ascertain that the most viable way to counteract Chinese influence is to amend the national Constitution and allow the voice of the people to be heard.
Please note that the opinions expressed by AsiaEye bloggers are theirs alone, and do not reflect the official positions of the Project 2049 Institute.
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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.