Under the Radar News 09.30.11

Posted on Friday, September 30, 2011 by Isabella Mroczkowski

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia.

  • China and India launched the first Strategic Economic Dialogue this week to discuss differences on oil exploration in the South China Sea, business opportunities and solutions to the European debt crisis.

  • Tokyo is reportedly moving closer toward purchasing new generation jet fighters including the F-35 stealth fighter, Eurofighter Typhoon and the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Japan’s Ministry of Defense will purchase 40 new jets in total and retire its fleet of F-4s.

  • During President Corazon Aquino’s visit to Japan this week, the two countries launched the “Coast Watch” initiative to ensure freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. During the visit Japan also pledged $1.4 billion in investment and $120 million loan in Official Development Assistance (ODA) for forest management programs.

  • South Korea will reportedly build a naval base on Ulleung Island in the East Sea to defend its sovereignty claim over Dokdo Island (called Takeshima Island by Japan). Both Japan and South Korea claim sovereignty over the small islet.

  • Japan plans to diversify its supply chain for rare earth elements (REE) through an agreement with Burma. Currently, China controls over 90 percent of global REE supply.

  • China and South Africa signed a MOU on geology and mineral resources cooperation and an agreement for developing financial cooperation. These pacts appear to reinforce the countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership status, established last year.

  • In an apparent effort to resume peace talks, India and Pakistan agree to double trade within three years and open a second border trading post.

  • Typhoon Nesat killed at least 43 people and left 30 missing in the Philippines. Around 160,000 Filipinos are still in evacuation centers due to flooding. In Hainan Island, China, hundreds of thousands evacuated their homes.

  • Taiwanese businessmen in China claim that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) threatened to send agents to monitor demonstrations in Taipei. Protesters claim that Chinese officials have illegally seized their investments in the Mainland.
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