Under the Radar News 10.07.11

Posted on Friday, October 7, 2011 by Jessica Drun

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia.

  • China influence continues to expand in Latin America. Governments across the region vowed to strengthen economic and bilateral ties with Beijing in commemoration of the PRC’s National Day celebrations.

  • The immediate effects of the Myitsome Dam suspension by the Burmese government are starting to come to light. China, a major investor of the project, sought consultation talks with Naypyidaw following the announcement, citing the need to protect the interests of its companies. The termination of the project also encouraged the Karenni minority to protest dam construction in the northern part of Burma.

  • The South Korean government indicated this week that it will not permit the United States navy to use the proposed Jeju naval base as a permanent station. The complex will also not support a U.S. missile defense system, as had been rumored. Officials further asserted that the purpose of the base is to deter North Korean attacks rather than to counteract China’s growing maritime presence.

  • Doctors Without Borders ceased its operations in Thailand. The decision was spurred by the organization’s inability to overcome administrative barriers posed by the Thai government, which blocked access to vulnerable groups. Their departure leaves over 55,000 undocumented migrant workers from Burma, Laos and Cambodia without healthcare.

  • Japan plans to introduce a proposal to enhance regional maritime security at the ASEAN East Asia Summit next month. The initiative will bring top government officials together at working-level meetings, helping to establish a framework that will guide future dialogue on dispute resolution in the South China Sea and beyond.

  • Military exchanges between China and Japan will resume on October 19th, after a yearlong suspension following a dispute near the Senkaku Islands. An agreement between the chairman of the Sasakawa Japan-China Friendship Fund and General Ma Xiaotian has set to maintain the exchanges for another five years.

  • Taiwanese aborigines plan on protesting the centennial celebrations of the Republic of China to reflect their discontent. Their grievances include having their lands taken away and having their land serve as a nuclear waste disposal sites.
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