Under the Radar News 10.21.11

Posted on Friday, October 21, 2011 by Jessica Drun

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • The Japanese delegation to the upcoming U.N. Climate Talks will propose a new international framework to guide greenhouse gas reductions after the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012. The new plan will include a transition period from 2013 to 2015 (the suggested year of adoption) that allows signatory countries to gradually work toward the voluntary targets set under the Cancun Agreement.

  • Nigeria has invested over two billion dollars in the development of three oil refineries in Indonesia. Indonesian state-owned oil company, PT Pertamina, will import crude oil from Nigeria and process it at these refineries, which are each expected to generate 300 barrels per day.

  • President Ma Ying-jeou raised the idea of reaching a peace agreement with China within the next ten years. Ma emphasized that such an accord would only be considered if backed by the popular support of the Taiwanese people and with the consensus of Taiwan’s legislature. Another precondition, according to Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, is the removal of the 1,600 missiles aimed at Taiwan.

  • China rebuffed Norway’s attempts to normalize political ties between the two countries. High-level contacts were severed by Beijing last year following the announcement that political activist Liu Xiaobo was selected as a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Chinese officials hold that Norway should demonstrate more “tangible efforts” at reconciling differences before any further reconsideration of normalizing relations.

  • Early next year, Japan and the United States will jointly undertake an energy experiment near the shores of Alaska. Oil and gas companies from both sides will cooperate in technology-sharing, as they work to extract methane hydrate, an alternative energy source, from deep under the seabed. Japan will conduct an independent venture later this year near Tokai. Previous research has indicated that the Earth’s methane hydrate supply may store between 350 to 3500 years of energy.

  • Experts believe that North Korea has substantially more uranium reserves than originally assessed. This information follows a report from a U.S. scientist, who was invited to visit North Korea’s uranium enrichment facility last year. The complex was completed in a year and half from essentially the ground-up, indicating to observers that the North Koreans may have long been investing in a uranium-based nuclear program and that there may be other unknown facilities.

  • India has extended a $500 million loan for infrastructure development projects in Burma, following the suspension of the Myitsone dam project. The move is seen as a sign that India is reinvigorating its “Look East” strategy and working to counteract China’s dominant presence in resource-rich Southeast Asia. India has also accepted visits from high-level officials from Vietnam to discuss improved bilateral relations and strategic ties.
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