Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2011
by Isabella Mroczkowski
A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia
During Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent visit to Brunei--Southeast Asia’s third largest oil exporter--the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on energy cooperation. The leaders also discussed plans for a joint oil refinery development project worth $6 billion.
The Burmese military-dominated government reportedly reached a breakthrough in ceasefire negotiationswith two major armed ethnic groups, the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Shan State Army-South. The government reportedly offered the ethnic groups industrial zones, rights to freedom of travel for unarmed leaders, and other incentives for a cease-fire. These negotiations are the government’s latest attempt to end Burma’s 50 years of international isolation.
In what human rights organizations called a setback for political reform, Malaysia’s Parliament is set to pass the Peaceful Assembly Bill next month. The new measure will outlaw street protests and require a 30 day advance notification for all demonstrations.
Japan pledged to invest $26 billion for infrastructure construction in Southeast Asia. The official development assistance (ODA) paves the way for the development of a Southern Corridor connecting southern Vietnam with Burma.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino asked South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak for military assistance during the latter’s visit to Manila on November 20 - 22. President Aquino is seeking aircraft and naval ships to boost the country’s military capabilities amidst rising tensions with China in the South China Sea.
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