Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012
by Ai-Shan Lu
A weekly compilation of events in Asia.
China’s largest oil producer, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), is increasingly concerned about political risks in the Midler East and North Africa. CNPC is reportedly establishing an industrial park in Dubai’s “Free Zone.” According to the Chinese media: “CNPC will use the park as an equipment store in the event of an emergency withdrawal from the Middle East and North Africa.”
According to the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council, global wind power generation capacity has surged 21% from a year before and at the current rate it will surpass global nuclear power output within five years. Even though faced with severe economic conditions, developing countries in Asia, South America and Africa have increased their wind power capacity in 2011 and so did Germany and Britain.
On February 21, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik informed members of the Sindh (Bhutto's home province) Assembly that former president Pervez Musharraf would be arrested to face trial in the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assassination case.
During the meeting of Group of 20 (G-20) finance ministers in Mexico City on February 26, India proposed establishing “BRICS Development Bank,” which will be funded by developing countries since existing multilateral lending bodies have not funded developing nations effectively.
The free trade agreement between South Korea and the United States (KORUS-FTA) will go into effect on March 15. Yet, controversies remain among South Koreans as protests against the agreement continue. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak argues that the FTA will increase exports to the United States and create more jobs; however, opposition parties said that the deal will hurt the country’s rural economy.
Taiwan’s Navy confirmed that a domestic submarine program will begin next year. The Navy reportedly sought support for the budget from legislators in the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. According to the local media, three countries have expressed interest in either helping Taiwan manufacture its own submarine prototype or selling ships recently decommissioned from their own fleets.
Beijing’s preferred candidate for Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Henry Tang, is facing growing public pressure to end his political campaign after it was revealed that he leased a luxury property in Shenzhen without declaring it to the Executive Council. Tensions between Hong Kong people and mainlanders have intensified this year as the election heats up.
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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.