Under the Radar News 06.02.12

Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Ai-Shan Lu

A weekly compilation of events in Asia.

  • The Indian government has selected the French Rafale aircraft for its 126 fighter plan. The decision to go with Rafale instead of the Eurofighter Typhoon came as a disappointment to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who claimed that the Eurofighter is “superior” to Rafale. Consequently, his administration will try to encourage India to reconsider the deal with Dassault, which produces Rafale.

  • Wukan, a small finishing village in Guangdong Province, held an election by on February 3, 2012 in order to settle disputes between villagers and local officials over disputed land deals. The election was generally viewed as a potential sign of China’s grass-roots political reform.

  • Thailand has become the first country to support Twitter’s controversial new censorship policy. Social media giant, Twitter, announced last week that it will impose country-specific censorship on tweets that violate local laws. Thailand enforces some of the strictest censorship laws in the world to prevent defamatory or threatening comments on the royal family.

  • As Iran’s second largest oil client after China, India rejected calls for sanction against Iran. Moreover, a business group from India will reportedly be sent to Tehran to discuss how India can increase exports so as to pay for its growing oil demand.

  • According to the data released by the General Statistics Office in Hanoi, Vietnam’s trade deficit decreased in January 2012 from December 2011. Analyst believe that the improving trade balance may increase confidence in the Vietnamese currency (dong). Central bank Governor Nguyen Van Binh said that “Vietnam targets a balance-of-payments surplus of $3 billion in 2012 and enough foreign-exchange reserves to cover 12 to 15 weeks of imports by 2015.”

  • The local government in Okinawa is reportedly stepping up effort to develop closer economic ties with China. A Japan-China friendship association in Okinawa Prefecture and the Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Inner Mongolia agreed to promote the cause of rare earth metals in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Local officials in Okinawa hope the collaboration will attract more high-techs companies to build manufacturing plants in the prefecture.
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