Under The Radar News 04.16.12

Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 by Ai-Shan Lu

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia.

  • The North Korean ‘Greater Leader’, Kim Jong-il, reportedly ordered his successors to continue developing nuclear power, long-range missile and biochemical weapons in a note written two months before he passed away on December 17, 2011. In the secret note cited by the Korean media, Kim stated that “China is currently the closest country to us, but the one we [North Korea] should be careful of the most.”

  • The China-Africa Development Fund, which was set up in March 2007, reportedly shifted the focus of its investments from resources to infrastructure, manufacturing and agriculture. The change in focus is in line with Africa’s economic strategy to prioritize industrialization and urbanization. The fund also focused on the control of Namibia's Husab uranium project.

  • Following the success of the Burmese opposition party-National League for Democracy (NLD) in the National Assembly by-elections on April 1, Aung San Suu Kyi will take her seat in Parliament to attend the new session of the lower house on April 23.

  • According to a decree issued by China’s Supreme Court on April 9, courts can reject government demands to demolish housing if the compensation for residents is deemed unfair. The judicial interpretation would take effect on April 10 but it remains unclear “whether administrative bodies or courts are responsible for undertaking forced demolitions.”

  • A telephone survey released by Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs council (MAC) on April 12 showed that 32.4% of 1079 respondents favored “maintaining the status quo and making a decision later.” According to local media reports, the result of the poll suggested growing concerns about the pace of cross-strait exchanges.

  • Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma announced that India would allow foreign direct investment from Pakistan to boost bilateral trade after meeting with Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim on April 13. Pakistan will also lift restrictions on items traded across the land border at Attari-Wagah.

  • According to unnamed sources cited by the Japanese media, the United States contemplated Japan’s proposal to share expenditure on the development of a U.S. base in Tinian, one of the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific. Tokyo reportedly made the offer to fend off Washington’s request for Japan’s increase in the expenses of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.
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