Under The Radar News 04.23.12

Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by Ai-Shan Lu

A weekly compilation of underrepotred events in Asia.

  • The Global Times, which is a subsidiary of a flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee, suggested in an editorial that Bo Xilai, former Secretary of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, overestimated his political clout and that there were no intraparty power struggles since the “central government has the absolute authority to judge local practices.”

  • On April 19, India announced that the successful launch of Agni-V, a long-range (over 5,000 kilometers) nuclear-capable missile, was simply for “deterrence,” according to the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) Chief V.K. Saraswat. Chinese official media reportedly questioned the impact and the accuracy of the missile.

  • Japan guaranteed the Mekong region countries of Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam $7.35 billion in official development aid (ODA) after the 4th Mekong-Japan Summit on April 21. Additionally, the six leaders participating in the conference adopted Tokyo Strategy 2012 with the aim to strengthen cooperation in infrastructure establishment over the next three years.

  • South Korean military unveiled two domestically designed and produced missiles-the Hyunmu-3 cruise missile and the Hyunmu-2 ballistic missile. The Hyunmu-3, which has a range of 1,500 km, is claimed to be more accurate than the U.S.-made Tomahawk cruise missile while the Hyunmu-2 is limited to 300 km.

  • A survey released by the China Geological Survey shows that land subsidence in China has worsened due to an excessive reduction of the water table and the growing number of skyscrapers. According to the survey, land subsidence may imperil the country’s railway, especially the high-speed rail and increase the risk of urban flooding. It also points out that the most vulnerable areas include the North China Plain, the Yangtze River Delta and the Fenwei Basin.

  • Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou reportedly stated that Taiwan would pay attention to China’s human rights development as the administration presented its human rights report. However, according to local media, President Ma did not “commit to making human rights part of cross-strait negotiations.”

  • Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Thai Premier Yingluck Shinawatra held talks in Beijing on April 19 to promote trade and strengthen comprehensive cooperation between the two countries. They also discussed the regional high-speed railway network connecting southern China to Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
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