A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario once again rejected China’s historical claim on the Scarborough Shoal—also known as Huangyan Island—in the disputed South China Sea. If tension in the Scarborough Shoal worsens, Secretary del Roario said that Manila may consider asking the United Nations General Assembly to intervene.
On April 25, Pakistan announced the successful launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile Hatf, IV Shaheen-1A, which is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads. According to the Indian press, Islamabad had informed New Delhi of the missile test in the Indian Ocean in accordance with a May 2005 agreement concerning pre-notification of flight testing of ballistic missiles.
According to the South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, there is sign that North Korea will launch another rocket. The North Korean Outer Space Technology Committee claims that it has identified the reason for the failed launch on April 13. An unnamed expert cited by the Korean press questioned the assertion since “it takes 10 to 12 months to analyze causes of the launch failure and find solutions.”
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou stated that his administration will relax restrictions on Chinese students’ enrollment at Taiwanese schools to encourage cross-Strait developments. Ma reportedly said that “freedom, democracy and human rights are core values celebrated by Taiwanese and he urged China to work harder to ‘move closer’ to Taiwan in those areas.”
Hong Kong Chief Executive-elect C.Y. Leung announced the "zero quota" proposal to restrict women from mainland China from giving birth in Hong Kong’s public hospitals unless they are married to Hong Kong citizens. Private hospitals agreed to follow suit.
An addition of about 310,000 square kilometers to Japan's continental shelf has been approved by the United Nations' Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The newly claimed oceanic territory mainly in the Shikoku Basin Region and the Ogasawara Plateau Region reportedly may have rare metals and manganese.
China and Russia is strengthening military cooperation. During a six-day joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea from April to 22 to 27, seven Russian ships and 16 Chinese naval vessels with two submarines reportedly participated in the drills.
Please note that the opinions expressed by AsiaEye bloggers are theirs alone, and do not reflect the official positions of the Project 2049 Institute.
About the Project 2049 Institute
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.