A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia.
China and Central Asian countries sought further cooperation beyond the fossil fuel domain at the China-Central Asia Cooperation Forum on May 7. According to local Chinese media, former Foreign Minister of Tajikistan, Talbak Nazarov, and Deputy Consul General of Uzbekistan in Shanghai, Makhmudov Shukhrat, stated that “China can share its knowledge of solar and wind energy with Central Asian countries.”
India has decided to purchase 145 Ultra Light Howitzer guns from BAE Systems of the United States under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program to update its military hardware. The howitzers will reportedly be deployed along India’s high-altitude frontiers.
According to South Korean Trade Minister Bark Tae-ho, negotiations concerning a free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea, Japan and China will be conducted during a trilateral summit in Beijing on May 13. China and Japan have agreed to start negotiations whereas South Korea hopes to conclude a FTA with China first.
In the light of a national report released by the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources, the country has increased its oil and ore dependence. In addition, among the 200 cities monitored across the country, about 55% of the cities lack drinkable groundwater.
Chinese Ministry of National Defense sources said that China and Thailand would conduct a joint military training, codenamed Blue Commando 2012, from May 9 to 29 in Guangdong Province. The training focuses on anti-terrorism and aims to increase mutual understanding between the two countries.
China’s first deepwater drill rig operated by China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) in the South China Sea is reportedly ready to start production. According to the chief geologist of CNOOC Shi Hesheng, the area where the platform is stationed is believed to hold 30 billion cubic meters of gas reserves.
According to Japanese Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka, the government is expected to sign a General Security Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with South Korea. The two countries also negotiated the signing of an Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), which reportedly “would ensure the reciprocal provision of supplies, such as fuel, between Self-Defense Forces and the South Korean military.”
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.