Under The Radar 10.08.12

Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2012 by Hong Hanh Dinh

A weekly compilation of under-reported events in Asia.

  • China’s ongoing 12th Five-Year Plan (2001-2015) includes an initiative to  rapidly develop a more sustainable, green economy, while promoting domestic consumption that will enhance its domestic market, particularly in the renewable resources industry. Currently, China is the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels, and the largest market for wind power.  
  • Disregarding the 2004 agreement to halt all official-level cross-border propaganda, North Korea sends thousands of propaganda leaflets over the heavily militarized border for the second time this year. Pyongyang criticized the South Korean defense ministry's "anti-Pyongyang" education program for its military, while praising pro-North Korean activists in the South.
  • Frank Hsieh of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is the highest-level opposition politician ever to visit China. The DPP have given mixed reactions and the Chinese state media have remained silent. Hsieh stated his visit was to “build mutual trust." 
  • China continues to closely monitor the water of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands as four more Chinese marine surveillance ships arrives on Tuesday. This was a response to the Japanese right-wingers attempt to enter the islands.
  • The South Korean government plans to run commercials domestically and abroad to defend its sovereightyclaim over the disputed Dokdo/Takeshima Islands. The increase in South Korean public relations is occurring against the backdrop of worsening tensions between the two countries after South Korea rejected Japan's proposal to jointly take the case to the international court. Government sources cited by Japanese media reported that Tokyo is "in its final stage of preparations to unilaterally take the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)."
  • President Lee Myung-bak and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev are collaborating together to build a gas pipeline through North Korea, linking the two nations. Russia agrees to protect the gas pipeline passage through North Korea from any threats. South Korea hopes that cooperation between Russia and North Korea will help ease tensions.  Lee and Medvedev believes this project will bring economic benefits to all three countries, increasing efforts to eventually bring peace to the Korean peninsula.
  • Taiwan joins the 36 countries that the US permits visa-free travel for tourism or business for 90 days. This privilege is not granted to China, who claims Taiwan as its territory. This response may signify US’s elevated stance against China by promoting self-governance to Taiwan, as well as returning the favor to Taiwan after the island lifted restrictions on US beef imports.

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