Under The Radar 10.23.12

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 by Lucy Wen-Chin Lo

A weekly compilation of under-reported events in Asia.

  • The White House denied a report cited by Reuters that cleared Huawei of spying on the US. The report claimed that there was no evidence of the telecommunication company actively spying on behalf of China. However, the White House rebutted that no “classified inquiry” has been conducted so far that cleared any telecommunication company, including Huawei.

  • Ralls Corporation, a company controlled by Chinese engineering giant Sany, was blocked from a wind farm investment project in Oregon due to US national security concerns. Ralls has subsequently sued President Barack Obama and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) on grounds that the rejection was an act of discrimination and a political show.

  • After Malala Yousufzai – a teenage Pakistani rights activist – was shot by Taliban militants. Pakistani opposition party PML-N lodged strong criticism against the ruling coalition government for not adequately dealing with domestic militancy. A resolution was introduced for deliberation to the National Assembly in the hopes of forging more practical policies against Taliban militant forces.

  • Kim Han-sol, the 17-year-old grandson of Kim Jong-il, was interviewed by the former defense minister of Finland, Elisabeth Rehn. Kim is currently enrolled in the UN-sponsored United World College in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During the interview, Han-sol expressed how his international friends have expanded his worldviews and the dream of the unification of the Koreas. He also spoke of his early childhood in North Korea and Macau, explaining that he did not know his paternal grandfather was and never had a chance to meet him.

  • Following Myanmar’s (Burma) President Thein Sein and opposition parliamentary leader Aung San Suu Kyi visits to the US, the two countries made a step forward in bilateral relations by holding a dialogue over human rights issues in Nay Pyi Taw. The talk covered protection of labor rights, protection of civilians in conflict zones and humanitarian assistance to those regions. Implementation of the rule of law and matters related to prisoners were also included.

  • South Korean President Lee Myung-bak made his first visit to Yeonpyeong Island in a surprise move that officials say was intended to exert stricter military discipline on the front-line. President Lee expressed his firm stance on safeguarding the Northern Limit Line (NLL) for building peace in the region and the unification of Korea.

  • Japan declined to endorse the draft statement made by 16 countries to make atomic weapons illegal. The statement called on all states to "intensify their efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons and achieve a world free of nuclear weapons." Although Japan is the only country that suffered from atomic attacks, it is concerned that the initiative would affect its security arrangement with the US. According to Japan’s National Defense Program Guidelines, “as long as nuclear weapons exist, the extended deterrence provided by the United States, will be indispensable.”

  • Tamdrin Dorjee set himself on fire and died near the Tsoe monastery in China's north-west Gansu province. He is considered the grandfather of the seventh Gungthang Rinpoche, the reincarnation of an important religious figure to Tibetan Buddhists. “More than 50 ethnic Tibetans have set themselves on fire since such protests began in 2009.”

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