Under the Radar 12.3.12

Posted on Monday, December 3, 2012 by Henna Sharif

A weekly compilation of under-reported events in Asia.

  • More trouble was stirred up last week over China’s new passports, which highlights the territories that Beijing claims belong to the People’s Republic of China. These areas include India’s Arunachal Pradesh state and Taiwan, and the waters of Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, and Malaysia. Such actions by Chinese authorities continue to demonstrate China’s persistence in its claims over the South China Sea.

  • South Korean and U.S. intelligence are keeping a close watch on North Korea as it prepares to launch its own rocket. Satellite imagery has shown an increase in activity at North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launch Station (also known as the Tongchang-ri launch station), which was used in the unsuccessful launch attempt in April. Another launch attempt is predicted in the next few weeks.

  • China will launch a campaign for the study, promotion and implementation of the spirit of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) among its entire military. The General Political Department of the People's Liberation Army will send publicity teams to army units across the country to give lectures on the spirit of the congress, focusing on upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics and the important significance of the 18th CCP National Congress to the development of the Party, the country and the army.

  • South Korea’s nuclear envoy visited China to discuss the Korean Peninsula and North Korea. With the increased activity at a North Korean missile launch site, the talks will include a focus on China’s policy towards North Korea.

  • Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra survived a no-confidence vote orchestrated by her opponents in parliament who accused her of failing to crack down on graft. Yingluck was accused by the main opposition Democrat Party of overseeing corruption – particularly in a controversial government rice purchase scheme – and of being the puppet of her brother.

  • Pakistan, Afghanistan and China met at the second meeting of the Trilateral Dialogue. Issues discussed included the regional situation with a focus on Afghanistan, the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a counter-narcotics campaign, and the importance of continued dialogue for peace and stability in the region.

  • The United States welcomes China’s participation in U.S.-led joint naval Rim of the Pacific Exercise in 2014. The invitation appears intended to reassure China about the U.S. strategic pivot to the Pacific. “Cooperating with China to realize shared goals is important to the maintenance of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and central to our approach,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said.

  • Mynamar’s government immigration officials are conducting a census-like operation in the island village of Sin Thet Maw verifying the citizenship of the Muslims living in the village. This has been of concern for the Rohingyas, who are originally from Bangladesh and viewed as foreigners in Burma. However, President Thein Sein has promised to consider new rights for the Rohingya, as stated in a letter to the United Nations
  • Jump to TOP