Friday Five: November 30, 2012

China’s leadership on Hainan Island announced that police may begin boarding vessels that sail through EEZ’s in the South China Sea. In today’s Thoughts from the Chairman CSIS Freeman Chair Chris Johnson analyzes the challenges Xi Jinping faces in finding time to resolve domestic political challenges while also managing China’s foreign and security policy, including the territorial disputes with its neighbors. The East Asia Summit concluded last week with a divided ASEAN unable to come to consensus on how to respond to Chinese claims in the South China Sea.

South Korea’s Presidential election campaign is in full swing, as the voters will decide on the successor for current President Lee Myung Bak on December 19.

Conveniently, North Korea has once again entered the news cycle – with reports that the DPRK could begin a missile test within the next week.  Balancing engagement with accountability will be a challenge for any incoming South Korean leaders, and will also involve China. CSIS’s Bonnie Glaser and Brittany Billingsley have penned a timely new report that examines re-ordering Chinese priorities on the Korean Peninsula.

In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi criticized the government’s response to protests at Letpadaung copper mine in the town of Monywa. Security forces reportedly used water cannons and tear gas to disrupt the demonstration, highlighting the on-going problems with managing peaceful assembly under its new law.

Now all three of the major parties’ leaders in Japan have pledged to consider joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), following similar comments from LDP’s Abe and current PM Noda, Ishin no Kai Party leader Shintaro Ishihara also stated that they plan to join TPP negotiations if they should win the general election.  As cogitASIA readers will know, Japan still has significant structural hurdles to overcome in order to join the TPP negotiations.


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