Asia

India rebuffs Pakistan’s “peace” overtures

By Keith Jones, 6 December 2016

India has demonstrably rebuffed Pakistan’s attempts to initiate a dialogue aimed at defusing the almost three-month-long war crisis between South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states.

SEP meeting in Colombo discusses Trump’s election

By our correspondents, 6 December 2016

Speakers explained the far-reaching and reactionary implications of Trump’s victory for workers and young people globally.

South Korean opposition sets presidential impeachment vote for Friday

By Ben McGrath, 5 December 2016

The largest protests in South Korean history took place over the weekend after a scheduled vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye was delayed.

Trump’s talk with Taiwanese president heightens US tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 5 December 2016

The phone conversation—the first between US and Taiwanese leaders since 1979—undermines decades of protocols based on Washington’s acceptance of the “One China” policy.

A new round of UN and US sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 3 December 2016

The punitive sanctions will not only raise tensions with North Korea, but also with China, which is its strategic ally and largest trading partner.

US Pacific commander visits Sri Lanka, praising new regime

By K. Ratnayake, 3 December 2016

PACOM chief Harris’s visit was part US efforts to boost military ties with Sri Lanka after President Maithripala Sirisena became president in early 2015.

Suu Kyi defends military crackdown on Burma's Rohingya Muslims

By John Roberts, 2 December 2016

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy is mired in anti-Rohingya chauvinism and opposed to the granting of citizenship rights to the Muslim minority.

South Korean president offers to resign

By Ben McGrath, 1 December 2016

President Park has lost support from nearly all sections of the political establishment, with even close supporters in her own party calling on her to step down.

US officials press Trump to tackle North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 30 November 2016

Former military chief Admiral Mike Mullen warned that the Korean peninsula was “more likely than anyplace else in the world to potentially create an explosive outcome.”

Deepening social crisis underpins South Korean protests

By Ben McGrath, 29 November 2016

The hostility to Park is being fuelled not only by allegations of corruption but more broadly by her government's attack on working and living conditions.

Sri Lankan workers and students discuss Trump’s election

By our correspondents, 29 November 2016

Many people were keen to discuss with SEP and IYSSE campaigners the shift in world politics reflected in Trump’s victory.

Nearly two million people demand South Korean president’s removal

By Ben McGrath, 28 November 2016

With a vote on President Park’s impeachment looming, last weekend’s protests are a sign of growing social and political discontent.

Chinese fears about Trump and the South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 28 November 2016

A Chinese think tank director warned that “strategic rivalry between China and the US is likely to continue over the South China Sea.”

Sri Lankan SEP holds meeting in Jaffna on the socialist alternative to nationalism and war

By our correspondents, 28 November 2016

Speakers explained the dangerous political agenda of the incoming Trump administration in the US and the necessity for workers and youth to mobilise on a revolutionary program.

US and Philippine militaries maintain “robust” ties

By Peter Symonds, 26 November 2016

US Admiral Harry Harris, head of Pacific Command, dismissed any suggestion that Philippine President Duterte’s anti-American remarks would derail the US-Philippine alliance.

Japanese quakes highlight danger of new catastrophe

By Mike Head, 26 November 2016

The tremors point to the lack of remedial, planning and precautionary measures taken by successive Japanese governments since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Election of Donald Trump foreshadows trade war in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 25 November 2016

Trump has not only sunk the Trans Pacific Partnership but called into question the entire basis of the post-World War II order in the Asia Pacific.

South Korean opposition parties call for President Park’s impeachment

By Ben McGrath, 23 November 2016

Another mass protest in Seoul on Saturday involving hundreds of thousands of people has continued to put pressure on Park to resign.

Sri Lankan president orders arrest of “inciters of racism”

By W.A. Sunil, 23 November 2016

Under the pretext of “curbing racism,” the government is preparing for a broader crackdown not only on opposition parties but against the working class.

Indian government’s demonetisation causes mass hardship and economic chaos

By Kranti Kumara and Arun Kumar, 21 November 2016

The true aim of the Indian government's demonetisation scheme is to shore up the country's fragile banking system.

Indian rail accident kills more than 120

By Arun Kumar, 21 November 2016

Sunday’s disaster is a direct result of poor safety standards and the run-down of essential maintenance throughout India’s extensive rail network.

Indian elite welcome Trump’s election

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 19 November 2016

India’s elite calculates Trump’s hardline positions vis-a-vis China and Pakistan will provide New Delhi with a strategic boost over its principal Asian rivals.

SEP public meeting in Colombo: The international implications of Trump’s election

By , 19 November 2016

The meeting will explain the political factors behind Trump’s election and outline the program of socialist internationalism that the working class must adopt.

Trump’s win provokes nervousness and bravado in Beijing

By Mike Head, 16 November 2016

While the Beijing regime is clearly anxious to reach an accommodation with Trump, it is preparing for an historic collision.

One million protestors in Seoul demand Korean president resign

By Ben McGrath, 15 November 2016

The pressure on President Park to step down is growing after the South Korean capital’s largest protest in 30 years.

Sri Lankan budget deepens austerity offensive

By Saman Gunadasa, 15 November 2016

The government has drastically increased taxes on working people while slashing funds for health, education and welfare.

Trump victory triggers uncertainty in Tokyo

By Mike Head, 14 November 2016

The initial conciliatory remarks between Trump and Abe cannot hide the heightened tensions between the two imperialist powers.

Philippine President Duterte continues US military basing deal, hails Trump election

By Joseph Santolan, 11 November 2016

The decision to continue the basing pact represents a reversal of previous statements by Duterte that he would “separate” from the United States.

Australian foreign policy strategists discuss US-China nuclear war

By Patrick Kelly, 10 November 2016

At a forum on “China’s rise,” former defence official Hugh White repeatedly warned of the danger of nuclear war.

Indo-Pakistan tensions escalate

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 8 November 2016

The ongoing clashes along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan highlight the dangerous standoff that has brought the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of war.

Beijing bars two Hong Kong legislators from taking their seats

By Peter Symonds, 8 November 2016

The Chinese regime fears that advocacy of independence for Hong Kong will fuel separatist movements in other parts of the country including Tibet and Xinjiang.

Mass protests call on Korean president to resign

By Ben McGrath, 7 November 2016

Park’s approval rating has fallen to 5 percent, the lowest of any South Korean president, as a result of the corruption scandal involving her personal confidante, Choi Soon-sil.

Sri Lanka: Deeside plantation workers form action committee

By our correspondents, 4 November 2016

The committee’s establishment is an important step toward breaking from the trade unions, which function as industrial police for big business and the government.

Malaysian prime minister forges closer military ties with China

By Peter Symonds, 3 November 2016

During his visit to Beijing, Prime Minister Najib wrote in the state-run media that former colonial powers should not lecture smaller countries over the conduct of their internal affairs.

Special envoy of Philippine President Duterte resigns in protest

By Joseph Santolan, 3 November 2016

The resignation of Ramos, a central figure in Philippine politics, highlights the extraordinary tensions caused by Washington’s drive to militarily encircle and subordinate China.

SEP public meeting in Jaffna: Imperialist war, Tamil nationalism and the fight for socialism

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 2 November 2016

The Tamil nationalist parties support Washington’s war drive in Asia and have pleaded for US backing to secure privileges for the Tamil elite in Sri Lanka.

South Korea’s president in crisis over corruption scandals

By Ben McGrath, 2 November 2016

Intense conflicts in ruling circles are behind accusations that President Park Gen-hye and her confidantes were involved in illegal activity.

Mine explosion in China kills 15 workers

By Peter Symonds, 1 November 2016

The mine disaster in southwest China took place as President Xi exhorted a conference of safety inspectors to improve safety standards and reduce industrial deaths.

Sri Lanka: New anti-terror measures lay foundations for police state

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 31 October 2016

While President Sirisena postured as a champion of democracy in 2015, Sri Lanka’s planned anti-terror act is a major assault on the basic rights of the working class.

US SEP presidential candidate addresses Sri Lankan audience

By our correspondents, 31 October 2016

Yesterday’s meeting in Colombo unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the socialist anti-war conference to be held by the US SEP in Detroit on November 5.

Philippine President Duterte says he wants US troops out of the country in two years

By Joseph Santolan, 27 October 2016

The abrupt shift in Manila’s foreign policy toward China is an expression of the immense geopolitical tensions stoked by Washington's policies.

China: CCP plenum on tightening party discipline signals inner crisis

By Peter Symonds, 27 October 2016

The Chinese regime confronts a slowing economy, mounting social and class tensions and Washington’s aggressive “pivot to Asia” aimed at undermining and subordinating China.

Terror attack on Pakistani police academy kills more than 60

By Keith Jones, 26 October 2016

The attack on the Balochistan Police College is said to be the deadliest terrorist attack ever mounted on Pakistan’s security forces.

General strike in northern Sri Lanka over police killing of students

By our correspondents, 26 October 2016

The death of two Tamil students is a continuation of the police-state methods developed during the war and now increasingly being used against working people throughout the island.

Sri Lanka assists India to isolate Pakistan by not attending SAARC summit

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 25 October 2016

The Sri Lankan prime minister has unequivocally backed the Indian government’s efforts to exploit the Uri military raid to undermine Pakistan and boost India’s great power ambitions.

Police murder of two Jaffna University students exposes Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists

By K. Nesan, 24 October 2016

The police murder exposed the Tamil nationalists’ collaboration with Washington and Colombo in setting up police-state forms of rule in northern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan plantation workers protest union wage deal

By W.A. Sunil, 24 October 2016

The union-plantation association deal locks workers into increased productivity rates for the next two years in exchange for a negligible wage rise.

Philippine president declares “separation from the US” during visit to China

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 October 2016

Duterte’s statements were met with bewilderment and consternation in Washington.

Police attack demonstration outside US embassy in Manila

By our reporter, 21 October 2016

Police violently assaulted the protest, despite the fact that it was led by Maoist front organisations allied to the government.

The autocratic record of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej

By Tom Peters, 20 October 2016

King Bhumibol, who is being glorified by the media and politicians around the world, supported one military dictatorship after another to suppress the working class and the poor.

Philippine president in China seeks to cement closer ties

By Peter Symonds, 19 October 2016

Duterte has signalled that he is open to closer military relations with China and Russia as he seeks billions of dollars in Chinese aid and investment.

Sri Lankan president warns of autocratic measures

By K. Ratnayake, 18 October 2016

Sirisena, who won office on bogus slogans of good governance and fighting corruption, has moved to halt even the limited actions of the Bribery Commission and police.

Thai military consolidates power as royal succession delayed

By Peter Symonds, 17 October 2016

Prem Tinsulanonda, a former head of the army and prime minister, has been appointed regent, with the full powers of the king, for an indeterminate period.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 15 October 2016

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Thai king’s death foreshadows instability

By Peter Symonds, 14 October 2016

Bhumibol’s death was greeted with a wave of nauseating accolades from heads of state and political leaders around the world.

Chinese soldiers protest over benefits in central Beijing

By our reporter, 14 October 2016

The Chinese Communist Party regime is clearly concerned that such protests could trigger wider unrest within the military, and more broadly with society.

Indian Stalinists aid BJP’s bellicose anti-Pakistan campaign

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 14 October 2016

India’s principal Stalinist party, the CPM, is playing a foul role in the reckless, bellicose offensive India’s ruling elite is mounting against its nuclear-armed arch-rival, Pakistan.

Sri Lanka: Chauvinist response to large Tamil protest

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 12 October 2016

The protest in Jaffna over the continued military occupation and abuse of democratic rights was denounced in chauvinist terms by the entire Colombo establishment.

US defence secretary announces “third phase” of military build-up against China

By Peter Symonds, 4 October 2016

Ashton Carter made clear that the US would sharpen its “military edge” in the Asia Pacific so as to remain the most powerful military in the region.”

Amid war crisis, Pakistani actors hounded out of India

By Kranti Kumara, 4 October 2016

The Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association has passed a resolution banning Pakistani actors, singers and technicians from Bollywood productions.

India and Pakistan teeter on the brink of war

By Keith Jones, 3 October 2016

In anticipation of a possible Pakistani counter-strike, or to facilitate their own war preparations, India is evacuating tens of thousands of people living near the border.

Amnesty International documents torture by Thai junta

By Tom Peters, 3 October 2016

The Amnesty report documents the brutal methods that will be used more broadly as opposition develops to the regime’s austerity measures and brutal repression.

Philippine President Duterte declares end to joint war games with the US

By Joseph Santolan, 1 October 2016

As Duterte has sought to pursue ties with China, Washington, using the pretext of human rights as a means to pressure the Philippine president, has criticized his murderous drug war.

Sri Lankan president at the UN prostrates himself to Washington

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 1 October 2016

The accolades he received simply reflected that fact that Sirisena has dutifully toed the US line against China since coming to power in January last year.

Sri Lankan regime, Tamil nationalists reject ex-LTTE members’ poisoning allegations

By K. Nesan, 1 October 2016

The Tamil nationalist parties, like the Sri Lankan regime and its imperialist backers, are desperate to cover up the crimes of the Sri Lankan civil war.

After Kashmir attack, US media threaten to support India in war with Pakistan

By Kumaran Ira, 29 September 2016

Washington’s anti-China “pivot to Asia” is fueling war tensions between Pakistan and India, which have escalated since Islamist militants attacked an Indian military base in Kashmir.

Workers’ strikes spreading throughout South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 29 September 2016

The South Korean working class is fighting against government-led attempts to cut wages in public and private businesses.

India launches campaign to “punish” Pakistan

By Wasntha Rupasinghe, 28 September 2016

The publicly announced steps India has taken against Pakistan are of a diplomatic and economic character. But behind the scenes feverish preparations continue for a lethal “counterstrike.”

Indian workers and students speak out against US war drive

By our correspondents, 28 September 2016

Indian workers and students discussed mounting global tensions and New Delhi’s role in the US military preparations against China.

Pakistan replies with belligerence to Indian threats

By Sampath Perera, 27 September 2016

The Pakistan Air Force conducted war exercises last week, including over the skies of the national capital, Islamabad, and on the highway connecting it to Lahore.

Workers and youth at Jaffna protest speak out against US-backed Sri Lankan regime

By Subash Somachandran and K. Nesan, 27 September 2016

There is growing anger among Tamil workers and youth against the Tamil nationalists’ support for US imperialism’s foreign policy and for its client regime in Colombo.

Japan scrambles fighter to intercept Chinese military aircraft

By Peter Symonds, 26 September 2016

While the Chinese planes were outside Japanese air space, the incident highlights the sharp tensions in North East Asia amid the ongoing US military build-up in the region.

Sri Lanka government raises VAT following IMF demands

By Saman Gunadasa, 26 September 2016

The increased taxes highlight the International Monetary Fund’s control over Sri Lankan financial and economic affairs.

Public meeting in Chennai, India: Oppose the imperialist war drive! Fight for socialist program!

By , 21 September 2016

The Indian government’s deepening involvement in the US preparations for war against China is occurring behind the backs of the Indian working class and poor.

War danger surges as India blames Pakistan for attack on Kashmir base

By V. Gnana, 19 September 2016

Seventeen Indian soldiers were killed yesterday morning in Indian-administered Kashmir when fighters assaulted a military base at Uri.

Japan to conduct South China Sea patrols with US

By Peter Symonds, 19 September 2016

Japan has no claims in the South China Sea but, like the US, is exploiting the territorial disputes to further its own interests in South East Asia.

Philippine foreign secretary says Manila will no longer be US “little brown brother”

By Joseph Santolan, 19 September 2016

As President Duterte downplays the South China Sea dispute with China, Washington is mounting a cynical “human rights” campaign to pressure the Philippines back into line.

Protesters continue to defy Indian state violence in Kashmir

By Kranti Kumara, 16 September 2016

India’s government is resorting to increasingly desperate measures to quell the popular protests that have convulsed the Kashmir Valley for the past ten weeks.

Death toll rises in Bangladesh factory fire

By Sarath Kumara, 16 September 2016

The Tampaco Foils disaster highlights the unsafe conditions and shoddy construction for which Bangladesh is now notorious.

Philippine president calls for US special forces to leave Mindanao

By Joseph Santolan, 15 September 2016

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s statements mark a further souring of ties between Manila and Washington under the new president.

American B-1 bombers send menacing warning to North Korea

By our reporter, 14 September 2016

The fly-past at South Korea’s Osan Air Base was also designed to send a message to Beijing to ramp up pressure on North Korea.

North Korea carries out fifth nuclear test

By Ben McGrath and Peter Symonds, 10 September 2016

The test comes amid escalating geo-political tensions in Asia as the US seeks to reassert its dominance, heightening the danger of war.

Separatist candidates win seats in Hong Kong election

By Peter Symonds, 8 September 2016

The new “localist” parties represent layers of the Hong Kong ruling elite who regard Beijing’s dominance as an impediment to their business interests.

Obama cancels meeting with Philippine President Duterte

By Joseph Santolan, 6 September 2016

The real source of the tensions is Washington’s increasing displeasure over Duterte’s failure to play his assigned role in the US pivot to Asia.

Opposition plots regime change in Maldives

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 6 September 2016

The US and its allies are hostile to President Yameen, not because of his record of human rights abuses, but his ties to China.

Obama and the US secret war in Laos

By Peter Symonds, 6 September 2016

Obama is the first US president since the Vietnam War to visit Laos, the scene of one of US imperialism’s bloodiest crimes, even as his administration is preparing new wars on a far greater scale.

Philippine president declares “state of lawlessness” after bomb blast

By Joseph Santolan, 5 September 2016

While stating that this was “not martial law,” Duterte told the press that the military would be “running the country.”

Rana Plaza disaster case postponed in Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 3 September 2016

The court delay further underscores the indifference of all sections of the ruling elite for the plight of garment workers.

War clouds overhang Obama’s Asian trip

By Peter Symonds, 1 September 2016

Obama will attend international summits in China and Laos amid escalating geo-political rivalries, particularly between Washington and Beijing.

Indian workers need a socialist strategy to oppose pro-investor “reform,” austerity and war

By Deepal Jayesekera, 1 September 2016

For the unions and Stalinist Communist parties, Friday’s all-India strike is a means of defusing social opposition and diverting it behind the big business political establishment.

North Korea tests submarine-launched missile

By Peter Symonds, 25 August 2016

The primary responsibility for escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula lies with the US and its military build-up throughout Asia aimed against China.

Nepal’s Maoist prime minister walks a tightrope between India and China

By W.A. Sunil, 24 August 2016

The political turmoil in the small landlocked country has been fuelled by rising US-driven geo-political tensions across Asia.

Over 1,800 extra-judicial killings under new Philippine government

By Joseph Santolan, 23 August 2016

The official figures—at least double the media estimates—reveal that Duterte has launched a crusade of mass murder under the guise of a “war on drugs.”

North Korean official defects as US pressure on Pyongyang intensifies

By Ben McGrath, 23 August 2016

Massive job cuts planned in South Korean shipbuilding industry

By Ben McGrath, 22 August 2016

Workers are bearing the brunt of the industry’s financial instability, while the trade unions work to prevent a unified struggle.

Japan prepares to expand military role abroad

By Ben McGrath, 17 August 2016

So-called humanitarian missions, as in South Sudan, are being exploited to further Tokyo’s remilitarization agenda.

Thai junta exploits bombings to clamp down on opposition

By Tom Peters, 16 August 2016

Thailand’s military regime has seized on last week’s horrific events to arrest political opponents.

Chinese-South Korean tensions rise over THAAD anti-missile deployment

By Ben McGrath, 15 August 2016

South Korea is lining up more explicitly with Washington and its war drive in the region, using North Korea’s nuclear tests as a pretext.

Chinese power plant explosion kills 21

By John Braddock, 15 August 2016

The incident at a coal-fired plant is the most recent of the industrial disasters that kill and maim thousands of workers and residents in China each year.

Philippine President Duterte delivers State of the Nation Address

By Joseph Santolan, 26 July 2016

Duterte’s speech was a repugnant mixture of proposals to assist big business in the exploitation of cheap labor and statements sanctioning the murder of alleged criminals.