Asia

China prepares to send nuclear submarines into Pacific Ocean

By Peter Symonds, 31 May 2016

Chinese submarines will be deployed in an effort to prevent Beijing’s nuclear arsenal being wiped out in an American nuclear first strike.

Indian Stalinists abet US war plans against China

By K. Ratnayake and Keith Jones, 31 May 2016

The CPM’s opposition to the India-US basing agreement is a sham and a political trap, aimed at tying the working class to the Indian bourgeoisie, its parties and state.

Myanmar mine landslide leaves 14 dead, 200 missing

By John Braddock, 30 May 2016

Regular mining disasters are one aspect of the exploitation of the Burmese working class, on which the lucrative jade industry is built.

Indian warships enter South China Sea

By Deepal Jayasekera, 28 May 2016

While aggressively pursuing New Delhi’s own strategic ambitions, the Indian naval patrol is in line with the US “pivot to Asia” and preparations for war against China.

Australian election: Military spending is war preparation, not “industry policy”

By James Cogan—SEP candidate for the Senate in NSW, 26 May 2016

The greatest expenditure on hardware for the Australian military since World War II is being cynically portrayed as a public works program.

Obama appeals for closer US-Vietnamese ties

By Peter Symonds, 25 May 2016

In return for lifting the arms embargo, Obama undoubtedly extracted commitments from Hanoi to align more closely with Washington against Beijing.

Sri Lankan flood and landslide deaths continue to climb

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 25 May 2016

Apart from perfunctory warnings for the public to be “vigilant,” the Sri Lankan government took no serious measures to lessen the cyclone’s impact.

Dormitory fire kills 17 children in Thailand

By Tom Peters, 24 May 2016

The fire in a Chiang Rai school dormitory is the latest tragedy caused by the lack of proper building and safety standards.

Obama seeks Vietnam military ties amid rising tensions with China

By Bill Van Auken, 23 May 2016

Part of the discussions in Hanoi will involve the pre-positioning of US military hardware at bases used four decades ago to wage war on the Vietnamese people.

Spy plane “intercept” highlights US push for South China Sea confrontation

By Mike Head, 20 May 2016

Allegations that Chinese aircraft “unsafely” intercepted a US surveillance plane underscore Pentagon calls for a “trigger” for conflict with China.

Hundreds feared dead in Sri Lankan landslides and floods

By our correspondents, 20 May 2016

Disaster victims have blamed the government and other authorities for not providing adequate relief or moving residents to safe places.

Many dead or missing after landslides in Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 May 2016

Successive governments have done nothing to mitigate the death and destruction caused by annual monsoonal rains.

UN officials say torture is “common practice” in Sri Lanka

By Minusha Fernando, 18 May 2016

The revelations constitute a damning exposure of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government’s claims to defend democratic rights.

Duterte offers cabinet posts to Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 17 May 2016

The president-elect has vowed to restore hangings and not to back down on the country’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

US refuses to finance F-16 fighter jets for Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 16 May 2016

As tensions with Washington escalate, Pakistan has indicated it is looking for alternative jets from China and Russia.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 May 2016

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

Sri Lankan SEP holds successful May Day meeting in Colombo

By our reporters, 12 May 2016

More than 200 people joined the meeting, which was followed by the International May Day online rally.

War danger grows following new US provocation in South China Sea

By James Cogan, 11 May 2016

US imperialism continues to stoke up long-standing, competing claims over territory in the South China Sea to militarily encircle and destabilise the Chinese regime.

Sri Lankan police arrest scores of Tamil youth

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 11 May 2016

The repression of Tamil youth is another attempt to divide Sri Lankan workers along communal lines and follows Colombo’s agreement to impose more IMF cuts.

Fascistic candidate Rodrigo Duterte wins Philippine presidential election

By Joseph Santolan, 10 May 2016

Responsibility for the successful political career of Duterte rests with the anti-working class and nationalist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Sri Lankan government begins implementing IMF austerity demands

By Saman Gunadasa, 5 May 2016

The IMF bailout agreement is based on immediate steps to slash the budget deficit at the expense of social spending and working class conditions.

Maoist-backed, fascistic candidate leads Philippine presidential race

By Dante Pastrana, 4 May 2016

Duterte has pledged to summarily execute alleged criminals, kill union activists and block any political opposition by shutting down Congress and the courts.

May Day 2016: Oppose the drive to war in the Asia-Pacific

By James Cogan, 4 May 2016

James Cogan, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), delivered the following speech to the International Online May Day Rally.
LInk to audio

Malaysian investment fund default intensifies political instability

By John Roberts, 3 May 2016

The latest development in the 1MDB scandal is a further blow to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s hold on power.

May Day 2016: The political tasks facing the workers and toilers of the Indian sub-continent

By Wije Dias, 3 May 2016

Wije Dias, general secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), delivered the following speech to the International Online May Day Rally.

US senators demand escalation of military confrontation with China

By James Cogan, 2 May 2016

The rhetoric reflects the fact that major figures in the US political establishment are more than prepared to trigger a war.

Sri Lankan prime minister seeks financial help in China

By Vilani Peiris, 29 April 2016

Wickremesinghe’s visit to China underscores the magnitude of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and the geo-political tensions engulfing the region.

Under Chinese pressure, India cancels visa to Uyghur separatist Dolkun Isa

By Kumaran Ira, 28 April 2016

India canceled a visa for US-backed Uyghur separatist Dolkun Isa to attend a conference in Dharamsala.

India bullies Maldives into enhanced “defence cooperation” pact

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 28 April 2016

By cajoling the Maldives into a new defence pact, India provided the US with a demonstration of its potential as a “frontline” ally in confronting China.

US warplanes sent near disputed South China Sea reef

By Peter Symonds, 27 April 2016

The use of American ground attack aircraft and special forces helicopters near a Chinese-claimed islet was designed to send a menacing message to Beijing.

China debt levels reach record high

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2016

China’s debt levels have risen rapidly since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, with some analysts warning that the country may experience a “Lehman” disaster.

Indian air chief calls growing Chinese influence a strategic threat

By Kanda Gabriel, 22 April 2016

India’s alignment with Washington’s anti-China “pivot” is inflaming explosive military and national-ethnic tensions across South Asia.

US threatens harsh sanctions if North Korea conducts nuclear test

By Peter Symonds, 21 April 2016

The intensifying US pressure is not primarily directed at Pyongyang, but against Beijing, as part of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia.”

Earthquakes in Japan kill 42 people, injure 1,000

By Peter Symonds, 18 April 2016

The response of the Japanese government has been a military one—despatching some 20,000 troops as part of rescue and relief operations.

South Korea’s Democrats narrowly defeat ruling conservatives in national election

By Ben McGrath, 15 April 2016

The Minjoo Party of Korea’s victory is not an endorsement of their policies but a sign of frustration with deteriorating economic conditions.

The US to further expand its military presence in the Philippines

By Peter Symonds, 14 April 2016

As US-China tensions mount, Defence Secretary Carter signalled Washington’s intention to seek access to more Philippine military bases.

US defence secretary’s trip to Asia sets stage for new provocations against China

By Peter Symonds, 13 April 2016

Carter arrives in the Philippines to send a message to Beijing that the South China Sea is “a core American strategic interest.”

Australia’s prime minister to make state visit to China

By James Cogan, 13 April 2016

Despite the hype about exciting economic opportunities in China, Turnbull faces fraught issues on trade and Australia’s involvement in the US military buildup in Asia.

New civilian government installed in Burma

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 12 April 2016

Far from representing the dawning of democracy in Burma, the government is the outcome of a sordid power-sharing deal between Suu Kyi and the military.

Nepal tries to balance between India and China

By W.A. Sunil, 12 April 2016

New Delhi, backed by Washington, is seeking to ensure its dominant position in Nepal, as part of US efforts to undermine China in every corner of Asia.

Lockheed Martin offers to site F-16 fighter jet production in India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 11 April 2016

This offer, which could only be made at Washington’s urging, is part of the US drive to make India a “frontline state” in its military-strategic offensive against China.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 April 2016

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

US seeks to develop close military ties with Sri Lanka

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 8 April 2016

The US Seventh Fleet flagship’s visit to Colombo indicates moves by the Sri Lankan government to tie the country into US war plans.

Panama Papers highlight nexus between wealth and power in China

By Peter Symonds, 7 April 2016

Family members of current and former Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, have set up offshore companies in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands.

Oppose Indian government’s witch-hunt of JNU students

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Sri Lanka), 7 April 2016

The BJP government’s witch-hunt of the JNU students is part of a turn to authoritarian methods of rule.

Sri Lankan government imprisons Frontline Socialist Party leader

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 5 April 2016

Gunaratnam’s jailing is another warning of the anti-democratic methods that the government will use against political opponents and more broadly against working people.

US navy prepares third provocation in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 5 April 2016

Amid large US-Philippine war games, the Pentagon is preparing a new “freedom of navigation” operation to challenge China’s maritime claims.

Sri Lankan government presents phony “Right to Information” bill

By Rohantha De Silva, 4 April 2016

The legislation provides limited access to state information, while entrenching broad areas that will remain off-limits, including national security, diplomacy and economic activities.

Government-company negligence responsible for Indian flyover disaster

By Arun Kumar and Palash Roy, 2 April 2016

India’s political elite has turned a blind-eye to dangerous cost-cutting methods rampant throughout the construction industry.

Pakistan’s military expands its power in wake of Lahore terror attack

By Sampath Perera, 1 April 2016

Pakistan’s military has seized on last Sunday’s terrorist atrocity to implement plans for an “antiterrorism” offensive and to strengthen its authority over the civilian government.

Fresh corruption allegations undermine Malaysian prime minister

By John Roberts, 1 April 2016

The corruption scandal swirling around Prime Minister Najib Razak points to deep rifts in ruling circles produced by a deteriorating economy and rising geo-political tensions.

Japan’s security laws: Another milestone in the drive to world war

By Peter Symonds, 29 March 2016

The implementation of the military legislation is a major step in the revival of Japanese militarism, encouraged by Washington as part of its war preparations against China.

Japanese economy continues to show signs of faltering

By Ben McGrath, 29 March 2016

A negative interest rate introduced in January by the Bank of Japan has done nothing to promote economic growth.

Arrests follow call for Chinese President Xi’s resignation

By Peter Symonds, 26 March 2016

An open letter by “loyal Communist Party members” called on President Xi to resign all positions and blamed him for China’s “unprecedented problems and crises.”

Chinese government’s phony anti-poverty plan

By John Ward, 25 March 2016

The announcement at the National People’s Congress of a 43 percent increase in poverty alleviation funds is to deflect attention from growing social inequality.

Indonesia accuses China of encroaching on its territory

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 23 March 2016

Last weekend’s incident involving Chinese and Indonesian vessels is a sign of the acute tensions being generated by Washington’s intervention in South China Sea disputes.

India: Tata workers end strike after being isolated by the unions

By Arun Kumar, 23 March 2016

The trade unions, mainly those led by Stalinists, played a key role in pushing Tata auto workers to end the strike.

Sri Lankan parliament to draft new constitution to shore up capitalist rule

By Rohantha De Silva, 21 March 2016

Under the guise of “democracy,” the government is seeking to strengthen its hand to impose austerity and deepen its integration into the US “pivot to Asia” against China.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 March 2016

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

New Burmese president installed amid tensions with the military

By John Roberts, 17 March 2016

Despite Suu Kyi’s efforts to appease the generals, no deal was reached to allow her to assume the country’s presidency.

South Korea imposes extra sanctions on North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 15 March 2016

The South Korean sanctions go further than the recent UN resolution in strangling the North Korean economy and exacerbating Pyongyang’s political crisis.

Sri Lankan government refuses to release Tamil political prisoners

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 15 March 2016

The ongoing detention of hundreds of Tamil political prisoners is part of a broader government attack on democratic rights.

China: Thousands of coal miners protest over unpaid wages

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2016

The protests are a sign of the acute social tensions building up as the economy slows and the government prepares to axe millions of jobs.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold Jaffna public meeting on imperialist war and Tamil nationalism

14 March 2016

The meeting will expose the pro-imperialist stance of the Tamil nationalist parties and elaborate a socialist perspective to halt the growing danger of world war.

Sri Lankan government announces tax hikes before IMF loan talks

By Saman Gunadasa, 12 March 2016

The IMF-required austerity measures implemented by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will have a heavy impact on the living standards of workers and the poor.

Sri Lankan government to convert Western province into investment hub

By Minusha Fernando, 11 March 2016

The government’s “megapolis” project will see thousands of workers and low-income residents ejected from their homes.

As Chinese exports plunge

IMF issues new warning on global economy

By Nick Beams, 10 March 2016

The sharp fall in Chinese exports reflects a decline in global trade that has been expressed as well in US trade data.

Five years after Japan’s nuclear disaster, TEPCO executives charged

By Ben McGrath, 10 March 2016

As it seeks to reopen the country’s nuclear plants, the government is opposing even the limited charges of negligence in connection with the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

US-South Korean militaries rehearse pre-emptive strikes on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 8 March 2016

This year’s joint war games are based on a new operational plan that includes pre-emptive attacks on North Korean missile and nuclear sites and “decapitation” raids to kill its leaders.

Sri Lankan government prepares to sign economic pact with India

By W. A. Sunil, 4 March 2016

To divert rising social discontent, nationalist groups have stepped up a virulent anti-Indian campaign that serves to divide workers in the two countries.

Chinese government prepares to sack millions of workers

By John Ward and Peter Symonds, 3 March 2016

The emergence of huge overcapacities in China’s basic industries is intimately bound up with the continuing worldwide economic slump.

US, China agree to new UN sanctions on North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 1 March 2016

The draft resolution contains measures reportedly the strictest in 20 years and will further heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the region.

India: Tata Nano auto workers strike over suspensions

By Arun Kumar and Deepal Jayasekera, 25 February 2016

The Nano workers’ strike is a sign of the growing social unrest created by the deteriorating living and working conditions of workers throughout India.

South Korea whips up fears over North Korea’s nuclear program

By Ben McGrath, 25 February 2016

Seoul’s denunciations of Pyongyang come before massive war games with the US, designed to simulate a takeover of the entire Korean Peninsula.

India: Mounting death toll as army deployed to end caste-based job agitation

By Sarath Kumara and Keith Jones, 23 February 2016

For decades the Indian bourgeoisie and its political hirelings have manipulated and incited caste and communal divisions, the better to divide the working class.

US blocked talks with North Korea before nuclear test

By Peter Symonds, 23 February 2016

For seven years, the Obama administration has stymied any resumption of the six-party negotiations to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Sri Lankan Maoist party advocates “progressive Tamil nationalism”

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 22 February 2016

There is nothing progressive about Tamil nationalism, or indeed about nationalism in general, which only divides workers and blocks a unified struggle against war and austerity.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

20 February 2016

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

US condemns Chinese missiles in the South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 18 February 2016

Much of the US and international media coverage of the Chinese missile revelations is exaggerated and deliberately misleading.

US push on South China Sea falls short at ASEAN summit

By Peter Symonds, 17 February 2016

Obama’s failure to secure a tough statement against Beijing will not stop the provocative US freedom of navigation operations challenging Chinese maritime claims.

Economic problems mount in Japan and China

By Nick Beams, 17 February 2016

The latest statistics from the world’s second and third largest economies underscore the worsening world downturn.

A reply to Tamil nationalist slanders against the World Socialist Web Site

An Open Letter to TamilNet

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 17 February 2016

TamilNet’s claim that the WSWS is working with imperialism to facilitate genocide by the Sri Lankan state is a grotesque fabrication.

US military boosts anti-missile systems in South Korea

By Peter Symonds, 16 February 2016

Far from being a defensive move, the restructuring of US forces in South Korea is bound up with more aggressive war plans, agreed last year between Washington and Seoul.

Is the Indian Stalinist CPM heading for a split?

By Arun Kumar and Deepal Jayasekera, 16 February 2016

India’s principal Stalinist party is bitterly divided over whether to ally with the Indian bourgeoisie’s traditional party of government, the Congress, to contest elections in West Bengal.

Japanese PM pushes to remove constitutional constraints on military

By Ben McGrath, 15 February 2016

Far from backtracking from last year’s unconstitutional military laws, Abe is pressing forward with long-held plans for wholesale constitutional revision.

US prepares harsh new sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 12 February 2016

Washington and its allies are escalating a dangerous confrontation with Pyongyang following its recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

International investigations fuel Malaysian corruption scandal

By John Roberts, 11 February 2016

The government’s attempt to bury the protracted 1MDB scandal last month has floundered amid damaging new revelations.

Japanese bond rate goes negative as bank shares tumble

By Nick Beams, 10 February 2016

All eyes in global financial markets will be on Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen as she delivers testimony to the US Congress Wednesday.

Earthquake in Taiwan leaves over 100 killed and missing

By Ben McGrath, 10 February 2016

The lack of earthquake safety measures contributed to the collapse of an apartment complex and the subsequent deaths.

Sordid horse-trading over next Burmese president

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 9 February 2016

“Democracy icon” Suu Kyi is in closed-door talks with the military to secure the presidency in return for handing more political posts to the generals.

Unions preparing to shut down Pakistan airline workers strike

By Sampath Perera, 9 February 2016

As the militant strike of 14,000 Pakistan International Airlines workers enters its second week, the unions are maneuvering to shut it down.

Bangladesh tea estate workers oppose government’s land seizures

By Wimal Perera, 9 February 2016

The government wants the land in order to expand the number of cheap labour Economic Zones.

Top US general confirms Pentagon plans for permanent combat role in Afghanistan

By Thomas Gaist, 8 February 2016

Statements from the commander in Afghanistan are the latest in a series of acknowledgements by US officials that the American military is planning a permanent occupation of the country.

North Korean satellite launch heightens US-China tensions

By Peter Symonds, 8 February 2016

Washington immediately seized on the launch to intensify pressure on Beijing for tougher sanctions on Pyongyang and accelerate the US military build-up in Asia.

Sri Lanka: Plantation unions suppress struggle for wage rise

By M. Thevarajah and W. A. Sunil, 6 February 2016

The trade unions are promoting the illusion that the government will force the companies to grant a 2,500-rupee ($17) increase in the monthly wage.

The Ezubao scam: A sign of deeper problems in China’s financial system

By Peter Symonds, 5 February 2016

Ezubao was part of the largely unregulated peer-to-peer online finance industry that has drawn in millions of small investors with the offer of high returns.

India steps up pressure on Nepal

By W. A. Sunil, 5 February 2016

The conflicting signals over whether Nepal’s prime minister will first visit India or China reveals a political crisis exacerbated by India’s US-backed intervention.

Open leadership row at Vietnam’s ruling party congress

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 3 February 2016

While General Secretary Trong may be more cautious than his rival about embracing US imperialism, Vietnam’s leadership will continue the tilt to Washington.

Maldives government releases former president

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 2 February 2016

The strategically-located island archipelago has increasingly become a focal point of Washington’s “pivot” to the Indo-Pacific region to confront China.

US navy carries out provocative operation in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 1 February 2016

Washington’s actions are deliberately confrontational and reckless, raising the danger of a military clash with China.