Asia

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.

South Korea joins US-Japan intelligence link

By Ben McGrath, 1 February 2016

Seoul’s decision will further integrate South Korea into Washington’s plans for an anti-ballistic missile system aimed against China.

US secretary of state demands China act against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 28 January 2016

Kerry threatened to expand the US military presence in Asia unless Beijing took tough measures in response to Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test.

US planning to keep military forces in Afghanistan for “decades”

By Thomas Gaist, 27 January 2016

The US military is planning on using Afghanistan as a launching pad for military operations throughout South and Central Asia, senior US military officials told the Washington Post.

Indonesian authorities seize on Jakarta attack to strengthen detention powers

By John Roberts, 26 January 2016

Beneath the cloak of combatting terrorism, Suharto-era measures are being revived in response to developing social tensions.

US think tank outlines master plan for war with China

By Peter Symonds, 26 January 2016

The CSIS report represents the voice of the vast American military establishment, which regards China as the chief threat to untrammelled US strategic dominance in Asia.

CSIS report: A blueprint for US war with China

By Peter Symonds, 25 January 2016

The study is a master plan for an accelerating arms race in Asia in preparation for a conflict that would draw in the entire region and the world.

Indian Stalinist leaders divided over alliance with big business Congress Party

By Arun Kumar and K. Ratnayake, 23 January 2016

For weeks, leaders of the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist) have been signalling their readiness to form an electoral alliance with the Congress Party for the West Bengal state elections.

Sri Lankan government tries to woo foreign investors

By Saman Gunadasa, 20 January 2016

The government’s “Sri Lanka Economic Forum” highlighted the country’s vulnerability in the deepening global economic downturn.

South Korea’s opposition splits ahead of general election

By Ben McGrath, 14 January 2016

The departure of Kim Han-gil and the creation of new opposition parties constitute attempts to head off discontent among South Korean workers.

Philippine Supreme Court declares US basing deal constitutional

By Joseph Santolan, 13 January 2016

The decision gives the legal green light for the deployment of US military forces to the Philippines, in direct confrontation with China.

China’s deep economic malaise

By Peter Symonds, 13 January 2016

The economic slowdown, which is exposing massive overcapacity and high levels of debt, is threatening to trigger an upsurge in the class struggle.

India-Pakistan talks may be derailed even before they begin

By K. Ratnayake, 13 January 2016

Whoever was responsible for the January 2 assault by armed gunmen on India’s Pathankot Air Force Base, its purpose was to scuttle the US-backed “dialogue” between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

Chinese markets continue to fall, amid mounting concerns over growth

By Nick Beams, 12 January 2016

The Shenzhen Composite Index has fallen by more than 20 percent so far this year, wiping off almost $1 trillion from share values.

US flies B-52 strategic bomber close to Korean border

By Peter Symonds, 11 January 2016

Washington has seized on the latest North Korean nuclear test to accelerate its military build-up in the region against China as part of the US “pivot to Asia.”

One year of Sri Lankan President Sirisena’s rule: Propaganda and reality

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 11 January 2016

The government is both intensifying the offensive against the working class and tying the country to the war plans of the United States.

South Korean union leader charged with sedition

By Ben McGrath, 9 January 2016

Not used since 1986, the charge of sedition represents a deepening of the Park government’s suppression of political dissent.

US, South Korea discuss deploying “strategic weapons”

By Ben McGrath, 8 January 2016

The stationing of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula would be a major escalation of the US military build-up in Asia, directed primarily against China, not North Korea.

North Korea conducts fourth nuclear test

By Peter Symonds, 7 January 2016

The test will heighten the tense situation in North East Asia generated by the Obama administration’s confrontational “pivot to Asia” against China.

Sri Lankan government moves to criminalise “hate speech”

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 January 2016

The planned new laws are an attack on the democratic rights of the working class, directed in particular against any person or party fighting for a revolutionary socialist perspective.

Indian prime minister visits Russia to consolidate relations

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 January 2016

While supporting the US “pivot to Asia” against India’s regional rival China, the Modi government is maintaining New Delhi’s longstanding ties with Russia.

Condemnations of Chinese flight in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 5 January 2016

Washington’s calls for restraint are in marked contrast to its escalating provocations to challenge Chinese claims in the disputed waters.

Vietnam accelerates military build-up, plans for war

By John Braddock, 5 January 2016

Vietnam is preparing to enter an imperialist war as an accomplice of the United States against China.

Indonesian foreign policy tilts towards the US and its allies

By John Roberts, 31 December 2015

Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, Indonesia has adopted a tougher approach to China, while at the same time seeking to avoid open confrontation.

Japan and South Korea reach agreement over comfort women

By Ben McGrath, 30 December 2015

The deal will be welcomed in Washington which has been pressing its two allies to mend their rift and collaborate more closely in the US “pivot to Asia” against China.

Seven confirmed dead in industrial landslide in Shenzhen, China

By Will Morrow, 30 December 2015

The response of the Chinese regime is aimed at diverting attention from the broader social and political implications of the disaster.

India’s Modi makes surprise visit to Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 29 December 2015

Modi’s Pakistan trip was a pragmatic maneuver aimed at placating Washington and shoring up the increasingly embattled Indian government domestically.

Dozens of Chinese miners killed in three accidents

By Ben McGrath, 29 December 2015

The callous disregard for the safety of miners, resulting in a series of mine explosions and cave-ins, is a product of the drive to cut production costs and boost profits.

Tamil People's Forum sets a new nationalist trap for Sri Lankan workers

By V. Gnana, 29 December 2015

The formation of the TPF is a shabby political maneuver to give a facelift to Tamil nationalist groups discredited by their support for the Sri Lankan government.

Six US soldiers killed as Taliban overruns Helmand district in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 22 December 2015

The suicide bomb attack on a US-Afghan patrol is symptomatic of the escalating crisis of the continued American occupation of Afghanistan.

Chinese industrial zone engulfed by waste landslide

By Peter Symonds, 22 December 2015

Rescuers are struggling to find those missing after a tidal wave of mud and waste toppled buildings and inundated an area of Shenzhen.

Slavery “pervasive” in global seafood supply

By Gabriel Black, 21 December 2015

A recent Associated Press report found that many leading seafood suppliers buy shrimp processed by slaves in Thailand working in horrific conditions.

Split looms in South Korea’s opposition party

By Ben McGrath, 21 December 2015

Ahn Cheol-soo’s departure from the NPAD indicates the party is in disarray amid falling approval ratings after years of anti-working class policies while in power.

Australia, Japan “strongly support” US, amid rising tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 19 December 2015

As Japanese and Australian leaders met in Tokyo, an American paper reported a US military intrusion into Chinese-claimed air space in the South China Sea.

Japanese premier forges ties with India to counter China

By Deepal Jayasekera, 19 December 2015

While currently proceeding under the aegis of the US “pivot,” Abe’s push for a closer partnership with India is driven by Japanese imperialism’s own substantial military-strategic and economic ambitions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 December 2015

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

US administration approves $1.8 billion arms sale to Taiwan

By Peter Symonds, 17 December 2015

The sale—the first in more than four years—provoked an angry reaction from China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade Chinese province.

Sri Lankan trade unions call off one-day stoppage

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 17 December 2015

From the outset, the unions sought to scuttle the strike, even as opposition mounted among workers to the government’s budget cuts.

India: Government negligence responsible for flood disaster

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 15 December 2015

Tens of thousands of people in the capital Chennai and across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu are yet to be rescued and properly assisted.

Weakening currency and economic slowdown in China

By Peter Symonds, 14 December 2015

The downward slide in the renminbi’s value threatens other Asian export-dependent countries and heightens the danger of a currency war.

Sri Lankan corporate giant sues environmental activist

By Vilani Peiris, 14 December 2015

The damages action is part of the record of big business and government suppression of opposition to industrial pollution.

Sri Lanka: A socialist program to fight budget cuts

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 14 December 2015

The trade unions have reluctantly called a one-day strike to deflect mounting opposition among workers and the poor to the government’s austerity measures.

UN report says Sri Lankan government terrorising families of the disappeared

By K.Nesan, 12 December 2015

The findings constitute a political indictment of the US-led regime-change operation that brought Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to power in January.

Court case begins in Japan over Okinawa base relocation

By Ben McGrath, 10 December 2015

Extensive protests have taken place against the construction of a new US military base in Okinawa.

Suu Kyi holds transition talks with Burmese military

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 10 December 2015

Having raised popular expectations during the November election, the NLD leader, like the military, is concerned over the potential for social unrest.

US to base spy planes in Singapore

By Peter Symonds, 9 December 2015

The basing of P8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft in Singapore foreshadows further provocative US activities against China in the South China Sea.

Tamil party complicit in detention of Sri Lankan political prisoners

By K. Nesan, 9 December 2015

The Tamil National Alliance functioned throughout the prisoners’ hunger strike as a servant of the government, deceiving the prisoners and their families.

South Korean workers and farmers denounce Park government

By Ben McGrath, 8 December 2015

Saturday’s protestors criticized laws that will increase the casualization of the workforce and demanded President Park’s resignation.

Chinese president seeks to shore up relations with Africa

By Peter Symonds, 7 December 2015

Like every part of the globe, Africa has been transformed into an arena for geo-political rivalry.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 December 2015

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

Bomb detonates at Japan’s war shrine

By Ben McGrath, 30 November 2015

No-one claimed responsibility for the blast, but given the Yasukuni Shrine’s role as a symbol for Japanese militarism, the bombing may have political motivations.

Mounting tensions between India and Nepal over blockade

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 30 November 2015

The detention of Indian border guards and protests in Kathmandu are the latest incidents in the unresolved standoff between the two countries.

India: Modi announces new wave of pro-investor reforms

By Kranti Kumara, 27 November 2015

In an attempt to kick-start India’s languishing economy, the BJP government has raised or outright eliminated foreign investment caps.

India: Heavy rains and floods kill over 100 in Tamil Nadu

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 21 November 2015

The flood situation in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu is an indictment not only of the ruling AIADMK but also the opposition DMK.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 November 2015

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

Obama demands China halt South China Sea activities

By Mike Head, 19 November 2015

In Manila for the APEC summit, Obama condemned China specifically, further escalating the confrontation over the South China Sea.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 November 2015

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

Burma’s “democracy icon” seeks talks with military

By Peter Symonds, 12 November 2015

Suu Kyi will collaborate closely with the army to implement their joint agenda—further pro-market restructuring and a closer alignment with Washington and its allies.

Suu Kyi’s party predicted to win Burmese election

By John Roberts, 7 November 2015

Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy represent a section of the ruling elite that were excluded from political and economic dominance by the military junta.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 November 2015

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

ASEAN defence summit divided over South China Sea dispute

By Nick Beams, 5 November 2015

Despite heavy lobbying, the US did not obtain overt backing for its actions in the South China Sea from a meeting of South East Asian defence ministers

Japan’s economic outlook worsening

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2015

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, is hovering on the brink of recession as quantitative easing fails to provide a boost.

Australia and China conduct joint naval exercises

By Peter Symonds, 3 November 2015

The joint operation in no way eases the tensions heightened by the US naval intrusion into Chinese-claimed territory in the South China Sea last week.

Indonesian authorities ban discussion of 1965 coup at Bali writers festival

By John Roberts, 3 November 2015

Police forced the organisers to cancel film showings and discussion panels referring to the massacre of over 500,000 people in the CIA-backed coup.

Leaders of Japan, China and South Korea meet in Seoul

By Ben McGrath, 2 November 2015

The lack of any reference by China to maritime disputes or Japan’s whitewashing of the crimes of its military in the 1930s and 1940s was a significant concession to Tokyo.

Nepal turns to China for fuel to counter Indian blockade

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 2 November 2015

The conflict engulfing the small Himalayan state is another illustration of the sharp geo-political tensions building up across Asia.

UN Tribunal to adjudicate South China Sea legal dispute

By Joseph Santolan, 31 October 2015

The tribunal’s ruling is a blow to China and strengthens the propaganda of Washington, which will use it to provide a legal fig leaf to escalate its war-mongering.

Internal tensions mount despite facade of Chinese leadership unity

By Peter Symonds, 31 October 2015

The Chinese Communist Party plenum this week occurred amid a continuing economic slowdown and Tuesday’s provocative US incursion in the South China Sea.

Sri Lankan plantation companies to tear up workers’ rights

By W.A. Sunil, 31 October 2015

The proposed “revenue sharing” wage formula is a major attack on the already low incomes, jobs and working conditions of plantation workers.

Chinese military warns against continued US operations in South China Sea

By Nick Beams, 30 October 2015

Pressure is set to intensify on Australia to take a direct part in the US naval operations.

Sri Lankan government boosts spending on security forces

By Saman Gunadasa, 30 October 2015

President Sirisena’s government is preparing an austerity budget that will make deep inroads into working-class living standards.

US military cabal organised South China Sea provocation

By Nick Beams, 29 October 2015

The US naval operation was the outcome of months of planning by the Pentagon, accompanied by a build-up of pressure on the Obama administration to authorise it.

NSSP leader backs US cover-up of Sri Lankan war crimes

By K. Ratnayake, 29 October 2015

At every point, the NSSP has followed in the footsteps of US imperialism, justifying Washington’s actions and giving credence to its bogus “human rights” posturing.

Washington’s South China Sea provocation and the spectre of World War III

By Peter Symonds, 28 October 2015

The entry of the guided missile destroyer USS Lassen into Chinese-claimed waters raises the danger of a military confrontation between two nuclear-armed powers.

Tensions soar internationally following US deployment in South China Sea

By James Cogan, 28 October 2015

The reckless calculation in Washington is that the Chinese regime’s diplomatic and military response to its provocative actions are nothing more than rhetoric.

US launches South China Sea military provocation against China

By Nick Beams, 27 October 2015

The brazen and aggressive character of the operation is underscored by the fact that it has been undertaken in the total absence of military activity against the US by China.

Indian trade unions shut down Kerala plantation workers’ strike

By Arun Kumar, 27 October 2015

There is growing anger among plantation workers across the southern Indian state of Kerala over the unions’ wage betrayal.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 October 2015

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

US, South Korean leaders hold summit

By Ben McGrath, 21 October 2015

The US is seeking to apply pressure to South Korea to pursue an agenda more in line with Washington’s “pivot to Asia” against China.

Chinese economy continues to slow

By Nick Beams, 20 October 2015

Although China’s third-quarter growth rate was the slowest since 2009, the real state of the economy may be even worse than presented in official figures.

Massive US-Japanese display of naval force

By Peter Symonds, 20 October 2015

The triennial fleet review staged in seas near Tokyo on Sunday was part of the US-led military preparations for new provocations against China.

Deadly haze from forest fires engulfs South East Asia

By John Roberts, 19 October 2015

The levels of air pollution this year will equal or exceed those of 1997, the worst fire season on record.

Tamil political prisoners in Sri Lanka launch hunger strike

By S. Jayanth, 17 October 2015

Hundreds of detainees, some of whom have never been charged, have vowed to fast until death to demand their release.

China slowdown continues as imports fall

By Nick Beams, 15 October 2015

Chinese imports have fallen by one fifth over the past year as credit-fueled growth slows.

Sri Lankan and Japanese prime ministers declare “comprehensive partnership”

By K. Ratnayake, 15 October 2015

The Colombo government is enmeshing Sri Lanka in the geo-political interests of the US and its allies, including Japan, directed against China.

“Artists have the capacity to expose the reality of war”

Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage speaks with the World Socialist Web Site

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 13 October 2015

Vithanage discusses With You, Without You and the political difficulties facing contemporary Sri Lankan filmmakers.