Asia

Indian budget tabled amid demonetisation shock, mounting economic uncertainty

By Kranti Kumara, 3 February 2017

Ignoring mass joblessness and plunging exports and business investment, Finance Minister Jaitley claimed India is the “bright spot on the world economic landscape.”

Former Sri Lanka president intensifies efforts to resume power

By K. Ratnayake, 3 February 2017

The escalating conflict reflects deepening political instability within the ruling elite.

India: Tamil Nadu police brutally attack Jallikattu protesters

By Arun Kumar and Yuvan Darwin, 1 February 2017

Indian authorities were taken aback by the mass character of the protests, which had erupted outside the traditional political parties.

Sri Lanka: Pseudo-left NSSP celebrates alliances with capitalist parties

By Pani Wijesiriwardane, 1 February 2017

The NSSP has intensified its campaign to defend the current government as the government implements the IMF’s austerity demands and faces growing opposition from workers.

Senior Chinese military official warns of rising danger of war

By Peter Symonds, 31 January 2017

The remarks reflect growing concerns in the Chinese regime over the bellicose remarks of Trump and his advisers toward Beijing.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 January 2017

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

Central Bank governor says Sri Lankan economy “hospitalised”

By Saman Gunadasa, 27 January 2017

The bank chief, whose remarks exposed the depth of the country’s economic crisis, urged the government to step up IMF austerity measures.

Trump threats on South China Sea heighten risk of nuclear war

By Peter Symonds, 25 January 2017

The only means of barring China from access to its islets in the South China Sea is a naval and air blockade, an act of war.

Philippine President Duterte threatens martial law

By Joseph Santolan, 25 January 2017

Duterte warned that he would impose military rule to “complete the slaughter” in his war on drugs.

Former US ambassador advocates American military bases on Taiwan

By Peter Symonds, 19 January 2017

Bolton is among those militarist layers who regard conflict with China as inevitable.

Nepal-China military exercises: Another sign of rising geo-political rivalry

By W.A. Sunil, 18 January 2017

India considers increased military cooperation between China and Nepal will further undermine its influence in Kathmandu and a threat to its strategic ambitions.

Japan and Australia strengthen ties ahead of Trump’s inauguration

By Peter Symonds, 17 January 2017

In pursuing aggressive “America First” trade measures, Trump threatens the economic interests not only of China but also of close allies such as Australia and Japan.

Trump again threatens to tear up One China policy

By Peter Symonds, 16 January 2017

China rejected Trump’s remarks declaring that the “One China” principle was the political foundation of China-US relations and was “non-negotiable.”

Former Australian prime minister denounces Trump over China

By James Cogan, 16 January 2017

Paul Keating stated that a Trump administration threatened to “involve Australia in war with China.”

China and Russia to counter US anti-missile systems in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 14 January 2017

While nominally directed against North Korea, the THAAD deployment in South Korea is part of the US military buildup in Asia for war against China and Russia.

Government and employers attack striking apparel workers in Bangladesh

By Wimal Perera, 13 January 2017

The repression is aimed at preventing a broader eruption by workers against their appalling living and working conditions.

Taiwanese president meets senior Republicans, fuelling US-China tensions

By Peter Symonds, 12 January 2017

To underline Beijing’s concerns about closer US ties with Taiwan, the Chinese navy sailed its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, through the Taiwan Strait.

Public anger in China as smog crisis continues

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 January 2017

The government fears that the air pollution disaster will become a focal point for broader discontent.

US defence secretary threatens to shoot down any North Korean missile

By Peter Symonds, 11 January 2017

Trump’s propensity for recklessness and militarism will only heighten the danger of conflict on the Korean Peninsula, one of the world’s most dangerous flash points.

Former Sri Lankan president threatens to topple government

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 10 January 2017

Rajapakse hopes to return to power in 2017 by exploiting the growing political and economic crisis facing the government.

Trial of Jakarta governor signals wider political turmoil in Indonesia

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 9 January 2017

The campaign against Basuki is a sign of sharpening rivalry among Indonesia’s political elites, amid growing economic uncertainty and a widening social gulf between rich and poor.

Trump’s coming confrontation with China

By Peter Symonds, 7 January 2017

No longer having the economic muscle to lay down the international trade rules, the US has begun a dramatic military build-up in Asia to assert its dominance, even if that leads to war with China.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 January 2017

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

Indonesian military suspends “cooperation” with Australia

By James Cogan, 6 January 2017

The incident sheds light on the deep concerns in the Indonesian military over the prospect of the country becoming embroiled in a confrontation between China and the US.

Impeachment trial of South Korean president begins

By Ben McGrath, 5 January 2017

Key witnesses in the proceedings have been called to testify Thursday and next Tuesday, with a decision likely this or next month.

Trump’s provocative tweets over North Korean missile threat

By Peter Symonds, 5 January 2017

Trump’s tweets are a further indication that he intends to put North Korea high on his foreign policy agenda as another means of exerting pressure on China.

At least 23 dead, 17 missing in Indonesian ferry disaster

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 January 2017

The tragic toll from the accident appears to have been caused by overcrowding, a lack of life jackets and other lax safety practices.

Russia proposes joint military exercises with the Philippines in the South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 4 January 2017

The proposal was made as two Russian warships visited the Philippines in the first official navy-to-navy contact between the two countries.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

31 December 2016

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

To target China, US further enhances military-strategic alliance with India

By Keith Jones, 15 December 2016

The last days of the Obama administration have seen a concerted, bi-partisan drive of the American political elite and the Pentagon to further cement the Indo-US “global strategic partnership.”

Sri Lankan SEP and Deeside Workers Action Committee call meeting to defend plantation workers

15 December 2016

The meeting will discuss a program to defend plantation workers’ jobs, wages and social rights.

Sri Lankan unions agree to impose share-cropper system on plantation workers

By W.A. Sunil, 15 December 2016

The new collective agreement is a prelude to a productivity-based payment regime proposed by the plantation companies.

Sri Lankan port minister threatens to sack striking workers

By our reporters, 14 December 2016

The government’s repression of the Magampura Port workers is a warning to the whole working class.

China reproaches Trump over Taiwan stance

By Peter Symonds, 13 December 2016

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman warned that US-China cooperation was “out of the question” if Trump interfered with the One China policy.

Trump endorses Duterte’s murderous drug war in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 13 December 2016

Trump’s call to Duterte was not just to shore up damaged relations with an ally against China, it expressed Trump’s enthusiasm for police state measures within the US.

Human toll rises after Indonesian earthquake

By John Braddock, 13 December 2016

A hundred people are dead and nearly 84,000 displaced in the worst disaster to hit Aceh since the 2004 tsunami.

Trump threatens to overturn One China policy

By Peter Symonds, 12 December 2016

By placing a question mark over US-China relations, Trump is recklessly compounding rising uncertainty in Asia and around the world, as well as the threat of war.

Sri Lankan government sends navy to suppress striking port workers

By our reporters, 12 December 2016

The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government has sent a message to the entire working class that it will use police-military methods to suppress their struggles.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 December 2016

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

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

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

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.