Asia

North and South Korea agree to ease tensions following high-level talks

By Ben McGrath, 26 August 2015

With the US applying immense pressure to the North Korean regime, recent events demonstrate how a relatively minor episode can escalate rapidly into armed conflict.

Britain’s Financial Times hails Sri Lankan election result

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 26 August 2015

The Financial Times editorial is a damning indictment of the Sri Lankan pseudo-left organisations that sided with the pro-US UNP in the election.

Economic turmoil heightens infighting in Chinese regime

By Peter Symonds, 25 August 2015

A New York Times article highlights concerns in Washington over the danger of political turmoil in Beijing and the degree to which global capitalism is dependent on China.

Worker killed in another Chinese factory explosion

By Ben McGrath, 25 August 2015

This latest incident in Shandong province drives home the disregard for safety in China’s factories in the pursuit of profit.

Tensions remain high on Korean Peninsula

By Ben McGrath, 24 August 2015

Despite talks between North and South Korea, both sides continue to issue threats and counter-threats.

North and South Korea exchange artillery fire across border

By Ben McGrath, 21 August 2015

The hostilities follow weeks of accusations and counter-accusations since two South Korean soldiers were maimed by landmines.

China: Details emerge of safety violations and corruption in Tianjin

By James Cogan, 21 August 2015

The warehouse that exploded was only able to operate because of the owners’ political connections.

Chinese official, company managers under investigation after Tianjin disaster

By James Cogan, 19 August 2015

China’s national director of the State Administration of Work Safety, Yang Dongliang, has been removed from his position.

Thai junta exploits Bangkok bombing

By Tom Peters, 19 August 2015

While the perpetrator of Monday’s attack has not been identified, the US-backed military regime is using it as a pretext to mobilise the armed forces and intimidate opponents.

Japan contracts as world economy lurches toward depression

By Barry Grey, 18 August 2015

The Japanese report followed a wave of negative data pointing to sharply slower growth in China and last week’s surprise devaluation of the renminbi.

Chinese regime seeks to censor outrage over Tianjin disaster

By James Cogan, 18 August 2015

A major reason for the popular anger is the reality that a catastrophe of similar or greater dimensions could occur any day, in any number of Chinese cities and towns.

Japanese PM’s speech on World War II riddled with duplicity

By Peter Symonds, 17 August 2015

Abe’s speech maintained a veneer of pacifism and contrition even as his government expands Japan’s military forces and prepares for new wars.

China: More than 50 dead in Tianjin factory explosion

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 August 2015

The Chinese regime has responded nervously to the disaster, which is intensifying its political crisis.

Explosion wreaks destruction in Chinese city of Tianjin

By James Cogan, 13 August 2015

The Tianjin explosion is the latest in the continuous stream of industrial disasters that kill and maim thousands of Chinese workers.

Protesters denounce military legislation as Japan marks anniversary of nuclear bombings

By Ben McGrath, 11 August 2015

A Nagasaki survivor recounted the horrors of the blast and denounced Prime Minister Abe’s moves to amend Japan’s post-World War II constitution.

Australian Federal Police aid Sri Lankan unit implicated in torture

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 August 2015

The AFP has provided equipment and training to Sri Lanka’s CID, long accused of kidnappings and human rights abuses.

Flooding across South Asia affects millions of people

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 August 2015

Monsoonal downpours have created a humanitarian disaster, with the most impoverished and oppressed people among the worst affected.

Australian government announces $89 billion naval expansion

By Peter Symonds, 5 August 2015

The naval build-up is an integral part of the military preparations by the US and its allies throughout Asia for war against China.

Manifesto of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) for the 2015 general election

Against war and austerity! Fight for a workers’ and peasants’ government and a socialist program!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 3 August 2015

The SEP’s campaign aims to mobilize workers and youth in opposition to war and attacks against democratic rights, on the basis of socialist internationalism.

Sri Lanka: SEP campaigns against evictions in Colombo

By our correspondents, 31 July 2015

SEP candidates spoke in Wanathamulla, where residents have been the target of government “slum eviction” operations.

The international significance of the Sri Lankan general election

By Peter Symonds, 28 July 2015

The political crisis in Sri Lanka is an acute expression of the breakdown of global capitalism, which is fueling bitter geo-political rivalries and social counterrevolution against the working class.

Amid ongoing protests, Japan’s upper house to discuss military bills

By Ben McGrath, 27 July 2015

According to opinion polls, more than 60 percent of the population opposes security legislation that allows Japan to take part in US-led wars.

Socialist Equality Party campaigners win support in Sri Lanka’s plantation district

By our correspondents, 27 July 2015

SEP supporters spoke with workers and youth in the Nuwara Eliya district who expressed deep opposition to the establishment parties and the trade unions.

Further revelations in South Korean hacking scandal

By Ben McGrath, 25 July 2015

Suspicions that the NIS spied on political opponents continue to grow as more information comes to light.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 25 July 2015

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

Japanese government ramps up tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 23 July 2015

By demanding a halt to China’s oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea, Tokyo is adding another potential flashpoint for conflict with Beijing.

Japan competes with China over port investment in Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 22 July 2015

In line with the US “pivot,” Japan hopes that its Bangladesh investments will boost its political weight in South Asia and undercut Chinese influence.

Veteran filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki denounces government plans to remilitarise Japan

By Richard Phillips, 21 July 2015

Miyazaki’s denunciations of the Abe government are another indication of widespread anti-war sentiment in Japan.

Chinese state banks commit $200 billion to stem market selloff

By Nick Beams, 20 July 2015

The massive bank intervention was one of a series of measures initiated by the government and financial authorities to halt the plunge in share values.

Japanese government pushes militarist legislation amid mass protests

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 July 2015

The passage of the laws marks a further stage in the militarist “reinterpretation” of Japan’s nominally pacifist constitution.

South Korea’s intelligence agency purchased spyware from Hacking Team

By Ben McGrath, 16 July 2015

The latest revelation further underscores the anti-democratic character of the South Korean state and its spy agencies.

Socialist Equality Party fields 43 candidates in Sri Lankan general elections

By our correspondent, 16 July 2015

The SEP’s election slates are headed by leading party members with long-standing records of fighting for socialist internationalism.

Australian Greens senator talks of war with China

By James Cogan, 15 July 2015

Scott Ludlam epitomises the cynical manner in which a layer of the Greens occasionally pose as “left” and “anti-war.”

Sri Lanka: SEP meeting defends victimised plantation workers

By our correspondents, 15 July 2015

Central hills plantation workers attend SEP public meeting in defiance of ongoing union and police harassment.

Washington’s hypocritical denunciations of Chinese “land reclamation” in the South China Sea

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 July 2015

The outposts of Vietnam and other claimants in the region cover a far broader expanse than those of China.

Report urges closer US-Australian military collaboration against China

By Peter Symonds, 14 July 2015

The joint US-Australian think tank report documents the extent to which Australia has already become a major base of operations for the US military in Asia.

Malaysian prime minister engulfed in corruption scandal

By John Roberts, 11 July 2015

The Wall Street Journal allegations have fanned a crisis that threatens Najib’s political position and could destabilise the ruling UMNO.

Obama welcomes Vietnam’s Communist Party head

By Peter Symonds, 10 July 2015

Trong’s very presence in the White House sends a strong message regarding Hanoi’s closer ties to Washington, directed against Beijing.

US lawyers argue Manila’s case against China in The Hague

By Joseph Santolan, 9 July 2015

The legal case, which aims to invalidate China’s territorial claim to the South China Sea, is part of Washington’s campaign against Beijing.

The significance of the Chinese stock market rout

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2015

The Chinese regime sought to create a social base of support in better-off sections of the middle class, which are now being hammered by the stock market plunge.

China’s share plunge casts lengthening shadow over global markets

By Nick Beams, 7 July 2015

The Chinese government has thrown the “kitchen sink” at the falling share market but to no avail.

Chinese government desperate to halt market slide

By Nick Beams, 6 July 2015

The Chinese central bank’s commitment to provide funds to financial markets indicates growing concern in government circles over the depth of the stock market fall.

Ongoing tensions in South China Sea as Chinese-led investment bank formally launched

By Oliver Campbell, 2 July 2015

The establishment of the bank, a blow to US plans for hegemony in the Asia-Pacific, was accompanied by a ratcheting up of Washington’s campaign against China.

Support grows for victimised Sri Lankan tea estate workers

By our correspondents, 1 July 2015

Plantation workers denounce frame-up charges against Deeside estate workers.

Malaysia’s opposition coalition breaks apart

By John Roberts, 30 June 2015

The collapse of the three-party pact changes the political landscape and points to growing instability.

Over 1,100 killed by heat wave in Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 27 June 2015

The victims have died because of electricity outages, water supply shortages, inadequate healthcare facilities and government indifference.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 June 2015

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

MERS outbreak exposes South Korean government’s lack of preparation

By Ben McGrath, 23 June 2015

The spread of the virus has been compounded by a lack of preparation and measures for dealing with the sick.

Child suicides highlight growing social crisis in China

By Oliver Campbell, 22 June 2015

The apparent suicide deaths of four young children in the impoverished Guizhou province underscores the desperate plight facing millions of rural poor.

US drive to war dominates Philippine presidential election discussions

By Joseph Santolan, 18 June 2015

The stakes in the 2016 presidential election are qualitatively higher than in previous contests, with the paramount question being war with China.

Philippines: Maoist union leads Tanduay contract workers toward defeat

By Dante Pastrana, 15 June 2015

More than 200 contractual workers at the Tanduay Distillery plant are waging a desperate struggle to regain their jobs after being sacked for seeking to regularise their employment.

Death toll rises following ferry sinking in China

By Ben McGrath, 6 June 2015

Details of safety violations have emerged after one of the worst maritime disasters in China’s recent history.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 6 June 2015

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Philippine Maoists support US war drive against China

By Joseph Santolan, 5 June 2015

BAYAN and the CPP have worked to whip up anti-Chinese nationalism, denouncing China as an “imperialist” power poised to invade the Philippines.

Philippine President Aquino compares China to Nazi Germany

By Joseph Santolan, 4 June 2015

The Philippines is playing a crucial role in Washington’s ratcheting up of military pressure on Beijing.

South Korean teachers union faces ban

By Ben McGrath, 4 June 2015

The anti-democratic court ruling is designed to prevent teachers and other public employees from voicing their political opinions.

Protests in Japan denounce US military presence

By Ben McGrath, 27 May 2015

Numerous rallies have been held recently, on Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan, against the planned relocation of a US Marine base on the island.

Police crackdown on protest in western China

By Ben McGrath, 22 May 2015

The demonstration over plans to re-route a planned rail line away from Linshui county highlights the worsening social crisis in many areas of China.

Sri Lankan landslide victims still in makeshift accommodation

By S. K. Irangani, 22 May 2015

The situation facing Meeriyabedda Estate landslide victims highlights the desperate social conditions facing Sri Lankan plantation workers and their families.

India’s Modi woos and warns China

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 21 May 2015

Overshadowing Modi’s entire visit was the heightening of tensions across the Indo-Pacific region as a result of Washington’s “pivot to Asia.”

US secretary of state berates North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 20 May 2015

Kerry used his trip to South Korea to deepen military ties, supposedly in order to counter the threat posed by North Korea.

Second major quake in Nepal deepens political crisis

By W.A. Sunil, 18 May 2015

Nepal was hit on Tuesday by a 7.3 magnitude after-shock that killed over 125 people, injured more than 2,300 and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Historians condemn Japan’s whitewashing of war crimes

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2015

Nearly 200 historians published a statement last Tuesday calling on Tokyo to cease distorting the history of comfort women.

US deploys new “military assets” to Nepal as death toll from earthquake grows

By Thomas Gaist, 28 April 2015

In contrast to the rapid deployment of military resources, the financial response of the major powers to the disaster has been paltry.

South China Sea disputes dominate ASEAN summit

By Peter Symonds, 28 April 2015

While the summit did not embrace the Philippine demand for an immediate halt to Chinese land reclamation on disputed islands, the final statement did take a more hard-line stand.

Call for new international economic order at Asia-Africa summit

By Nick Beams, 23 April 2015

Japanese Prime Minister Abe did not include a significant phrase offered in previous apologies for Japanese war crimes in his remarks to the Asia-Africa summit meeting.

US defence secretary warns China over Asian maritime disputes

By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2015

Ashton Carter is visiting Japan and South Korea to integrate their militaries more closely into the Pentagon’s preparations for war with China.

US admiral threatens Beijing over South China Sea

By James Cogan, 2 April 2015

Prominent figures in Washington are attempting to make China’s alleged activities a major issue of geopolitical tension.

South Korea pushes for inclusion in US anti-missile system

By Ben McGrath, 20 March 2015

Tensions between South Korea and China could rise if the US established an anti-ballistic missile battery on the Korean Peninsula.

The US “pivot to Asia” and the Australian leadership crisis

By Peter Symonds, 25 February 2015

A major obstacle to Malcolm Turnbull’s ambitions to take over as prime minister lies in Washington.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 January 2015

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 17 January 2015

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Japanese government boosts military spending

By Will Morrow, 16 January 2015

The government left no doubt that the increase is part of preparations for war with China.

New Sri Lankan president appoints his cabinet

By Deepal Jayasekera, 14 January 2015

The overwhelming majority of ministers are drawn from the right-wing and pro-US United National Party.

Evidence mounts of safety violations contributing to AirAsia plane crash

By Will Morrow, 7 January 2015

The more information that emerges about the crash, the more it becomes clear that it was not an unforeseeable tragedy.

Cybersecurity investigators raise doubts about North Korean responsibility for Sony hack

By Niles Williamson, 31 December 2014

While Washington quickly assigned blame to Pyongyang for the hacking attack, independent cyber security investigations point to an inside job.

Wreckage of crashed AirAsia flight found in Java Sea

By Will Morrow, 31 December 2014

The three day search concluded last night with the discovery of debris and the confirmation of the deaths of 162 people on board AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

Search continues for missing AirAsia flight

By Will Morrow, 30 December 2014

While there has been no explanation for what caused the plane to crash, aviation experts have focussed on the severe weather conditions.

South Korean court disbands opposition party

By Ben McGrath, 24 December 2014

The ruling is an attack on basic democratic rights, aimed at silencing political criticism and opposition.

US pushes for trilateral anti-missile cooperation in North East Asia

By Ben McGrath, 18 December 2014

Washington is pressing South Korea and Japan for defense collaboration as it continues its military build-up in Asia aimed against China.

Thai junta maintains firm grip on power

By Tom Peters, 13 December 2014

Thailand’s military dictatorship, tacitly supported by Washington, is continuing to crack down on opposition and cement its hold on power.

Solomon Islands: Former target of Australian regime-change operation re-elected prime minister

By Patrick Kelly, 11 December 2014

Manasseh Sogavare is returning to office seven years after he was removed from power through a lawless dirty tricks campaign.

Taiwanese local elections reveal widespread disillusionment with government

By Ben McGrath, 10 December 2014

The KMT government suffered one of its worst defeats in recent elections, driven by declining social conditions.

Former Chinese security chief arrested on corruption charges

By Peter Symonds, 8 December 2014

President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign is part of his pro-market agenda of opening up the Chinese economy as well as a means to remove key factional rivals.

Malaysian government retains draconian Sedition Act

By John Roberts, 6 December 2014

While the government will use the Act against its political opponents, it is also part of the police-state measures that will be used against the working class.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 29 November 2014

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 22 November 2014

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Obama at APEC: US steps up economic offensive against China

By Nick Beams, 14 November 2014

US trade policy is based on a drive to secure domination of the world economy, using both military and economic means.

Threat of war hangs over ASEAN summit

By Joseph Santolan, 14 November 2014

The tensions throughout Southeast Asia, centered upon the disputed waters of the South China Sea, have reached their sharpest pitch in decades.

Canada deeply implicated in US anti-China “pivot”

By Laurent Lafrance, 14 November 2014

The Conservative government is integrating Canada ever more fully into Washington’s “pivot to Asia.”

Obama escalates pressure on China at APEC summit

By Mike Head, 11 November 2014

The US president’s performance highlighted the rapid intensification of Washington’s aggressive stance globally.

Bank of Japan’s shock stimulus further destabilizes global economy

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2014

The Japanese central bank’s surprise announcement of new monetary stimulus measures has led to accusations that it is trying to export deflation and warnings of a currency war.

US-Japan conflicts stall Obama’s Trans-Pacific economic pact

By Mike Head, 28 October 2014

The impasse points to the underlying conflicts between the interests of the US and those of its current allies such as Japan.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

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Uncovering the Maritime Silk Road

By Matthew MacEgan, 14 October 2014

Archaeologists across the globe are beginning to tackle larger questions about the interconnectivity of societies across continents and oceans.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 September 2014

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

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Thai coup leader installed as prime minister

By Tom Peters, 23 August 2014

The installation of General Prayuth indicates that the junta is entrenching itself and intends to rule directly, rather than through a quasi-civilian government.

US war drive in Asia continues apace

By Peter Symonds, 16 August 2014

Even as the US engages in provocations against Russia and in the Middle East, the Obama administration is proceeding with its “pivot to Asia” against China.