Asia

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.