Eastern Asia

US demands “much greater” Chinese pressure on North Korea, or else

By Peter Symonds, 22 June 2017

While continuing to press China over North Korea, the Trump administration is warning that the US will resort to other measures—including military action—if there are no results.

South Korean president tries to smooth disagreements with Washington

By Ben McGrath, 22 June 2017

Seoul has suggested reaching out to Pyongyang as the US ramps up pressure on North Korea.

Trump takes another step towards war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2017

By declaring that Chinese pressure on Pyongyang has “not worked out,” Trump is left with few options but to launch reckless military attacks on North Korea.

South Korean president offers phony welfare pledges

By Ben McGrath, 20 June 2017

The new government’s promises are a smokescreen to obscure its pro-capitalist policies, counter mounting discontent and prevent the eruption of social unrest.

US ex-basketballer heads to North Korea to “open door”

By Peter Symonds, 15 June 2017

Given the accelerating US confrontation with North Korea, the chances that Rodman’s visit can open meaningful talks between the two countries appear remote.

China, Japan take tentative steps to revive relations

By Kurt Brown, 14 June 2017

China’s top foreign policy official held three days of talks with senior Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

South Korea delays THAAD battery installation

By Ben McGrath, 13 June 2017

Washington is concerned that the new government in Seoul is pursuing closer relations with China.

Following new UN sanctions, North Korea tests more missiles

By Peter Symonds, 8 June 2017

A US nuclear-powered attack submarine docked in South Korea on Tuesday—the latest step in Washington’s military build-up near the Korean Peninsula.

Political lessons of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in China

By James Cogan, 5 June 2017

Each year, the Stalinist regime mobilises its police state apparatus to prevent any commemoration of the massacre, which was aimed at suppressing a potentially revolutionary movement of the Chinese working class.

Shangri La Dialogue: US Defence Secretary, Australian PM threaten North Korea, China

By Peter Symonds, 3 June 2017

The premier Asian strategic conference is taking place as the US threatens war against North Korea and continues its relentless military build-up.

Germany turns to Asia

By Johannes Stern, 1 June 2017

In the midst of a historic crisis in transatlantic relations, Berlin is working systematically to expand political and economic ties with Asia.

US anti-missile test sends warning to North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 31 May 2017

The successful interception of a dummy ICBM demonstrates to North Korea and also China that the US can launch a nuclear attack and counter any attempt to retaliate.

Japanese government pushes “anti-conspiracy” laws through lower house

By Gary Alvernia, 30 May 2017

Defying public opposition, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing ahead with the bill that defines 277 types of crimes to which criminal conspiracy can apply.

North Korea tests missile as US deploys third aircraft carrier

By James Cogan, 29 May 2017

The test follow steps by the US and its allies that would have heightened fears in the North Korean regime of the possibility of attack.

Moody’s downgrades China’s debt rating

By Nick Beams, 26 May 2017

The sharp reaction of the Chinese finance ministry to the Moody’s downgrade decision signifies that that economic and political contradictions facing the Xi Jinping regime are increasing.

UN Security Council to meet again after North Korea missile test

By James Cogan, 22 May 2017

The test followed actions by the US and its allies that would only have heightened the North Korean regime’s fears about an imminent military assault.

Another undercover report of super-exploitation in China’s iPhone factories

By Robert Campion, 22 May 2017

A student exposes some of the horrendous working conditions enforced by the Beijing regime, on behalf of conglomerates such as Apple.

Japanese government exploits Korean crisis to whip up war scares

By Gary Alvernia, 20 May 2017

Post-war Japanese governments have attempted for decades to find ways around the limitations on military force in the constitution.

North Korea accused of cyber attacks in mounting demonisation campaign

By James Cogan, 18 May 2017

A propaganda campaign is underway in the US and international media that is ominously reminiscent of the 2002-2003 hysteria over Iraq and “weapons of mass destruction.”

China hosts international launch of One Belt, One Road initiative

By Nick Beams, 16 May 2017

In launching the initiative, Chinese president Xi Jinping emphasised the need for “win-win co-operation,” but there are significant tensions surrounding the project.

US, South Korea emphasise alliance after North Korean missile test

By Ben McGrath, 15 May 2017

Concerns persist in Washington that the new Moon administration in Seoul could undermine attempts to pressure Pyongyang.

Democrat Moon Jae-in wins South Korean presidential election

By Ben McGrath, 10 May 2017

Backed by sections of the ruling class, Moon’s election is aimed at defusing widespread concern over social inequality and war, and blocking any movement against the profit system.

South Korean presidential frontrunner stresses agreement with Trump

By Ben McGrath, 8 May 2017

On the eve of South Korea’s election, DPK candidate Moon Jae-in is attempting to placate fears in Washington that he will cut across war plans in the region.

Japanese PM plans to remove constitutional shackles on the military by 2020

By Peter Symonds, 8 May 2017

Abe is seeking to modify Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which nominally renounces war as a means of settling international disputes and vows never to maintain military forces.

US show of force intensifies pressure on North Korea and China

By Mike Head, 5 May 2017

Two military displays in two days have escalated the tensions on the Korean Peninsula produced by the Trump administration’s threats of military action.

US sends B-1 strategic bombers over South Korea

By Peter Symonds, 3 May 2017

The US military build-up has raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula to fever pitch, threatening to trigger a devastating conflict.

Trump suggests talks while preparing for war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 2 May 2017

Trump’s offer to meet Kim Jong-un is effectively an ultimatum: accept US terms for negotiations or confront the prospect of war.

South Korean election candidates back US war preparations

By Ben McGrath, 2 May 2017

Widespread opposition to the THAAD antiballistic missile battery and the drive to war can find no expression in the presidential contest.

Trump threatens “major conflict” with North Korea

By Mike Head, 28 April 2017

The US president invoked the danger of war, while claiming to be seeking a diplomatic solution to the Korean crisis.

White House briefing signals escalating war preparations against North Korea

By Mike Head, 27 April 2017

Comments by senators after the briefing ranged from support for military action against North Korea to pushing for a harder line against China.

US tests missile in Pacific as it escalates threats to North Korea

By Mike Head, 26 April 2017

The provocatively-timed US test again underscores where the real risk of nuclear war resides—in Washington.

South Korean presidential candidates move further to the right on North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 26 April 2017

Moon Jae-in of the DPK has sought to prove his pro-US credentials by calling for an additional military buildup.

US naval “armada” menaces North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 25 April 2017

The nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Michigan, is due to arrive in South Korea today where it will be joined by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its strike group.

Pence’s Asian tour reinforces US threats to North Korea

By Mike Head, 24 April 2017

Without any public consultation, the US and its allies are placing millions of people at risk of a devastating nuclear war.

Tense standoff continues on Korean peninsula

By Peter Symonds, 22 April 2017

The media is fueling tensions with speculation that North Korea could conduct a nuclear or missile test to mark its Military Foundation Day next Tuesday.

US government and media ratchet up threats to North Korea

By Mike Head, 21 April 2017

The Trump administration’s ultimatums are intensifying the risk that miscalculations could trigger a conflict that would endanger the lives of millions of people.

US vice president warns North Korea “the sword is ready”

By Peter Symonds, 20 April 2017

Pence threatened “an overwhelming and effective American response” to any North Korean use of conventional or nuclear weapons.

US continues dangerous brinkmanship with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 19 April 2017

By keeping the world guessing as to what he will do, Trump has added a great deal of uncertainty into an already precarious situation and heightened the danger of conflict.

US media reports Trump preparing “preemptive strike” on North Korea

By James Cogan, 14 April 2017

The pretext for a US attack would be to prevent Pyongyang from carrying out another nuclear weapons’ test.

Australia’s role in US plans for war on North Korea

By James Cogan, 12 April 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has publicly endorsed Washington’s bellicose rhetoric against the Pyongyang regime.

Trump threatens North Korea, issues ultimatum to China

By Peter Symonds, 12 April 2017

Trump is preparing to attack North Korea if China fails to heed his dictates and Pyongyang conducts another nuclear or missile test.

South Korean presidential candidates line up behind US war drive

By Ben McGrath, 12 April 2017

As tensions with North Korea rise, the leading “democratic” contenders, Moon Jae-in and Ahn Cheol-soo, have taken a pro-militarist and pro-US stance.

China fears US military attack on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 11 April 2017

The state-owned Global Times warned that “a military strike on the North will very likely evolve into large-scale bloody war on the Peninsula.”

US aircraft carrier deployed in direct threat to North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 10 April 2017

Following its attacks on Syria, the US, in a “show of force,” dispatched the Carl Vinson strike group to waters near the Korean peninsula.

Rohingya killings expose fraud of Burmese “democracy”

By John Roberts, 7 April 2017

The response of Suu Kyi and her government to a limited UN inquiry into the military’s atrocities reveal their complicity and involvement.

Trump official warns “the clock has run out” on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 5 April 2017

Unless China forces North Korea to bow to Washington’s demands, the US will use every means, including its huge military forces, to crush the Pyongyang regime.

Trump threatens China with war on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 4 April 2017

The Trump administration has threatened to launch a war that will not only be catastrophic for the people of the Korean peninsula but could drag in other major powers, including China, Russia and Japan.

After Park’s ouster, South Korean pseudo-left orients to pro-US opposition

By Ben McGrath, 4 April 2017

The state-capitalist Workers’ Solidarity group is backing the campaign to install a new president favorable to the US war drive against China.

Former South Korean president arrested

By Ben McGrath, 3 April 2017

In the wake of Park’s impeachment and arrest, political parties are jockeying for the May 9 presidential election.

Growing debate in Beijing over North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 28 March 2017

Sections of the Chinese ruling elite are growing increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang and the danger it represents to China’s security interests.

Scandal exposes Japanese government’s ultra-right ties

By Peter Symonds, 27 March 2017

The affair has drawn in other political figures close to Prime Minister Abe, providing a glimpse of the network of extreme nationalist organisations connected to his government.

China warns US strategic bomber in East China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 25 March 2017

The war plane was one of two B-1Bs deployed from Guam to join massive war games underway in South Korea amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

US threatens more sanctions, military build-up against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 22 March 2017

As the US secretary of state declared last week, all options, including military action against Pyongyang, are under consideration.

Trump, Tillerson press China for action against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 20 March 2017

Despite his muted public remarks in Beijing, the US secretary of state had already made clear that “all options,” including military ones, were on the table to deal with Pyongyang.

US secretary of state ramps up pressure on China over North Korea

By Mike Head, 17 March 2017

Rex Tillerson’s trip highlights the Trump administration’s focus on using North Korean missile and nuclear programs as a pretext for targeting China.

US sends drones, assassination squad to South Korea

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2017

The military build-up by the Trump administration takes place as the White House considers launching strikes on North Korean nuclear and military sites.

Is the US preparing for war against North Korea?

By Peter Symonds, 13 March 2017

Amid a shrill media campaign inflating the threat posed by North Korea, the Trump administration is considering “all options” against Pyongyang.

US rejects talks over North Korea, declaring “all options on table”

By Peter Symonds, 9 March 2017

China’s foreign minister warned that the US and North Korea are like “accelerating trains” on a collision course “with neither side willing to give way.”

As US deploys anti-missile system, China warns of nuclear arms race

By Peter Symonds, 8 March 2017

Using North Korean missile tests as a pretext, the US has begun deploying its THAAD anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea.

North Korea tests missiles amid huge US-South Korean war games

By Peter Symonds, 7 March 2017

The Trump administration is considering all options, including military ones, to prevent North Korea from building a nuclear-tipped ICBM able to reach the US mainland.

China lowers economic growth target

By Nick Beams, 6 March 2017

The Chinese government has cut its target in an attempt to address growing problems in the country’s financial system.

Court hears final arguments in South Korean president’s trial

By Ben McGrath, 6 March 2017

Park’s impeachment is a sign of the struggle within the political establishment over how to balance between the US and China amid sharpening tensions between the two powers.

South Korea demonises North Korea over Malaysian murder

By Peter Symonds, 1 March 2017

The South Korean government is exploiting the killing of Kim Jong-nam to demand North Korea’s suspension from the UN and criminal charges against its leadership.

Did VX kill Kim Jong-nam?

By our reporter, 1 March 2017

The claim by Malaysian authorities that Kim Jong-nam was killed by the potent nerve agent VX raises many unanswered questions.

US officials accuse China of building missile bases in South China Sea

By Mike Head, 23 February 2017

Media reports have declared the latest claims to be “an early test of US President Donald Trump.”

US-backed UN statement condemns North Korean missile test

By Peter Symonds, 16 February 2017

The UN warned of “further significant steps” if Pyongyang did not halt its testing and called on UN members “to redouble their efforts” to implement existing sanctions.

US drumbeat for action against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 14 February 2017

North Korea’s missile test took place amid mounting tensions between the US and China, North Korea’s ally, over trade, monetary policy, Taiwan and territorial disputes in the South China and East China seas.

Japanese and US leaders condemn North Korean missile test

By Peter Symonds, 13 February 2017

Trump’s flat-footed performance at the press conference only heightens the danger that he will embark on a reckless course of action against North Korea.

Trump’s lavish welcome for Japan’s prime minister

By Peter Symonds, 11 February 2017

Despite Trump’s gushing praise for Abe, a question mark remains over the US-Japan alliance and the threat of punitive US trade measures continues.

US defence secretary backs Japan, threatens war against China over disputed islets

By Peter Symonds, 6 February 2017

Mattis’s remarks were precisely what Tokyo wanted to hear: a US commitment to wage war against China in the event of a conflict over the Senkakus.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.”

Construction scaffolding collapses, killing 74 at Chinese power plant

By Richard Phillips, 26 November 2016

The disaster was the tragic outcome of company demands for “hard work” speed-ups and cuts to basic safety procedures.

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.

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.

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.

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.