Eastern Asia

Hyundai, Kia workers strike in South Korea in opposition to attacks on wages

By Ben McGrath, 12 December 2018

The imposition of a new tier of low-paid workers in Gwangju is just the precursor to broader attacks on workers’ conditions.

Japanese government rams through new immigration law

By Gary Alvernia, 11 December 2018

While portrayed as a “liberalisation” of existing policy, the law reflects concerns within ruling circles over the economic impact of Japan’s declining workforce.

China summons American ambassador over detention of Huawei executive

By Peter Symonds, 10 December 2018

The highly provocative actions of the US are part of the Trump administration’s wider campaign to prevent Chinese corporate giants from challenging American technological supremacy.

Canada-China relations sour after Ottawa kidnaps Huawei executive

By Roger Jordan, 10 December 2018

At the express instructions of the federal Attorney-General, the Crown is arguing Meng Wanzhuo must remain in captivity pending the adjudication of her extradition to the US.

The kidnapping of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

By Andre Damon, 8 December 2018

Meng’s arrest and confinement—without bail and on tendentious and opaque charges potentially carrying a sentence of 60 years—amount to little more than a kidnapping.

At Washington’s behest

Canada arrests top Chinese executive for “sanctions busting”

By Keith Jones and Roger Jordan, 7 December 2018

The arrest and impending extradition to the US of Meng Wanzhou is a diplomatic and geopolitical provocation that has effectively blown up the US-China trade-war “truce” after less than a week.

Japanese police detain Zengakuren activists for nearly three weeks

By Ben McGrath, 7 December 2018

The police measures used against this student group are part of a broader attack on basic democratic rights.

Taiwan elections reveal widespread hostility to the ruling DPP

By Robert Campion, 30 November 2018

The results reflect discontent over deteriorating living standards and fears about the rising tensions between the US and China.

US-South Korean tensions over stance towards North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 28 November 2018

US ultimatums to Pyongyang to denuclearise are threatening South Korean efforts to reduce tensions and engage with North Korea.

Chinese president visits the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 22 November 2018

Xi Jinping visited Manila in the midst of Washington’s escalation of economic warfare against Beijing and advanced preparations for direct military conflict.

At APEC, PM puts Australia on frontline of US confrontation with China

By Peter Symonds, 21 November 2018

Australian Prime Minister Morrison lined up with US Vice President Pence at the recent APEC meeting, as China’s policies were denounced across the board.

Pakistan prime minister visits Beijing amid heightened US-China tensions

By Pradeep Ramanayaka, 21 November 2018

If Khan was hoping for an immediate financial bailout from China, he was disappointed as Beijing offered no specific aid and signed no significant agreements.

US vice president beats war drums in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 20 November 2018

Mike Pence in effect issued an ultimatum to China: either accept a subservient, semi-colonial status, or confront the full force of US diplomatic, economic and ultimately military weight.

Trump manoeuvres ahead of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 17 November 2018

The central demand of the Trump administration is that Beijing scrap its “Made in China” program and adopt a subservient economic position in relation to the US.

Chinese regime cracks down on student labour activists

By Robert Campion, 14 November 2018

The repression is another sign of growing unrest in the working class and fear in the CCP regime that the involvement of students will politicise the strikes and protests.

Fire at workers’ apartment in South Korea leaves seven dead

By Ben McGrath, 12 November 2018

Public safety continues to be ignored under the South Korean administration no less than under previous conservative governments.

US-China talks signal worsening confrontation

By Peter Symonds, 12 November 2018

For years, first under Obama, then under Trump, the US has been engaged in an aggressive effort to undermine China economically, and encircle it militarily in preparation for war.

US, Japan conclude massive war games targeting China

By Ben McGrath, 10 November 2018

The Keen Sword exercises have placed additional pressure on China while further militarizing the western Pacific.

Trump manoeuvres in lead-up to talks with Chinese President Xi

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2018

The aim is either to extract major concessions from China or, failing that, create the best conditions for pressing ahead with trade war measures.

Falling growth rate sparks concern in China’s ruling circles

By Nick Beams, 2 November 2018

A Politburo statement reflected the growing anxiety in Beijing over the economy and the impact of US trade war measures.

Japanese PM visits China in bid to improve relations

By Peter Symonds, 1 November 2018

Abe’s efforts to end bitter exchanges with China come after both countries have been hit by the Trump administration’s trade war measures.

Chinese president tells military to prepare for war

By Peter Symonds, 30 October 2018

Xi Jinping’s speech was a response to the Trump administration’s aggressive actions in intensifying trade war and overtly readying for military conflict with both China and Russia.

Another US provocation against China: Two warships sail through Taiwan Strait

By Peter Symonds, 23 October 2018

The naval operation follows an inflammatory speech by US Vice-president Mike Pence earlier this month criticising China on all fronts.

Sharp decline in numbers in latest China Rich List

By Robert Campion, 23 October 2018

The fall reflects the impact of a slowing Chinese economy, the impact of the US trade war measures and sharp falls in China’s share markets this year.

China growth slows to lowest level since financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 22 October 2018

While the trade war launched by the US has yet to make a significant impact on growth, the official Chinese statement referred to what is called the “severe international situation.”

US places alleged “Chinese spy” on public trial

By Mike Head, 12 October 2018

The timing of the unprecedented extradition points to a new stage in the US drive to prevent China from becoming an economic or military threat to US global hegemony.

Pompeo visit heightens US-China rift

By James Cogan, 10 October 2018

Testifying to the fraught state of relations, China’s foreign minister publicly lambasted the United States.

US vice president issues bellicose diatribe against China

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2018

Pence’s speech came amid reports that the Pentagon is preparing massive and provocative military exercises as a show of force against China.

US and Chinese warships narrowly avoid collision in South China Sea

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 October 2018

Any misstep or accident in East Asia’s sea and airspace now threatens to trigger a full-scale war between the rival nuclear-armed powers.

After North America trade deal, Trump to escalate trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 3 October 2018

In a manner recalling a Mafia don, Trump made clear that the threat of auto tariffs was central in securing the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Beijing university threatens Marxist student society

By Peter Symonds, 1 October 2018

The university has reacted to fears that not only politically radicalised students, but also China’s exploited working class, could threaten the CCP’s police-state regime.

US sells arms to Taiwan, confronts China

By Peter Symonds, 27 September 2018

The $330 million arms sale comes as the Trump administration is intensifying the US confrontation with China on all fronts—diplomatic, economic and military.

Japanese space agency lands two rovers on surface of asteroid

By Bryan Dyne, 26 September 2018

Although an asteroid was first landed on in 2001, the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission is the first to successfully deploy rovers on the surface of one.

Financial Times expresses concerns over Sri Lanka taking Chinese loans

By Naveen Dewage, 24 September 2018

The US, with the backing of India and Japan, is increasingly putting pressure on Sri Lanka not to deviate from its efforts to undermine and encircle China.

Beijing cancels trade talks with Washington after US sanctions China for weapons purchases

By Nick Beams, 22 September 2018

The moves mark a further escalation of trade and military tensions between the US and China.

Typhoon Mangkhut kills dozens in the Philippines, leaves trail of destruction in China and Hong Kong

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 September 2018

As in previous natural disasters, the poor and workers in low-paid precarious industries have been the hardest hit.

South Korean president in Pyongyang for summit on denuclearization

By Ben McGrath, 18 September 2018

Whatever the result of this week’s talks, it will do nothing to resolve the dangerous tensions in the Asia-Pacific.

Japanese prime minister seeks improved relations with Russia

By Ben McGrath, 17 September 2018

Japan is coming under increased pressure as a result of Washington’s protectionist measures, which are compounding instability throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Washington and Pyongyang in talks for second summit

By Ben McGrath, 13 September 2018

Trump is under pressure to ramp up the offensive against the targets of US imperialism.

Japan and China improve relations in face of US trade war measures

By Ben McGrath, 10 September 2018

The apparent thaw in what has been a frigid, and at times hostile, relationship underscores the destabilizing impact of Trump’s aggressive America First drive.

Police suppress protest over schools in debt-ridden Chinese city

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 10 September 2018

The immediate reason for the protest was a local government decision to cut costs in government schools by relocating all fifth and sixth grade students to private schools.

Many Japanese schools fail to meet earthquake-resistant standards

By Gary Alvernia, 7 September 2018

Schools in earthquake-prone Japan, which have endured decades of spending cuts, will receive no new funds for safety from Tokyo.

US push for sanctions of China over treatment of Uyghur minority

By Peter Symonds, 4 September 2018

Washington’s spotlighting of abuses has nothing to do with defending democratic rights but is aimed at stirring anti-Chinese sentiment and encouraging separatist movements in China.

Trump hits out at China over North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 3 September 2018

Trump’s criticism of China comes amid growing signs that talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear programs, following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, have stalled.

US threatens North Korea with resumption of war games

By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2018

Trump’s decision to halt talks with North Korea and resume joint military drills with South Korea could rapidly lead to the renewal of extreme tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump cancels secretary of state’s trip to North Korea one day after its announcement

By Ben McGrath, 25 August 2018

The US president has directly linked his pressure on North Korea with the trade war with China, exposing the fraudulent nature of the “peace talks” with Pyongyang.

Trump backs talks with North Korea despite nuclear stalemate

By Peter Symonds, 23 August 2018

Trump’s bragging about his “good chemistry” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un suggests that Washington hopes to align Pyongyang more closely with the US and against China.

Pentagon report targets China’s “expanding global influence”

By Peter Symonds, 21 August 2018

While the report focusses on China’s growing military capabilities and international reach, its build-up is dwarfed by the US military and its world-wide system of alliances and bases.

Japan: Tens of thousands on Okinawa denounce US base relocation plan

By Ben McGrath, 21 August 2018

Given that Okinawa is a major staging pointing for US military action in Asia, opposition to the base is intimately bound up with the struggle against militarism.

Google employees protest plans to build censored search engine in China

By Andre Damon, 18 August 2018

Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed Thursday that the company has worked to develop a censored version of its search engine in collaboration with the Chinese state.

Seoul and Pyongyang prepare for September summit while US intensifies campaign against North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 17 August 2018

Washington will only accept the complete subjugation of the North as it continues to raise tensions in the region with China.

Former Japanese defense minister announces challenge to Abe

By Ben McGrath, 14 August 2018

Ishiba is challenging current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a move designed to push him even further to the right.

Faulty vaccines spark public outrage in China

By Gary Alvernia, 8 August 2018

The scandal is the result of cost-cutting measures aimed at boosting profits and subordination of healthcare to the capitalist system.

Trump set to hike tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2018

The US is actively considering escalating proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent up from the initial level of 10 percent.

US promotes Taiwanese submarine program, stoking further tensions with China

By Robert Campion, 30 July 2018

The Trump administration, backed by the Democrats and Republicans, is ramping up pressure on China through closer US involvement with Taiwan’s military.

Japan passes phony “work-style reform” bills

By Kurt Brown, 27 July 2018

The so-called reform bills will result in further attacks on workers, rather than improving their conditions.

Extreme weather in Japan has deadly impact on the elderly

By Gary Alvernia, 25 July 2018

The elderly are consistently the most affected victims of heat waves, floods, and other disasters, pointing to the social neglect of the aged by the Japanese government.

Leaked report reveals plans for martial law in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 23 July 2018

The muted response to a secret military blueprint demonstrates that no faction within the country’s capitalist class defends even basic democratic rights.

EU and Japan sign trade deal

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2018

The deal was five years in the making but the impetus to have it finalised was increased by the US trade war measures that have targeted both parties.

US provocatively sends two warships through Taiwan Strait

By Peter Symonds, 10 July 2018

The naval transit coincided with the escalating trade war between the US and China, marked by the implementation of the Trump administration’s 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Floods and landslides in Japan leave more than 100 dead

By Ben McGrath, 10 July 2018

Natural disasters in Japan are increasing as a result of climate change, but nothing is being done to address this crisis.

After nuclear talks, North Korea denounces Washington’s “gangster-like” demands

By Peter Symonds, 9 July 2018

The lack of progress towards any agreement between Washington and Pyongyang threatens a rapid slide back towards confrontation and war.

Tensions deepen between Beijing and Taipei

By Robert Campion, 3 July 2018

The growing conflict over Taiwan is the result of a US campaign to step up direct economic and military pressure on Beijing.

Trump under pressure from US intelligence agencies over North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 2 July 2018

The Washington Post, citing unnamed US intelligence officials and undisclosed “evidence,” claimed that North Korea was planning to deceive the US over its pledge to denuclearise.

Thousands of West Bengal textile workers locked out; New Zealand nurses union cancels planned strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 June 2018

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

Tensions continue as US defence secretary visits China

By Peter Symonds, 28 June 2018

While both sides sought to put a positive spin on the trip, relations have deteriorated as a result of Washington’s confrontational stance toward Beijing.

US cancels military drills, but maintains sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2018

The tentative moves toward ending the confrontation on the Korean Peninsula could rapidly fall apart if North Korea fails to meet all the US demands.

Trump and Kim prepare for Tuesday’s unpredictable summit

By Ben McGrath, 11 June 2018

No matter the results of the meeting, it will only exacerbate the underlying US conflict with China.

Japan’s ruling party calls for a doubling of military expenditure

By Kurt Brown, 9 June 2018

Tokyo’s agenda increases the danger of war and the suppression of democratic rights at home.

US ramps up threats to China and North Korea

By Mike Head, 4 June 2018

Whatever the outcome of a Trump-Kim summit, the US confrontation with China will escalate.

War danger remains despite North and South Korean leaders holding second summit

By Ben McGrath, 28 May 2018

Trump’s cancellation of his summit with Kim was designed to wring further concessions from Pyongyang, while sending a warning to China.

Trump calls off summit with North Korea

By James Cogan, 25 May 2018

Even as it threatens nuclear war, the Trump administration has not given up on trying to draw North Korea into a rapprochement.

Trump offers North Korea “incremental” denuclearisation ahead of planned summit

By James Cogan, 23 May 2018

Trump and the South Korean president both exuded optimism that talks would ultimately proceed on US terms, even if not on June 12.

US blames China for renewed tensions with North Korea

By James Cogan, 18 May 2018

Citing the “Libyan model,” Trump implied that North Korea would face “total decimation” if no agreement is reached.

Japan maneuvering to prevent being left out on North Korean negotiations

By Ben McGrath, 17 May 2018

Japan is trying to justify ongoing military pressure on North Korea, and ultimately China, in the event of an agreement between Pyongyang and Washington.

North Korea denounces US “provocation” and threatens to cancel talks with Trump

By James Cogan, 16 May 2018

The Trump administration has, to a great extent, boxed both itself and North Korea into a corner.

Union sellout facilitates South Korean General Motors restructuring plans

By Ben McGrath, 16 May 2018

The KMWU isolated workers and forced through the approval of an agreement enabling a pro-business restructuring by the auto corporation.

Japan, China and South Korea hold talks on North Korea and trade

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2018

While North Korea dominated the summit, concerns over US protectionist measures may result in improved relations between the three Asian neighbors.

Trump to meet North Korean leader in “three or four weeks”

By James Cogan, 30 April 2018

Any talks could entirely break down over the definition of “denuclearisation” and a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”

Trump lauds “declaration for peace” on Korean Peninsula

By James Cogan, 28 April 2018

The political shift in barely two months—from ominous threats of war to the Korean leaders hugging each other—is a measure of the volatility produced by growing US-China tensions.

North and South Korea hold “peace” summit

By James Cogan, 27 April 2018

Any concrete development toward a rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula on US-dictated terms will be viewed with immense concern in Beijing.

US-led strike on Syria inflames tensions over Korea

By Alex Lantier, 21 April 2018

If his summit with the North Korean leader goes ahead, Trump will undoubtedly use every means at his disposal, including military threats, to try to bludgeon Pyongyang into accepting US demands.

Trump’s secret diplomacy with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 19 April 2018

The Trump administration senses the possibility of advancing US imperialism’s interests in Asia against its chief rivals, Russia and China, and potential competitors such as Japan.

US and North Korean officials discuss Trump-Kim summit

By Peter Symonds, 14 April 2018

The cynical character of Trump’s decision to meet with Kim Jong-un is underscored by the fact that two militarists—Pompeo and Bolton—are in charge of preparing the summit.

Japan activates first Marine brigade since World War II

By Peter Symonds, 10 April 2018

The new Marine brigade is not simply defensive in character but could be used during a Japanese war of aggression far from its shores.

Trump administration officials try to calm trade war fears

By Nick Beams, 9 April 2018

White House National Trade Council director Peter Navarro underscored the crucial importance of hi-tech development, both for US economic and military supremacy.

Russia-Japan dispute over Kurils reflects mounting tensions in North East Asia

By Gary Alvernia, 5 April 2018

Russia is placing warplanes in the Kuril Islands in response to the Japanese government’s remilitarisation and US threats of war against North Korea.

North Korean leader holds unannounced talks in China

By Peter Symonds, 28 March 2018

Facing mounting threats from the Trump administration, China and North Korea are under pressure to mend an increasingly frosty relationship.

Scandal surrounding Japanese prime minister deepens

By Ben McGrath, 26 March 2018

The affair highlights the intimate connections between the government and far-right extremist groups like Nippon Kaigi.

Chinese president expounds on his nationalist “dream”

By Peter Symonds, 22 March 2018

Xi’s consolidation as China’s political strongman takes place amid growing US threats of trade war and war, as well as intense social tensions at home.

Seventy thousand Rohingya have fled Burma since “repatriation” agreement signed

By John Roberts, 21 March 2018

Last November’s agreement between Burma and Bangladesh was a ploy to deflect attention from the Burmese military’s ongoing pogrom against Muslim Rohingya.

Trump signs Taiwan Travel Act in new provocation against China

By Peter Symonds, 19 March 2018

The legislation upends decades of diplomatic protocol in which the US maintained only low-level contact with Taiwan.

China’s NPC formally approves Xi’s indefinite rule

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2018

The constitutional change removing the term limits on China’s president establishes a Bonapartist leader presiding over a regime confronting crises at home and abroad.

North Korea offers to enter talks to denuclearise

By Peter Symonds, 7 March 2018

Trump reacted positively to the announcement of possible talks with North Korea, but maintained Washington’s threats against the Pyongyang regime.

China’s National People’s Congress to install Xi as political strongman

By Peter Symonds, 6 March 2018

The CCP rules through a police-state regime that is handing extraordinary powers to Xi, driven by fears it will confront mounting social unrest and the danger of war.

US media airs pretexts for preemptive attack on North Korea

By James Cogan, 3 March 2018

Newspaper articles indicate that a war crime of historic dimensions is being prepared.

South Korean president holds talks with top North Korean officials

By Ben McGrath, 26 February 2018

North Korea has offered to hold talks with the US, but the Trump administration is insisting that Pyongyang must first demonstrate its willingness to denuclearise.

Trump uses Australian PM’s visit to threaten North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 24 February 2018

Trump warned that if sanctions on North Korea did not work he would move to “phase two,” which could be “a very rough thing.”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 February 2018

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

Thousands to be sacked at GM factory in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 15 February 2018

General Motors is demanding additional cuts to auto workers’ wages and conditions as it threatens to pull out of South Korea entirely.