South East Asia

Over 100 killed after typhoon batters Vietnam

By Kayla Costa, 10 November 2017

Typhoon Damrey, the biggest storm to have hit Vietnam in two decades, led to widespread suffering and the destruction of infrastructure.

Trump begins 12-day visit to Asia to build war coalition against North Korea

By James Cogan, 4 November 2017

The visit symbolically began with a visit by the president to the Pearl Habor naval base, where war between the US and Japan for dominance over Asia began in December 1941.

Indonesia: At least 47 dead in Jakarta factory fire

By John Roberts, 1 November 2017

The deadly blaze at a fireworks plant in Tangerang was the product of sweat shop conditions imposed by the company and Indonesian authorities.

Burmese government continues persecution of Rohingya minority

By Kayla Costa, 31 October 2017

The US is backing the Burmese regime, as it commits “killings, torture, rape and arson” against the Rohingya ethnic minority.

Cambodian government expels opposition party from parliament

By John Roberts, 30 October 2017

The measures will effectively wipe out the results of two elections and give the Cambodian People’s Party unchallengeable control of every level of government.

Australian troops sent to the Philippines despite end of Marawi siege

By Mike Head, 27 October 2017

Another far-reaching military commitment has been made without any parliamentary debate, let alone any approval by the Australian population.

Documents show US participation in 1965-66 massacres in Indonesia

By Mike Head, 25 October 2017

Up to one million workers, peasants and supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party were murdered, in one of the greatest imperialist crimes of the 20th century.

Thailand’s junta leader welcomed at the White House

By our reporter, 7 October 2017

In pushing for stronger military and economic ties with Thailand, President Trump made no mention of the military regime’s suppression of opposition and dissent.

Cambodian government arrests opposition leader on treason charges

By John Roberts, 22 September 2017

Cambodian leader Hun Sen is seeking to cripple the opposition before the national elections next year.

More Australian troops to be sent to the Philippines

By Mike Head, 12 September 2017

Australia’s involvement in the bogus “war against terrorism” in the Philippines is part of its commitment to Washington’s aggressive military build-up and actions in Asia.

Thai Supreme Court protects key figures in 2010 military crackdown

By our reporter, 11 September 2017

The court ruling reflects the military junta’s attempt to consolidate its rule in the face of popular opposition.

Australian government offers to send troops to the Philippines

By Mike Head, 30 August 2017

Confronting a deepening political crisis at home, Malcolm Turnbull is seeking to don the mantle of a wartime prime minister.

Former Thai PM flees as junta intensifies crackdown

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 29 August 2017

The US has effectively given the green light to the military regime’s repressive methods by inviting the 2014 coup leader and current prime minister to Washington to meet Trump.

Indonesian government bans Hizbut Tahrir

By John Roberts, 1 August 2017

The Widodo government fears that growing political instability will generate a social movement from below and is adopting draconian anti-democratic measures.

In landslide vote, Philippine legislature extends martial law

By Joseph Santolan, 25 July 2017

The wholesale embrace of martial law by the Filipino ruling elites is a sharp expression of the crisis of class rule around the globe amid intensifying class tensions.

US warship intrudes into Chinese-claimed waters in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2017

The US naval provocation, following the approval of a large arms deal with Taiwan and US sanctions on Chinese companies, heightens the risk of war with China.

Ex-CIA chief calls for “firm” Australian action against China

By Mike Head, 26 June 2017

David Petraeus’ appearance at the Liberal Party dinner was the latest intervention into Australian politics by visiting senior figures within the US military-intelligence complex.

Indonesian president supports military role in new “anti-terror” law

By John Roberts, 17 June 2017

The legislation will significantly reverse limitations placed on the military’s internal security role following the fall of the Suharto dictatorship.

Terror scare inflames martial law crisis in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 2 June 2017

Over 22 million Filipinos on the southern island of Mindanao have been living under conditions of military dictatorship for the past week.

Thousands of workers on strike at Freeport mine in Papua

By Oscar Grenfell, 31 May 2017

The industrial action at the second-largest copper mine in the world reflects mounting social unrest in Indonesia.

Political tensions in Indonesia after jailing of Jakarta governor

By John Roberts, 27 May 2017

Basuki has withdrawn an appeal over his jail sentence in line with ruling elite concerns about possible unrest generated by intense social divisions.

US warship carries out “freedom of navigation” exercise in Chinese-claimed waters

By James Cogan, 26 May 2017

China’s foreign ministry said the move “undermined China’s sovereignty and security,” and risked causing “unexpected air and sea accidents.”

Trump invites Philippine President Duterte to the White House

By Joseph Santolan, 2 May 2017

As part of the advanced preparations for war with North Korea, Trump has called the Philippine president with an invitation for a state visit to Washington.

Incumbent Jakarta governor defeated in bitter electoral contest

By John Roberts, 20 April 2017

A virulent chauvinist campaign against Governor Basuki was a means of diverting the rising unrest generated by the pro-business program that he shares with President Widodo.

On the Communist Party of the Philippines’ support for fascistic President Duterte

By Joseph Santolan, 15 March 2017

Joma Sison and the Maoist CPP have played a politically criminal role in promoting the fascistic Duterte administration and defusing opposition to it.

Leading opposition senator arrested in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 1 March 2017

Senator de Lima’s arrest is an expression of the advanced political crisis in the country which is rooted in the dispute within the ruling class over Manila’s geopolitical orientation.

Jakarta election points to social unrest in Indonesia

By John Roberts, 22 February 2017

A chauvinist Islamist campaign against the incumbent governor is seeking to capitalise on the mass discontent of some of the poorest sections of the population.

US conducts show of force in South China Sea

By Mike Head, 20 February 2017

The USS Carl Vinson’s operation is being mounted amid a sharp escalation in US trade war and military threats against China since the inauguration of Trump.

Duterte militarises the “war on drugs” in the Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 13 February 2017

Making the military responsible for continuing the state-sanctioned killings is a marked development in Duterte’s drive toward dictatorial power and military rule.

Chinese foreign minister warns against war with the US

By Peter Symonds, 9 February 2017

Trump’s top adviser Steve Bannon declared last March there was “no doubt” that the US would go to war with China over the South China Sea in “five to ten years.”

Philippine President Duterte declares “all-out war” against Maoist party

By Joseph Santolan, 8 February 2017

The party has strongly supported Duterte but the peace talks were undermined by the military and by a section of the leadership of the CPP’s armed wing.

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.

Trump threats on South China Sea heighten risk of nuclear war

By Peter Symonds, 25 January 2017

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

Philippine President Duterte threatens martial law

By Joseph Santolan, 25 January 2017

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

Trial of Jakarta governor signals wider political turmoil in Indonesia

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 9 January 2017

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

Indonesian military suspends “cooperation” with Australia

By James Cogan, 6 January 2017

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

At least 23 dead, 17 missing in Indonesian ferry disaster

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 January 2017

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

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

By Joseph Santolan, 4 January 2017

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

Manila to investigate claims of a US plot to oust Philippine president

By Joseph Santolan, 28 December 2016

According to the Manila Times, former US Ambassador Goldberg drew up detailed plans for the removal of Duterte from office over the course of the next year and a half.

Trump endorses Duterte’s murderous drug war in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 13 December 2016

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

Human toll rises after Indonesian earthquake

By John Braddock, 13 December 2016

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

Malaysian PM appeals to Malay chauvinism at party assembly

By John Roberts, 10 December 2016

Despite his appearance of strength at the UMNO assembly, the ground is shifting rapidly under Najib’s feet.

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.”

US and Philippine militaries maintain “robust” ties

By Peter Symonds, 26 November 2016

US Admiral Harry Harris, head of Pacific Command, dismissed any suggestion that Philippine President Duterte’s anti-American remarks would derail the US-Philippine alliance.

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.

Philippine President Duterte continues US military basing deal, hails Trump election

By Joseph Santolan, 11 November 2016

The decision to continue the basing pact represents a reversal of previous statements by Duterte that he would “separate” from the United States.

Malaysian prime minister forges closer military ties with China

By Peter Symonds, 3 November 2016

During his visit to Beijing, Prime Minister Najib wrote in the state-run media that former colonial powers should not lecture smaller countries over the conduct of their internal affairs.

Special envoy of Philippine President Duterte resigns in protest

By Joseph Santolan, 3 November 2016

The resignation of Ramos, a central figure in Philippine politics, highlights the extraordinary tensions caused by Washington’s drive to militarily encircle and subordinate China.

Philippine President Duterte says he wants US troops out of the country in two years

By Joseph Santolan, 27 October 2016

The abrupt shift in Manila’s foreign policy toward China is an expression of the immense geopolitical tensions stoked by Washington's policies.

Philippine president declares “separation from the US” during visit to China

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 October 2016

Duterte’s statements were met with bewilderment and consternation in Washington.

Police attack demonstration outside US embassy in Manila

By our reporter, 21 October 2016

Police violently assaulted the protest, despite the fact that it was led by Maoist front organisations allied to the government.

The autocratic record of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej

By Tom Peters, 20 October 2016

King Bhumibol, who is being glorified by the media and politicians around the world, supported one military dictatorship after another to suppress the working class and the poor.

Philippine president in China seeks to cement closer ties

By Peter Symonds, 19 October 2016

Duterte has signalled that he is open to closer military relations with China and Russia as he seeks billions of dollars in Chinese aid and investment.

Thai military consolidates power as royal succession delayed

By Peter Symonds, 17 October 2016

Prem Tinsulanonda, a former head of the army and prime minister, has been appointed regent, with the full powers of the king, for an indeterminate period.

Toxic smog over South East Asia killed over 100,000 in 2015

By John Harris, 10 October 2016

The estimate, which is yet to be verified by an analysis of official mortality data, far exceeds the Indonesian government’s death toll.

US defence secretary announces “third phase” of military build-up against China

By Peter Symonds, 4 October 2016

Ashton Carter made clear that the US would sharpen its “military edge” in the Asia Pacific so as to remain the most powerful military in the region.”

Amnesty International documents torture by Thai junta

By Tom Peters, 3 October 2016

The Amnesty report documents the brutal methods that will be used more broadly as opposition develops to the regime’s austerity measures and brutal repression.

Philippine President Duterte declares end to joint war games with the US

By Joseph Santolan, 1 October 2016

As Duterte has sought to pursue ties with China, Washington, using the pretext of human rights as a means to pressure the Philippine president, has criticized his murderous drug war.

Japan to conduct South China Sea patrols with US

By Peter Symonds, 19 September 2016

Japan has no claims in the South China Sea but, like the US, is exploiting the territorial disputes to further its own interests in South East Asia.

Philippine foreign secretary says Manila will no longer be US “little brown brother”

By Joseph Santolan, 19 September 2016

As President Duterte downplays the South China Sea dispute with China, Washington is mounting a cynical “human rights” campaign to pressure the Philippines back into line.

Philippine president calls for US special forces to leave Mindanao

By Joseph Santolan, 15 September 2016

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s statements mark a further souring of ties between Manila and Washington under the new president.

Obama cancels meeting with Philippine President Duterte

By Joseph Santolan, 6 September 2016

The real source of the tensions is Washington’s increasing displeasure over Duterte’s failure to play his assigned role in the US pivot to Asia.

Obama and the US secret war in Laos

By Peter Symonds, 6 September 2016

Obama is the first US president since the Vietnam War to visit Laos, the scene of one of US imperialism’s bloodiest crimes, even as his administration is preparing new wars on a far greater scale.

Philippine president declares “state of lawlessness” after bomb blast

By Joseph Santolan, 5 September 2016

While stating that this was “not martial law,” Duterte told the press that the military would be “running the country.”

Over 1,800 extra-judicial killings under new Philippine government

By Joseph Santolan, 23 August 2016

The official figures—at least double the media estimates—reveal that Duterte has launched a crusade of mass murder under the guise of a “war on drugs.”

Thai junta exploits bombings to clamp down on opposition

By Tom Peters, 16 August 2016

Thailand’s military regime has seized on last week’s horrific events to arrest political opponents.

Anger mounts over government handling of floods in China

By John Braddock, 30 July 2016

With widespread media and internet reports accusing officials of negligence, Beijing is increasingly nervous about deepening social opposition.

Military crackdown ahead of Thai constitutional referendum

By Tom Peters, 29 July 2016

The draft constitution empowers the military junta, which seized power in a 2014 coup, to continue its rule even if elections are held.

Philippine President Duterte delivers State of the Nation Address

By Joseph Santolan, 26 July 2016

Duterte’s speech was a repugnant mixture of proposals to assist big business in the exploitation of cheap labor and statements sanctioning the murder of alleged criminals.

US stokes divisions over South China Sea at ASEAN summit

By Peter Symonds, 25 July 2016

The Philippines and Vietnam are at loggerheads with Cambodia over a reference in the final communiqué to the recent UN-backed court ruling negating China’s maritime claims.

US admiral holds “frank” talks in Beijing over South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 20 July 2016

The Chinese regime is playing directly into Washington’s hands by resorting to its own reckless military measures that heighten the danger of conflict.

Manila responds to South China Sea ruling

By Joseph Santolan, 15 July 2016

The Duterte government has reacted to the ruling with caution, seeking to placate Washington and Beijing, while the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines has escalated its attacks on China.

Hague court decision sets stage for US confrontation with China

By Peter Symonds, 13 July 2016

Yesterday’s tribunal ruling branding China’s actions in the South China Sea as “illegal” provides another pretext for the US to ramp up its military expansion in Asia.

Hague court decides South China Sea case today

By Joseph Santolan, 12 July 2016

Regardless of the details of today’s tribunal decision, Washington will exploit the ruling to escalate its war drive against China.

UN court to deliver decision on South China Sea disputes

By Peter Symonds, 11 July 2016

With a ruling imminent, the US has cranked up its propaganda apparatus and military activity in the South China Sea, setting the stage for a dangerous confrontation with China.

Philippine police and vigilantes kill 72 during first week of Duterte government

By Joseph Santolan, 9 July 2016

Duterte is pursuing his fascistic agenda, including to reinstate the death penalty and to reduce the minimum age of criminal accountability as low as nine years.

Widespread destruction in China following floods

By Ben McGrath, 9 July 2016

At least 186 people have been killed, dozens remain missing and 32 million people have been affected overall.

Chinese military drills ahead of South China Sea court ruling

By Peter Symonds, 6 July 2016

The military exercises are meant as a warning to the US, which has deliberately inflamed territorial disputes in the sea over the past six years.

Duterte takes office as president of the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 1 July 2016

Duterte’s presidency represents a move by the Philippine ruling class to resolve the political crises in the country through dictatorial forms of rule.

Indonesian naval vessels clash with Chinese fishing boats

By John Roberts, 24 June 2016

Indonesia’s aggressive fisheries enforcement regime has been encouraged by Washington as it prepares to step up military and diplomatic pressure on China.

Two US aircraft carriers in war games in western Pacific

By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2016

The show of force is a sign that the US intends to ramp up its confrontation with China following an imminent ruling on the Philippine legal challenge to Beijing’s maritime claims.

Duterte government opens peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 15 June 2016

As government and party leaders meet to negotiate in Oslo, CPP head Joma Sison is calling for a “coalition government” with the fascistic Duterte regime.

Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines supports state burial for Ferdinand Marcos

By Joseph Santolan, 8 June 2016

The CPP is entering an alliance with incoming President Rodrigo Duterte and, in doing so, its leader Joma Sison has endorsed the state burial of the dictator Marcos.

Maoists take cabinet positions in Philippine government

By Joseph Santolan, 7 June 2016

The Maoist officials in the Duterte administration will be directly responsible for carrying out the suppression of the working class.

A wave of summary executions following the Philippine election

By Dante Pastrana, 2 June 2016

In line with president-elect Duterte’s election promise, police and vigilantes have launched a campaign of murderous violence against alleged criminals.

Australian election: Military spending is war preparation, not “industry policy”

By James Cogan—SEP candidate for the Senate in NSW, 26 May 2016

The greatest expenditure on hardware for the Australian military since World War II is being cynically portrayed as a public works program.

Obama appeals for closer US-Vietnamese ties

By Peter Symonds, 25 May 2016

In return for lifting the arms embargo, Obama undoubtedly extracted commitments from Hanoi to align more closely with Washington against Beijing.

Dormitory fire kills 17 children in Thailand

By Tom Peters, 24 May 2016

The fire in a Chiang Rai school dormitory is the latest tragedy caused by the lack of proper building and safety standards.

Obama seeks Vietnam military ties amid rising tensions with China

By Bill Van Auken, 23 May 2016

Part of the discussions in Hanoi will involve the pre-positioning of US military hardware at bases used four decades ago to wage war on the Vietnamese people.

Spy plane “intercept” highlights US push for South China Sea confrontation

By Mike Head, 20 May 2016

Allegations that Chinese aircraft “unsafely” intercepted a US surveillance plane underscore Pentagon calls for a “trigger” for conflict with China.

Duterte offers cabinet posts to Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 17 May 2016

The president-elect has vowed to restore hangings and not to back down on the country’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

War danger grows following new US provocation in South China Sea

By James Cogan, 11 May 2016

US imperialism continues to stoke up long-standing, competing claims over territory in the South China Sea to militarily encircle and destabilise the Chinese regime.

Fascistic candidate Rodrigo Duterte wins Philippine presidential election

By Joseph Santolan, 10 May 2016

Responsibility for the successful political career of Duterte rests with the anti-working class and nationalist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Maoist-backed, fascistic candidate leads Philippine presidential race

By Dante Pastrana, 4 May 2016

Duterte has pledged to summarily execute alleged criminals, kill union activists and block any political opposition by shutting down Congress and the courts.

Malaysian investment fund default intensifies political instability

By John Roberts, 3 May 2016

The latest development in the 1MDB scandal is a further blow to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s hold on power.

US senators demand escalation of military confrontation with China

By James Cogan, 2 May 2016

The rhetoric reflects the fact that major figures in the US political establishment are more than prepared to trigger a war.

The US to further expand its military presence in the Philippines

By Peter Symonds, 14 April 2016

As US-China tensions mount, Defence Secretary Carter signalled Washington’s intention to seek access to more Philippine military bases.

US defence secretary’s trip to Asia sets stage for new provocations against China

By Peter Symonds, 13 April 2016

Carter arrives in the Philippines to send a message to Beijing that the South China Sea is “a core American strategic interest.”

US navy prepares third provocation in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 5 April 2016

Amid large US-Philippine war games, the Pentagon is preparing a new “freedom of navigation” operation to challenge China’s maritime claims.

Fresh corruption allegations undermine Malaysian prime minister

By John Roberts, 1 April 2016

The corruption scandal swirling around Prime Minister Najib Razak points to deep rifts in ruling circles produced by a deteriorating economy and rising geo-political tensions.