South East Asia

Indonesia accuses China of encroaching on its territory

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 23 March 2016

Last weekend’s incident involving Chinese and Indonesian vessels is a sign of the acute tensions being generated by Washington’s intervention in South China Sea disputes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

South Korea’s opposition splits ahead of general election

By Ben McGrath, 14 January 2016

The departure of Kim Han-gil and the creation of new opposition parties constitute attempts to head off discontent among South Korean workers.

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.

South Korean union leader charged with sedition

By Ben McGrath, 9 January 2016

Not used since 1986, the charge of sedition represents a deepening of the Park government’s suppression of political dissent.

North Korea conducts fourth nuclear test

By Peter Symonds, 7 January 2016

The test will heighten the tense situation in North East Asia generated by the Obama administration’s confrontational “pivot to Asia” against China.

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.

Indonesian foreign policy tilts towards the US and its allies

By John Roberts, 31 December 2015

Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, Indonesia has adopted a tougher approach to China, while at the same time seeking to avoid open confrontation.

Japan and South Korea reach agreement over comfort women

By Ben McGrath, 30 December 2015

The deal will be welcomed in Washington which has been pressing its two allies to mend their rift and collaborate more closely in the US “pivot to Asia” against China.

Seven confirmed dead in industrial landslide in Shenzhen, China

By Will Morrow, 30 December 2015

The response of the Chinese regime is aimed at diverting attention from the broader social and political implications of the disaster.

Dozens of Chinese miners killed in three accidents

By Ben McGrath, 29 December 2015

The callous disregard for the safety of miners, resulting in a series of mine explosions and cave-ins, is a product of the drive to cut production costs and boost profits.

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.

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.

Weakening currency and economic slowdown in China

By Peter Symonds, 14 December 2015

The downward slide in the renminbi’s value threatens other Asian export-dependent countries and heightens the danger of a currency war.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fifty years since the Indonesian coup

By Peter Symonds, 1 October 2015

The 1965 CIA-backed military coup, which resulted in the slaughter of at least 500,000 people, was one of the great imperialist crimes of the 20th Century.

US probe into 1MDB scandal deepens Malaysian political turmoil

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 28 September 2015

The US Justice Department investigation is a damaging blow to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is facing calls for his resignation.

Thai junta rejects draft constitution, delays election

By Tom Peters, 10 September 2015

The US-backed military dictatorship has no intention of giving up its hold on power.

Chinese slowdown impacts Asian economies

By Peter Symonds, 8 September 2015

The downturn in the Chinese economy is reverberating around the world, nowhere more so than in Asia.

Japan: Continuing protests against Abe government’s security bills

By Ben McGrath, 7 September 2015

The government is pressing to pass the deeply unpopular bills before the current parliamentary session ends on September 27.

Mass anti-government rallies in Malaysia

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 1 September 2015

Ruling class divisions are fuelled by a deteriorating economy, which has been hard-hit by China’s slowdown, falling commodity prices and regional competition for investment.

Mass protests in Japan oppose “collective self-defence” laws

By Ben McGrath, 31 August 2015

The widespread hostility to the new security laws reflects the deep-rooted anti-war sentiment in Japan, especially in the working class.

Chinese officials, company executives detained over Tianjin explosion

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 August 2015

Underlying the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to find scapegoats for the Tianjin disaster is the deepening crisis of the entire regime.

Thai junta exploits Bangkok bombing

By Tom Peters, 19 August 2015

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

The Tianjin explosions and the discrediting of capitalism

By James Cogan, 15 August 2015

The promises that the Chinese masses would ultimately benefit from rampant capitalist development are lying in tatters.

China: More than 50 dead in Tianjin factory explosion

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 August 2015

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

Japanese government pushes militarist legislation amid mass protests

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 July 2015

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

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

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 July 2015

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

Malaysian prime minister engulfed in corruption scandal

By John Roberts, 11 July 2015

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

Obama welcomes Vietnam’s Communist Party head

By Peter Symonds, 10 July 2015

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

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

By Joseph Santolan, 9 July 2015

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

Chinese stocks continue to fall despite attempted counter-measures

By Nick Beams, 3 July 2015

The World Bank has again described the Chinese financial system as unbalanced and potentially unstable.

Malaysia’s opposition coalition breaks apart

By John Roberts, 30 June 2015

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

Obama administration uses bilateral talks to ramp up pressure on China

By Oliver Campbell, 27 June 2015

The talks took place amid an escalation of Washington’s diplomatic, military and economic campaign against China.

MERS outbreak exposes South Korean government’s lack of preparation

By Ben McGrath, 23 June 2015

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

Japanese protests denounce new military legislation

By Ben McGrath, 20 June 2015

Thousands gathered over the weekend to oppose bills to expand the role of the armed forces and its capacity to wage war.

Delay on TPP prompts warnings to US from Asia

By Nick Beams, 19 June 2015

The US has received a blunt warning about shifting relations in Asia from Singapore’s foreign minister.

US drive to war dominates Philippine presidential election discussions

By Joseph Santolan, 18 June 2015

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

Philippines: Maoist union leads Tanduay contract workers toward defeat

By Dante Pastrana, 15 June 2015

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

Death toll rises following ferry sinking in China

By Ben McGrath, 6 June 2015

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

Philippine Maoists support US war drive against China

By Joseph Santolan, 5 June 2015

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

Philippine President Aquino compares China to Nazi Germany

By Joseph Santolan, 4 June 2015

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

South Korean teachers union faces ban

By Ben McGrath, 4 June 2015

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

US defence secretary challenges China at Singapore security forum

By Peter Symonds, 30 May 2015

Ashton Carter demanded that China halt its “unprecedented” land reclamation in the South China Sea and declared the US would continue its provocative overflights.

Sri Lankan president postpones parliamentary election

By K. Ratnayake, 29 May 2015

Sirisena has refused to set a poll date, breaking his promise to dissolve parliament on April 23 and call an election.

Agreement signed on China-backed investment bank

By Nick Beams, 23 May 2015

Tensions over the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank surfaced again this week when Japan announced it would provide $110 billion for infrastructure investment.

Police crackdown on protest in western China

By Ben McGrath, 22 May 2015

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

Controversy erupts over American B1 bomber deployments to Australia

By James Cogan, 16 May 2015

Above all, the denials surrounding US war plans against China are directed at keeping the working class in the dark about the dangers of conflict.

Thai military sends boat carrying hundreds of Rohingya refugees “out to sea”

By Thomas Gaist, 16 May 2015

The savage treatment of the Rohingya migrants is an acute manifestation of a growing international refugee crisis comparable in scale and brutality to that produced by World War II.

Closer Chinese-Russian ties on display in Moscow

By Peter Symonds, 15 May 2015

The Chinese President Xi was given pride of place, seated alongside Russian President Putin, during the military parade through Red Square to mark the end of World War II.

Historians condemn Japan’s whitewashing of war crimes

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2015

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

China’s Xi meets head of Taiwan’s Kuomintang

By Ben McGrath, 8 May 2015

Xi Jinping and Eric Chu met to discuss collaboration as Taiwan seeks to join international trade agreements and China’s AIIB.

Thailand’s draft constitution enshrines dictatorship

By Tom Peters, 6 May 2015

The junta’s constitution would ensure that the military and the courts maintain control of the country.

New Zealand shared intelligence with Bangladesh’s repressive agencies

By Tom Peters, 18 April 2015

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden show that NZ’s spy agency, the GCSB, has supported Bangladesh’s notorious security apparatus for at least 12 years.

Japan’s ruling party wins local elections

By Ben McGrath, 17 April 2015

The near-record low turnout is another indication of broad public alienation from the political establishment and parliamentary set-up as a whole.

Burmese regime signs draft ceasefire with ethnic separatists

By John Roberts, 16 April 2015

The peace accord is part of the government’s bid to meet the demands of the US and its allies in return for a further relaxation of sanctions.

Massive fire at Chinese chemical factory

By Ben McGrath, 11 April 2015

Industrial accidents in China are a regular occurrence amid the corporate drive to boost profits at the expense of safety and health standards.

South Korea pushes for inclusion in US anti-missile system

By Ben McGrath, 20 March 2015

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

South Korean president calls for Japanese apology

By Ben McGrath, 6 March 2015

Compared to past speeches Park Geun-hye appeared to pull her punches on the crimes of Japanese imperialism in the 1930s and 1940s.

Japanese PM calls for constitutional change in keynote speech

By Peter Symonds, 14 February 2015

Central to Abe’s “reform” agenda is the removal of constraints on the use of the military to prosecute Japanese imperialism's strategic interests.

Hong Kong protest falls short of expectations

By Ben McGrath, 7 February 2015

The small turnout was a reflection of the political dead-end into which so-called pro-democracy leaders steered last year’s weeks-long protest movement.

ISIS kills Japanese hostage

By Ben McGrath, 26 January 2015

The apparent murder of one of the hostages held by ISIS, Haruna Yukawa, comes as Japan plans to expand its military presence in the Middle East.

Japan: Two workers killed at TEPCO nuclear plants in Fukushima

By Ben McGrath, 26 January 2015

The deaths are another reminder of the ongoing dangers at the tsunami-affected Fukushima Daiichi complex, and the official disregard for workers’ health and safety.

Indonesian president speeds up executions of prisoners

By John Roberts, 19 January 2015

Widodo’s law-and-order campaign is an appeal to the most reactionary elements in Indonesian society.

Chinese President Xi Jinping targets CCP party factions

By Ben McGrath, 14 January 2015

In the name of fighting corruption, Xi Jinping is going after political rivals in order to pursue more pro-market restructuring.

South Korea deports Korean-American woman accused of supporting the North

By Ben McGrath, 13 January 2015

President Park Geun-hye’s government has whipped up a series of “red scares.”

Evidence mounts of safety violations contributing to AirAsia plane crash

By Will Morrow, 7 January 2015

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

Japan: New laws to loosen restrictions on the military

By Ben McGrath, 5 January 2015

If passed, the legislation will give the government far broader scope to go to war in the name of “collective self-defense.”

New Year’s Eve stampede in Shanghai kills 36

By Will Morrow, 5 January 2015

The government’s refusal to take basic safety precautions for the New Year celebrations created the conditions for the tragedy.

Pseudo-left USP plays double game in Sri Lankan presidential election

By Vilani Peiris, 5 January 2015

The USP claims to be running an “independent” campaign, but in reality is providing back-handed support for the pro-US opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Australia to be maintenance base for controversial F-35 jet fighter

By James Cogan, 3 January 2015

The decision underlines the degree to which Australia is being integrated into US preparations for war in the Asia-Pacific region.

Wreckage of crashed AirAsia flight found in Java Sea

By Will Morrow, 31 December 2014

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

Vietnam backs Philippine case against Chinese maritime claims

By John Roberts, 30 December 2014

Hanoi rejected China’s claims in the South China Sea and called on the court to take Vietnam’s interests into consideration.

AirAsia flight lost over Java Sea

By James Cogan, 29 December 2014

No wreckage of the aircraft has been found and initial searches have been suspended due to stormy conditions.

Japanese PM flags propaganda offensive to “restore Japan’s honour”

By Peter Symonds, 13 December 2014

The ruling LDP is preparing to accelerate plans for Japan’s remilitarisation, including on the ideological front, if it retains office in tomorrow’s election.

Thai junta maintains firm grip on power

By Tom Peters, 13 December 2014

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

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

By Patrick Kelly, 11 December 2014

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

Malaysian government retains draconian Sedition Act

By John Roberts, 6 December 2014

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

Hong Kong protests swell after talks called off

By Peter Symonds, 11 October 2014

Protest leaders threaten to escalate their actions unless the government responds to their demand for full and open elections in 2017.

Hong Kong protests ebb

By Peter Symonds, 4 October 2014

Protesters came under attack from thugs who took advantage of growing public frustration over the disruption to daily life.

Hong Kong chief executive seeks to defuse protests

By Peter Symonds, 3 October 2014

In his effort to end the protests, Leung had the support of sections of the official opposition that are just as fearful as Beijing of spiralling social unrest.

India strengthens strategic ties with Vietnam

By John Roberts, 26 September 2014

The Indian and Vietnamese presidents issued a joint statement on the need for security in the South China Sea that was clearly aimed against China.

Chinese president visits Sri Lanka to strengthen strategic ties

By Deepal Jayasekera, 20 September 2014

President Xi’s South Asian tour is an attempt to counter aggressive moves by the US and Japan to line up countries in the region behind the US “pivot” against China.

Australia-India uranium deal strengthens economic and strategic ties

By Peter Symonds, 6 September 2014

The uranium pact removes an obstacle to closer military relations between Australia and India as part of broader US efforts to forge an anti-China bloc.

Tokyo holds talks with North Korea over Japanese abductees

By Ben McGrath, 29 August 2014

Japan’s moves have provoked concerns in Washington that Tokyo’s diplomacy will cut across US strategy in North East Asia.

South Korean auto unions hold token strikes

By Ben McGrath, 26 August 2014

Employees of South Korea’s two largest auto manufacturers walked off the job last Friday for four hours.