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Category Archives: Asia

Snowden Documents Reveal Scope of Secrets Exposed to China in 2001 Spy Plane Incident

WHEN CHINA boldly seized a U.S. underwater drone in the South China Sea last December and initially refused to give it back, the incident ignited a weeklong political standoff and conjured memories of a similar event more than 15 years ago.

In April 2001, just months before the 9/11 attacks gripped the nation, a U.S. Navy spy plane flying a routine reconnaissance mission over the South China Sea was struck by a People’s Liberation Army fighter jet that veered aggressively close. The mid-air collision killed the Chinese pilot, crippled the Navy plane, and forced it to make an emergency landing at a Chinese airfield, touching off a tense international showdown for nearly two weeks while China refused to release the two-dozen American crew members and damaged aircraft.

https://theintercept.com/2017/04/10/snowden-documents-reveal-scope-of-secrets-exposed-to-china-in-2001-spy-plane-incident/

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in Asia, North America

 

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Australia Beckons a war with China

Australia is sleep-walking into a confrontation with China. Wars can happen suddenly in an atmosphere of mistrust and provocation, especially if a minor power, like Australia, abandons its independence for an “alliance” with an unstable superpower.The United States is at a critical moment. Having exported its all-powerful manufacturing base, run down its industry and reduced millions of its once-hopeful people to poverty, principal American power today is brute force. When Donald Trump launched his missile attack on Syria – following his bombing of a mosque and a school – he was having dinner in Florida with the President of China, Xi Jinping.

Source: AUSTRALIA BECKONS A WAR WITH CHINA

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2017 in Asia, Oceania

 

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It’s Not Communism Holding China’s Youth Back. It’s Their Parents. 

I am the son of a Chinese democracy activist. My father went into exile in 1988; I was born in China and raised in England. But today, my father and I find ourselves back in the motherland.My family’s struggle for freedom was a quest to escape what they saw as a narrowing reality. My father’s decision to seek refuge, and his independence from a brutal government, led to my upbringing in England. But having returned to China, in 2012, of my own free will, I have come to realize that the struggle for most young people in China isn’t a political one — it’s a generational clash against the stifling influence of parental expectations.Before he left China, my father was an assistant teacher of law at a university in the southern city of Guilin. In the late 1980s he started distributing pamphlets and writing letters calling for democratic reforms. In those days, the winds of change were blowing hard. The slaughter near Tiananmen Square in June 1989 was the culmination, a savage eradication of the democratic movement that had swept across China.

Source: It’s Not Communism Holding China’s Youth Back. It’s Their Parents. | Foreign Policy

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Asia

 

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Understanding Modi’s Magical Appeal 

We are now deep in the era of political shocks. One electorate after another has expressed its anger with mainstream parties and technocratic elites by favoring political outsiders and know-nothing anti-incumbents. But what explains the appeal of demagogues once they start governing and reveal themselves to be exponents of chaos?

Source: Understanding Modi’s Magical Appeal – Bloomberg View

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2017 in Asia

 

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Hopes and fears on people’s Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan 

Aisulu grimaces while talking about the gauntlet she has been thrown by foreign competitors. “The Chinese say, ‘You took away our market, we will find a way to bring it back. We will produce clothes that are even cheaper than yours.’ She owns a textile workshop in the outskirts of Bishkek. The sewing machines are made in China (“They cost much less than the Japanese ones,” she says) and a dozen young women are working away producing women’s padded coats, which are oversize for local consumption because Aisulu’s target customers are junoesque Russian buyers.

Source: Hopes and fears on people’s Silk Road in Kyrgyzstan | Asia Times

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2017 in Asia

 

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Abe caught out in school scandal 

Growing scandal’ is the only way to describe the unfolding story about Moritomo Gakuen, a private education company in Osaka responsible for the controversial early education programs and schools currently under scrutiny in the Japanese parliament and press because of its close connection to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Source: Abe caught out in school scandal | East Asia Forum

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2017 in Asia

 

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A Win for South Korea’s Revolution 

What does it take to peacefully remove a democratically elected president from power? In this brave new world of fake news on Facebook and post-truth politics on Twitter, it was traditional forces of resistance and dissent—idealistic students, intrepid journalists, invigorated parliamentarians, and outraged urbanites—who launched a revolution in Korea.South Korea’s Candlelight Revolution started over the summer of 2016 in the old-fashioned way: with on-campus activism. Students at Ewha Womans University had been protesting the administration over what they called “unilateral and undemocratic” policies when their ire turned to a specific case of injustice. They learned that the university illegitimately admitted a student solely because her mother was Choi Soon-sil, friend of Korean president Park Geun-hye. The administration stonewalled the students but they refused to give up. Finally, when faculty decided to join the students, the beleaguered university president announced her resignation. It seemed, at the time, like an isolated incident, a small victory for justice. In fact, the students had pulled loose a thread to unravel the web of corruption surrounding the highest echelons of political and economic power in the country.

Source: A Win for South Korea’s Revolution | Dissent Magazine

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2017 in Asia

 

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North Korea: The Really Serious Options on the Table

“Information Clearing House” – The National People’s Congress in Beijing made it clear that China in the 21st century as led by Xi Jinping now relies, as a state, on the  “core” leader’s “four comprehensives” as the letter of the law.

The “four comprehensives” are to build a moderately prosperous society; deepen economic reform; advance the law-based governance of China; and strengthen the Communist Party’s self-governance.

No foreign-policy adventure/disaster should be allowed to interfere with the “four comprehensives,” which, extrapolated, are also linked to the imperative success of the New Silk Roads (One Belt, One Road), China’s ambitious outreach across Eurasia.

Source: North Korea: The Really Serious Options on the Table

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2017 in Asia

 

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Asian collision course

Since the end of the US presidential campaign, Donald Trump and his team of advisers have made statements showing they seek to alter world politics in significant ways. None are quite as important, for world peace and global stability, as the adversarial pronouncements about the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that are now upsetting bilateral relations and generating turbulence in East Asia. While not yet formalised in a coherent policy framework, official and semi-official discourses point to sharpening rivalry, and possibly to an unfolding, and risky, containment effort.At the economic level, the new administration is considering designating China a ‘currency manipulator’ for the first time since 1994, and is proposing punitive tariffs of up to 45% on Chinese-sourced imports. At the strategic level, prominent figures in or close to the new administration have been sending unusually unambiguous messages that the US will use force if necessary to curb China’s growing power and reach in East Asia and the Pacific. In confirmation hearings on 11 January, secretary of state designate Rex Tillerson warned that the US would interdict Chinese naval forces in the South China Seas: ‘We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to these islands also is not going to be allowed.’ It would be a ‘danger to the global economy’ if China were to ‘dictate access to the waterway’ (1). A few days later, Newt Gingrich, former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives (1995-9) and confidant of Donald Trump, told the German weekly Der Spiegel, ‘Well, frankly, on the South China Sea, I suspect we will try to communicate with the Chinese that they are not going to become the leading naval power in our lifetime’ (2).

Source: Asian collision course, by Philip S Golub (Le Monde diplomatique ⋆ Epeak . Independent news and blogs

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Asia

 

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Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?

When the hype surrounding the Trump-Xi summit turns into a Mar-a-Lago fact on the ground next month, both presidents are bound to agree fully on at least one issue: “radical Islamic terror” – as per Trump terminology.Donald Trump has relied on a controversial Muslim “no-ban” ban that – in theory – would restrict the inflow of potential radical Islamists to US territory; his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, meeting Xinjiang lawmakers on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing, has launched a “Great Wall of Iron” to protect China’s Far West.

Source: Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock? | Asia Times

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Asia

 

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