Asia and the Pacific

Amid tense India-China border stand-off, US and India boost military-security partnership

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 29 October 2020

India’s BJP government has exploited the ongoing military border standoff with China to integrate India still more fully into American imperialism’s incendiary military-strategic offensive against Beijing.

Australian university union runs limited “wage theft” campaign

By Gabriela Zabala, 29 October 2020

The NTEU claims to have been unaware of the level of exploitation and underpayment, especially of casuals.

Elite factions struggle for control of Philippine legislature

By John Malvar, 28 October 2020

At stake in the dispute was political patronage, control over the distribution of committee appointments and of funds, which both sides were looking to secure as an opening salvo in the 2022 presidential race.

Australia Post workers speak out: “We don’t have any faith in the unions”

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 28 October 2020

Two workers voiced support for the formation of rank-and-file committees to fight the union-enforced restructure of Australia Post.

Vietnam suffers through a “new normal” of extreme weather events

By Robert Campion, 28 October 2020

Close to a million people have been severely affected, with many in desperate need of shelter, food, clean drinking water and income support.

Australian spy agency raises new alarm about foreign “plot”

By Mike Head, 27 October 2020

This is not the first such lurid allegation by ASIO, accusing China of conspiring to take over Australia.

Australian environmental scientists face mounting censorship

By Frank Gaglioti, 27 October 2020

A report found that scientists in the government and private sectors are frequently compelled to modify their research and prevented from publicly-revealing their concerns.

Malaysian king rejects PM’s “request” for emergency rule

By Mike Head, 27 October 2020

The political establishment is breaking up in the face of a pandemic-triggered economic reversal and rising class tensions.

Bangladeshi union shuts down port workers national strike; Assam rail workers demand festival allowance; Western Australian workers protest after worksite death

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

24 October 2020

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

Public webinar: For a socialist program against the New Zealand Labour government's right-wing agenda

By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 24 October 2020

The Socialist Equality Group (NZ) is holding a webinar on November 8 to expose the right-wing, pro-imperialist agenda of Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party government, which is being falsely glorified as a progressive alternative to right-wing governments internationally.

Australia: University of Melbourne IYSSE holds successful AGM despite anti-democratic measures

By Our correspondent, 24 October 2020

Held amid a COVID-19 lockdown, the meeting reflected the growing radicalisation among youth and students.

Mounting evidence of systemic Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 24 October 2020

The atrocities flowed inevitably from the nature of the war—a brutal operation to crush all resistance to the US military occupation of the impoverished country.

Thai protesters demand the resignation of the prime minister

By Ben McGrath, 24 October 2020

Protesters have given the government three days to meet their demands or the demonstrations will continue.

New Zealand markets, business welcome Labour’s election victory

By John Braddock, 23 October 2020

Labour and the Greens both used the election to reassure the corporate elite they would continue to meet their demands.

Australian universities pseudo-left “network” postpones forum at NTEU’s behest

By Mike Head, 23 October 2020

The NHEAN is opposed to any action that would threaten the role of the unions that have presided over the destruction of 90,000 university jobs since March.

Goldman Sachs fined $2.9 billion over role in 1MDB corruption case

By Nick Beams, 23 October 2020

The case involved the embezzlement of billions of dollars from the 1MDB fund, including by two Goldman bankers.

Sri Lankan workers must rally the rural poor against Rajapakse’s “herd immunity” policies

By Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) statement, 22 October 2020

The true situation was hidden from the outset because the government refused to implement rigorous anti-COVID-19 measures when the virus first impacted on the country in late January.

Statements from Canada, India and Sri Lanka in support of Dr. Scalice

By our reporters, 22 October 2020

“Dr. Scalice has thoroughly exposed the politically criminal role played by the Stalinist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in paving the way for the anti-working class dictatorial regimes of Marcos and Duterte.”

Sri Lankan SEP to hold online meeting on a socialist program to fight COVID-19

By The Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 22 October 2020

The event will discuss the policies necessary for workers, the rural poor and youth to combat the coronavirus disaster and the Rajapakse administration’s austerity and anti-democratic measures.

Australian corporate elite demands lifting of all coronavirus safety restrictions

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 October 2020

A hysterical campaign is underway, insisting that any public health measures are an unacceptable impost on the wealth and profits of the financial aristocracy.

Australia joins “Quad” military exercises directed against China

By Mike Head, 22 October 2020

None of the latest announcements explicitly named China as the target, but they flowed from a meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, India, Japan and Australia on October 6, where US Secretary of State Pompeo denounced Beijing.

Australian unions offer to protect employers from “wage theft” penalties

By Max Boddy, 21 October 2020

The agreement would give a green light for companies to continue to underpay workers, a practice that is rampant throughout the country.

Statements from China and Sri Lanka in defence of Dr. Scalice against the attacks by the Stalinist CPP

By our reporters, 21 October 2020

“The working class from all over the world must take seriously the threats and slanders unleashed by Sison against Dr. Scalice and come forward to defend him.”

Unions trying to suppress workers’ opposition to pro-business restructure at Australia Post

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 21 October 2020

The unions are adopting a cynical posture of concern toward workers, while enforcing the “Alternative Delivery Model.”

Demonstrations in Thailand continue as government rejects protesters’ demands

By Ben McGrath, 21 October 2020

Underpinning the demands for democratic rights is a growing economic and social crisis for Thailand’s youth and working class.

World Bank: South Asian economies hit hard by COVID-19

By Saman Gunadasa, 20 October 2020

The report bluntly warns that “more people will be added to the ranks of the extreme poor in South Asia than in any other region in 2020.”

Queensland state election underscores political instability in Australia

By Gary Alvernia, 20 October 2020

While focussing on closing the state borders due to COVID-19, Labor is reassuring the corporate elite that a Labor government will meet all its requirements.

Roof deflection warnings ignored before young Australian construction worker killed

By Margaret Rees and Paul Bartizan, 20 October 2020

Perth apprentice Jonnie Hartshorn fell 20 metres to his death when the glass roof of a university building under construction collapsed despite concerns raised by other workers of excessive deflection.

Australian pseudo-left denies fascist danger in US presidential election crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 October 2020

Socialist Alternative is attempting to chloroform the working class, insisting that the American ruling class would never resort to dictatorial rule.

In interview with Radio Free Asia, Sison announces

Communist Party of the Philippines targets Chinese firms blacklisted by Washington

By John Malvar, 19 October 2020

The leadership of the CPP explained it would be targeting Chinese firms in interviews with Radio Free Asia, an official organ of US government propaganda directed against China.

Political scandal engulfs premier in Australia’s most populous state

By Mike Head, 19 October 2020

Behind the Berejiklian affair lies a history of “anti-corruption” inquiries, being used to execute political shifts in the state of New South Wales.

Labour Party strengthens its hold on power in New Zealand election

By Tom Peters, 19 October 2020

The Labour Party has gained significant support from businesses and sections of the upper middle class after launching an assault on the living conditions of the working class.

Sri Lankan free trade zone employees told to keep working as infections rise

By Wimal Perera and Kapila Fernando, 17 October 2020

“The lives of workers have been thrown to the wolves in order to protect the profits of the big capitalists,” one worker told the WSWS.

Andhra Pradesh textile workers strike; 400,000 Assam tea plantation workers walk out; Western Australia: Offshore LNG platform employees in Western Australia take action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 October 2020

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

New Zealand pseudo-lefts support Labour and Greens in election

By Tom Peters, 17 October 2020

The International Socialist Organisation and Socialist Aotearoa support the re-election of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government, which is carrying out a historic assault on the living standards of the working class.

“Dr. Scalice requires the support of all people who value historical truth”

Statements of support for Dr. Scalice continue to come in from Australia and Sri Lanka

By our reporters, 17 October 2020

“Scalice’s lecture provided a powerful exposure of the catastrophic consequences bequeathed to the international working class by Stalinism and its extension Maoism.”

Thai students continue protests in face of government repression

By Ben McGrath, 17 October 2020

The demonstrators have three core demands: the prime minister’s resignation, a new constitution, and an end to the suppression of government critics; as well as the reform of the monarchy.

Labor Party helps impose Australian military call-out laws for “emergencies”

By Mike Head, 16 October 2020

The “emergency” bill can cover civil unrest, industrial action or any other development regarded as a threat to the existing economic and political order.

Australian health union leader pleads guilty to corruption

By Cheryl Crisp, 15 October 2020

While they were imposing poverty-level wages and dire conditions on the workers they falsely claim to represent, several Health Services Union were looting the organisation’s treasury for their own purposes.

US Secretary of State Pompeo to visit Sri Lanka amid rising anti-China provocations

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 15 October 2020

Pompeo’s visit is another step in Washington’s policy of pushing its Asian regional partners into direct military confrontation with Beijing.

North and East of Sri Lanka paralysed by mass anti-government protest

By Subash Somachandran, 15 October 2020

Social opposition is mounting among workers and the poor across Sri Lanka against the Rajapakse government’s continuous attacks on social and democratic rights.

New Zealand 2020 election

The fight for social equality, against the pandemic and against war, is the fight for world socialism

By The Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 15 October 2020

Socialist-minded workers and young people should reject the fantasy promoted by the Labour Party-led government and its apologists that New Zealand can separate itself from the global capitalist crisis.

New Zealand Green Party postures over tax, poverty

By John Braddock, 14 October 2020

The record proves that an incoming Labour-Greens coalition would be completely subservient to the demands of big business.

Indonesian workers continue to protest pro-big business “omnibus law”

By Ben McGrath, 14 October 2020

Protesters against the new legislation have faced police repression while the unions work to divert workers’ anger into political dead-ends.

Australia: New South Wales wage freeze approved by Industrial Relations Commission

By Martin Scott, 14 October 2020

Growing numbers of workers are demanding industrial action while the unions are advocating impotent appeals to big business politicians.

COVID-19 outbreak exposes Sri Lankan government claims that pandemic is under control

By Naveen Dewage, 13 October 2020

The previous, relatively low number of COVID-19 infections in Sri Lanka is mainly the result of the government’s refusal to carry out systematic testing.

Cuts to healthcare system responsible for Victoria’s coronavirus resurgence

By Margaret Rees, 13 October 2020

Mass health worker infections are the direct outcome of the gutting of the sector by successive state and federal governments, Labor and Liberal alike.

Taipei and Washington continue to challenge Beijing’s redline over Taiwan

By Ben McGrath, 13 October 2020

Taiwan is being made the frontlines of a potential US-led war against the Chinese mainland.

Australian citizens stranded by COVID-19 measures denounce Morrison government

By John Harris, 13 October 2020

“The rich are having no trouble circumnavigating the globe because they can still travel first class. It’s no big deal to them. Everyone who flies economy class is stuck and with no chance of getting in.”

Australia: Victoria University IYSSE holds successful AGM

By our correspondents, 12 October 2020

The meeting, attended by students, youth and workers, reviewed some of the lessons of Leon Trotsky’s life and political work.

A discussion with a young member of the Chinese Communist Party

The Chinese Communist Party is “an organisation with a deep, deep level of bureaucratisation”

By Peter Symonds, 12 October 2020

“From Marx to Lenin to Trotsky, an unbroken string runs through and connects them… Trotskyism inherited the scientific principles of Marxism.”

Jobs bloodbath in Australia continues as companies restructure to slash costs

By Terry Cook, 12 October 2020

Employment relations expert warns the end of the JobKeeper scheme will leave workers exposed to a “redundancy bloodbath.”

Dr. Joseph Scalice discusses the significance of the fight against Stalinism with the members of Sri Lankan SEP

By Our correspondents, 12 October 2020

Scalice’s guest lecture to members of Sri Lankan SEP is important for their struggle to build the Trotskyist movement in South Asia and fight against Stalinist betrayals.

Poverty to soar after Labor backs Australian budget

By Mike Head, 12 October 2020

The swift passage of the budget’s key measures demonstrates a close political partnership.

Sri Lankan government presses ahead with plans for a presidential dictatorship

By Saman Gunadasa and K. Ratnayake, 10 October 2020

Facing an economic catastrophe exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Rajapakse wants new anti-democratic measures to suppress the eruption of mass social struggles by the working class.

New Zealand debates reveal bipartisan support for austerity and US alliance

By John Braddock, 10 October 2020

Both Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and opposition leader Judith Collins pledged continued support for the US, as it prepares for war against China, while proposing nothing to stop the worst social crisis since the Great Depression.

Deaths of Sydney delivery drivers expose dangerous conditions in the “gig economy”

By Max Boddy, 10 October 2020

The conditions in the sector are the direct result of the destruction of permanent full-time jobs, enforced by the trade unions.

Australian budget based on shaky foundations

By Nick Beams, 10 October 2020

One of the key assumptions of the Australian budget is that an effective COVID-19 vaccine will be developed and available to the population by the end of 2021.

Indonesian workers strike against new, pro-business legislation

By Ben McGrath, 9 October 2020

The bill, pushed through parliament on Monday, is a significant attack on workers’ conditions and livelihoods.

Australian Labor’s budget reply: Bipartisan backing for tax cuts to the rich, austerity for workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 October 2020

Anthony Albanese made clear yet again that Labor and the government march in lockstep when it comes to the pro-business response to the pandemic and the accompanying onslaught against the working class.

Australian inquiry hears Victorian quarantine hotel program plagued by “disorganisation, lack of appropriate staffing”

By Martin Scott, 8 October 2020

Health workers reveal the “shambolic” conditions that have contributed to as many as 768 deaths and 18,000 infections in the state.

CPP founder Sison recycles anti-Trotskyist lies of Ho Chi Minh

By Peter Symonds, 8 October 2020

Sison is making absolutely clear that the political line and perspective of the Communist Party of the Philippines derives not from Marxism but its falsifiers—Stalin, Mao Zedong and their followers.

Police shut down protests, fine students at University of Sydney

By Jack Turner, 8 October 2020

On the pretext of enforcing COVID-19 safety measures, the state government has deployed police to conduct anti-democratic operations on a university campus.

Australian budget: A bonanza for business at workers’ expense

By Mike Head, 7 October 2020

The bipartisan backing for this budget is a turning point in the restructuring of economic and social life in the interests of a tiny super-rich layer.

More statements from Australian workers giving support to Dr. Joseph Scalice

By Our reporters, 7 October 2020

“The betrayal of SYRIZA in Greece directly led to the growth of Golden Dawn and in the Philippines the CPP has actively cradled the growth of Duterte and fascistic forces.”

New Caledonia rejects independence from France for second time

By John Braddock, 7 October 2020

With a growing economic crisis and social tensions, the referendum result was deeply divided with just 53 per cent voting against independence.

Bangladesh’s Awami League government intensifies anti-democratic attacks on its critics

By Wimal Perera, 6 October 2020

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina has responded to the social crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 by suppressing information on the disease and persecuting journalists.

Socialist Equality Group holds webinar on the New Zealand election

By Our reporter, 6 October 2020

Members of the SEG (New Zealand) and the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) spoke on the global pandemic, the danger of war and dictatorship, and the right-wing record of Jacinda Ardern’s government.

Australian government silent on calls to intervene in defence of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 October 2020

The silence of the government and Labor has been a green light for the abuses that Assange has been subjected to over the past month, and the entire US-led campaign to destroy him.

Pandemic exposes Australian employers’ exploitation of young backpackers

By Michael Smith, 6 October 2020

The political establishment’s only response to the abuses has been to expand such visa programs and extend them to jobless workers and school leavers.

Australian university trade union concedes up to 90,000 job losses

By Mike Head, 5 October 2020

This disaster is a staggering indictment of the NTEU and all those trying to keep university workers tied to the union.

US FBI officials trained Australian Federal Police “foreign interference” squad

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 October 2020

The revelation demonstrates that the US state has a central hand in the campaign against supposed “foreign interference” in Australia.

Statements in defence of Dr. Joseph Scalice against Stalinist lies

By Our reporters, 5 October 2020

“I want to admonish as many people as I can to believe in Dr. Joseph Scalice. We must not waver in supporting him against the likes of Sison…”

India: 13,000 teachers in Delhi strike over unpaid wages; Government doctors protest in Pakistan; LNG offshore maintenance workers to walk out in Western Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

3 October 2020

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

Australian teachers confront fast-tracked return to classrooms in Victoria

By Karen Maxwell, 3 October 2020

Behind the backs of teachers, the Australian Education Union is working closely with the state Labor Party government to stifle resistance.

Chinese students support historian Joseph Scalice against Stalinist slanders

By Our correspondents, 3 October 2020

We urge our readers, including in China, to come to the defence of Dr. Scalice, including by sending statements of support to the WSWS opposing the slanderous attack on him by the CPP and sharing his lecture widely.

Australian budget to slash taxes for the rich while hitting workers

By Mike Head, 3 October 2020

While mounting a further assault on working-class conditions, this is a crisis budget like no other in living memory.

Modi government rams half-dozen anti-worker, anti-farmer laws through India’s parliament

By Kranti Kumara, 3 October 2020

The BJP’s labour “reform” abolishes restrictions on the use of contract labour, job cuts, and plant closures, and illegalises most worker job action.

Australian Labor Party leader demands budget “discipline” and “back to work”

By Mike Head, 2 October 2020

Anthony Albanese’s main pitch is for big business to again rely on a trade union-supported Labor government in a period of economic and political crisis.

Australia Post workers denounce union-enforced restructure, call for independent rank-and-file committees

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 2 October 2020

“On the eve of the biggest battle of our lives, the union has gone around in the middle of the night and emptied our guns of bullets. Just as the war begins they take away our right to withdraw our labour.”

Australian waterfront union shuts down industrial action at Patrick Terminals

By Patrick Davies, 2 October 2020

The Maritime Union of Australia is determined to contain and isolate the dispute while signalling its willingness to negotiate and impose company demands.

Australian unions plead for continued secretive talks with government and employers

By Mike Head, 1 October 2020

Behind closed doors, the union chiefs have been discussing how to keep suppressing working class opposition to the destruction of jobs, wages and basic conditions.

Australia Post workers speak out against union-enforced COVID-19 dangers and cuts to conditions

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 1 October 2020

“What used to be a job you would gladly retire on has now become like a job for contractors forever chasing their tail to meet deadlines with piecemeal payments.”

Letters from the Philippines and Australia defend Dr. Joseph Scalice’s “meticulous and painstaking research”

By Our reporters, 1 October 2020

We urge readers to send statements in support of historian Dr. Scalice, who has been slandered as a “CIA agent” for his exposure of the reactionary politics of Maoism in the Philippines.

Indian and Chinese militaries dig in for prolonged border standoff, as “de-escalation” efforts flounder

By Rohantha De Silva and Keith Jones, 30 September 2020

Encouraged by Washington, India has taken an increasingly belligerent and provocative stance in its tense five-month-long border confrontation with China.

With one million dead, governments abandon efforts to contain COVID-19 pandemic

By Andre Damon, 30 September 2020

The fall and winter months in America and Europe are expected to bring a major resurgence of the disease.

Historian Joseph Scalice responds to Stalinist Sison’s foul imagery

By Joseph Scalice, 30 September 2020

The bestial depiction of Leon Trotsky has its origins in the anti-semitism of the far right—a vicious heritage that Stalin embraced.

Duterte extends Philippines “state of calamity” as pandemic worsens

By Owen Howell, 30 September 2020

The government is ramping up state repression as the country suffers its worst economic contraction in decades.

Sri Lankan government lies exposed as new COVID-19 infections emerge

By Pradeep Ramanayaka, 29 September 2020

Despite the Rajapakse government’s boasting that it has curbed the pandemic, the working class is confronted with the threat that the virus could rapidly spread at any moment.

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) holds online health workers’ forum

By our reporter, 29 September 2020

Australian health workers speak out over the lack of PPE and proper training to deal with COVID-19, and the government’s run-down of the healthcare system.

Hyundai union enforces wage freeze in latest South Korean sellout

By Ben McGrath, 29 September 2020

The Hyundai contract is part of a growing assault on auto workers by big business with the aid of the trade unions.

Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis: Assange is a “highly principled individual with enormous courage”

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 September 2020

“This war on journalism is an element of the rise in authoritarianism in countries that in the past championed press freedom, but can no longer claim to do so.”

The world has reached the grim milestone of one million COVID-19 deaths

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 September 2020

With some 33 million infected out of nearly eight billion people, “herd immunity” remains a distant prospect and winter could bring conditions for a rapid resurgence of the pandemic.

Australia: Victorian government accelerates lifting of COVID-19 restrictions to satisfy big business

By Mike Head, 28 September 2020

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has fallen further into line with the “return to work” campaign of the corporate elite and the federal government.

US hits leading Chinese chip maker

By Nick Beams, 28 September 2020

The latest decision instigated by the Pentagon is aimed at crippling China’s ability to make high-tech advances.

Australia’s Queensland Labor government suspends public hearings of Grosvenor Mine disaster inquiry

By Terry Cook, 28 September 2020

Like other government-initiated inquiries into industrial disasters, the inquiry was called to hose down widespread public outrage in the wake of the mine explosion.

Free Julian Assange! The political issues confronting educators in the fight for freedom of information

By the Committee for Public Education (Australia), 28 September 2020

“Teachers and educators are among those owing a debt to Assange and to the whistleblowers who courageously decided to leak classified information in the public interest.”

Public meeting: New Zealand’s COVID election, the breakdown of capitalism and the fight for socialism

By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 28 September 2020

The Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) will hold a public online meeting, via Zoom, on Saturday October 3 at 4:00p.m. NZ time.

Seventy-five years since the Stalinist murder of Vietnamese Trotskyist leader Ta Thu Thau

By Patrick Martin, 28 September 2020

The leader of a Trotskyist group in Saigon, which had a sizeable following in the working class, was executed on the orders of the leadership of the Vietnamese Communist Party.

Washington continues to ramp up tensions with Beijing over Taiwan

By Ben McGrath, 26 September 2020

The US has sent another high-ranking government official to Taiwan—a thinly-veiled challenge to the “One China” policy—while also planning a $7 billion military package to Taipei.