Eastern Asia

Australian government seeks to place country on war footing

By Mike Head, 4 July 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has identified the Indo-Pacific as the likely arena for another world war, directed against China.

Beijing passes anti-democratic security law for Hong Kong

By Ben McGrath, 2 July 2020

While Beijing has concerns about imperialist intrigues in Hong Kong, its chief fear is that unrest in the city over democratic and social rights will spill over the border into the rest of China.

Tens of thousands of Chinese citizens stranded overseas

By Lily Zhao, 2 July 2020

Beijing has offered little or no assistance to the thousands of Chinese students, scholars and tourists trapped overseas by COVID-19 travel bans.

US stokes India-China conflict, blames Chinese “aggression” for border clash

By Keith Jones, 20 June 2020

Senior US official David Stilwell provocatively told a press briefing that the Chinese army had “invaded” the “contested area” between India and China.

Dozens die in India-China border clash

By Keith Jones, 17 June 2020

It is the enmeshing of the India-China rivalry with the strategic confrontation between China and US imperialism that makes the border dispute so combustible and incendiary.

North Korea blows up liaison office to send message to Trump

By Peter Symonds, 17 June 2020

While nominally directed at Seoul, Pyongyang’s action expressed its deep frustration with the failure of the Trump administration to conduct any meaningful negotiations.

Chinese doctor’s death rekindles anger over health system

By a correspondent, 9 June 2020

Wuhan City Central Hospital’s website published nothing about Hu Weifeng’s death from COVID-19 and his colleagues were barred from being interviewed by the media.

Trump escalates anti-China campaign

By Peter Symonds, 30 May 2020

US President Trump dramatically escalated his reckless anti-China campaign yesterday, making clear that a dangerous confrontation between the two countries is all but inevitable.

Japan’s PM exploits pandemic to push pro-war constitutional revisions

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2020

Abe is pressing ahead with his long-held agenda of revising the country’s constitution to remove barriers to remilitarization and to tear up democratic rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic and global imperialist war

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2020

For all of the vapid talk about us all being in it together, the US ruling class views the pandemic as an instrument of war.

Blaming China, Trump says COVID-19 “attack” worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11

By Nick Beams, 7 May 2020

The war rhetoric is being intensified because the Trump administration knows that its return-to-work policy is going to result in tens of thousands more deaths in the US.

Devastating fire in South Korea kills at least 38 workers

By Ben McGrath, 4 May 2020

The government and big business will do nothing to address safety and the working conditions that led to this latest disaster.

Trump escalates attacks on China over COVID-19

By Peter Symonds, 2 May 2020

US President Trump has stepped up his propaganda war and threats against China, blaming it for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has cost the lives of more than 230,000 people internationally.

Australian government places country on frontline of anti-China witch hunt

By Mike Head, 2 May 2020

Australia unilaterally called for an international inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting the Trump administration’s unsubstantiated accusations against China.

Thousands of Assam tea workers demand lockdown wages in India; Protests continue in Bangladesh over wages, factory closures and safety

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

2 May 2020

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

Hong Kong arrests prominent pan-democrat activists

By Ben McGrath, 25 April 2020

Washington is attempting to exploit the arrests to further whip up tensions with Beijing and paint China as a threat.

Japan’s medical system collapsing as COVID-19 cases surge

By Ben McGrath, 24 April 2020

As many as 400,000 people could die in Japan without serious preventative measures as many lack access to tests and treatment.

Chinese economy contracted by 6.8 percent in first quarter

By Nick Beams, 18 April 2020

The announcement of the plunge in China came just days after the IMF forecast that the world economy will experience a $9 trillion loss of output over 2020-21.

South Korea’s Democratic Party wins general election in landslide

By Ben McGrath, 17 April 2020

The supposed success of the government’s response to COVID-19 benefited the Democratic Party, but the attacks on the working class will grow as the economy declines.

South Korea to hold general election

By Ben McGrath, 13 April 2020

This week’s election is seen as a barometer of the public’s feelings towards the government’s COVID-19 response and the declining economy.

Japanese PM imposes coronavirus state of emergency

By Peter Symonds, 11 April 2020

While the number of cases in Japan is low compared to the US and Europe, poor levels of testing are masking the real extent of the virus.

US military calls for another $20 billion to counter China

By Peter Symonds, 7 April 2020

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, an Indo-Pacific Command report to the US Congress sets out plans for a further military build-up in the region directed against China.

Japanese government planning attacks on democratic rights on pretext of pandemic

By Ben McGrath, 30 March 2020

Health experts are warning that Japan could see a wider COVID-19 outbreak, in part due to the complete lack of preparation by the Abe government.

Big business in South Korea exploits pandemic to carry out massive assault on jobs

By Ben McGrath, 28 March 2020

The trade unions are aiding the government and corporations use the health crisis to implement deeper attacks on the working class.

After downplaying COVID-19 pandemic, Japan forced to postpone Olympics

By Emiri Ochiai, 26 March 2020

Facing a growing public outcry over his indifference to public health, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the Olympics had been moved to the summer of 2021.

Global auto industry in downward spiral as coronavirus spreads worldwide

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 March 2020

Even prior to the outbreak, automakers had announced hundreds of thousands of layoffs and many plant closures.

Collapse of quarantine building in China exposes public anger over Beijing’s COVID-19 measures

By Ben McGrath, 14 March 2020

Beijing is attempt to ward off the social discontent in China as well as the aggressive denunciations coming out of Washington.

WHO says coronavirus danger is “very high”

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 February 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has upgraded its assessment of the danger posed by the coronavirus to “very high,” but stopped short of calling the outbreak a pandemic.

Working class in South Korea bears brunt of Covid-19 outbreak

By Ben McGrath, 29 February 2020

The majority of the cases of infection have been in Daegu, but the virus could rapidly spread in the country’s other densely populated cities.

The Trump administration’s incompetent and criminally negligent response to the coronavirus outbreak

By Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US President, 29 February 2020

The disastrous state of preparedness for the coronavirus is the product of decades of ruling class policy that has subordinated the most basic social needs to war and the endless accumulation of wealth.

Coronavirus cases outside China are alarming, global health officials say

By Benjamin Mateus, 22 February 2020

Though new cases of Covid-19 cases appear to be declining in Hubei province in China, officials are concerned that the epidemic may be expanding into other Asian countries and continents.

Coronavirus cases continue to increase and spread internationally

By Benjamin Mateus, 15 February 2020

The World Health Organization is alarmed about the implications of the virus taking hold in areas where the medical system is vastly ill-prepared.

India: Punjab government teachers protest against privatisation; Sacked Sri Lankan government workers demonstrate; New Caledonia miners strike against long hours

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 February 2020

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

Hundreds of thousands denied pensions in Russia

By Andrea Peters, 12 February 2020

The effect of Russia’s 2018 pension reform is becoming clear, with 800,000 people who would have met the age requirement to receive funds no longer eligible.

Australian coronavirus travel ban blocks thousands of Chinese students

By Eric Ludlow, 8 February 2020

The blanket ban by the Morrison government affects any foreign national trying to enter Australia from mainland China.

India: 10,000 Karnataka midday-meal workers strike indefinitely; Tahiti workers strike against Macron’s pensions “reforms”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 February 2020

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

020 Coronavirus protests in China

8 February 2020

US bans foreign nationals from entry over coronavirus

By Benjamin Mateus, 1 February 2020

Governments internationally are promulgating travel restrictions with China.

Sharp fall on Wall Street as coronavirus hits global markets

By Nick Beams, 1 February 2020

Financial analysts are warning that the virus has created a more uncertain environment than the US-China trade war and its impact could be greater than that of the SARS virus in 2002–2003.

South Korea deploys naval unit to Strait of Hormuz

By Ben McGrath, 1 February 2020

Behind the backs of the South Korean working class, Seoul is supporting US war plans that could lead to a wider conflict with China and Russia.

Second case of coronavirus confirmed in the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 January 2020

Since the virus was first identified, more than 1,000 people have now been infected worldwide, and in the latest report the death toll has climbed to 41, all having died in mainland China.

Major Chinese city in lockdown as novel coronavirus spreads internationally

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 January 2020

With hundreds of millions of people travelling for the Chinese New Year, there are concerns the outbreak could become an international pandemic.

US and UK clash over Huawei involvement in 5G rollout

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2020

The rollout of 5G broadband wireless networks globally is becoming an arena for the eruption of geopolitical tensions.

Mumbai hospital workers demand outstanding wages; South Korean car workers strike; Australian tram drivers vote to walk out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

18 January 2020

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

Taiwan’s anti-China president wins re-election

By Ben McGrath, 13 January 2020

Emboldened by her victory, and with Washington’s backing, Tsai Ing-wen will continue to escalate cross-strait tensions with China.

General election in Taiwan marked by anti-China atmosphere

By Ben McGrath, 11 January 2020

The Taiwanese ruling elite has covered up the real issues in the region during this election, including its alignment with Washington’s war drive against China.

India: Haryana public transport workers strike against outsourcing; Pakistani journalists oppose salary and job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

11 January 2020

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

Japan to deploy military forces to aid US operations against Iran

By Ben McGrath, 30 December 2019

Tokyo’s decision is part of its efforts to remilitarize and normalize overseas military action in violation of Article 9 of its constitution.

Aung San Suu Kyi defends Myanmar military’s crimes

By Peter Symonds, 16 December 2019

A UN fact-finding mission found that military forces had destroyed almost 400 villages and driven close to three quarters of a million Rohingya out of their homes.

NDP props up Trudeau, joins Conservatives in demanding tougher anti-China stance

By Keith Jones, 14 December 2019

The true character of the NDP’s “opposition” to the Liberals and the Conservatives—the Canadian ruling class’ traditional parties of national government—was laid bare in two recent parliamentary votes.

Hong Kong police lay siege to university occupied by demonstrators

By Ben McGrath, 19 November 2019

The ramping up of police violence is a precursor to even more violent methods of suppressing the months-long protest movement.

Former US Secretary of State Kissinger points to danger of “catastrophic” conflict between US and China

By Nick Beams, 16 November 2019

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has warned of an inevitable “conflict” between the US and China that “will be worse than the world wars that ruined European civilisation.”

Parasite: An unusual director with his antenna attuned to social class

The Lighthouse: A gothic horror film

By Joanne Laurier, 16 November 2019

Parasite is a dark comedy from South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho that concerns itself with income inequality and its implications. The Lighthouse is a pointless horror film set in the late 1800s in New England.

Indian Honda contract workers still on strike; West Bengal teachers demand pay rise; maintenance workers take industrial action at Australian paper mill

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

16 November 2019

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

New Zealand: Anti-China propagandist Anne-Marie Brady speaks at Victoria University of Wellington

By Tom Peters, 2 November 2019

Brady is demanding a full-scale witch hunt against Chinese “interference” in order to align New Zealand even more closely with US war preparations.

US and China reach limited trade deal

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2019

The markets responded enthusiastically with the Dow finishing up by more than 300 points, but for all the celebrations, the agreement is very limited.

As contract deadline looms in US, 8,000 GM autoworkers strike in South Korea

By James Cogan, 10 September 2019

The issues over which the Korean workers are striking are ones that their American co-workers will readily identify with.

Two-day strike begins in Hong Kong following weekend of protests

By Ben McGrath, 2 September 2019

Fearful of the intervention of the working class, authorities are stepping up their repression of protesters.

Hong Kong mass rally banned as Chinese troops deployed in show of force

By Mike Head, 30 August 2019

Beijing is well aware that the protracted protests are being driven by underlying student and working class concerns about escalating social inequality.

US alarmed over end to South Korea-Japan intelligence sharing

By Peter Symonds, 30 August 2019

Seoul’s decision to withdraw from a key intelligence-sharing agreement with Tokyo is part of the deepening rift between Washington’s two military allies in North East Asia over economic and strategic issues.

Wall Street falls as US-China trade conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 24 August 2019

Tweets by Trump in response to tariff measures by Beijing were his most belligerent to date, taking aim not only against China, but US corporations and the Federal Reserve.

Rift widens between Australia and Pacific Island states

By John Braddock, 24 August 2019

The Pacific Islands Forum has opened up a bitter dispute over the Australian government’s refusal to agree to urgent measures to address climate change.

How to fight for democratic rights in Hong Kong

By Peter Symonds, 22 August 2019

Hong Kong workers and youth need to reach out to their class brothers and sisters in China who confront the same class enemy—the Stalinist regime in Beijing that defends the interests of the corporate elite and the super-rich.

Japan-South Korea conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 17 August 2019

South Korea announced this week that it has removed Japan from a list of countries that qualify for accelerated supply of South Korean products, after Japan had imposed a similar measure against South Korea on August 2.

As China masses troops on border, Trump calls for end to Hong Kong “problem”

By Mike Head, 16 August 2019

The US president solidarised himself with his Chinese counterpart in the “tough business” of dealing with social unrest.

General strike signals entry of working class into Hong Kong protests

By Peter Symonds, 7 August 2019

The mass protests in Hong Kong, which have continued for more than two months, are part of the resurgence of the working class internationally.

General strike by Hong Kong workers against extradition law

By Peter Symonds, 5 August 2019

The strike signals the entry of the working class, on a class basis, into the mass protest movement, pointing to the underlying social and economic issues driving the opposition.

Factory explosion in central Chinese city kills 15

By Robert Campion, 30 July 2019

Claims by authorities to address safety after such industrial accidents have proven to be empty words.

Dangerous encounter of warplanes from four nations over Sea of Japan

By Ben McGrath, 25 July 2019

While the US was not directly involved, its aggressive military buildup in Asia created the conditions for the aerial standoff.

Fire at Japanese animation studio leaves nearly three dozen dead

By Ben McGrath, 22 July 2019

A man suffering mental illness is alleged to have ignited the inferno in a building that lacked basic fire safety measures.

Hong Kong protesters appeal to mainland Chinese for support

By Ben McGrath, 9 July 2019

The unity of the Chinese working class as a whole is a prerequisite for the struggle for democratic rights and social equality.

Hong Kong protests continue amid Beijing’s veiled threats of military intervention

By Ben McGrath, 6 July 2019

In an unusual move, China’s military reported on drills the day after another mass rally.

Hundreds of thousands protest on the streets of Hong Kong

By Peter Symonds, 2 July 2019

Mass protests have persisted, despite the suspension of the extradition legislation, pointing to a deeper social and political crisis.

Trump meets North Korean leader as part of broader anti-China agenda

By Ben McGrath, 1 July 2019

Washington’s approach to North Korea has nothing to do with peace on the Korean Peninsula, but is about drawing Pyongyang into Washington’s orbit.

US names Taiwan a “country,” stoking tensions with China

By Robert Campion, 21 June 2019

Washington deepens ties with Taipei in preparation for war against mainland China.

Further Hong Kong protests planned against extradition law

By Peter Symonds, 20 June 2019

The widespread opposition reflects deep fears that the bill, which will allow extradition proceedings to mainland China, will enable Beijing to seize political dissidents.

Millions march in Hong Kong against extradition law

By Ben McGrath, 17 June 2019

The huge demonstration on Sunday is an indication of widespread anger in Hong Kong, not only over democratic rights, but the city’s worsening social crisis.

Hong Kong extradition bill debate delayed as additional protests called

By Ben McGrath, 14 June 2019

None of the demands for democratic rights in Hong Kong or throughout China will be won through the “pan-democratic” opposition parties or by appeals to US imperialism.

CIA’s murky ties to North Korean leader’s slain half-brother

By Peter Symonds, 13 June 2019

If nothing else, the revelation that the CIA held meetings with Kim Jong-nam demonstrates, once again, just how extensive are its efforts to spy on, and intervene in, every country.

Union sabotaging South Korean shipbuilding workers’ strike

By Ben McGrath, 10 June 2019

The Korean Metal Workers Union is incapable of defending workers whose positions are being slashed as part of a global assault on jobs.

Mass protests erupt in Hong Kong

By Peter Symonds, 10 June 2019

The fight for democratic rights in Hong Kong will go forward only to the extent that it turns to and champions the struggles of the Chinese workers for their democratic and social rights.

The Tiananmen Square massacre, 30 years on

By Peter Symonds, 8 June 2019

What was lacking in the 1989 protests was not determination, audacity and courage, nor numbers, but revolutionary leadership—the essential problem facing the international working class in the 20th century.

From the archives

Ten years since the Tiananmen Square massacre

Political lessons for the working class

By James Cogan, 7 June 2019

The article confirms the essential analysis of the ICFI in 1989 that the terror unleashed by the Stalinist bureaucracy was above all directed against the working class that had risen in revolt against its policies of capitalist restoration.

From the archives:

Trotskyism and the Chinese Revolution

By Editorial of the Fourth International magazine, 6 June 2019

The following editorial in the January-June 1989 edition of the Fourth International magazine on the Tiananmen Square massacre is an indictment of Stalinism and its opportunist apologists from the standpoint of orthodox Trotskyism.

South Korean shipbuilding workers oppose massive job cuts

By Ben McGrath, 3 June 2019

The Korean Metal Workers Union has deliberately limited industrial action and isolated the shipyard workers to prevent a broader struggle against capitalist exploitation.

Tensions with China to escalate following Trump’s visit to Japan

By Ben McGrath, 30 May 2019

US military sales to Japan threaten to trigger a broader arms race in the Asia-Pacific.

US seizes North Korean ship

By Mike Head, 10 May 2019

This week’s developments demonstrate that the Trump administration has no intention of striking a deal with Pyongyang unless it involves a total capitulation and embrace of Washington’s offensive against China.

US tariff hike against China goes ahead

By Nick Beams, 10 May 2019

Trump said talks with Chinese representatives would proceed, but “I have no idea what’s going to happen.”

Greetings to Chinese workers and youth on the centenary of the May 4 movement

By Peter Symonds, 7 May 2019

We are publishing here the text of the speech to the 2019 Online International May Day Rally delivered by Peter Symonds.

One hundred years since the May 4 movement in China—Part Two

By Peter Symonds, 6 May 2019

The Chinese Communist Party today distorts the significance of the events of May 4, 1919. It has long ago repudiated the democratic principles of the New Culture movement and the socialist internationalism upon which the party was founded.

Bernie Sanders attacks Biden from the right on China trade

By Ben McGrath, 4 May 2019

In criticizing the former vice president, Sanders echoed Trump's anti-China demagogy and economic nationalism.

US-China trade talks enter final phase

By Nick Beams, 4 May 2019

One of the main sticking points is agreement on the procedure by which US tariffs imposed on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods would be lifted if a trade agreement is reached.

Japan’s emperor abdicates throne

By Ben McGrath, 4 May 2019

The far right in Japan, which includes Prime Minister Abe and most of his cabinet, is pushing for the emperor to resume the pre-war role of linchpin of a repressive, militarist regime.

One hundred years since the May 4 movement in China

By Peter Symonds, 4 May 2019

The May 4 movement which erupted in 1919 was part of a broader intellectual ferment, profoundly influenced by the Russian Revolution, that led to the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921.

Call to free Julian Assange raised in Taiwan on Labor Day

By a correspondent, 3 May 2019

The Free Assange Group explained to Taiwan workers that WikiLeaks served as a deterrent to war and was a tool for peace.

South Korean auto manufacturers stepping up assault on wages, working conditions

By Ben McGrath, 30 April 2019

South Korea’s labor unions have worked to ensure workers remain isolated as wages and benefits are slashed throughout the industry.

Chinese authorities arrest editors involved with workers’ protests

By Navin Dewage and Peter Symonds, 18 April 2019

Amid a slowing economy and growing signs of working class unrest, Beijing is using its police state apparatus to clamp down on opposition.

Ash is the Purest White: Finding one’s way in “the new ‘capitalist’ China”

And Working Woman from Israel

By David Walsh, 13 April 2019

Jia Zhangke has demonstrated a concern with the fate of workers and others whose lives have been turned upside down by the full integration of China into the global capitalist economy.

US-China trade deal pushed back

By Nick Beams, 6 April 2019

Trump emerged from a meeting with chief Chinese trade negotiator Liu He to say it would take at least four weeks to reach an agreement as he declined to set a date for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Confrontation between Chinese and Taiwanese fighter jets

By Peter Symonds, 3 April 2019

The incident highlights the dangers of a war in Asia fueled by the Trump administration, which has deliberately inflamed the region’s volatile flashpoints.