South East Asia

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.

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.

Arrests follow call for Chinese President Xi’s resignation

By Peter Symonds, 26 March 2016

An open letter by “loyal Communist Party members” called on President Xi to resign all positions and blamed him for China’s “unprecedented problems and crises.”

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.