South East Asia

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.

Thai coup leader installed as prime minister

By Tom Peters, 23 August 2014

The installation of General Prayuth indicates that the junta is entrenching itself and intends to rule directly, rather than through a quasi-civilian government.

US condemns China over close aerial encounter

By Peter Symonds, 23 August 2014

The Chinese intercept of a US spy plane took place 200 kilometres from Hainan Island, home to sensitive Chinese air and naval bases.

Philippine Supreme Court controversy: A revealing glimpse into Washington’s machinations

By Joseph Santolan, 22 August 2014

The entire Jardeleza affair reveals the colonial-level control which Washington exercises over Philippine politics, over Manila’s legal case against China in particular.

US war drive in Asia continues apace

By Peter Symonds, 16 August 2014

Even as the US engages in provocations against Russia and in the Middle East, the Obama administration is proceeding with its “pivot to Asia” against China.

Court in Cambodia convicts two former Khmer Rouge leaders

By John Roberts, 16 August 2014

The court proceedings were designed to cover up the crimes of the major powers, above all the US, in Indo-China.

Signs of serious problems in Chinese and Japanese economies

By Nick Beams, 15 August 2014

The sharp slowdown in credit expansion in China and the contraction in Japan will impact on the world economy.

US stokes South China Sea tensions at ASEAN summit

By Peter Symonds, 11 August 2014

The US proposals were not designed to ease tensions in the region, but rather were aimed at painting China as the aggressor.

Japan’s defence white paper targets China

By Peter Symonds, 9 August 2014

The Abe government is exploiting the “China threat” to press ahead with plans for Japanese remilitarisation.

Influential Washington think tank pushes US war drive in the South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 2 August 2014

The worsening tensions in the South China Sea have been fueled at every turn by Washington, with the CSIS think tank playing a leading role.

Indonesian election conflict continues, but financial markets set agenda

By John Roberts, 18 July 2014

Regardless of which candidate is declared the winner next week, the global markets are dictating sweeping restructuring and austerity measures.

Indonesian presidential election produces disputed result

By John Roberts, 11 July 2014

With both Widodo and Prabowo claiming victory, weeks of political uncertainty, court challenges and social unrest could lie ahead.

Three Philippine Senators arraigned on corruption charges

By Dante Pastrana, 5 July 2014

President Benigno Aquino III’s anti-corruption campaign is in reality a drive to crush opposition in any section of government to his sharp turn toward US imperialism.

Sri Lankan minister confirms Australia’s handover of Tamil refugees

By Mike Head, 4 July 2014

The forced transfer of asylum seekers to the Sri Lankan navy is an attack on basic democratic rights, as well as a blatant violation of international law.

China-Vietnam talks fail to end tensions over oil rig

By Ben McGrath, 24 June 2014

As part of its “pivot to Asia,” the US has deliberately stoked territorial disputes between China and its neighbours, including Vietnam.

Dilapidated, overcrowded public schools in the Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 20 June 2014

An estimated 21 million students are crammed, in shifts, into buildings that are falling apart, lacking facilities, chairs, textbooks or even chalk.

Washington drives escalating tensions in South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 13 June 2014

As part of its “pivot to Asia”, the US is pressing Vietnam and the Philippines to challenge China in the South China Sea.

Thai junta holds talks with Chinese military, investors

By Tom Peters, 13 June 2014

The Thai delegation to Beijing will be closely watched by Washington, which considers Thailand a key ally in its “pivot to Asia” against China.

Thai opposition forms overseas anti-coup organisation

By Ben McGrath, 7 June 2014

The UDD leaders fear unleashing any mass movement against the junta, as began to develop in 2010.

Global electronics giant NXP sacks union officials in the Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 5 June 2014

The Maoist KMU, which specialises in militant-sounding demagogy, has called no strike action by NXP workers.

Thai junta puts off elections for at least 15 months

By Ben McGrath, 3 June 2014

The military has deployed thousands of troops in Bangkok to crackdown on continuing small scale anti-coup protests.

Indonesian presidential election campaign gets underway

By John Roberts, 3 June 2014

The two presidential candidates are backed by competing factions of the Jakarta military/business establishment formed during the Suharto dictatorship.

US defense secretary menaces China at Singapore forum

By Peter Symonds, 2 June 2014

Hagel’s speech was an open and unequivocal statement that the US intends to maintain its undisputed dominance in Asia.

Pentagon pressures South Korea to join anti-missile system

By Ben McGrath, 2 June 2014

The incorporation of South Korea into the existing US “missile defence” with Japan would further inflame regional tensions.

Six months after Typhoon Haiyan

Woman and six children killed in fire in tent city in Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 2 June 2014

The tragedy of the Ocenar family is emblematic of the social devastation that has been inflicted on millions of Filipinos in the wake of the typhoon.

Thai military tightens its grip on power

By Tom Peters, 30 May 2014

The junta has mobilised thousands of soldiers against anti-coup protests and continues to arrest opponents.

South Korean opposition alliance prepares for regional elections

By Ben McGrath, 28 May 2014

The Democrat Party is using a merger with Ahn Cheol-soo’s political group to cover up its right-wing, pro-business agenda and avoid another humiliating election defeat.

Thai king endorses military coup

By Tom Peters, 27 May 2014

King Bhumibol Adulyadej endorsed last week’s coup, declaring that it was necessary to restore “order.”

Thai military dispenses with caretaker government

By Tom Peters, 23 May 2014

Army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha formally seized power yesterday, suspended the constitution and detained members of the elected government.

Russian president forges stronger ties in China

By Peter Symonds, 23 May 2014

It is precisely Washington’s confrontation strategy in Asia as in Eastern Europe that is driving China and Russia into a closer relationship.

Thai army declares martial law

By Tom Peters, 20 May 2014

The military has intervened as part of a protracted campaign to oust the elected government.

Anti-Chinese protests erupt in Vietnam’s industrial zones

By Peter Symonds, 16 May 2014

The protests follow Hanoi’s xenophobic campaign against a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Thailand’s judicial coup

By Peter Symonds, 10 May 2014

What is taking place in Thailand is the sharpest expression of the turn to anti-democratic forms of rule throughout the region.

Thailand: Ex-PM faces impeachment on bogus “negligence” charge

By Tom Peters, 9 May 2014

The National Anti-Corruption Commission ruling is another blow in the opposition campaign to oust the elected Pheu Thai government.

Thai court removes PM and nine cabinet ministers

By Tom Peters, 8 May 2014

In an anti-democratic ruling, the Constitutional Court yesterday removed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on trumped-up charges.

Tensions flare between China and Vietnam in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 8 May 2014

The positioning of a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters has been the immediate trigger for a confrontation between Vietnamese and Chinese vessels.

Thai PM in court on trumped-up charges

By Tom Peters, 7 May 2014

The Constitutional Court could rule as early as today to convict Yingluck Shinawatra and bring down her government.

Air search called off for missing Malaysia Airlines plane

By Tom Peters, 2 May 2014

The air search has been replaced with an undersea survey in the southern Indian Ocean that is likely to take months.

As Obama visits Manila: US signs agreement for basing forces in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 29 April 2014

Washington is moving to base US forces in the Philippines as a key step in its drive to militarily encircle China, as part of its ‘pivot’ to Asia.

The danger of war in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 26 April 2014

Obama is touring American allies in Asia, stoking up flashpoints, consolidating the US military encirclement of China and preparing for a new Pacific war.

Nepal: Sherpa strike following fatal Mt Everest avalanche

By Will Morrow, 25 April 2014

The tragic deaths in an avalanche last Friday have highlighted the dangerous and exploitative conditions in which Sherpa work as mountain guides.

Thailand’s political crisis continues

By Tom Peters, 25 April 2014

The opposition Democrat Party refused to attend talks to schedule a fresh election, amid ongoing efforts to overthrow the government.

US defence secretary’s provocative tour of Asia

By Peter Symonds, 12 April 2014

Hagel’s trip has been an emphatic declaration that the US will not back away from its “pivot to Asia” against China, even as its confrontation with Russia over Ukraine intensifies.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 April 2014

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

US assistant secretary of state visits Thailand amid push to overthrow government

By Tom Peters, 10 April 2014

Russel indicated that the US does not oppose the opposition’s anti-democratic campaign to oust the Yingluck government.

Possible black box signals detected in search for Malaysia Airlines plane

By Tom Peters, 9 April 2014

The source of the signals detected in the Indian Ocean over the weekend has not been confirmed.

Court ruling escalates campaign to oust Thai government

By Tom Peters, 5 April 2014

After annulling the February election, the Constitutional Court is considering a petition to dismiss the prime minister.

Growing danger of Chinese credit collapse

By Nick Beams, 4 April 2014

China experienced an expansion of credit unprecedented in world economic history—equivalent to the size of the entire US banking system.

One year after Rana Plaza collapse

Bangladesh garment workers still face dangerous conditions

By Sarath Kumara, 4 April 2014

A limited investigation shows that many garment factories are structurally unsound and lack basic fire protections.

Manila files legal case against Beijing’s South China Sea claim

By Joseph Santolan, 3 April 2014

The real author of this latest provocation is not Beijing or Manila, but Washington.

Malaysian government deepens crackdown on opposition

By John Roberts, 29 March 2014

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and other leading figures face jail and fines on trumped-up charges.

The growing danger of dictatorship in Thailand

By Tom Peters, 29 March 2014

The Constitutional Court’s decision to annul last month’s election is a warning that the ruling classes throughout the region are dispensing with their democratic façade.

Malaysian PM: Missing plane crashed in southern Indian Ocean

By Tom Peters, 25 March 2014

Malaysian authorities say analysis of satellite data shows the plane crashed, with no survivors, but no wreckage has been recovered.

Political crisis deepens as Thai court annuls election

By Tom Peters, 24 March 2014

The Constitutional Court’s blatantly anti-democratic ruling heightens the danger of a judicial coup.

Search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane enters third week

By Tom Peters, 22 March 2014

Strategic rivalries and state secrecy continue to mar the search for MH370.

Provocative remarks by US Pacific fleet commander fuel disputes with China

By Nick Beams, 21 March 2014

A senior US admiral invokes the Crimea crisis to accuse China of expansionism.

Lack of international cooperation mars search for Malaysia Airlines plane

By Tom Peters, 20 March 2014

All the countries involved, including the US, India and Australia, are extremely reluctant to share information that could reveal their military capabilities.

Chinese real estate developer on brink of collapse

By Nick Beams, 20 March 2014

Concerns about the property market point to wider problems in China’s economy and financial system.

Malaysian PM declares missing aircraft deliberately diverted

By Peter Symonds, 17 March 2014

More than a week after MH370 disappeared, the questions surrounding its fate are only multiplying.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 may have veered off course

By Peter Symonds, 15 March 2014

Search operations are now focussed on areas of the Indian Ocean, hundreds of kilometres to the west of MH370’s last known position.

Thai government faces threat of judicial coup

By Tom Peters, 15 March 2014

The Constitution Court vetoed a government spending bill and announced it will consider a petition to annul the February 2 election.

Conflicting accounts of vanished Malaysia Airline Flight 370

By Peter Symonds, 13 March 2014

The lack of clarity is compounded by the competing interests at stake—including those of Malaysia Airlines, Boeing and the various governments involved.

Iron ore price slump points to mounting Chinese economic problems

By Nick Beams, 12 March 2014

A sharp drop in the price of iron ore this week cast a shadow over global financial markets amid concerns about the state of the Chinese economy.

Searches fail to locate Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

By Peter Symonds, 11 March 2014

All the sightings of debris and oil slicks have been discounted as having no connection to the vanished aircraft.

Malaysian court overturns acquittal of opposition leader Anwar

By John Roberts, 11 March 2014

The sodomy conviction follows clear support from Washington for Prime Minister Najib’s government.

Many questions unanswered about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

By Peter Symonds, 10 March 2014

The lack of information has led to speculation about the aircraft’s sudden disappearance, including catastrophic mechanical failure, freak weather conditions and hijacking.

Mining corporations pressure Indonesian government over mineral export law

By John Roberts, 3 March 2014

Indonesia’s mineral export trade virtually ceased overnight after the 2009 ban on export of unprocessed ores came into effect.

Thailand: Navy officers arrested for involvement in anti-government protests

By Tom Peters, 28 February 2014

The arrests indicate that sections of the military are actively participating in the anti-democratic campaign to overthrow the Yingluck government.

Thailand: Five dead in latest attacks on anti-government protests

By Tom Peters, 26 February 2014

The opposition blamed the government for the deaths, but it has more to gain from violence that could provide the pretext for a military coup.

Thai court undermines government’s emergency decree

By Tom Peters, 21 February 2014

The civil court this week banned police from making any attempt to break up anti-government protests.

Thai political crisis worsens as four killed in clashes

By Peter Symonds, 19 February 2014

What is underway—anti-government protests, legal challenges and a looming constitutional crisis—parallels the lead-up to the 2006 military coup.

Indonesian volcanic eruption displaces tens of thousands

By Oliver Campbell, 17 February 2014

The eruption last Thursday killed at least four people in Java’s densely populated east.

Thai government to end rice subsidy

By Tom Peters, 15 February 2014

The subsidy scheme, which supports millions of farmers, will expire at the end of the month, further destabilising the Yingluck government.

Thailand: Election fails to resolve political deadlock

By Tom Peters, 10 February 2014

The opposition is seeking to nullify the election, while anti-government protests continued in Bangkok last week.

The revival of Japanese militarism

By Peter Symonds, 8 February 2014

The denial of crimes such as the Rape of Nanking has only one meaning—it is the ideological preparation for new wars and new atrocities.

US disputes China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 8 February 2014

The move by the US State Department to challenge Beijing’s maritime territorial claim constitutes an escalation of Washington’s campaign against China.

Philippine typhoon survivors stage protests

By Dante Pastrana, 7 February 2014

Typhoon Haiyan and the lack of government assistance have compounded the social crisis in some of the country’s poorest areas.

Japanese government promotes militarism in media and schools

By John Watanabe, 5 February 2014

The government stacked the NHK’s board with right-wing appointees to shift the public broadcaster’s political orientation.

US warns China over air defence zone

By Peter Symonds, 4 February 2014

The Obama administration has seized on an insubstantial Asahi Shimbun article to stir up tensions with China over the South China Sea.

Thailand: Anti-government protests disrupt election

By Tom Peters, 3 February 2014

Yesterday’s blockades of voting stations demonstrated the government’s tenuous hold on power.

Philippine peace deal in Mindanao followed by military assault

By Joseph Santolan, 1 February 2014

The attacks that left 52 dead give the lie to claims that the deal, brokered by US, and signed by the MILF and the Philippine government, is about establishing peace.

Thai government to hold election amid ongoing crisis

By Tom Peters, 31 January 2014

The ruling Puea Thai party will almost certainly win a majority of seats, but the election will not end the country’s political turmoil.

Thai government imposes state of emergency

By Peter Symonds, 22 January 2014

Yingluck Shinawatra’s government has declared an emergency, but it is unclear whether it will be able to enforce its measures.

Grenade attack as Thai political crisis continues

By Tom Peters, 18 January 2014

The explosion, which injured more than 30 people, is the latest in a series of attacks on ongoing anti-government protests.

Thai opposition vows to continue “shutdown” of Bangkok

By Tom Peters, 14 January 2014

Protest leaders say the blockade of major intersections will continue will continue until the government cancels planned elections and an unelected “people’s council” is installed.

Thai opposition vows to shut down Bangkok

By Tom Peters, 11 January 2014

Opposition leaders had vowed to "shut down" Bangkok in the latest effort to distrupt next month's elections and create the conditions for a military coup.

Cambodian garment workers forced back to work

By John Roberts, 9 January 2014

The strike’s collapse followed a military police crackdown by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.

Cambodian government bans rallies and protests

By John Roberts, 6 January 2014

Following the killing of striking workers on Friday, the government broke up an opposition protest site in Freedom Park in Phnom Penh.

Cambodian security forces shoot striking garment workers

By John Roberts, 4 January 2014

Military police yesterday opened fire on protesting workers, killing at least four and wounding 21.

Thai military hints at a coup

By Tom Peters, 28 December 2013

Amid a deepening political crisis, the Thai army chief yesterday refused to rule out a military seizure of power.

Democrat Party to boycott Thai elections

By John Roberts, 23 December 2013

The last Democrat election boycott in 2006 set the stage for a military coup against the present prime minister’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Australian media bid to justify spying angers Indonesia

By Mike Head, 20 December 2013

The Australian asserted that the tapping of the phones of President Yudhoyono and his closest associates was part of a legitimate strategy to monitor Jakarta’s ruling elite.

Thai military leaders support new election to resolve crisis

By John Roberts, 17 December 2013

The armed forces are far from united, with powerful military figures backing anti-government protesters.

Anti-government protests continue in Thailand

By John Roberts, 13 December 2013

There is undoubted sympathy for the anti-government protesters in the upper echelons of the state bureaucracy, the police and military.

Gross exploitation of migrant workers fuels riot in Singapore

By Joseph Santolan, 10 December 2013

The immediate cause of Sunday’s riot was the death of Sakthivel Kumarvelu, an Indian migrant construction worker.

Tense standoff in Thailand after government calls election

By Tom Peters, 10 December 2013

Protest leaders have rejected the election and are continuing their anti-democratic demand for a royally-appointed “people’s council”.