Asia

Japan and China improve relations in face of US trade war measures

By Ben McGrath, 10 September 2018

The apparent thaw in what has been a frigid, and at times hostile, relationship underscores the destabilizing impact of Trump’s aggressive America First drive.

Police suppress protest over schools in debt-ridden Chinese city

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 10 September 2018

The immediate reason for the protest was a local government decision to cut costs in government schools by relocating all fifth and sixth grade students to private schools.

Sri Lankan prime minister threatens increased internet and social media censorship

By Saman Gunadasa, 10 September 2018

Wickremesinghe’s comments are part of the escalating global censorship of the internet and social media, and other attacks on democratic rights.

Many Japanese schools fail to meet earthquake-resistant standards

By Gary Alvernia, 7 September 2018

Schools in earthquake-prone Japan, which have endured decades of spending cuts, will receive no new funds for safety from Tokyo.

India: Police charge pro-Dalit activists under anti-terrorism laws

By Kranti Kumara, 6 September 2018

With the aim of muzzling opposition to the BJP government and its noxious Hindu supremacist ideology, police arrested five left-wing activists after conducting warrantless searches of their homes.

US push for sanctions of China over treatment of Uyghur minority

By Peter Symonds, 4 September 2018

Washington’s spotlighting of abuses has nothing to do with defending democratic rights but is aimed at stirring anti-Chinese sentiment and encouraging separatist movements in China.

Trump hits out at China over North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 3 September 2018

Trump’s criticism of China comes amid growing signs that talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear programs, following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, have stalled.

US and Japan increase efforts to undercut Chinese influence in Sri Lanka

By Rohantha De Silva, 3 September 2018

The US, Japan and India are continuing to publicly voice their concerns over Colombo’s relations with Beijing.

Cambodia’s autocratic regime desperately tries to legitimise its rule

By John Roberts, 1 September 2018

The opposition CNRP undoubtedly has ties to the US, but Hun Sen’s politically bankrupt regime is resorting to blatantly anti-democratic methods to retain power.

Reserve Bank of India employees to walkout over pensions; Alcoa workers still on strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 September 2018

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UN condemns Burma’s persecution of Rohingya minority

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 August 2018

The release of the UN panel report coincides with calls for tougher US sanctions against Burma, aimed at pressuring it to scale back its ties with China.

Sri Lankan fishermen demonstrate to demand fuel price reductions

By Naveen Dewage, 30 August 2018

The MVOA appealed to the government to lower fuel prices, but it responded by police armed with batons and water cannons, who set up barricades to block the march.

US threatens North Korea with resumption of war games

By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2018

Trump’s decision to halt talks with North Korea and resume joint military drills with South Korea could rapidly lead to the renewal of extreme tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Malaysian PM in China criticises “new colonialism”

By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2018

Prime Minister Mahathir has suspended key Chinese-based infrastructure projects, dealing a significant blow to China’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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28 August 2018

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China-US trade talks: The divisions deepen

By Nick Beams, 27 August 2018

The Chinese Commerce Ministry stated there were “constructive and frank” talks, but gave no indication of any further discussions in the future.

India: Kerala floods death toll climbs to 445

By Sathish Simon and Deepal Jayasekera, 27 August 2018

Although water levels are receding, flood survivors have been virtually abandoned by government authorities.

Trump cancels secretary of state’s trip to North Korea one day after its announcement

By Ben McGrath, 25 August 2018

The US president has directly linked his pressure on North Korea with the trade war with China, exposing the fraudulent nature of the “peace talks” with Pyongyang.

Manila moves toward major arms purchase from Russia

By Joseph Santolan, 25 August 2018

The Pentagon, which has been systematically escalating military tensions with Russia, has not taken kindly to Washington’s former colony improving relations with Moscow.

Bangladesh jute mill workers demonstrate; Paradip port workers strike in Orissa

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 August 2018

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Russian Duma presses ahead with pension reform in face of overwhelming popular opposition

By Clara Weiss, 24 August 2018

While 90 percent of the population opposes the reform, the Duma debate was dominated by its proponents.

Russian Duma presses ahead with pension reform in face of overwhelming popular opposition

By Clara Weiss, 23 August 2018

While 90 percent of the population opposes the reform, the Duma debate was dominated by its proponents.

Trump backs talks with North Korea despite nuclear stalemate

By Peter Symonds, 23 August 2018

Trump’s bragging about his “good chemistry” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un suggests that Washington hopes to align Pyongyang more closely with the US and against China.

Pentagon report targets China’s “expanding global influence”

By Peter Symonds, 21 August 2018

While the report focusses on China’s growing military capabilities and international reach, its build-up is dwarfed by the US military and its world-wide system of alliances and bases.

Japan: Tens of thousands on Okinawa denounce US base relocation plan

By Ben McGrath, 21 August 2018

Given that Okinawa is a major staging pointing for US military action in Asia, opposition to the base is intimately bound up with the struggle against militarism.

Unprecedented monsoonal floods kill over 370 in southwest India

By Sathish Simon, 20 August 2018

While heavy monsoonal rain is normal at this time of the year, the disastrous levels of flooding in Kerala are unprecedented and not a “natural” event.

Google employees protest plans to build censored search engine in China

By Andre Damon, 18 August 2018

Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed Thursday that the company has worked to develop a censored version of its search engine in collaboration with the Chinese state.

Taliban attack on Afghan city deepens crisis of US puppet regime in Kabul

By Jordan Shilton, 18 August 2018

Driven by the mounting instability of the Afghan regime and the threat that regional rivals Russia and China could expand their involvement in the country, Washington has quietly reopened direct talks with the Taliban.

Amidst Turkish crisis Indian rupee falls to all-time low

By Deepal Jayasekera, 18 August 2018

The decline of Indian rupee is a part of a global rush by investors away from so-called emerging markets.

Thousands of beedi cigarette workers strike in India, Sri Lankan tea plantation workers demand higher pay, South Korea finance workers plan national walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

18 August 2018

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Seoul and Pyongyang prepare for September summit while US intensifies campaign against North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 17 August 2018

Washington will only accept the complete subjugation of the North as it continues to raise tensions in the region with China.

Former Japanese defense minister announces challenge to Abe

By Ben McGrath, 14 August 2018

Ishiba is challenging current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a move designed to push him even further to the right.

Sri Lankan unions sell out railway workers and call off strike

By W.A. Sunil, 13 August 2018

Railway workers must reject the unions’ betrayal of their longstanding salary demands and build action committees of rank-and-file workers on an alternative socialist program.

Death toll rises to almost 400 after another Indonesian earthquake

By John Harris, 13 August 2018

Residents of Lombok have expressed mounting frustration over the inadequate government response to a series of deadly quakes.

Government-backed thugs attack student protests in Bangladesh

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 10 August 2018

Demonstrations involving thousands of teenage students erupted in Dhaka and continued for nine days.

Indian government threatens to end citizenship for millions of Assam residents

By Rohantha De Silva, 9 August 2018

The Bharatiya Janata Party is whipping up Hindu chauvinism, not just in Assam state, but throughout India.

Faulty vaccines spark public outrage in China

By Gary Alvernia, 8 August 2018

The scandal is the result of cost-cutting measures aimed at boosting profits and subordination of healthcare to the capitalist system.

Almost 100 confirmed dead after Indonesian earthquake

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 August 2018

Many of the flattened structures on Lombok were not earthquake resistant, and the rescue effort has been hampered by a lack of equipment.

Death toll continues to climb from Laos dam disaster

By John Harris, 7 August 2018

Survivors in Attapeu suggest that hundreds of people could have been killed when the dam collapsed late last month.

Bangladesh: Police and government thugs attack protesting students and teachers

By Rohantha De Silva, 3 August 2018

The Awami League-led government has encouraged the ruling party’s notoriously violent youth movement to assault demonstrators.

Trump set to hike tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2018

The US is actively considering escalating proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent up from the initial level of 10 percent.

US promotes Taiwanese submarine program, stoking further tensions with China

By Robert Campion, 30 July 2018

The Trump administration, backed by the Democrats and Republicans, is ramping up pressure on China through closer US involvement with Taiwan’s military.

Japan passes phony “work-style reform” bills

By Kurt Brown, 27 July 2018

The so-called reform bills will result in further attacks on workers, rather than improving their conditions.

Indian government backs mob lynchings targeting Muslims and minorities

By Pradeep Ramayake, 26 July 2018

These attacks are the result of provocations by Hindu extremist groups, supported by the BJP government.

More than 20 killed and hundreds missing from dam disaster in Laos

By John Harris, 26 July 2018

An earth-filled dam collapsed on July 24, sending around 5 billion cubic metres of water into the valley below.

Extreme weather in Japan has deadly impact on the elderly

By Gary Alvernia, 25 July 2018

The elderly are consistently the most affected victims of heat waves, floods, and other disasters, pointing to the social neglect of the aged by the Japanese government.

Leaked report reveals plans for martial law in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 23 July 2018

The muted response to a secret military blueprint demonstrates that no faction within the country’s capitalist class defends even basic democratic rights.

Indian elite alarmed as Maldives gravitates toward China

By Rohantha De Silva, 20 July 2018

The rivalry between India and China over the Maldives underscores the geo-political tensions created by Washington’s offensive against Beijing.

EU and Japan sign trade deal

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2018

The deal was five years in the making but the impetus to have it finalised was increased by the US trade war measures that have targeted both parties.

Sri Lankan SEP member Mohamdiramlage Chandrasiri (1955–2018)

By Wimal Fernando, 19 July 2018

Retired bank worker Chandrasiri will always be remembered for his selfless dedication to Trotskyism, the rights of the working class and the building of the SEP.

Former Pakistan PM Sharif arrested in run-up to election

By Sampath Perera, 17 July 2018

Pakistani state authorities banned all public gatherings in Sharif’s home town prior to his arrival, suspended mobile services, and deployed thousands of police and paramilitary Rangers.

A quarter century since the Thai toy factory fire

By Richard Phillips, 14 July 2018

The Kader fire exposed the rapacious character of global capitalism, which was not improving factory conditions but further undermining them.

Millions of refugees face harsh conditions across South Asia

By Rohantha De Silva, 13 July 2018

The plight of millions of refugees in South Asia is a damning indictment of the imperialist powers and the regional ruling elites.

US provocatively sends two warships through Taiwan Strait

By Peter Symonds, 10 July 2018

The naval transit coincided with the escalating trade war between the US and China, marked by the implementation of the Trump administration’s 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Floods and landslides in Japan leave more than 100 dead

By Ben McGrath, 10 July 2018

Natural disasters in Japan are increasing as a result of climate change, but nothing is being done to address this crisis.

The Thailand cave rescue and the humanitarian hypocrisy of imperialism

By Bill Van Auken, 10 July 2018

The outpouring of human solidarity, international cooperation and the employment of unlimited resources in the efforts to rescue 12 Thai boys and their coach from a flooded cave complex stands in stark contrast to the routine treatment of youth by global capitalism.

After nuclear talks, North Korea denounces Washington’s “gangster-like” demands

By Peter Symonds, 9 July 2018

The lack of progress towards any agreement between Washington and Pyongyang threatens a rapid slide back towards confrontation and war.

Another Indonesian ferry disaster, 34 confirmed dead

By John Harris, 9 July 2018

The tragedy is the third in a month, highlighting the woefully inadequate maritime infrastructure and regulatory apparatus that is the responsibility of successive governments.

Delhi Metro rail threatened with India’s essential services laws; New Zealand teachers vote in favour of strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 July 2018

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India: Victims of police attack on Tuticorin protests speak out

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 5 July 2018

WSWS reporters interviewed survivors of the police assault on demonstrators demanding the closure of the Sterlite copper smelter.

Former Malaysian prime minister arrested and charged

By Peter Symonds, 5 July 2018

The 1MDB corruption affair is bound up with tensions fuelled by global economic instability and geo-political conflicts, especially between the US and China.

More support from Sri Lanka for WikiLeaks editor

By our correspondents, 4 July 2018

“WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange courageously exposes the criminality of the US, its machinations, lies and cover-ups.”

After a protracted delay, full Malaysian ministry sworn in

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2018

The fact that it has taken nearly two months to assemble a full ministry is a sign of the deep, underlying divisions within the five-party ruling coalition.

Tensions deepen between Beijing and Taipei

By Robert Campion, 3 July 2018

The growing conflict over Taiwan is the result of a US campaign to step up direct economic and military pressure on Beijing.

Trump under pressure from US intelligence agencies over North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 2 July 2018

The Washington Post, citing unnamed US intelligence officials and undisclosed “evidence,” claimed that North Korea was planning to deceive the US over its pledge to denuclearise.

Thousands of West Bengal textile workers locked out; New Zealand nurses union cancels planned strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 June 2018

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Tensions continue as US defence secretary visits China

By Peter Symonds, 28 June 2018

While both sides sought to put a positive spin on the trip, relations have deteriorated as a result of Washington’s confrontational stance toward Beijing.

Sri Lankan unions betray national postal strike

By W.A. Sunil, 28 June 2018

The unions called off the indefinite walkout after accepting vague promises from government authorities.

SEP anniversary meeting in Sri Lanka denounces anti-immigrant attacks

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 27 June 2018

The following resolution was unanimously endorsed at the Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party’s 50th anniversary meeting, held in Colombo this month.

SEP in Sri Lanka holds powerful 50th anniversary meeting

By our correspondents, 27 June 2018

The meeting began by paying tribute to the party’s founding general secretary Keerthi Balasuriya, Wilfred Pereira and all those who gave their lives to the fight for Trotskyism in Sri Lanka and South Asia.

Greetings from David North to the 50th anniversary meeting of the Sri Lankan SEP

By David North, 27 June 2018

For a half century, the party that was founded in 1968 by an extraordinary group of young revolutionaries has upheld the banner of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Sri Lanka: Striking postal workers criticise the trade unions

By our correspondents, 26 June 2018

While postal workers are determine to continue their fight, the trade unions are seeking ways to sabotage the campaign.

Sri Lankan artists, translators and workers endorse international campaign to defend Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 25 June 2018

More Sri Lankan academics, writers and workers have spoken out in support of the International Committee of the Fourth International’s campaign in defence of the WikiLeaks editor.

Bangladesh government intensifies “anti-drug” crackdown

By Wimal Perera, 25 June 2018

The crackdown is being used to target political opponents and suppress the mounting popular opposition to Hasina’s big business policies.

Over 193 feared dead in another Indonesian ferry disaster

By John Harris, 23 June 2018

The wooden ferry was reportedly carrying over five times its legal capacity of 43 passengers and there were only 45 life jackets on-board.

US cancels military drills, but maintains sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2018

The tentative moves toward ending the confrontation on the Korean Peninsula could rapidly fall apart if North Korea fails to meet all the US demands.

Nine million truck drivers across India strike over increasing fuel prices

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 19 June 2018

Although fuel price hikes are affecting working people as a whole, the union bureaucrats are blocking any united struggle against this and other government austerity measures.

Indian workers and students demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 June 2018

Indian Trotskyists campaigned last week in Kolkata and Sriperumbudur as part of the international struggle to defend the WikiLeaks editor.

Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) to hold lectures to mark its 50th anniversary

By our reporters, 14 June 2018

The SEP lecture series will discuss the significance of the party’s half-century struggle for Trotskyism.

Trump and Kim prepare for Tuesday’s unpredictable summit

By Ben McGrath, 11 June 2018

No matter the results of the meeting, it will only exacerbate the underlying US conflict with China.

Japan’s ruling party calls for a doubling of military expenditure

By Kurt Brown, 9 June 2018

Tokyo’s agenda increases the danger of war and the suppression of democratic rights at home.

Free Julian Assange rallies called in Sri Lanka and India

7 June 2018

The SEP and supporters of the ICFI will demonstrate in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, and Sriperumbudur, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Sri Lankan workers and students defend Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 7 June 2018

Many of those who spoke to the WSWS compared the attacks on WikiLeaks to the Sri Lankan government’s measures against journalists.

Sri Lanka SEP files fundamental rights case against Colombo Municipal Council

By our correspondent, 6 June 2018

The legal action against the May Day meeting ban seeks to further expose the government’s anti-democratic attacks on working people.

US ramps up threats to China and North Korea

By Mike Head, 4 June 2018

Whatever the outcome of a Trump-Kim summit, the US confrontation with China will escalate.

Indian garment workers demand higher pay, teachers demonstrate in China

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 June 2018

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Remembrance Day in Sri Lanka exposes dead end of Tamil nationalism

By K. Nesan, 1 June 2018

Tamil National Alliance officials were thrown out of the memorial of the May 18 massacre that ended of the Sri Lankan Civil War, as mass anger rises against the TNA.

Rohingya refugees face catastrophe in Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 31 May 2018

Despite hypocritical statements of concern by the major world powers, Rohingya are at risk from landslides, floods and epidemics this monsoon season.

New Malaysian government formed amid internal and global tensions

By John Roberts, 30 May 2018

Mahathir’s cabinet highlights the potential for conflict in the new coalition government.

Ex-Sri Lankan defence secretary calls for brutal big business regime

By Pani Wijesiriwardane, 29 May 2018

Gotabhaya Rajapakse is appealing to the ruling elite in preparation for the establishment of an even more authoritarian government.

War danger remains despite North and South Korean leaders holding second summit

By Ben McGrath, 28 May 2018

Trump’s cancellation of his summit with Kim was designed to wring further concessions from Pyongyang, while sending a warning to China.

Indian port workers to walk out, 30,000 municipal workers remain on strike in Haryana state

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 May 2018

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Trump calls off summit with North Korea

By James Cogan, 25 May 2018

Even as it threatens nuclear war, the Trump administration has not given up on trying to draw North Korea into a rapprochement.

Fearful of widening mass anger over police shootings

Indian authorities shut down polluting copper plant in Tuticorin

By Deepal Jayasekera, 25 May 2018

Sections of the ruling elite fear the police attacks in Tuticorin will fuel already volatile social tensions across India.

Trump offers North Korea “incremental” denuclearisation ahead of planned summit

By James Cogan, 23 May 2018

Trump and the South Korean president both exuded optimism that talks would ultimately proceed on US terms, even if not on June 12.

Sri Lankan filmmaker Lester James Peries dies at 99

By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 23 May 2018

Peries’s best films, like the great dramas directed by India’s Satyajit Ray and Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, have left their mark on Asian and world cinema.

Bangladesh students demonstrate over job quota system

By Wimal Perera, 19 May 2018

Protesting students face government repression, severe unemployment and lack of facilities.

US blames China for renewed tensions with North Korea

By James Cogan, 18 May 2018

Citing the “Libyan model,” Trump implied that North Korea would face “total decimation” if no agreement is reached.

India: Varanasi flyover bridge collapse kills 18

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 May 2018

The tragedy is a further indication that government authorities and construction companies are endangering the safety of workers and the public as a whole.

Japan maneuvering to prevent being left out on North Korean negotiations

By Ben McGrath, 17 May 2018

Japan is trying to justify ongoing military pressure on North Korea, and ultimately China, in the event of an agreement between Pyongyang and Washington.