mandag 24. april 2017

Charge Rodrigo Duterte With Mass Murder, Lawyer Tells The Hague

A Filipino lawyer asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Monday to charge President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 other Philippine officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity in the killings of thousands of people over three decades. The lawyer, Jude Josue Sabio, said in a 77-page complaint that Mr. Duterte was the “mastermind” of a campaign that has killed more than 9,400 people, mostly poor young men, since 1988, when Mr. Duterte was first elected mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines. Read more

China’s Leader Urges Restraint on North Korea in Call With Trump

President Donald J. Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, discussed growing tensions over North Korea’s advancing nuclear arms program, with Mr. Xi urging Mr. Trump to show restraint despite signs that the North may be preparing a nuclear test. The phone conversation, on Monday morning in Beijing, came after Mr. Trump had already used a meeting with Mr. Xi in Florida, a follow-up phone call, interviews and Twitter messages to press Mr. Xi to do more to deter North Korea from holding additional nuclear and missile tests. The United States and its allies have also been on alert for another atomic test by the North. Read more

THAAD and China's Nuclear Second-Strike Capability

China, South Korea’s neighbor and the United States’ great power competitor in Asia, has long been vocally opposed to the deployment of THAAD on the Korean peninsula. In response to the deployment, Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, noted that China was “resolutely against the deployment of THAAD by the US and the ROK in the ROK, and will take firm and necessary steps to safeguard our security interests.” Read more

Chinese Consumers Will Change the Global Economy

The media is full of talk of China’s economic slowdown, as its GDP growth, in double figures for decades, now hovers at around 6-7 percent according to official figures. But while China’s economic slowdown is real, the growth of the Chinese consumer as a powerful force on the world stage shows little sign of abating and in fact will become more pronounced in the future. By 2020 there will be almost 400 million of what management consultants McKinsey call “mainstream consumers” – consumers with household incomes of $16,000 to $34,000 and therefore part of the “middle class.” It is these consumers that will shake the world. Read more

The Case for Engaging North Korea

On March 6, 2017, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched four ballistic missiles, three of which landed 200 miles off Japan’s coastline. DPRK supreme leader Kim Jong-un promises that his country will eventually have nuclear-armed, intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the continental United States. The Trump Administration is currently reviewing its policy options, including preemptive strikes or total isolation of the North Korean economyRead more

lørdag 22. april 2017

What Would the Second Korean War Look Like?

What would a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula look like? To many, this question might trigger a severe case of apocalyptic anxiety, where, on the one hand, we assume that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is willing to embrace Götterdämmerung-like catastrophic violence to defend its Stalinist regime, whereas, on the other hand, we seem to be incapable of genuinely fathoming the carnage any military conflict between Seoul and Pyongyang would cause. Read more

Can China's ivory trade ban save elephants?

There was a time when Liu Fenghai had 25 craftsmen working exclusively on elephant ivory at his factory in the northern city of Harbin. He would buy the raw ivory and then have it turned into the pendants, paperweights and statues that once filled shelf after shelf in his shop, as well as the much larger, elaborately carved whole tusks proudly displayed on plinths of their own. At the height of the market some of them could sell for many thousands of dollars. Now, to the delight of conservationists everywhere, China is calling a halt to this legal, state-sanctioned trade. Read more

Furor in China Over Team’s Banner: ‘Keep Homosexuality Far From Campus’

Huazhong University of Science and Technology in centralChina was known for its relatively welcoming attitude toward gay and lesbian people. Students waved rainbow flags at graduation, and the school hosted events featuring gay authors and artists. So many Chinese were alarmed when a message of intolerance emanated recently from the university’s main campus in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province. “Protect traditional Chinese morals,” said a banner carried on campus by members of the women’s basketball team. “Defend core socialist values. Resist corrosion from decadent Western thoughts. Keep homosexuality far from campus.” Read more

China’s Top Korean War Historian: "China and North Korea are no longer brothers in arms"

China’s top Korean War historian provided an unexpected take on the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula and China’s relationship with North and South Korea. “We must see clearly that China and North Korea are no longer brothers in arms,” Shen Zhihua said recently in a shocking speech, the New York Times reports. “The fundamental interests of China and North Korea are at odds.” Read more

China adjusts its North Korea policy

If China were to assert more pressure on North Korea to suspend its nuclear and missile programmes, it would not be at the behest of United States President Donald Trump. Rather it would be because North Korea's development of nuclear weapons poses an immense threat to China, Professor Jia Qingguo, dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, said recently. The view of several analysts, both within and outside China, is that Beijing is already adjusting its North Korea policy because of this and other reasons. Read more

Why Beijing should lead on the North Korean crisis

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." The quotation is attributed to Albert Einstein but after a torrid few days on the Korean peninsula, it's one for Chinese leaders to ponder. China is simply in the wrong place on North Korea. It is allowing Kim Jong-un's nuclear ambitions to undermine Chinese national interest. Read more


The Chinese dictatorship is like nothing the world has ever known, so smooth that it in some respects does not even look dictatorial, relying extensively on people’s self-control. But also brute and raw where needs be. The western provinces, Tibet and Xinjiang, have been turned into garrison states. Most Chinese now have many freedoms in their daily lives which no one interferes with, as long as they do not take their freedoms into the domain of Party affairs or to organising outside of the Party apparatus. It is of a new kind, controlling everything but not dictating what does not need to be dictated. I call it a “controlocracy.” Read more

fredag 21. april 2017

Philippines Sends Defense Chief to Disputed South China Sea Island

The Philippines sent its top military officials on Friday to an island it occupies in the disputed South China Sea to reinforce the country’s claim. Even before the military C-130 transport aircraft reached Pag-asa Island, also known as Thitu, the Chinese challenged the flight at least four times on radio as it passed through the region. China claims the island, as do Vietnam and Taiwan. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who led the trip, sought to play down the challenge from the Chinese, saying it was their “protocol” to question aircraft flying over what they regarded as their airspace. “No untoward incident happened,” he added. Read more

Torbjørn Færøvik: Korea, et kappløp med tiden

President Donald Trump har spilt Korea-ballen over på Kinas banehalvdel. Det som gjør Xi usikker på veien videre, er ikke bare Kim Jong-uns uberegnelighet, men også Trumps. Mens de kinesiske lederne betraktet president Obama som traust og forutsigbar, er Trump av en annen støpning. Flere av hans nære medarbeidere er også ubeskrevne blad for Kina. Hittil har Trump-administrasjonen markert sin militære handlekraft ved å beskyte en IS-base i Syria med Tomahawk-raketter, og ved å slippe «tidenes kraftigste bombe, med unntak av atombomber» i Afghanistan. Hva blir det neste? spør lederne i Beijing, som nok føler at bombene også er ment som signaler til Kina og Nord-Korea. Read more

Japan's Practical Taiwan Policy: What’s driving Japan’s outreach toward Taiwan?

While still a presidential candidate, in October 2015, Taiwan now-President Tsai Ing-wen showed her determination to promote Japan-Taiwan relations by taking a four-day trip to Japan dubbed as a tour of “Taiwan-Japan friendship.” While the phrase “Taiwan-Japan friendship” may not always make it into official remarks, Tsai has brought its substance alive by listing Taiwan-Japan relations as high on her administration’s diplomatic agenda since taking office. Read more

The Politics of Reincarnation: India, China, and the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh from April 7 to 11 garnered plenty of media attention. One of the most prominently discussed questions centered around the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation. The Chinese side was unequivocal in not only objecting to the visit but also commenting on the reincarnation issue. The Chinese position, as encapsulated in remarks by scholars from important Chinese think tanks, is that the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation has to be approved by the Chinese government and selection has to be based on a combination of not just “historical rules” but also current “Chinese laws.” Read more

The real secret of Chinese internet censorship? Distraction

If you ever want to annoy western policymakers or politicians, then here is a surefire way to do it. Tell them that the only government in the world thatreally understands the internet is the Chinese communist regime. And if you want to add a killer punch, add the assertion that almost everything we think we know about Chinese management of the net is either banal (all that stuff about the great firewall, paranoia about keywords such as “Falun Gong”, “democracy”, etc) or just plain wrong. Having thus lit the fuse, retreat to a safe distance and enjoy the ensuing outburst of righteous indignation. Read more

China to question Apple about use of app streaming to beat censors

Chinese authorities will question Apple over live-streaming video software available on the company’s app store, amid an increasingly hostile business environment for foreign firms in the world’s second largest economy. Police, cyberspace administration and cultural law enforcement team will jointly summon Apple, state news agency Xinhua reported, as part of a wider crackdown on live-streaming video services. The three Chinese government agencies planned to tell Apple to “tighten up checks” on software offered on its app store. Law enforcement officers had already met with Apple representatives over live-streaming services, Xinhua reported, but did not provide details of the meetings. Read more