Eastern Asia

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—Part One

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.

US stages another provocation in the Taiwan Strait

By Ben McGrath, 26 March 2019

The move on Sunday is part of increased US military relations with Taiwan, risking a clash with China.

Joint US-South Korean war games amid rising tensions with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 11 March 2019

While there is no return as yet to Trump’s previous bellicose threats of war, negotiations are clearly stalled, if not unravelling.

Canada gives go-ahead for Huawei executive’s extradition to US

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2019

A statement from Meng’s defence lawyers objected to the Canadian decision in the face of what it called “the political nature of the US charges.”

Second summit between Trump and Kim collapses with no agreement

By Ben McGrath, 1 March 2019

Talks collapsed on the second day of the summit in Vietnam with the two sides failing to produce any tangible results.

Enforcement and technology key issues in China trade deal, Lighthizer tells US Congress

By Nick Beams, 1 March 2019

The US Trade Representative made it clear the fundamental question is “structural reforms” in the Chinese economy.

Reports disclose super-exploitation of Chinese technology workers

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 26 February 2019

Some 85 percent of white-collar employees in China have to work overtime, with more than 45 percent reporting overtime of more than 10 hours a week.

Further blows to US anti-Huawei campaign

By Nick Beams, 23 February 2019

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the German government is “leaning towards letting Huawei … participate in building the nation’s high-speech internet infrastructure.”

US anti-Huawei campaign suffers a blow

By Nick Beams, 20 February 2019

According to a report in the Financial Times, the UK National Cyber Security Network has concluded that “it is possible to mitigate the risk from using Huawei equipment in 5G networks.”

No agreement on US-China trade with talks to continue

By Nick Beams, 16 February 2019

The next round will be virtually the last chance to reach a formal agreement before March 1, after which the US will increase tariffs—from 10 to 25 percent—on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Trump to hold second summit with North Korean leader

By Peter Symonds, 13 February 2019

By holding out the prospect that North Korea could become an “economic powerhouse,” Trump is seeking to entice Pyongyang out of China’s orbit and into closer ties with the US.

Chinese authorities extract forced confessions from student activists

By Navin Dewage, 11 February 2019

The crackdown reflects the fear in the Chinese ruling circles of a political movement of the working class for social and democratic rights that challenges the government itself.

US-backed campaign for UN inquiry into China’s treatment of Uyghurs

By Peter Symonds, 7 February 2019

While the Beijing regime is undoubtedly engaged in repressive activities in Xinjiang, the US has cynically seized on the issue as part of its aggressive campaign on all fronts to pressure, weaken and undermine China.

No deal reached at US-China trade meeting

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2019

A statement issued by the White House at the conclusion of the discussions said Trump had reiterated that the US will increase tariffs unless an outcome is reached.

Australian political and media establishment intensifies anti-China campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 31 January 2019

A coordinated political offensive is underway, aimed at legitimising Australia’s central role in the US confrontation with Beijing.

The drumbeat for war against China

Defense Intelligence Agency warns Chinese military is reaching “critical point of confidence”

By Gabriel Black, 30 January 2019

The DIA report aims to stoke fears of Chinese military expansion. However, by its own admission, China’s capacities, while growing, are dwarfed by the US.

China records lowest growth rate since 1990

By Nick Beams, 22 January 2019

National Bureau of Statistics head Ning Jizhe said the economy faced “downward pressure” and pointed to a “complicated and severe external environment” resulting from the US trade war.

Canada ramps up anti-China campaign as US threatens action against Huawei

By Roger Jordan, 19 January 2019

The Canadian government feels it can act so provocatively because its demonization of China is part of a broader offensive against Beijing led by US imperialism.

“Made in China 2025” at centre of US-China economic war

By Gabriel Black, 19 January 2019

The US regards the “Made in China 2025” initiative as a major threat to its own global economic and strategic domination.

Australian prime minister’s Pacific visit reinforces militarist line up against China

By Mike Head, 19 January 2019

The trip underscored the bullying nature of the turn by Canberra to reassert its predatory interests in the South West Pacific, and that of Washington, against Beijing.

Amid stalled US-North Korean talks, second Trump-Kim summit mooted

By Peter Symonds, 16 January 2019

The unstated aim of Trump’s diplomacy has been to “flip” North Korea—that is, to induce Pyongyang through threats and bribes to reorient away from Beijing and towards Washington.

Mine collapse in northern China leaves 21 dead

By Robert Campion, 14 January 2019

China is the largest producer of coal in the world and notorious for its poor safety record.

US-China trade talks extended, amid continuing obstacles

By Peter Symonds, 9 January 2019

Washington’s aggressive stance was underscored by the provocative dispatch of a US destroyer to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea on day one of the trade talks.

US-China tensions to rise over Taiwan

By Peter Symonds, 4 January 2019

New US legislation calls for regular arms sales to Taiwan and urges top US officials to engage in exchanges with their Taiwanese counterparts.

Slowdown in China’s manufacturing growth sets tone for New Year

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2019

A key Chinese economic index has indicated lower growth as talks on US-China trade tensions are set to begin.

University authorities suppress student protest in China

By Peter Symonds, 29 December 2018

The CCP regime, which has all but abandoned its previous socialistic phrase-mongering, is terrified at the prospect of students politicizing the struggles of workers.

Japan plans for massive military build-up aimed at China

By Ben McGrath, 29 December 2018

In clear violation of Japan’s constitution, the Abe administration is proceeding with a pro-war agenda which will only further exacerbate tensions in the Asia-Pacific.

One million Indian bank workers strike; tens of thousands of Korean taxi drivers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 December 2018

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

The New York Times targets McKinsey for doing business with China and Russia

By Peter Symonds, 20 December 2018

The article’s overriding purpose is not to expose the collusion of American companies with autocrats, but rather to ensure that they march in lockstep with the US war drive against China and Russia.

Canada’s media foments anti-China campaign after Meng arrest

By Roger Jordan, 19 December 2018

The Globe and Mail and National Post have welcomed the increased tensions with China that the arrest of the Huawei CFO has provoked.

China’s economic slowdown: The political issues confronting the working class

By Nick Beams, 15 December 2018

The China slowdown is part of a global process, exposing the fraudulent claim that the global economy had finally “turned the corner” after the deep recession produced by the financial crisis a decade ago.

“Five Eyes” intelligence agencies behind drive against Chinese telecom giant Huawei

By Nick Beams, 14 December 2018

An Australian Financial Review report details an “unprecedented campaign” by the members of the network to prevent Huawei supplying equipment for their next-generation wireless networks.

Hyundai, Kia workers strike in South Korea in opposition to attacks on wages

By Ben McGrath, 12 December 2018

The imposition of a new tier of low-paid workers in Gwangju is just the precursor to broader attacks on workers’ conditions.

Japanese government rams through new immigration law

By Gary Alvernia, 11 December 2018

While portrayed as a “liberalisation” of existing policy, the law reflects concerns within ruling circles over the economic impact of Japan’s declining workforce.

China summons American ambassador over detention of Huawei executive

By Peter Symonds, 10 December 2018

The highly provocative actions of the US are part of the Trump administration’s wider campaign to prevent Chinese corporate giants from challenging American technological supremacy.

Canada-China relations sour after Ottawa kidnaps Huawei executive

By Roger Jordan, 10 December 2018

At the express instructions of the federal Attorney-General, the Crown is arguing Meng Wanzhuo must remain in captivity pending the adjudication of her extradition to the US.

The kidnapping of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

By Andre Damon, 8 December 2018

Meng’s arrest and confinement—without bail and on tendentious and opaque charges potentially carrying a sentence of 60 years—amount to little more than a kidnapping.

At Washington’s behest

Canada arrests top Chinese executive for “sanctions busting”

By Keith Jones and Roger Jordan, 7 December 2018

The arrest and impending extradition to the US of Meng Wanzhou is a diplomatic and geopolitical provocation that has effectively blown up the US-China trade-war “truce” after less than a week.

Japanese police detain Zengakuren activists for nearly three weeks

By Ben McGrath, 7 December 2018

The police measures used against this student group are part of a broader attack on basic democratic rights.

Taiwan elections reveal widespread hostility to the ruling DPP

By Robert Campion, 30 November 2018

The results reflect discontent over deteriorating living standards and fears about the rising tensions between the US and China.

US-South Korean tensions over stance towards North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 28 November 2018

US ultimatums to Pyongyang to denuclearise are threatening South Korean efforts to reduce tensions and engage with North Korea.

Chinese president visits the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 22 November 2018

Xi Jinping visited Manila in the midst of Washington’s escalation of economic warfare against Beijing and advanced preparations for direct military conflict.

At APEC, PM puts Australia on frontline of US confrontation with China

By Peter Symonds, 21 November 2018

Australian Prime Minister Morrison lined up with US Vice President Pence at the recent APEC meeting, as China’s policies were denounced across the board.

Pakistan prime minister visits Beijing amid heightened US-China tensions

By Pradeep Ramanayaka, 21 November 2018

If Khan was hoping for an immediate financial bailout from China, he was disappointed as Beijing offered no specific aid and signed no significant agreements.

US vice president beats war drums in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 20 November 2018

Mike Pence in effect issued an ultimatum to China: either accept a subservient, semi-colonial status, or confront the full force of US diplomatic, economic and ultimately military weight.

Trump manoeuvres ahead of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 17 November 2018

The central demand of the Trump administration is that Beijing scrap its “Made in China” program and adopt a subservient economic position in relation to the US.

Chinese regime cracks down on student labour activists

By Robert Campion, 14 November 2018

The repression is another sign of growing unrest in the working class and fear in the CCP regime that the involvement of students will politicise the strikes and protests.

Fire at workers’ apartment in South Korea leaves seven dead

By Ben McGrath, 12 November 2018

Public safety continues to be ignored under the South Korean administration no less than under previous conservative governments.

US-China talks signal worsening confrontation

By Peter Symonds, 12 November 2018

For years, first under Obama, then under Trump, the US has been engaged in an aggressive effort to undermine China economically, and encircle it militarily in preparation for war.

US, Japan conclude massive war games targeting China

By Ben McGrath, 10 November 2018

The Keen Sword exercises have placed additional pressure on China while further militarizing the western Pacific.

Trump manoeuvres in lead-up to talks with Chinese President Xi

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2018

The aim is either to extract major concessions from China or, failing that, create the best conditions for pressing ahead with trade war measures.

Falling growth rate sparks concern in China’s ruling circles

By Nick Beams, 2 November 2018

A Politburo statement reflected the growing anxiety in Beijing over the economy and the impact of US trade war measures.

Japanese PM visits China in bid to improve relations

By Peter Symonds, 1 November 2018

Abe’s efforts to end bitter exchanges with China come after both countries have been hit by the Trump administration’s trade war measures.

Chinese president tells military to prepare for war

By Peter Symonds, 30 October 2018

Xi Jinping’s speech was a response to the Trump administration’s aggressive actions in intensifying trade war and overtly readying for military conflict with both China and Russia.

Another US provocation against China: Two warships sail through Taiwan Strait

By Peter Symonds, 23 October 2018

The naval operation follows an inflammatory speech by US Vice-president Mike Pence earlier this month criticising China on all fronts.

Sharp decline in numbers in latest China Rich List

By Robert Campion, 23 October 2018

The fall reflects the impact of a slowing Chinese economy, the impact of the US trade war measures and sharp falls in China’s share markets this year.

China growth slows to lowest level since financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 22 October 2018

While the trade war launched by the US has yet to make a significant impact on growth, the official Chinese statement referred to what is called the “severe international situation.”