Eastern Asia

Protests and work stoppages continue in Myanmar against military coup

By Peter Symonds, 17 February 2021

If the military has not simply turned its guns on protesters, as it has in the past, it is because it fears an explosion of opposition in the working class.

As pandemic continues in China, lack of resources provokes social media protests

By Jerry Zhang, 28 January 2021

The government’s COVID-19 prevention and control system is facing tremendous pressure and fuelling popular discontent.

As COVID-19 resurges, Chinese workers hit by pay and job cuts

By Jerry Zhang, 21 January 2021

As well as being placed on the front line of the pandemic, workers are facing an offensive against their working conditions.

China’s growth rate increase fuels geo-political tensions

By Nick Beams, 20 January 2021

The 6.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter indicates that the Chinese economy is expanding at a faster rate than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

22 workers trapped by blast in Chinese gold mine

By Peter Symonds, 20 January 2021

The disaster provoked public concern after it became known that the mining company did not report the explosion for more than 30 hours.

Staggering growth of super-rich in China

By Fu Hong, 13 January 2021

Some of China’s wealthiest capitalist entrepreneurs are members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), have been delegates to the National People’s Congress, or are members of the associated People's Political Consultative Conference.

Japanese prime minister declares state of emergency amid rapid spread of COVID-19

By Ben McGrath, 11 January 2021

The Suga government is using the state of emergency to cover up its own incompetence and refusal to take any real measures to address the pandemic.

Landslide in Papua New Guinea kills 15 gold miners, children

By Patrick O’Connor, 7 January 2021

For tens of thousands of people, the desperate search for flecks of gold provides the only means of survival.

COVID-19 cases rise sharply in China

By Lily Zhao, 5 January 2021

An examination of the chain of infections in three major Chinese cities further underscores the highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus.

Tens of thousands face eviction after Chinese rental company collapses

By Lily Zhao, 31 December 2020

Danke’s failure provides an insight into the far broader housing crisis in China confronting workers and young people, and exposes the profiteering and parasitic character of layers of capitalists in China.

South Korean Kia workers approve new contract after union isolates auto struggles

By Ben McGrath, 31 December 2020

The auto companies have exploited the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to deepen their attacks on the working class.

COVID-19 cases skyrocket in South Korea and Japan

By Ben McGrath, 29 December 2020

As in countries around the world, the inadequate responses of Tokyo and Seoul to the pandemic have been driven by concerns for big business.

GM Korea workers narrowly approve new contract

By Ben McGrath, 19 December 2020

The new contract maintains a wage freeze with no commitment from the company to maintain production in South Korea for the long term.

Kia auto workers in South Korea launch week-long strike action

By Ben McGrath, 17 December 2020

Kia workers are attempting defend themselves against increased attacks by management, which is collaborating with the unions to impose wage freezes and sellout agreements.

South Korean Kia workers strike again as GM and union push vote on rejected contract

By Ben McGrath, 14 December 2020

The autoworkers’ struggles are continuing even though the Korean Metal Workers Union has isolated the negotiations and strikes at the three major auto companies.

“They are not alone in this”

US autoworkers speak in support of strikes in South Korea and India

By Shannon Jones, 9 December 2020

US autoworkers have extended support to fellow workers at Kia and General Motors in South Korea and Toyota workers in India who are facing increasing threats as they fight for decent pay and working conditions.

Chinese defence minister visits Nepal to boost political and military ties

By Rohantha De Silva, 7 December 2020

The landlocked and poverty-stricken Himalayan country has become another focal point in the dangerous geo-political rivalry between India and the US on one side, and China on the other.

Strikes by Kia and GM workers continue in South Korea

By Peter Symonds, 2 December 2020

The strikes are part of far broader discontent, anger and unrest among auto workers internationally over job losses, deteriorating conditions and the health threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan and Australia step up military partnership against China

By Mike Head, 19 November 2020

The two governments echoed the Trump administration’s accusations of Chinese aggression and aligned themselves with the expected intensification of the US confrontation under a Biden administration.

New China-led trade bloc sets stage for further tensions with the US

By Peter Symonds, 17 November 2020

While relatively limited in scope, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a further blow to US ambitions for economic domination of the Asia-Pacific.

Re-release of Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (2003): A picture of South Korean society

By David Walsh, 14 November 2020

An early film by South Korean writer-director Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) has been released over the course of the past year in a number of countries—and now in the US. It is well worth seeing.

Chinese government blocks Jack Ma’s major IPO

By Nick Beams, 5 November 2020

The decision to block the listing of Ma’s fintech company Ant, which would have been the biggest initial public offering in history, was clearly taken at the highest levels in Beijing

Ukraine, Turkey deepen military alliance in Black Sea region

By Jason Melanovski, 3 November 2020

The systematic NATO encirclement of Russia has turned seemingly isolated conflicts in the region into dangerous flashpoints that threaten to spark a major war involving the US, nuclear-armed Russia and countries such as Turkey.

Chinese Communist Party meets amid rising social and geo-political tensions

By Peter Symonds, 2 November 2020

The CCP plenum was held on the eve of the US election in which both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have signalled a ramping up of Washington’s confrontation with Beijing.

Months of unpaid wages spark strikes by delivery drivers across China

By Lily Zhao, 2 November 2020

To maintain or boost profits amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the big express delivery companies have lowered prices, shifting the burden onto local courier stations and exploiting delivery workers ever more harshly.

Indian health and public sector workers strike; Chinese courier drivers protest over unpaid wages; hospital workers and nurses threaten strikes in Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 October 2020

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

Amid tense India-China border stand-off, US and India boost military-security partnership

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 29 October 2020

India’s BJP government has exploited the ongoing military border standoff with China to integrate India still more fully into American imperialism’s incendiary military-strategic offensive against Beijing.

Taipei and Washington continue to challenge Beijing’s redline over Taiwan

By Ben McGrath, 13 October 2020

Taiwan is being made the frontlines of a potential US-led war against the Chinese mainland.

A discussion with a young member of the Chinese Communist Party

The Chinese Communist Party is “an organisation with a deep, deep level of bureaucratisation”

By Peter Symonds, 12 October 2020

“From Marx to Lenin to Trotsky, an unbroken string runs through and connects them… Trotskyism inherited the scientific principles of Marxism.”

Hyundai union enforces wage freeze in latest South Korean sellout

By Ben McGrath, 29 September 2020

The Hyundai contract is part of a growing assault on auto workers by big business with the aid of the trade unions.

Washington continues to ramp up tensions with Beijing over Taiwan

By Ben McGrath, 26 September 2020

The US has sent another high-ranking government official to Taiwan—a thinly-veiled challenge to the “One China” policy—while also planning a $7 billion military package to Taipei.

Social health workers demonstrate in Tamil Nadu; Vietnamese garment workers strike over pay; Qantas baggage handlers protest against job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

26 September 2020

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Japan’s Democrats merge to launch new, right-wing opposition party

By Ben McGrath, 24 September 2020

The Democrats have carried out their merger in an attempt to block an explosion of social anger over rising economic inequality and the ruling elite’s drive to war.

Yoshihide Suga replaces Abe as Japanese prime minister

By Ben McGrath, 16 September 2020

LDP support for Suga indicates that the Japanese ruling class views him as the most capable of carrying out its agenda, in the face of a growing economic and social crisis.

India-China border conflict remains on knife’s edge

By Jordan Shilton and Keith Jones, 12 September 2020

US support for India and efforts by major European powers to boost their military-strategic presence in the Indo-Pacific could cascade the border crisis into a catastrophic war.

Australian raids on Chinese journalists mark escalation of US-led witch hunt

By Mike Head, 12 September 2020

The timeline of this affair points to an intensifying anti-China propaganda campaign, instigated by Washington and the intelligence apparatus.

India: Petrol refinery and agricultural marketing workers strike against privatisation; Pakistani government workers strike against pay freeze

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

12 September 2020

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Hong Kong authorities arrest opposition legislators in further crackdown

By Ben McGrath, 1 September 2020

Behind the string of detentions, the real fear motivating the authorities is a united movement of the entire Chinese working class.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe suddenly resigns

By Ben McGrath, 31 August 2020

Whoever replaces Abe will pursue the same militarist agenda and build up to war in the Asia-Pacific region.

Bipartisan Australian move to ban agreements with China

By Mike Head, 29 August 2020

The bill was announced amid bellicose anti-China speeches by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an accompanying media witch hunt.

China launches missiles into South China Sea in response to US provocations

By Ben McGrath, 29 August 2020

The ultimate responsibility for the dangerous escalation of tensions rests with Washington, which is continuing to try to provoke China.

Significant support for Joseph Scalice’s lecture on the Communist Party of the Philippines

By our correspondent, 29 August 2020

Overwhelmingly the comments and posts on social media have been supportive of the lecture and opposed to the slanderous attacks of CPP founder Jose Maria Sison on Scalice.

Thousands of workers strike at Indian arms factories; Indonesian police attack paper mill workers; South Korean doctors continue strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 August 2020

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Chinese academic expelled for denouncing President Xi

By Peter Symonds, 20 August 2020

Xi’s consolidation of power is not a sign of strength but reflects the fragile and fractured character of the CCP, which has no progressive answer to the developing social and economic crisis or to Washington’s war drive.

Indian social health workers hold two-day national strike; South Korean hospital doctors walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 August 2020

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President Trump signs executive orders banning Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat

By Kevin Reed, 8 August 2020

On Thursday, the US president signed two executive orders that will ban the operation of TikTok and WeChat in the US unless they are acquired by US-based companies within 45 days.

US moves to delist Chinese companies from stock exchanges

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2020

The move has been couched in terms of protecting “investor safety,” but it is another component of the economic warfare being carried out by Washington.

Former Australian PM: Beware the Guns of August in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 8 August 2020

Kevin Rudd argues that the danger of war between the US and China is greater than at any time since the 1950s and warns the risk “will be especially high” in the lead-up to the US presidential election.

75 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Bill Van Auken, 6 August 2020

The anniversary’s significance has never been greater. Behind the backs of the people of the United States and the world, US imperialism is steadily building up a massive nuclear arsenal and pursuing a doctrine of aggressive nuclear war.

US secretary of state sets out case for conflict with China

By Peter Symonds, 25 July 2020

By ruling out a return to the policy of “containment,” Pompeo’s speech marks a strategy aimed at regime change in Beijing.

US demands even greater support from Australia in confrontation with China

By Mike Head, 25 July 2020

Despite the intensifying COVID-19 danger in the US, Australia’s foreign and defence ministers will personally attend the annual AUSMIN talks in Washington next week.

Letter from a student in China on the COVID-19 pandemic

By a correspondent, 22 July 2020

“People are worried that on top of the hardship they have already gone through, they would face more unknown, long-term, and negative consequences from the pandemic.”

COVID-19 cases surging again in Japan

By Ben McGrath, 22 July 2020

As during the earlier stages of the pandemic, the government is refusing to make the necessary resources available to properly protect people and their livelihoods.

US escalates economic warfare against Russia and China

By Nick Beams, 18 July 2020

After securing a decision by the UK government to ban the Chinese firm Huawei from its 5G rollout, the US is pressuring the Merkel government in Germany to take the same decision.

US moving to ban China-based TikTok social media app

By Kevin Reed, 18 July 2020

There is bipartisan support in Congress for the Trump administration’s aggressive efforts against the Chinese app.

US takes punitive measures against China over Hong Kong

By Peter Symonds, 11 July 2020

Washington’s increasingly shrill campaign is part of a US confrontation across the full range of issues—diplomatic, economic and military—that are leading to war.

Australian government seeks to place country on war footing

By Mike Head, 4 July 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has identified the Indo-Pacific as the likely arena for another world war, directed against China.

Beijing passes anti-democratic security law for Hong Kong

By Ben McGrath, 2 July 2020

While Beijing has concerns about imperialist intrigues in Hong Kong, its chief fear is that unrest in the city over democratic and social rights will spill over the border into the rest of China.

Tens of thousands of Chinese citizens stranded overseas

By Lily Zhao, 2 July 2020

Beijing has offered little or no assistance to the thousands of Chinese students, scholars and tourists trapped overseas by COVID-19 travel bans.

US stokes India-China conflict, blames Chinese “aggression” for border clash

By Keith Jones, 20 June 2020

Senior US official David Stilwell provocatively told a press briefing that the Chinese army had “invaded” the “contested area” between India and China.

Dozens die in India-China border clash

By Keith Jones, 17 June 2020

It is the enmeshing of the India-China rivalry with the strategic confrontation between China and US imperialism that makes the border dispute so combustible and incendiary.

North Korea blows up liaison office to send message to Trump

By Peter Symonds, 17 June 2020

While nominally directed at Seoul, Pyongyang’s action expressed its deep frustration with the failure of the Trump administration to conduct any meaningful negotiations.

Chinese doctor’s death rekindles anger over health system

By a correspondent, 9 June 2020

Wuhan City Central Hospital’s website published nothing about Hu Weifeng’s death from COVID-19 and his colleagues were barred from being interviewed by the media.

Trump escalates anti-China campaign

By Peter Symonds, 30 May 2020

US President Trump dramatically escalated his reckless anti-China campaign yesterday, making clear that a dangerous confrontation between the two countries is all but inevitable.

Japan’s PM exploits pandemic to push pro-war constitutional revisions

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2020

Abe is pressing ahead with his long-held agenda of revising the country’s constitution to remove barriers to remilitarization and to tear up democratic rights.

The COVID-19 pandemic and global imperialist war

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2020

For all of the vapid talk about us all being in it together, the US ruling class views the pandemic as an instrument of war.

Blaming China, Trump says COVID-19 “attack” worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11

By Nick Beams, 7 May 2020

The war rhetoric is being intensified because the Trump administration knows that its return-to-work policy is going to result in tens of thousands more deaths in the US.

Devastating fire in South Korea kills at least 38 workers

By Ben McGrath, 4 May 2020

The government and big business will do nothing to address safety and the working conditions that led to this latest disaster.

Trump escalates attacks on China over COVID-19

By Peter Symonds, 2 May 2020

US President Trump has stepped up his propaganda war and threats against China, blaming it for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has cost the lives of more than 230,000 people internationally.

Australian government places country on frontline of anti-China witch hunt

By Mike Head, 2 May 2020

Australia unilaterally called for an international inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting the Trump administration’s unsubstantiated accusations against China.

Thousands of Assam tea workers demand lockdown wages in India; Protests continue in Bangladesh over wages, factory closures and safety

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

2 May 2020

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

Hong Kong arrests prominent pan-democrat activists

By Ben McGrath, 25 April 2020

Washington is attempting to exploit the arrests to further whip up tensions with Beijing and paint China as a threat.

Japan’s medical system collapsing as COVID-19 cases surge

By Ben McGrath, 24 April 2020

As many as 400,000 people could die in Japan without serious preventative measures as many lack access to tests and treatment.

Chinese economy contracted by 6.8 percent in first quarter

By Nick Beams, 18 April 2020

The announcement of the plunge in China came just days after the IMF forecast that the world economy will experience a $9 trillion loss of output over 2020-21.

South Korea’s Democratic Party wins general election in landslide

By Ben McGrath, 17 April 2020

The supposed success of the government’s response to COVID-19 benefited the Democratic Party, but the attacks on the working class will grow as the economy declines.

South Korea to hold general election

By Ben McGrath, 13 April 2020

This week’s election is seen as a barometer of the public’s feelings towards the government’s COVID-19 response and the declining economy.

Japanese PM imposes coronavirus state of emergency

By Peter Symonds, 11 April 2020

While the number of cases in Japan is low compared to the US and Europe, poor levels of testing are masking the real extent of the virus.

US military calls for another $20 billion to counter China

By Peter Symonds, 7 April 2020

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, an Indo-Pacific Command report to the US Congress sets out plans for a further military build-up in the region directed against China.

Japanese government planning attacks on democratic rights on pretext of pandemic

By Ben McGrath, 30 March 2020

Health experts are warning that Japan could see a wider COVID-19 outbreak, in part due to the complete lack of preparation by the Abe government.

Big business in South Korea exploits pandemic to carry out massive assault on jobs

By Ben McGrath, 28 March 2020

The trade unions are aiding the government and corporations use the health crisis to implement deeper attacks on the working class.

After downplaying COVID-19 pandemic, Japan forced to postpone Olympics

By Emiri Ochiai, 26 March 2020

Facing a growing public outcry over his indifference to public health, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the Olympics had been moved to the summer of 2021.

Global auto industry in downward spiral as coronavirus spreads worldwide

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 March 2020

Even prior to the outbreak, automakers had announced hundreds of thousands of layoffs and many plant closures.

Collapse of quarantine building in China exposes public anger over Beijing’s COVID-19 measures

By Ben McGrath, 14 March 2020

Beijing is attempt to ward off the social discontent in China as well as the aggressive denunciations coming out of Washington.

WHO says coronavirus danger is “very high”

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 February 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has upgraded its assessment of the danger posed by the coronavirus to “very high,” but stopped short of calling the outbreak a pandemic.

Working class in South Korea bears brunt of Covid-19 outbreak

By Ben McGrath, 29 February 2020

The majority of the cases of infection have been in Daegu, but the virus could rapidly spread in the country’s other densely populated cities.

The Trump administration’s incompetent and criminally negligent response to the coronavirus outbreak

Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US President, 29 February 2020

The disastrous state of preparedness for the coronavirus is the product of decades of ruling class policy that has subordinated the most basic social needs to war and the endless accumulation of wealth.

Coronavirus cases outside China are alarming, global health officials say

By Benjamin Mateus, 22 February 2020

Though new cases of Covid-19 cases appear to be declining in Hubei province in China, officials are concerned that the epidemic may be expanding into other Asian countries and continents.

Coronavirus cases continue to increase and spread internationally

By Benjamin Mateus, 15 February 2020

The World Health Organization is alarmed about the implications of the virus taking hold in areas where the medical system is vastly ill-prepared.

India: Punjab government teachers protest against privatisation; Sacked Sri Lankan government workers demonstrate; New Caledonia miners strike against long hours

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 February 2020

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

Hundreds of thousands denied pensions in Russia

By Andrea Peters, 12 February 2020

The effect of Russia’s 2018 pension reform is becoming clear, with 800,000 people who would have met the age requirement to receive funds no longer eligible.

Australian coronavirus travel ban blocks thousands of Chinese students

By Eric Ludlow, 8 February 2020

The blanket ban by the Morrison government affects any foreign national trying to enter Australia from mainland China.

India: 10,000 Karnataka midday-meal workers strike indefinitely; Tahiti workers strike against Macron’s pensions “reforms”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 February 2020

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

US bans foreign nationals from entry over coronavirus

By Benjamin Mateus, 1 February 2020

Governments internationally are promulgating travel restrictions with China.

Sharp fall on Wall Street as coronavirus hits global markets

By Nick Beams, 1 February 2020

Financial analysts are warning that the virus has created a more uncertain environment than the US-China trade war and its impact could be greater than that of the SARS virus in 2002–2003.

South Korea deploys naval unit to Strait of Hormuz

By Ben McGrath, 1 February 2020

Behind the backs of the South Korean working class, Seoul is supporting US war plans that could lead to a wider conflict with China and Russia.

Second case of coronavirus confirmed in the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 January 2020

Since the virus was first identified, more than 1,000 people have now been infected worldwide, and in the latest report the death toll has climbed to 41, all having died in mainland China.

Major Chinese city in lockdown as novel coronavirus spreads internationally

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 January 2020

With hundreds of millions of people travelling for the Chinese New Year, there are concerns the outbreak could become an international pandemic.

US and UK clash over Huawei involvement in 5G rollout

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2020

The rollout of 5G broadband wireless networks globally is becoming an arena for the eruption of geopolitical tensions.

Mumbai hospital workers demand outstanding wages; South Korean car workers strike; Australian tram drivers vote to walk out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

18 January 2020

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

Taiwan’s anti-China president wins re-election

By Ben McGrath, 13 January 2020

Emboldened by her victory, and with Washington’s backing, Tsai Ing-wen will continue to escalate cross-strait tensions with China.