Asia

Chinese medical vessel docks in Venezuela

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The humanitarian tour will provide medical help to the crisis-ridden country, but Venezuelan officials said it was also part of a “strategic defense operation.” Medication prices have soared as the currency tanks. DW The Chinese army medical vessel “Peace Ark” arrived in Venezuela’s La Guaira port on Saturday, as the country faces a deep economic crisis that has devastated its public health services. It is the latest stop for the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s ship in its 11-nation “Mission Harmony” ... Read More »

This pains me, but it’s time to compromise on Australia’s cruel asylum seeker policy

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Vacating the moral high ground is part of ending the most terrible act perpetrated by the Australian state during my lifetime Robert Manne The Guardian In the past 30 years Australia has crafted an almost uniquely cruel asylum seeker policy. Our only competitor is the proudly illiberal Hungary. When Malcolm Turnbull outlined our current policy to Donald Trump in their notorious telephone conversation, the US president was mightily impressed. “You are worse than I am.” No more evidence about the ... Read More »

James Ricketson’s family elated following Australian filmmaker’s royal pardon

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James Ricketson’s family has expressed joy and relief following the Australian filmmaker’s royal pardon after 15 months in a Cambodian prison on “outrageous” espionage charges. Fergus Hunter & Bevan Shields The Canberra Times Targeted by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s authoritarian government, Ricketson was sentenced in June to six years’ imprisonment. His relatives had feared the 69-year-old would not survive the harsh conditions. Ricketson has left his Phnom Penh jail and will soon be deported to Australia, possibly by Sunday. Fairfax ... Read More »

US imposes sanctions on China for buying Russian weapons

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The US has imposed sanctions on the Chinese military over its purchasing of Russian military jets and surface-to-air missiles. BBC It says such purchases contravene US sanctions on Moscow introduced over Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged interference in US politics. China recently bought 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles. Beijing has not joined in the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US and its Western allies since 2014. Relations between the US and Russia deteriorated rapidly ... Read More »

Yemen’s Hodeida Offensive: Once Avoidable, Now Imminent

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When the plan for consultations between Yemen’s warring parties, scheduled to begin in Geneva on 8 September, collapsed, the frozen battle for the Red Sea port of Hodeida resumed. Peter Salisbury ICG It could prove fatal for many of the millions already on the brink of starvation. Over the last two weeks, the latest attempt to set Yemen on the path to peace has collapsed, triggering what could become the bloodiest battle of a war approaching its fourth anniversary. In ... Read More »

The Australian war film Jirga is a lesson in Afghan forgiveness

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It is cathartic when a war movie takes us far beyond the horror of bullets, bomb and blood into the other side of the battlefield — the emotional impact on individuals. Ehsan Azari Stanizai The Conversation The Australian production Jirga mines the depth of the heartache and guilt experienced by an Australian ex-soldier whose conscience has caught up with his participation in a night raid on a… In doing so, it moves away from run-of-the-mill cinematic depictions of this war, ... Read More »

Downward spiral US-Turkey relations

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International relations are shaped by national interest. States are perpetually striving to get stronger, either by making common cause with other states or expanding economically and militarily at the expense of other states. Global Village Space Before the 20th century, the ‘balance of power’ sustained by military alliances between states gave the best possible explanation for understanding, interpreting and predicting geopolitics. In the 20th century, especially after the Second World War, the idea of collective defense under international institutions gained ... Read More »

World politics explainer: the Iranian Revolution

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To understand what caused the Iranian Revolution, we must first consider the ongoing conflict between proponents of secular versus Islamic models of governance in Muslim societies. Mehmet Ozalp The Conversation It all began with the British colonisation of India in 1858, which precipitated the collapse of classic Islamic civilisation. By early 20th century, almost the entire Muslim world was… The Ottoman Empire, the last representative of the classic Islamic civilisation, collapsed after world war one in 1918. So, the first ... Read More »

Getting the U.S. in Step with the Koreas’ Diplomatic Dance

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A new round of inter-Korean diplomacy commenced 18 September as the North and South Korean leaders met for a three-day summit. Christopher Green International Crisis Group Meanwhile, U.S.-North Korean relations are reverting to previous bad form. Washington should welcome Seoul’s help in restarting productive contacts with Pyongyang. President Moon Jae-in of South Korea arrived in Pyongyang early on Tuesday for a three-day visit. The outcomes of this summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will set the tempo for the remainder ... Read More »

Syria’s Idlib Wins Welcome Reprieve with Russia-Turkey Deal

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After weeks of escalatory rhetoric, Russia has partnered with Turkey in a deal to avert an all-out assault on Idlib, the last stronghold of Syria’s armed rebellion. International actors seeking to end the Syrian war should embrace the agreement. ICG Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have unveiled an agreement to forestall a Syrian regime offensive in the country’s north-western Idlib governorate. Per Putin and Erdoğan’s announcement of the deal, signed following bilateral talks in Sochi, on Russia’s Black ... Read More »

China And The SEA In Asia’s Troubled Waters – Analysis

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The never ending disputes over a semi-enclosed sea, the South-China Sea (SCS) was culminated in the consensus between the Philippines and China in bringing the case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Dhiana Puspitawati Eurasia Review While the PCA under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) ruled in favor of the Philippines and declare that China’s nine-dash line claims are illegal, China has asserted that they will not obeys the… This paper ... Read More »

Armenian Cypriots Ask Israel to Condemn Turkey Genocide

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NICOSIA, Cyprus — As Jews in Cyprus laid the cornerstone last week for a museum here that will chronicle the post-Holocaust internment of survivors in detention camps after World War II, leaders of… Larry Luxner The Times of Israel Cyprus is home to some 3,500 Armenians — about the same as the number of Jews who inhabit this predominantly Greek Orthodox country of 1.2 million. “We go back to 578 A.D., during the Byzantine Era, when the first Armenians settled ... Read More »

Trump has decided to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods in dramatic escalation of trade battle

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President Trump has decided to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, two people briefed on the decision said, one of the most severe economic restrictions ever imposed by a U.S. president. Damian Paletta and David J. Lynch The Washington Post An announcement is expected to come within days, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss internal plans. The new tariffs would apply to more than 1,000 products, including refrigerators, air ... Read More »

It’s Not Too Late to Prevent a Russia-China Axis

Chinese troops parade at the end of the day of the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military drills at Tsugol training ground not far from the borders with China and Mongolia in Siberia, on September 13, 2018. (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s how the U.S. can avoid driving the two countries together. Anja Manuel The Atlantic Chinese tanks splashed through the mud, while a few dozen helicopters flew in formation overhead in eastern Russia, and a young Chinese military recruit explained, “I have never experienced an overseas deployment of this scale.” The scene neatly summed up the much-written-about, enormous Russian military exercises that took place this week. Participants included 300,000 Russian and 3,200 Chinese soldiers. They deeply rattled the… It’s Not ... Read More »

Why Rahul Gandhi is wrong on the issue of lynching

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According to a recent survey, Indian National Congress (INC) President Rahul Gandhi is the favorite alternative candidate to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, way ahead of other opposition stalwarts like Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and… Sagarneel Sinha Asia Times But despite this, his poor logic continues to hurt his image. His recent comment in Germany that incidents of lynchings are attributable to demonetization, unemployment and the GST (Goods and Service Tax) is surely not something that is expected from ... Read More »

Jailing of Reuters journalists ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression’, says Aung San Suu Kyi

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Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, says two jailed Reuters journalists can appeal their seven-year sentence, and that their jailing had nothing to do with freedom of expression. ABC Asked how she felt about jailing journalists as a democratic leader, Suu Kyi said: “They were not jailed because they were journalists, they were jailed because … the court has decided that they have broken the… She made her comments at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on ... Read More »