Asia

‘One China’ means different things to different people. It also might mean war

The “One China” policy means there is only one Chinese nation and that it is governed from Beijing. ABC – RN – By Antony Funnell for Rear Vision Right? Wrong. In fact, the policy allows for the existence of two separate Chinese entities, not one. They are People’s Republic of China (PRC), governed by the Communist Party from Beijing, and the Republic of China (ROC), based on the island of Taiwan and governed by the Democratic Progressive Party. If that sounds confusing, it’s because ... Read More »

Blasphemy law is repealed in Ireland, enforced in Pakistan – and a problem in many Christian and Muslim countries

The citizens of Ireland voted recently, in a nationwide referendum, to remove a clause from their constitution that had made blasphemy a criminal offense. Steve Pinkerton The Conversation Ireland’s now-defunct Defamation Act of 2009 prohibited the “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter.” Just last year, in fact, Irish police opened a brief investigation into whether comedian Stephen Fry had broken the law when he described God as “capricious, mean-minded, stupid” and “an utter maniac” during a televised interview. The case was closed, however, as the… ... Read More »

Pakistan has cost effective solutions to India’s ballistic missile defence system: Report

Pakistan has “cost effective solutions” to India’s latest ballistic missile defence system and would also find a counter to its nuclear capable submarine, a media report said on Wednesday quoting a… Pakistan Defence Addressing a conference on ‘Nuclear Deterrence and Strategic Stability in South Asia’ hosted by the Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), Adviser to the National Command Authority (NCA) Lt Gen (retd… “The history of our strategic force development clearly indicates that Pakistan has never allowed this (strategic) balance to ... Read More »

Snowden issues surveillance warning to Israelis

U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden urged Israelis to be on guard against heavy-handed government and private surveillance in a speech by video link on Nov. 6 and defended his 2013 massive… TEL AVIV – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Snowden highlighted Israel‘s high-tech capabilities, but warned that accepting too much government surveillance and too easily acceding to the argument that it is needed for security reasons… “If we can allow ourselves to be terrorized by someone with nothing but a knife, to reorder our societies for the convenience ... Read More »

Frydenberg rejects foreign bid for ‘critical’ pipeline network

The Morrison government risks another feud with China over foreign investment after rejecting a $13 billion bid for Australia’s dominant gas pipeline network ahead of a crucial meeting in Beijing that… David Crowe & Cole Latimer, with Kylar Loussikian The Sydney Morning Herald The decision halts a divisive plan from Hong Kong company CK Group to buy APA Group and its massive energy network, giving the overseas bidder two weeks to appeal the ruling amid warnings of… Treasurer Josh Frydenberg issued ... Read More »

Macron wants ‘Euro army’ to combat China, Russia and US

Paris: Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has called for a “real European army” to defend the continent against Russia, China and even the US. Henry Samuel The Age Telegraph, UK Mr Macron, who has pushed for a joint EU military force since his election last year, issued the call in northern France in the run-up to the centenary of the end of the First World War. “We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army,” ... Read More »

Uzi: The Israeli Super Machine Gun That Conquered the World

Uzi was a textbook example of a simple project successfully completed by a nascent arms industry. Kyle Mizokami The National Interest A well-designed, reliable submachine gun made of stamped parts, it was simple to build and had universal appeal. Although mostly out of service, the Uzi’s profile will be recognizable for decades to come. Outside of Israel the Uzi proliferated widely, contributing to its global image. Countries as diverse as Japan, Germany, Belgium, Peru and Brazil all used the Uzi ... Read More »

Australia calls on China to end its ‘alarming’ mass detention of Muslims

The Australian government has expressed “alarm” at China’s crackdown against Muslim minorities and called for an end to the detention of up to 1 million people in indoctrination… Fergus Hunter WAtoday, with Reuters In the strongest Australian intervention yet on the Chinese government campaign, officials delivered a statement at the United Nations highlighting reports that minority groups and… “Australia shares the UN [Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s] alarm at numerous reports of detention of large numbers of ethnic Uighurs ... Read More »

The United Arab Emirates in the Horn of Africa

The UAE, together with its ally Saudi Arabia, played a highly visible role in helping make peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia. ICG As its footprint across the Horn of Africa grows, the UAE should avoid having intra-Gulf competition colour its engagement. What’s new?  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been expanding its role in the Horn of Africa. Along with other Gulf powers, it is broadening its ties to the region. Strategic rivalries, including those within the Gulf Cooperation Council ... Read More »

Khashoggi murder: how states are increasingly repressing dissidents beyond their borders

Authoritarian states have long tried to suppress dissidents who oppose the regime But in the age of globalisation, they are increasingly able to mobilise beyond their territorial borders and target political opponents overseas. Aurhors: The Conversation The brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former Saudi regime insider who became a critic in self exile of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is an extreme example of this new reality. Although the precise details of Khashoggi’s murder have yet to be proved, his grim fate – he ... Read More »

China Poses the Biggest Threat to the U.S. Elections

What the Chinese are doing is much more sophisticated than what the United States saw in 2016 from the Russians. Tyler Grant The National Interest Did you think the trade war was bad for U.S.-China relations? Well recently, President Donald Trump upped the stakes and further escalated tensions by accusing the Chinese of interfering in the U.S. elections. To back up his claims, the president pointed to a four-page advertorial the state-controlled China Daily took out in the Des Moines Register , which criticized Trump’s handling of the ... Read More »

US charges widen the net, deepen the intrigue on 1MDB scam

US DoJ indictments implicate fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and Goldman Sachs bankers but are likely only the first of many to be exposed in court in the multi-billion dollar heist. Matt Mulberry Asia Times On November 1, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) announced it had lodged criminal charges against three suspects in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fraud case, considered by observers among the… The three accused include fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, former Goldman Sachs ... Read More »

Diplomatic thaw shows Beijing eager for friends, experts say

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne’s crucial visit to Beijing this week shows the Chinese government is eager to get its relationship with Australia back on a friendly footing after a year of diplomatic frostiness, China experts… David Wroe The Age Senator Payne’s planned visit – the first by an Australian foreign minister since Julie Bishop in 2016 – comes as the Trump administration cranks up pressure on Beijing over issues such as… Richard McGregor, a China expert at the Lowy ... Read More »

Iranian hardliners dig in as US sanctions snap back

Rouhani’s government is working to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but Iranian hardliners are digging in for resistance By ALISON TAHMIZIAN MEUSE Asia Times Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed on Monday to defy United States sanctions on the country’s petroleum sector, even as the conservative Guardian Council went further – rejecting a bill meant to relieve US pressure. Rouhani said Iran would “proudly bypass” the US sanctions in a televised speech on state TV as the 180-day deadline passed. Brigadier ... Read More »

Sabarimala Shadow On Kolkata Kali Puja Pandal That Has Never Allowed Women

Indologist Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri termed such rules as extreme manifestation of patriarchy and misogyny. Press Trust of India HuffPost KOLKATA — The shadow of the Sabarimala temple row over the entry of women into the shrine has cast its spell on a local Kali Puja committee which does not allow females to enter its pandal amid protests by scholars. Ever since the worship of the idol began 34 years ago by priests of the Tarapith, a Shakti pith in Birbhum ... Read More »

Russia sends new frigate with cruise missiles onboard to Mediterranean

Russia said it deployed its new frigate with long-range Kalibr cruise missiles to the Mediterranean Sea on Nov. 5, a few months after Moscow had reinforced its naval forces off Syrian cost. MOSCOW – Reuters Hurriyet “The Black Sea Navy Fleet’s frigate Admiral Makarov left (Navy base) Sevastopol and laid a course for the Black Sea straits. The vessel will be acting in the standing naval force of the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean,” the… Russia has in the past fired Kalibr cruise missiles from ... Read More »