Asia

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 »

Iranians feel the pressure of new US sanctions

After the latest round of US sanctions, ordinary Iranians are likely to suffer the most. Wesley Rahn, Mitra Shodjaie DW While some optimism remains about back door support through oil exports, the long-term outlook for Iran’s economy remains dire. The full force of US sanctions on Iran was re-imposed Monday in an attempt to isolate the country’s leadership and force a change in its behavior by crippling the Iranian economy. Iran has been absorbing a series of domestic crises even before the ... Read More »

Turkey warns oil companies against drilling near Cyprus

President Erdoğan calls foreign energy firms ‘bandits of the sea’ for defying Ankara over hydrocarbon resources Agence France-Presse in Istanbul The Guardian The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has warned foreign oil companies against energy exploration near Cyprus, describing those defying Ankara as “bandits of the sea” who would face a similar response as its foes in Syria. Drilling for hydrocarbon resources off the coast of Cyprus, an EU member, is hugely sensitive. The northern third of the island is occupied ... Read More »

Chinese think tank launches National Committee for China-US Relations

Recent deterioration in China-US relations has prompted leading Chinese non-governmental think tank The Charhar Institute, headed by Dr Han Fangming, vice chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the… Asia Times The new committee, founded today in a small opening ceremony in Beijing, will bid to build private channels for discussion and contributions to resolution of China-US disputes with US think tanks and… Dr Bruno Wu, a leading media entrepreneur and investor, has been appointed the committee’s vice chairman. Committee members ... Read More »

Bahrain opposition leaders get life term over Qatar spying case

The verdict against three senior members of the now-outlawed Al-Wefaq movement comes months after their acquittal. Al Jazeera Bahrain’s appeals court has sentenced three senior members of the country’s opposition movement to life in prison over charges of spying for neighbouring Qatar, according to a statement from the public prosecutor. The verdict against Sheikh Ali Salman, who headed the now-outlawed al-Wefaq movement, as well as Sheikh Hassan Sultan and Ali al-Aswad came on Sunday, months after their acquittal by the… Sultan ... Read More »

The Arab Winter Is Coming

Gulf states are asserting themselves more than ever, and that’s a problem for the U.S. Hassan Hassan The Atlantic Three years ago, then Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter attributed Iran’s growing dominance to its being “in the game, on the ground.” He urged its regional rivals to do the same, thus expressing a widely shared sentiment in policy circles at the time: Arab Gulf states need to rely less on the U.S. and play a greater role in their neighborhood. ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Tamil parties vow to vote against Mahinda Rajapaksa

Tamil National Alliance vows to back no-confidence motion against newly appointed PM amid protracted political crisis. by Zaheena Rasheed & Rathindra Kuruwita Al Jazeera Colombo, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has suffered a setback in his power struggle with a deposed rival after a coalition representing the country’s Tamil minority pledged to back a motion of no-confidence against him. In a statement on Saturday, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) called Rajapaksa’s shock appointment by the president last week “unconstitutional ... Read More »

Asia Bibi blasphemy case: Husband pleads for asylum

The husband of a Pakistani Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after eight years on death row has pleaded for asylum from the UK, US or Canada. BBC Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, said they were in great danger in Pakistan. The Supreme Court overturned Asia Bibi’s conviction on Wednesday, saying the case against her was based on flimsy evidence. Her acquittal sparked violent protests, and the government has now agreed to try to stop her leaving the country. On Saturday, ... Read More »

Iran’s Khamenei says the world opposes Trump’s decisions

Iran’s top leader said on Saturday U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies face opposition across the world as Washington prepared to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s vital oil-exporting and financial sectors, state television reported. DUBAI – Reuters Hurriyet Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said Iran’s arch-adversary the United States had failed to reassert its domination over Iran since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah. “The world opposes every decision made by Trump,” Iranian state television quoted Khamenei as saying during a meeting with thousands of students. “America’s goal has been ... Read More »

Greek islanders to receive inaugural John McCain Prize for refugee crisis response

The people of the Greek island of Lesvos are poised to receive the inaugural John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service for their response to the refugee crisis, Politico has reported. ekathimerini According to its daily briefing, the American news site said that the announcement was made by Cindy McCain, the widow of the respected US statesman who died on August 25. The award will reportedly be bestowed on the residents of the Aegean island that has been on ... Read More »

The Illogic of the U.S. Sanctions Snapback on Iran

The Trump administration believes that ratcheting up economic pressure on Iran will compel the Islamic Republic to curtail its disruptive Middle East policies. IGG History suggests otherwise. Both Washington and Tehran should step off their current escalatory path. What’s new?  A 40-year analysis of Iran’s economic performance and regional policy reveals little to no correlation between the two, as Tehran has continued to pursue policies it deems central to its national security no matter its… Why does it matter?  The ... Read More »