Tag Archive: Asia


Chinese President Xi Jinping told Hong Kong’s leader the nation supports the city’s democratic development “within the law,” Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said, as pro-democracy demonstrations entered a seventh week.

The “Occupy” protests have impacted Hong Kong’s rule of law, while also reflecting the different views on electoral reforms, Leung said today while meeting Xi in Beijing. Xi reiterated the nation “unwaveringly” supports Hong Kong’s democratic development in accordance with the law. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Wj – Michael’s Blog

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Signaling a potential thaw in their long-frozen relations, China and Japan announced Friday that they would talk to each other about their competing positions on islands in the East China Sea and would gradually resume diplomatic and security discussions.

With that step, the leaders of both countries gave the first public declaration that they are trying to roll back a prolonged standoff that has inflamed nationalist sentiments, damaged economic ties and at times appeared to bring them close to military conflict.

The agreement was announced in similarly worded statements by both sides acknowledging that “different positions exist” over the islands known in China as the Diaoyu and in Japan as the Senkaku. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-UN – Michael’s Blog

Dear Friends,

This post contains several sections.

Censorship- The truth about Japanese censorship of any reporting about the dire condition of Fukushima Daiichi is starting to emerge. Only pressure from the rest of the world will open up the site to the light of truth. Please sign and disseminate the two petitions above.

Site news- The high radioactivity in groundwater after the two recent typhoons is persistent. Working conditions are harsh. The 2011 earthquake may have reactivated Japanese volcanoes, putting other reactors at risk.

Spread- The spread of radioactivity through the Pacific is ongoing and reaching the US West Coast. No state or federal agency is testing Pacific waters for radiation from the crippled Japanese nuclear plant.

Peace, Carol Wolman, MD [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Rg – Michael’s Blog

Tensions are spiking again in Kashmir, this time along the Line of Control, the “LOC,” between Indian and Pakistan. Over the past few days, the two neighbors have exchanged gunfire at the border, killing 17 civilians and causing thousands more to flee the area.

The new hostilities began roughly two weeks ago, on October 7, when Indian and Pakistani soldiers killed nine bystanders, while shooting at each other. Following the confrontation, both sides blamed each other for inciting the violence. Calm proved elusive over the next few days, as India and Pakistan traded mortar fire and machine-gun bullets, killing another six locals, including three children. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-NS – Michael’s Blog

Mainland Chinese activists are skirting censorship and risking arrest to publicly declare their support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

At least 34 people have been arrested as of October 6, and seven of them are artists from the Songzhuang art center in Beijing. The arrests began after Hong Kong students debuted a class boycott to demand genuine democratic elections on 22 September.

Peaceful protesters have camped out at a massive sit-in in Hong Kong’s financial district for more than a week, calling on China to scrap its requirement that a largely pro-Beijing nominating committee select the candidates in the city’s next chief executive election. To prevent information on the pro-democracy movement, dubbed Occupy Central, from spreading to mainland China, major social media platforms, including WeChat’s public platform and Sina Weibo, have been under heavy censorship. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Ka – Michael’s Blog

A North Korean official has publicly acknowledged to the international community the existence of his country’s “reform through labour” camps, apparently in response to a highly critical UN human rights report.

Diplomats for the regime also told reporters that a top North Korea official had visited the headquarters of the European Union and expressed interest in dialogue, with discussions on human rights expected next year. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-JE – Michael’s Blog

The 31-year-old’s walk was somewhere between a limp and a waddle. The speculation was feverish: Kim Jong-un was ill, he was addicted to Swiss cheese, he had gout, he had disappeared – was he still alive?

The question still remains – Kim has not been seen in public for a month – but yesterday, among the many sober suits at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, appeared a Vice Marshal of the Korean People’s Army, the North’s second most powerful person. Wearing an olive uniform, Hwang Pyong-so had arrived. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Jj – Michael’s Blog

When protests in Hong Kong exploded, knowledgeable people looked for US involvement. It was not hard to find. The overt intrusion of the US is available in budgets, documents and websites; the covert involvement has not yet been uncovered but is no doubt there. What does US involvement mean for the credibility of the protest movement and the future of Hong Kong? How should Hong Kong activists respond?

The issues raised by the protests, lack of democracy and an unfair economy, are very real. But so are the concerns of Beijing for economic growth and continuing to lift people out of poverty, something China has done remarkably well. Those who seek to transform governance and create a more equal economy now have a more challenging task than protests, they must build national consensus on their issues in Hong Kong and in China’s leadership. The Chinese People’s Daily quoted a Chinese-American author who wrote the Occupy Central leadership, Yin Haoliu, said: “Democracy is a step-by-step process that cannot be approached in haste, otherwise it will bring about troubles.” How quickly those steps advance depends, in part, on how well the democracy movement organizes.

Now that the US has been exposed, it needs to be removed. US goals are very different than the people in Hong Kong. The US is in the process of encircling China militarily and economically. It sees China as a competitor, a nation that can undermine the US as the single world superpower. Conflict between Hong Kong and Beijing would serve US interests but undermine the Hong Kong economy which is tied to China. The protest movement has already begun to separate itself from people too close to the US. Hong Kong’s people and government need to go further and expel US influence, remembering the historic imperialism of the US in China and noting the current strategic goals of the United States. [Read more]

 

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http://wp.me/p4sUqu-IZ – Michael’s Blog

It had been planned for months: a civil disobedience movement that would take over the Central District in Hong Kong. The pro-democracy movement Occupy Central with Love and Peace had been confirmed to commence on 1 October, coinciding with the Chinese National Week, a celebration of the anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The movement was reinforced by a student boycott that started last week. But this weekend, as both movement and boycott gained momentum, the Occupy leaders accelerated their campaign.

On Sunday, thousands of protesters gathered in the central districts of Causeway Bay, Wanchai, Admiralty, Central and on the other side of the river, in Kowloon. These protesters, often still school and university students, adhered to a carefully planned out strategy throughout the weekend. A civil disobedience movement, rather than a riot, was the aim. However, as the movement gained critical mass in the central districts, the City Government called in the riot police. The situation escalated as police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and pepper spray. According to an official police statement, 87 canisters of tear gas were thrown at the protesting crowd, and roughly 33 men and 13 women had to be admitted to hospital. The crowds returned to resume their peaceful protest. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-I0 – Michael’s Blog

With more than two-thirds of the seats in the House of Representatives and a majority in the House of Councillors, the ruling coalition that backs Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is firmly in control of the legislative process.

The influential government bureaucracy, too, is much more comfortable with the Abe administration than it ever was with the relatively short-lived Democratic Party of Japan that preceded it. Additionally, the big business community, represented by Keidanren, the Japan Business Federation, has just come under the leadership of a close Abe ally, and has announced it will resume direct financial contributions to the ruling party.

It is against this background that a campaign of intimidation has been launched against the major liberal and moderate media outlets.

At the top of the hit list was NHK, the Japanese national broadcaster. Prime Minister Abe had long been dissatisfied with NHK’s coverage of controversial issues. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-GB – Michael’s Blog

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