Asia

As the second wave of COVID-19 wreaks havoc across the country, the plight of the working class in Bangladesh is worsening. The situation has not yet reached the proportions seen in India just yet, it could soon get to such levels as the ruling class hasn’t taken any measures to provide basic health facilities and vaccines to the millions of workers who live in poverty.

Nepal is no exception as the world faces a new surge of COVID-19. With new cases increasing daily, Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population claims that the total number of infections stands at 343,418, while reporting 3,362 deaths. For the last several days, 8,000 cases have been reported daily.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has plummeted. Yet while the rest of the world seems to be on fire, China appears to have remained safe from the extreme economic decline, being the one of the few economies to grow in 2020. China registered a 1% increase in GDP due to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strict lockdown measures and the endeavour of frontline workers. To the outside world, the Chinese state continues to appear strong, proudly brandishing the slogan of ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’.

Talk of a potential military confrontation between China, the United States, and Japan over the question of Taiwan have escalated recently. The Biden administration is continuing the Trump administration’s policy of confrontation with China over the issue, with Japan following in tow. Meanwhile, China is rapidly expanding its military activity across the Taiwan Strait. The lives of people in Taiwan and the entire region are relegated to the chess pieces of the feuding powers. Why is this happening now? Where will it lead? And what is the way out?

A number of activists, including members of Perhimpunan Sosialis Revolusioner (PSR), the Indonesian section of IMT, were arrested as they gathered to protest the arrival of Myanmar coup leader General Min Aung Hlaing in Jakarta for the ASEAN summit this Saturday. While Indonesian President Jokowi preached democracy to the Myanmar General, he ordered his own police forces to silence protesters. 

COVID-19 is ravaging India with a brutal second wave, which Modi is using as a pretext to cut across on-going farmer and worker struggles, despite failing to undertake effective measures to protect people from the virus. The battle against Modi’s reactionary anti-farmer and worker laws must be combined with a struggle for a people’s lockdown: providing adequate support and resources to millions of households crushed by poverty, disease and death. Worker and farmer solidarity is the only answer to Modi’s rotten regime! For a joint struggle to win a decent existence! Build for an indefinite general strike!

On 7 April 2021, voters in South Korea’s capital Seoul, and the key port city of Busan, delivered a stunning rebuke against the ruling Democratic Party (Minjoo). Although the conservative People Power Party (PPP) took hold of these two key cities, the election was regarded by the South Korean masses as a referendum on both President Moon Jae-in and the political establishment as a whole. As in many countries in the world, a socialist, working-class political alternative is sorely needed.

The ruling class in Bangladesh announced a nationwide lockdown following 10 days of Independence Day celebrations, in which they cosied up to the reactionary Modi regime of India. Meanwhile, workers are facing death and infection on a massive scale, and the health sector is in a parlous state. Anger beneath the surface is building towards an eruption.

The ongoing elections in five Indian states, with a total population of close to 250 million, provide a snapshot of the situation facing the working class across India. A common feature is the weakness of the left and its insistence on forming alliances with various bourgeois parties. The Indian working class is thus denied an independent voice. The various Communist parties should break with their ideas of class collaboration and build a united front of the Indian workers.

The mass movement of March 2014 that became known as the ‘Sunflower Movement’ was a pivotal event in Taiwan's recent political history. Its impact continues to be felt today. From 18 March to 10 April 2014, students took over and occupied the country’s legislature, while tens of thousands of workers supported them in the streets for 24 days.

A revolution is underway in Myanmar. The masses are showing immense courage in the face of brutal violence by the military junta. Workers and youth are preparing to defend themselves and allying with the organisations of oppressed ethnic groups. An armed workers' uprising and an all-out, continuous general strike must be organised to topple the murderous junta! 

The Myanmar masses continue to resist the military junta despite mass arrests and dozens of people already killed on the streets. Over one month since the military took over, the junta is still failing to restore any semblance of stability. On the contrary, class tensions are being heightened as an alliance of unions organised a second general strike in response to the military’s continued clampdown.

On 28 February, China Digital Times reported that a food delivery workers’ mutual aid network organiser (Xiong Yan, also known as Chen Sheng) might have been taken into police custody in Beijing. On 1 March, an informant from within the Ele.me, the online platform from which Xiong Yan gets his delivery orders, confirmed that he and some other members of his network were indeed arrested. At the time of writing, Xiong Yan’s whereabouts and status remain unknown, and speculation abounds. This news has garnered widespread attention.

47 arrested oppositionist political figures in Hong Kong appeared in court in recent days on charges of “subverting state power.” These arrests came after a slew of measures taken by the Hong Kong government to implement the new National Security Laws, imposed upon the autonomous city by the Chinese Communist Party regime last summer. This is part of repressing the Hong Kong masses since they rose up to fight for democratic rights in 2019. Only a class analysis can help us understand what is going on and what is to be done.