Asia

On 10 December, Aung San Suu Kyi, also known by some western commentators as ‘South East Asia’s Nelson Mandela’ appeared in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN’s highest court, which is famous for trying war criminals and genocidal leaders. However, the saintly Aung San Suu Kyi was not, as you might expect, here to condemn Myanmar’s military junta, which for so many years oppressed her, but to defend it against accusations of the genocide of the Rohingya people. On 23 January 2020, the court reached a unanimous decision that Myanmar does have a case to answer, rejecting Aung San Suu Kyi’s arguments, and concluding that the 600,000 or so Rohingyas that remain in Myanmar are

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In this talk from last year's Revolution Festival in London, Daniel Morley (writer for Socialist Appeal) looks back at the events leading up to the 1949 Chinese Revolution, explaining why the revolution played out as it did, and discussing the process that has unfolded since: from revolution to Tiananmen to capitalism.

The results of Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections were largely as expected. Incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen won over 8.1 million votes (57 percent), defeating the KMT’s populist candidate Han Kuo-yu, who got 39 percent of the votes. Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) maintains its majority in the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan’s parliament), while the newly established conservative Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) replaces the liberal New Power Party (NPP) as the third-largest party in the Legislative Yuan. Behind these seemingly clear results, however, lurk significant contradictions. The Taiwanese workers, youth and oppressed still need to actively seek their own political

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The movement that has shaken Hong Kong to its foundations shows few signs of losing steam. It has entered 2020 with a mass protest of up to 1 million people on New Year’s day, proving that it has retained the support of the majority of the population despite all the storm and stress of the past six months.

The Modi government has unleashed a brutal attack on the student leaders of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi through its goons, allegedly linked to ABVP and RSS. The thugs of the ABVP, student wing of BJP, assembled in large numbers along with security personnel in civilian clothes, and entered the premises of the university on the evening of 5 January. They severely beat and injured many student leaders, including the president of the student’s union, Aishe Ghosh. She has now been admitted to hospital and is in critical condition with a fractured skull.

On 11 January 2020, the Taiwanese voters will decide who will be in charge of the Presidential Palace and the Legislative Yuan for the next four years. These are two key ruling class institutions under Taiwan’s “Republic of China (ROC)” bourgeois-democratic system. After witnessing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s catastrophic defeat in the 2018 municipal elections and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-backed repression against the Hong Kong democratic movement, many Taiwanese workers and youth dread a future where the CCP begins to take away Taiwan’s hard-earned democratic rights by way of its local comprador, the KMT, returning to power.

On 17 November, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared the new president of Sri Lanka. Winning 52.5 percent of the total votes, Gotabaya’s pro-nationalist party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), promised greater national security against “terrorism” and to lead the country to greater economic prosperity.

On 1 December, a feature article about the IMT made the main headline on the front page of one of Japan’s top daily newspapers. The Mainichi Shimbun (“The Daily Paper”) is Japan’s oldest major newspaper, founded in 1872 and published twice daily, with a circulation of 4 million. We publish below for our readers the English translation of the article, entitled The Internationale Resounds in NYC—Socialism Resonating with the Youth.

The protest movement of Jawaharlal Nehru University students against indiscriminate fee hikes and reactionary discipline policies for hostels have entered a new stage. The university administration has astronomically increased the fees by 999 percent, meaning hostel room rent has increased from INR10 ($0.14) to INR600 ($8.35). In addition to this, there are newly implemented service charges of INR1700 ($23.67), and the mess fee has increased from INR5000 ($69.61) to INR12000 ($167.07).

Last weekend, amidst a wave of protests that has raged on for over half a year following the Extradition Bill introduced by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong held its regularly scheduled district council election. This typically low-interest, low-turnout affair was turned into an effective referendum on the Hong Kong masses’ opinion towards Beijing in light of recent events. It concluded with a landslide victory for the anti-Beijing bloc of politicians, with the highest turnout since Hong Kong’s return to China. But what is needed is a clear way forward based on class struggle politics.

In August, the expected yield for ten-year Treasury notes fell below the yield for two-year notes for the first time since 2007, with the 30-year bond yield also reaching a new low. The “yield curve” tracks the yield to investors who purchase shares in government debt to be paid back over various time horizons. The national debt accrues as the US Treasury sells Treasury securities in exchange for cash used to finance the government.

A powerful movement of health workers is going on against privatisation in Pakistan. The government is snatching the basic right of healthcare from the working class in a country where already more than 80 percent of the population has no access to basic health provision. Rather than building new public hospitals and spending more on health services, the government has planned to close the health department altogether and hand it over to the private sector.

The EVA Air flight attendants strike, led by the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union (TFAU) ended on July 6th, 2019 after over two weeks of struggle. Management slightly relented on their previous hardline attitude as they reached an agreement with the union. From the perspective of the Taiwanese labour movement, this strike will not be the end, but merely an episode that shows the sign of times to come.