January 21, 2015
SOUTH CHINA SEA:
The questions as to sovereignty, international law and rules and Chinese unilateral actions, will have to answered soon on the South China Sea.
With China claiming some 90 percent of the sea and encroaching upon the exclusive economic zones of other nations, sooner, rather then later; a choice must be made as to whether or not Chinese interpretations of their laws, supersedes international laws and conventions.
The stability and continued free flow of commerce on the South China Sea mandate that international governs the region.
January 20, 2015
Today, as I have done on my occasions, I am re-posting My Blog here on Asia Today for emphasis because I believe it is topical to Asia and the entire globe.
Fifty-Percent Held by One-Percent: a Rising Inequality to Instability
The trend that places 50-percent of the globe's wealth in the hands of one-percent of the world's population richest people by 2016, is a global catastrophic formula that could spread instability and strife not witnessed in our modern era. And this wealth held by the very few has increased from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014, underscores the fact that such rapid concentration of wealth among so few seen since the recession of 2008-09, is dangerous and needs to be reversed.
These are the facts, the trends and the warnings issued yesterday in a research report by poverty charity, Oxfam International, and delivered before the World Economic Forum(WEF), at Davos, Switzerland. The Forum of the world's economic powers and billionaires is meeting to decide policy issues for the next year.
Oxfam's Executive Director, Winnie Byanyima, one of the six co-chairs at the WEF summit, told the Guardian Newspaper in an interview, that the charity wanted "to bring a message from the people in the poorest countries in the world to the forum of the most powerful business and political leaders...that rising inequality is dangerous. It's bad for growth and it's bad for governance."
She added: "We see a concentration of wealth capturing power and leaving ordinary people voiceless and their interests uncared for."
Oxfam's published study revealed the wealth held by one percent of the world's population had risen to 48-percent in 2014 from 44-percent in 2009. And that 80-percent of the least-well-off accounted for just 5.5 percent of global wealth. The Oxfam study also found that on current trends, the richest one-percent will own more than 50-percent of the world's wealth by 2016.
In the interview with the Guardian, the Oxfam Executive Director also pointed out that a mere 80 people now own the same amount of wealth of more than 3.5 billion people down from 388 in 2010. To this end, she questioned and observed: "Do we really want to live in a world where one-percent own more than the rest of us combined? The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and rest is widening fast."
Pope Francis and International Monetary Fund(IMF) head, Christine Lagarde, have also joined a growing list of those warning that rising inequality could damage the world's economy if left unchecked.
But Oxfam's Winnie Byanyima is optimistic that there will be change. "Extreme inequality is not just an accident or a natural rule of economics. It's the result of policies and with different policies it can be reduced."
Henceforth, Oxfam has proposed a 7-point plan to tackle inequality:
act upon tax evasion by corporations and individuals
invest in universal free public services such as health and education
share the tax burden fairly - shifting taxation from labor and consumption to capital and wealth
introduce minimum wages and move towards a living wage for all workers
introduce equal pay legislation and promote economic policies to give women a fair deal
ensure adequate safety-nets for the poorest including a minimum income guarantee, and;
agree upon a global plan to tackle inequality.
So, when United States(US) President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address later tonight here in Washington, D.C., and he emphasizes the need to grow the middle class through tax credits and breaks, along with a need for the rich to pay a fair portion of taxes, it must be to alleviate and to hedge against rising inequality that the spirit of the President's remarks be taken.
January 19, 2015
Chinese police have shot and killed two Uyghurs who were among a group fleeing China across the Vietnam border, the BBC has reported.
This most recent action by Chinese authorities against the minority Uyghurs on Sunday night, underscores the continuing plight of the Muslim sect as they seek greater cultural recognition and benefits in Xinjiang province, against Han majority encroachment.
The questions and conditions of the Uyghurs, continue to be a volatile issue within China. Recently barred from wearing tradition Muslim dress on public transportation in their native Xinjiang province, Uyghurs have been blamed by Beijing authorities for carrying out terror events. On the other hand, some Uyghurs have blamed a recent spate of violent episodes attributed to Uyghurs, as mere demonstrations by a few aimed at drawing attention to their plight and their domination by Chinese communists.
But the shooting death of fleeing Uyghurs on Sunday cast doubt upon any immediate solution or ease to the Uyghur question. While China has claimed that Uyghurs have routinely attempted to flee Chinese borders to neighboring lands to link up with radical terrorists, Uyghur activists point out that it is difficult for Uyghurs to obtain passports and that those killed at the borders were asylum seekers, fleeing persecution.
January 18, 2015
Hong Kong's Beijing-loyalist leaders are playing a mystical psychological game of wills with the young democracy activists of the former British colony.
The head-game that demands students report to police, are detained, are questioned, not charged, but are informed that they under investigation and could still be charged at a later date; is simply designed to scare and to deter the youth from further demonstrations of their aspirations for universal suffrage in the 2017 election for local chief executive.
China wants to limit the list of candidates for chief executive in Hong Kong to Beijing loyalists, but Hong Kongers have demonstrated in the streets for months to demand the election be opened to all candidates wanting to run.
The strength and tenacity of the youthful democracy activists in Hong Kong have been proved and demonstrated already, yet their desires for greater freedom from China would continue to be tested by authorities again and again in 2015.
January 17, 2015
Again today, I am re-posting My Blog here on Asia Today to emphasize the importance of decisions facing the peoples of the World, including Asia.
Chaos and Conflict or Civility and Tolerance: a Simple Choice
Discussions, debates, differences and conflicts over geopolitical, extremist, religious and other issues, will continue as societies attempt to establish and to maintain their systems of sovereignty.
Political and religious ideologies, independence, freedom and extremism, will dominate as major themes of events today and of events on the horizon. In all societies, the simple choice of selecting between chaos and conflict or civility and tolerance, will remain as the defining factor to determine which societies fail or prosper.
A simple choice - yes, but given the nature of humankind, the explicit selection to stability will become marred by convoluted
fanatical ideology and by desires to empire-building, dooming some societies to fail barring civil and tolerant intervention by rational states.
So, in the current discussion of rights of speech with regards to the terror events in Paris, France, it must be accepted that France - being free and secular, has adopted freedom over any interference from fanaticism or other sources. Thus, any internal or external extremist actors seeking to change the accepted civility of the French, are to be condemned.
That France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom(UK), the United States(US) and others, having given sanctuary and tolerance to many peoples in need of refuge, then to fall victim to said peoples or their children, is unacceptable. And to this end, concerted direct actions are merited and acceptable by these stable societies so that they not fall into despair like the failing states of refugees of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
January 16, 2015
Reprisals against those who participated in pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong are continuing in the city with some student leaders being detained by local authorities and being informed of possible charges for their roles in the demonstrations for democracy in the former British colony.
Student leaders Oscar Lai, Agnes Chow, Derek Lam and Joshua Wong were all detained by Hong Kong police earlier today. Lai, Chow and Lam were released by police after a couple hours and informed that they could be charged with inciting illegal assembly. Wong, 18, was still in police custody later in the day.
As a crowd of supporters gathered to watch Wong and the other students disappear into police custody, pro-democracy supporters remained defiant as they chanted: "I want universal suffrage." "Support the students."
Wong who said he wasn't afraid declared: "I am confident and optimistic for further action and the further Umbrella Movement, and continue to fight for universal suffrage."
January 15, 2015
It is obvious that relations between Beijing and Pyongyang are not the same as they were prior to the December, 2013, killing of North Korean insider Jang Song-thaek by his nephew leader, Kim Jong Un. To this end, trust between the communist brothers has soured to a point of action, thus, China will no more rely on North Korea to monitor the border between the two countries.
North Korea's intent to keep all its souls within its borders without chance of escape, has been primarily a Kim Jong Un's responsibility. But, last month after a deserted North Korean soldier, crossed the border into China, and killed four Chinese citizens, Beijing has now been forced to accept that: "The situation is more complicated and relying on just one party would make it difficult to achieve control" of the border, Reuters reported earlier today.
Henceforth, Beijing has established a new civilian-military defense fund, to secure its long border with North Korea. Patrols are expected to fan out across the 310-mile border in Yanbian prefecture, Jilin province, in attempt to secure China's side of the border. Also, Chinese media reports, suggest that 24-hour video surveillance would be put in place as patrols canvass villages along the Tumen River, which marks the Chinese-North Korean borders.
January 14, 2015
Pro-democracy legislators, in Hong Kong, raised banners before the legislature, yesterday, demanding full democracy before walking out with opened yellow umbrellas symbolic with the democracy demonstrations in the former British colony.
The local representatives who demand democracy for Hong Kong, also called upon chief executive Leung Chun-ying, a Beijing loyalist, to resign, Reuters reported.
Muzzled by China not to appease the will of Hong Kongers for democracy, Leung warned that pro-democracy demonstrations risked bringing "anarchy" to the Asian financial hub. Leung told the legislature that "increasing and expediting land supply is the fundamental solution to resolve the land and housing problems of Hong Kong." A talking point of many pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong has been the acute cost of housing in the city. But Leung's address to the legislative body was void of any specifics on how land supply could bring affordable housing to real-estate cramped Hong Kong.
January 13, 2015
Forms of retribution against some participants and organizers of democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong are continuing. While a court tried to remove a 14-year-old democracy sympathizer from her father's care last week, some person or persons, last Saturday fire-bombed the home and offices of pro-democracy organizer Jimmy Lai.
Lai was not hurt, but his Next Media business has said the attacks are attempts to intimidate what's left of the free press in Hong Kong. Lai stepped down from the chairmanship of his businesses - Next Media and Apple Daily in Hong Kong last December. He was one of the main and most vocal advocates for democratic reforms in Hong Kong.
January 12, 2015
SOUTH CHINA SEA:
That China should have the audacity to question the Philippines criticism and concern over China's land reclamation projects on the waters of the disputed South China Sea, clearly underscores an imperial intent by China. Moreover, that China should claim as its sovereign more than 90 percent of the vast South China Sea encroaching upon the standard 200-mile exclusive economic zone rendered to nations under International law, is another example of China's expansive intent amok of International law.
The fisheries rich and potentially vast reserves of oil and gas of the South China Sea has witnessed ongoing actions by China to claim most of it despite legal claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. The Philippines has brought action against China before an International Arbitrary body. Yet, China continues land reclamation projects in the disputed areas despite calls from the United States(US) and others that China cease such actions.
As reported by Reuters, Philippines General Gregorio Catapang, disclosed last week that one of China's projects was about 50 percent complete. Aerial images by the Philippines army and a US defense publication attest that China is developing an airstrip on one of the disputed areas.
Beijing has claimed "indisputable sovereignty" over the islands and its foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, has claimed that "China's actions on the relevant islands and reefs are all matters within the scope of China's sovereignty."
So while claimants to disputes on the South China Sea seek international ruling on sea concerns, China has unilateral decided that Chinese law trumps international judgement. Thus, China's actions have set in motion another event leading to possible instability on the seas of Asia. And should China continue this trend of disregard to International law unchallenged by any party, China would have cemented itself as an empire.
January 11, 2015
Again today, I re-post My Blog here on Asia Today in consideration of the importance of events in France of the last week
upon the world and Asia:
Today, tomorrow and beyond, the free and the civil peoples of the World stand with France in solidarity of freedom and in resilience to the terror of violence.
As hundreds of thousands stand in silence in Paris, Toulouse, Lyon and elsewhere, in respect of the innocents fallen by terrorists last week, the demonstration by the people of France affirms their re-dedication to freedom of speech and to the tenets of democracy and the rights of man.
France is not alone. Nous sommes unis avec la France!
January 10, 2015
One again, this posting has also been published on My Blog:
Three young terrorists - Said Kouachi, 34; Cherif Kouachi, 32; and Amedy Coulibaly, 32, have been killed by police for their roles in terrorist attacks at Charlie Hebdo at elsewhere in France that have massacred 16 people. Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, another suspect, remains at large. And while people across France will turn out in vast numbers tomorrow in a show of support to their resilience and in affirmation of their support to democracy, freedom and free speech, questions remain as to how and why, people so young, could resort to such blatant violence upon the society that gave them citizenship.
While many inferences and analyses could be drawn as to why and how, current conditions under which many youth live in free societies across the globe could be called into question. Unemployment remains high among many youth from the Arab world to Europe to Africa. First and second generations of youth continue to feel alienated by their adopted and birth societies. Meaningful productive efforts to engage youth into the systems of governance remain less than stellar.
Yet, though no system could be solely faulted as the source of such violence, each and every society exposed to populations of radicalized youth and adults, must now re-tool their systems with a view to maintaining stability and security to the general populations. Moreover, the youth - themselves, owe to their communities a concerted effort to contribute to the long term peace and security of their homes.
Renewed efforts and opportunities to higher education and access to job training and decent jobs must come to the fore as a means to reclaim youth from the cult of violence and to help provide immunity from rabid radicalization.
January 09, 2015
Again today, I am re-posting My Blog here on Asia Today because I believe these matters have direct relations to the continent:
From Paris, to Detroit, to Berlin, to Amsterdam, to London, to Stockholm; open doors to the privilege of citizenship has been extended to millions of immigrants for many decades. Displaced by conflict, religious limitation or economic hardship, immigrants have often found new homes in lands that offer freedom and opportunity to better the social condition of the individual.
Many new immigrants to these lands readily, or hesitantly at times, accept and embrace the new norms and assimilation within their new homes. They swear oath and voluntarily offer to defend the stable sovereignty of their new countries. They respect the systems and institutions of their host nations. Many times they devote their lives with deeds of appreciation to their accepted lands.
Yet, from time to time, and perhaps too often these days, the World witnesses events similar to that of Paris, France, earlier this week and still unfolding, when unpatriotic, selfish unappreciative scoundrels, born of immigrants or immigrants themselves, could take it upon themselves to scar the decent hard-working legacy of their forerunners, thus casting future doubt upon the acceptance of deserving others needing to follow in search of freedom and opportunity.
Hence, it remains the responsibility of each and every immigrant to impart upon themselves and their charges a strong unwavering sense of patriotism. A profound duty of patriotism is needed to counter radicalization of those vulnerable to rabid teachings by preachers who stink the same atmosphere within which they live. Patriotism must be a natural follower to the privilege of citizenship. With every expected right, there are pre-requisite responsibilities.
January 08, 2015
I am re-posting My Blog from today on the terror event in Paris, France, yesterday because it relates to free speech - a matter I believe has much bearing on Asia Today and tomorrow....
We are all Charlie...and to this end the civil World must stand in total solidarity with the people of France and hereby reaffirm full support of freedoms of speech.
The deadly terrorist attack upon free speech yesterday in Paris, was an attack upon free speech everywhere. The violent cowardly actions by the barbaric perpetrators upon an institution of the liberated people of France, must be condemned in the strongest of forms. These terrorists who assassinated journalists in one of the world's strongest seats of freedom, must be made to answer to the full extent of the law. They and their co-conspirators and collaborators must be weeded out and removed from civil society.
The horrific killing of 12 people at the offices of the popular satirist newspaper Charlie Hebdo, Paris, serves as a reminder that violent extremism is evolving, thus systems of security must also evolve to keep abreast of even more impending changes. Ill conceived radical and fanatical ideologies are yielding violent extremism. Religious doctrine is being ripped from its peaceful intents and purposes to be marred into sinister fascist totalitarian agendas.
The Charlie Hebdo tragedy of Paris must now mark the point at which modern civilization gains the consensus to eliminate all acts of terror.
January 07, 2015
If nothing "can coerce" a government - not its people, nor their desires, nor their wants, nor their explicit expressed destiny, then what good is that government to the people it supposedly represents?
Such is the state of affairs in Hong Kong which is administered locally, but controlled by communists in Beijing. And yesterday, Hong Kong chief executive and Beijing-loyalist, Leung Chun-ying, on presenting a report that his local government intends to carry out the will of Beijing over the demonstrated desires of Hong Kongers, made it clear to his local people that: "Nothing can coerce the central and special administrative region government," the New York Times reported.
With that said, Leung intends to imposed China's denial of universal suffrage upon the people of Hong Kong in the 2017 election for chief executive despite months of massive street protests by students and democracy advocates for change in the former British colony. As China determined last August 31, it will continue to ensure that communist loyalists remain in seats of power in Hong Kong.Locals in Hong Kong have demonstrated for the right to select candidates of their selection and not those specially vetted by Beijing.
But Hong Kongers have not shelved their aspirations to freedom. Despite warnings from local police that organizers and supporters of the democracy demonstrations will soon be arrested, the New York Times reports that pro-democracy Hong Kong legislator, Alan Leong, has challenged the communists in declaring:"We will veto any proposal that's limited by the August 31 decision."
In other words, the local legislator, though restricted in strength by China's control, has determined that those wanting reforms in Hong Kong, will challenge all the limitations placed upon the Hong Kong electorate by the August, 31, 2014 Chinese ruling denying universal suffrage to Hong Kong.
But in light of the strong support of China's policy toward Hong Kong shared by chief executive Leung Chun-ying, and based upon his statements that his government cannot be coerced by its people, then, perhaps, the only redress left to the people of Hong Kong who desire change, must be to become the government.
January 06, 2015
Despite a 2003 cease-fire, the forged calm over Kashmir has been broken once again as Indian and Pakistani forces, trade fire in the disputed region forcing some 10,000 villagers to flee their homes.
Accusations from the two countries as to which side fired the the first shot abound. But this new flare in fighting comes as United States(US) Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to visit both countries. Also, US President Barack Obama is expected to visit India later this month.
Causalities number at least 15 in the last week of violence including 10 soldiers and a teenage boy. Another spat in the region last October killed 16.
January 05, 2015
For a flowery expression of solidarity to the democracy movement in Hong Kong, a 14-year-old girl in the city has been threaten with removal from the care of her father.
"Don't give up on this movement, we've been doing this for three months, there needs to be more people, not just me alone," the 14-year-old told the Hong Kong Newspaper Ming Pao after being bailed from jail.
On December 23, Hong Kong police arrested the 14-year-old for drawing flowers on the "Lennon Wall" at a former protest site in the former British colony. The wall, which had been used for holding Post-its by protesters seeking universal suffrage from China, is amply called the "Lennon Wall" after the late Beatles singer and his song "Imagine" - to encourage Hong Kongers to dream of freedom from China.
After her arrest, the young girl was held by police for 17-hours and subsequently brought before a Hong Kong court which remanded her to a children's home until January 19. However, lawyers for the youth filed a rehearing on bail conditions in the case and last Wednesday Hong Kong's High Court released the girl on bail, CNN reported. Her case should be heard this month.
But her arrest, detainment and initial court reprimand to a children's home, highlight the vehement revenge the Chinese-controlled systems of Hong Kong are capable of meting out to anyone suspected of having solidarity to democratic reform movements in the city. Yet, the resilience of the young people of Hong Kong to effect at minimum universal suffrage in the vote for chief executive in 2017, is underscored in this 14-year-old's declaration of having no regrets for participating in pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.
January 04, 2015
That five men in India have been arrested and charged with the kidnapping and gang rape of a visiting Japanese student, reinforces the need for major social change in India. Moreover, social change in India should precede major economic changes for unless the social change is predicated, India will continue be a risky undertaking for foreign investments.
Many incidents of rape and escalating instances of gang rape by Indians represent a decadent aspect of Indian society in need of repair. Thus, deep social changes by the Modi government should take precedence to economic reforms sought to bring India up to par with modernizing societies.
January 03, 2015
With Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 still missing, with another Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine and with Indonesian AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashing a week ago, 2014 was a bad year for the commercial airline industry in south Asia.
Yet, out of such tragedy, heat break and uncertainty, 2015 offers hope for a revamp of the entire commercial aviation industry in south Asia, where the industry has been expanding rapidly, and is expected to widen even further in 2015 and beyond.
Airlines in the region would no doubt return to the drawing boards in 2015 with a view to putting in place greater security and operational checks to ensure the adherence to premium standards as the the industry forges to keep apparatus capacity abreast of aviation demands.
January 02, 2015
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's call for social reconciliation in Taiwan in 2015 affirms the island's national identity for 2015 and beyond.
Ma's call for reconciliation comes following a year in which student protests took over the Taiwan legislature to demand the island's integrity from influence by China and a year in which Ma's political party suffered sound electoral defeats at the polls in rebuke of his pro-China policies.
As reported by Bloomberg, Ma has admitted: "Outspoken youth and their online networking re-energized our society...I think it was good thing when seen from a long-term perspective." Students took over the Taiwan legislature in early 2014 to demand oversight of agreements with China with a view to maintaining Taiwan's identity from influence from China. Later in the year, in national elections, the people of Taiwan deal Ma's pro-China agenda a stunning defeat at the polls.
Now coming to terms with a low approval rating of under 15 percent, Ma's reconciliation cry infers his recognition of the aspiration of most of Taiwan to be influence-free of the communists in Beijing in 2015 and beyond thus underscoring the encouragement of a national Taiwanese identity.
January 01, 2015
Happy New Year World! Here's to freedom, peace and prosperity in 2015.
May peace and comfort come to the children of Syria, Central African Republic and South Sudan.
May the aspirations of the people of Ukraine and of Hong Kong be realized.
May the love ones of passengers of lost Malaysian Airlines MH 370 find closure.
May good health return to the Ebola Virus stricken people of western Africa.
May the stateless find permanent abode.
May humanity find the balance to harmony and to co-existence.
And may God Bless all of you!
December 31, 2014
To Free the Not Free in 2015
Of free men and women, of not free men and women, how will your fates be determined in 2015? While conventional wisdom suggests the status-quo will hold in 2015, as it has in 2014, and all the prior years, I have a sense that a whole heck of challenges to the way things are will emerge in 2015, especially from those men and women not free.
Of free men and women, most now enjoy representative freedom within their democratic systems that accord the privileges to steer much of their destinies. This fortunate group in the United States(US), France, the United Kingdom(UK), Germany, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland and a few other nations, will enjoy continuity toward their paths to prosperity in 2015.
On the other hand, of the men and women not free from China to Russia to Syria to Thailand to Myanmar, to South Sudan to North Korea to Hong Kong among others, 2015 will bring special challenges, yet manifestations to be free will be very much in evident.
Freedom is special. It is best enjoyed and exemplified within democratic systems. Though not Utopian, democracy remains humankind's best form of government by the people for all the people. Other systems that have thwarted the aspirations of many to be free are apparatus in need of change.
As freedom activists Xu Zhiyong, Ilham Tohti and students are jailed in China for simply asking considerations of liberties, it underscores the deep audacity and courage on the part of people to stand up against behemoth non-democratic systems to demand liberty. When opposition figures in Russia risk sure-imprisonment by questioning Putin's agenda, that too underscores the natural inclination of men and women to be free. When thousands of high school and university students mustered the courage and the will to be free and demonstrated for freedom in the streets of Hong Kong for many weeks, such actions also, underscore the human thirst to be free.
It is to freedom that must be the rallying call in 2015. To those not free, be free.The right of all people to be free must be respected and supported in 2015.
December 30, 2014
Following is a re-posting of My Blog: The World in 2015 - the USA
On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, United States(US) President Barack Obama will re-affirm to the nation that the State of the Union is strong. It is strong, and it will continue being strong beyond 2015.
Yet, within the State of the Union, serious concerns remain regarding equal protection under the law for minorities. A sequence of events involving white police officers shooting to death unarmed Black men and youth, has called upon the US to address and to bridge the final frontier of race relations at home in 2015.
Protests demanding action and an end to the perceived racist practices by some police departments have touched New York City, New York; Ferguson, Missouri; Oakland, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California; Boston, Massachusetts, Denver, Colorado; Dallas, Texas; Washington, DC; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; and Atlanta, Georgia among places.
The voices of protests of injustice represent a clear kaleidoscope of American society. And while the US Justice Department has initiated investigations into some of the events, protest continue across the US thus underscoring the immediate need for review of the practices, operations and hiring at police departments.
The critical need in 2015 for final remedy to the race question in America is underscored by an embarrassing urge in 2014 to the US from the United Nations(UN) to stop police brutality. Moreover, that established human rights abusers Russia, China and North Korea were accorded an opportunity to criticize American "hypocrisy" because of the unarmed shootings, lends more urgency for the US to ensure similar incidents are not repeated in 2015.
With established systems of justice bearing components to redress, the American democracy has the capacity in 2015 to right the ugly racial events of yore.
The incoming 114th Congress in 2015 that gives Republicans control of both chambers of the US Legislature, has the responsibility of working with President Obama on ensuring America's role in the world. To this end, the 114th Congress should never adopt any self-isolationist ideas to America's world-wide presence in this era of significant prospective global growth. National debate over the Smith of the Keynesian side of applied economics should not render as dormant the work of the people by the people in Congress.
With the war completed in Afghanistan, in 2015 the US should look to stabilize the Middle East Region. Operations against the Islamic State(IS) will continue as Turkey is prodded to take a more active role. The Syrian question as to the prolonged destabilizing rule of Bashar al Assad, will have to be answered in 2015.
Security cooperation with Egypt should be guarded in light of Egypt's mass jailing of dissenters and journalists.
US established support for Israel will remain unwavering in 2015 and new leadership in the Jewish State with a flexible willingness toward territorial issues would definitely contribute to the stability of the region.
Insistence that Iran not possess nuclear weapons while monitoring affairs in Libya and providing assistance to Jordan and Lebanon should be part of US policy in 2015.
Support for NATO's security of Europe and encouragement of the democratic will of the people of Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia and elsewhere in Europe, should remain a rallying cry of the US in 2015. Russia's self defeatist regressive agenda and path taken will also remain in focus by the US in 2015.
The Pivot to Asia should become enhanced in 2015. China's agreed upon carbon footprint reduction plan and its behemoth trade with the West, should not be allowed to confute nor to confuse gross violations of human rights in China, the aspirations of Honk Kong and the determination of Taiwan.
Furthermore, US allies on the East and South China Seas could be assured of security protection in 2015.
Efforts to power Africa and to provide electricity to millions of un-lit Africans are sound investments the US will continue to make in 2015 along with assistance to win the war on the Ebola Virus epidemic.
Normalizing of relations with Cuba could bring unprecedented stability to the Western Hemisphere in 2015, yet matters that could threatened US security could fester in Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Bolivia or Ecuador.
In 2015, the US economy will continue its recovery from the economic meltdown of 2008. Job growth and creation will continue. And to further strengthen the economy, considerations to corporate residencies could be reformed.
The United States of America will keep the beacon of hope, justice, freedom and democracy aglow in 2015. As it has been for many years, America will continue to be that land of the free and of the brave. From Lady Liberty in New York City, to the streets of diplomatic cooperation in Washington, DC, to the dreams of the silver screen in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, California, to the ruggedness of Alaska and Texas, to the beaches of Florida and South Carolina and to the education of Cambridge, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut; the American spirit will be alive and flourishing in 2015.
December 29, 2014
The World in 2015 - Asia
From the exotic beauties who grace the landscapes of Rizhao, Wuhan, Fuzhou, Taipei, Seoul and Pyongyang, to the jaded beauties of New Delhi, Mumbai, Jakarta, Tokyo and Bangkok, and extending to the "sheilas" of the Australian outback, Asia teems of an assortment of varieties. Not only as the most populated of the continents, Asia also teems of a wide variety of cultures, of nations, of systems, of religions and of prospects for prosperity.
Yet, Asia in 2015, will be no Eden. As multi-billion-dollar trade deals are inked enabling the movement of most of the world's cargo on its seas, girded deeply into Asian communities remain strong desires for national identity, for change, for more freedom and for democracy. Authoritarians and communists have restricted access to the means of wealth and of prosperity to not include all the people.
Thus, in 2015, across Asia, expect the aspirations of the youth of Hong Kong to continue demanding universal suffrage from
China, expect the Uyghurs of China to continue their path to an identity with Uyghur characters and not Beijing characters, expect the people of Fujian and Guangzhou to demand protection of the air above, and expect the people of Taiwan to "protect Taiwan's political and economic self-determination".
China's self declared almost monopoly of the South China Sea, can be expected to be challenged by the Philippines seeking to protect its sovereignty in 2015.
India, in 2015, will continue on a transitional path wrestling preferences of social and economic reforms as it seeks to define its borders with China and Pakistan.
A new economic stimulus package by the government in Tokyo could put Japan back on track to economic growth. And in South Korea, renewed reunification talks with North Korea, holdout a slim hope to denuclearizing the peninsula.
The social and political rise of Joko Widodo to the presidency of Indonesia, the world's third largest democracy, offers much hope to prosperity in the region. His reform agenda could be effected by any economic fall-out incurred by the Asian aviation industry from the impact of suffering three major plane crashes in 2014.
The good prospects for Asia in 2015 outnumber the obstacles in the way to progress. But the abuse of human rights and the denial of ethnic equality from China to Myanmar to Thailand, are national practices that would have to be cured rather sooner, than later.
December 28, 2014
Following is a re-posting of My Blog: The World in 2015 - Europe
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) will continue to be Europe's most effective security umbrella in 2015. NATO will provide Europe the vast security protection the continent needs from Russia. Under NATO's broad protection in 2015, the nation states of free Europe will be accorded the opportunity in their individual states to allocate local resources and manpower to address extremism and a growing danger posed by far-right hatred groups that if left unchecked, could spread at a pace reminiscent of the bigotry of 1930s Europe.
The European Union(EU) in 2015 will remain as Europe's foundation to economic stability. But in 2015, pressures will be brought upon the EU from nationalism advocates, from immigration detractors and from nations seeking their own variation of EU policy to protect their unilateral benefit. On occasions in 2015, expect EU commissioners to remind members of the vitality and of the purpose of the February 7, 1992 Maastricht Treaty as a girder to Europe's economic well being. EU members should be reminded in 2015 that their strength lie in the unity of the organization.
Budgetary concerns relating to EU standards, the lure of French youth to Jihadism and the deployment of more French troops to Africa will figure high on the agenda of Paris in 2015. Later in the year, climate and environmental issues could headline news as a final United Nations(UN) conference on Climate change is ratified in the French capital. The compassion, the tenacity and le amour of the French people will weather all instability issues of 2015.
As Scotland reaffirmed its alliance with the United Kingdom in 2014, 2015 could emerge as a period on nation strengthening for the former Empire. Yet, Great Britain should examine the issues and the concerns that led to the Scottish question with a view to improving the entire relationship of Kingdom members. A benchmark of any success in this respect will be gauged by the continued peace of Northern Ireland and accepted engagement of Sinn Fein into the political process.
The UK's desired exceptions to EU immigration policies should be tempered against the well being of the greater economic pact. British concerns of welfare to to new immigrants are warranted, yet, London should exercise great caution that its expressed exceptions do not alienate new immigrants giving rise to similar conditions and attitudes held by some older immigrants resulting in a lure to Jihadism.
As a mainstay of the EU, the Germany economy will continue its adjustment phase into 2015 as debate surfaces relating to diminished business with sanctioned Russia. Large energy imports from Russia will place pressure on Germans in 2015 to consider easing of some sanctions on the misbehaved Vladimir Putin. But the strength of German engineering and its ability to adapt economically are sufficient to keep the land of Angela Merkel true to the unity of the EU in 2015.
However, a rising right-wing element represents a real threat to Germany in 2015. Fueled by Islamic extremism, far right-wing bigotry groups are re-emerging and Germany will have to monitor their activities closely in 2015.
Belgium and the Netherlands:
Far right-wing sentiments need to be monitored in both these countries in 2015.
The luck of the Irish will seek to counter austerity policies and increase water rates in 2015.
Like Vladimir Putin, many Russians will continue to blame the West in 2015 for Russia's contracting economy brought on by sanctions for Putin's actions in Ukraine and in Crimea and by falling oil prices. Though the ruble which has lost some 40 percent of its value in 2014 would briefly appear to be stabilizing in early 2015 because of government protection to prevent a farther slide, the Russian economy will suffer as a result of the stubbornness of Putin.
A new Russian doctrine that deems NATO the greatest threat to Russia amounts to another Kremlin ploy to detract attention and scrutiny of Russian real home affairs from Putin's actions to be blamed on outside forces. However, 2015 should provide answers to the Russian people as to the causes of their economic woes.
More Putin scouting on the seas, in the air and on the land could be expected in 2015. Ukraine will remain Putin's most significant prize to retake or to finally concede in 2015. Russia will continue to meddle with the security of the former soviet republic. Moreover, Putin's just inked Customs Union pact with a few former soviet republics is already causing some concerns to members less than week after start-up.
Belarus, Russia's main partner in the new Putin Customs Union, has already lodged complaints against Russia for blocking its exports to Russia. The Belarus president has dismissed his prime minister and other minsters over financial and trade issues and similar events will continue to plague Belarus into 2015 as a forges a deeper relationship with Russia.
From a Hungarian leader who wants to tax the Internet and to drug test journalists, to the re-emergence of right wing groups in Bosnia Herzegovina, to austerity re-assessments and immigration concerns in Greece, the Balkans will continue to attempt some kind of lasting stability in 2015.
NATO's security protection will provide stability to Latvia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in 2015.
Polish complaints of lost revenue from Russia's ban of millions of dollars of imports will be offset in 2015 by the security and economic stability Poland enjoys from its EU and NATO memberships.
Italian rescue of thousands of refugees from Libya and north Africa will continue into 2015 as the country debates settling or re-settling the flow of displaced persons.
Portugal and Spain:
Spain will eventually have to face the prospect of independence to Catalonia in 2015. Portugal will continue to make adjustments to its economy.
Sweden's agreement between the ruling coalition parties to avert a snap election is indicative of the Nordic ability to find solutions to problems other nations might teeter with for lengthy periods. Eased immigration policies should remain in Sweden into 2015 just like Norway and Switzerland. Yet, all three countries must monitor right-wing activities closely.
Ukraine's manifested destiny has not been respected by Russia. Prospects to a peace in 2015 of fighting between the Kiev government and pro-Russian rebels in the east remain possible. Yet, elements to any peace deal with the eastern rebels could weaken Ukraine's sovereign territory. Crimea has been lost. How much more of Ukraine does Russia seek before stability can reign in Kiev and Lviv?
[Tomorrow, The World in 2015 - Asia]
September 11, 2014
Hong Kong's aspirations to democracy could ultimately be resolved by its residents answer to one question: Is Hong Kong a child of the communists or is it a full prospering adult state?
Once the residents of Hong Kong have decided this question, then the final evolution of the financial city could be determined. But until, as Beijing believes, Hong Kong is a child - and a child Hong Kong should remain despite its maturity. As reported by Reuters, Beijing's true attitude toward Hong Kong has been known for sometime, but just before Beijing redetermined that it would not grant universal suffrage to Hong Kong, China reiterated its policy that Hong Kong was a juvenile. Reuters reports that in a meeting on August 19 between China's Liaison Office director, Zhang Xiaoming and pro-Democracy legislators in Hong Kong, one legislator asked the communist whether Beijing would allow any democrat to run for the city's highest office. In answer, the Beijing mouth-piece replied to the legislator, Leung Yiu-chung: "The fact that you are allowed to stay alive, already shows the country's inclusiveness."
While Zhang's response demonstrated that Beijing and pro-Democracy seekers in Hong Kong will not find any common ground to the ultimate aspirations of the people of Hong Kong, the Beijing communist also conveyed Beijing's feelings that China has done enough for the democracy seekers by not killing them. Thus China wishes to keep Beijing as child, and only the people of Hong Kong could determine whether or not they will remain Beijing's perpetual children - unable and incapable of governing themselves, under the same consideration Beijing gives to the 1.3 billion Chinese under its realm.
September 10, 2014
THE SPRATLY ISLANDS, PHILIPPINES:
That the Philippines has been forced to sit idly while behemoth China conducts land reclamation projects on the waters of the Philippines, is unacceptable. As reported by the BBC, which has documented China's controversial land reclamation work on the disputed waters of the South China Sea, China has been dredging tons of rocks and sand from the sea floor onto the Johnson South Reef in the Spratly Islands which are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
Asked about its continuous aggression on the South China Sea, China's foreign ministry claims: "China asserts indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands(Spratly Islands) and the adjacent waters, and China's activities on relevant islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands fall entirely within China's sovereignty and are totally justifiable."
Earlier this year, the Philippines provided pictorial proof as to China's actions on Philippine territory. Yet China has continued its claim to a large swath of the South China Sea in total disregard to international law. How should the Philippines respond? Should the Philippines wait until China has established a landing strip for its forces before acting?
September 09, 2014
When the Chinese President Xi Jinping visits India next week, Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, will get a chance to convey to the communist ruler that India's democracy intends to fulfill its development commitments to the Indian people. Moreover, while Modi could sign increase trade agreements with China, the Indian Prime Minister needs to inform Xi that India will not be contained by China and that India's growth will not be dependent upon China's will and whim.
Modi will be mindful of China's growth since the 1980s, when both countries, as reported by Reuters, were on economic parity. However, China's growth has outperformed India's four-fold since then. So while India will sign some cooperative economic pacts with China, Modi is not expected to link India's future growth to dependency on China.
September 08, 2014
That two communist brothers might never overcome their distrust of each other, is becoming more apparent in Asia. Vietnam, which witnessed behemoth China plant a deep sea oil drilling rig off its coast earlier this year and was rendered incapable to respond in kind, has now boosted its arsenal of sea power so as to answer any future threats from China.
Vietnam has taken deliver of two modern Russian submarines that had been ordered in 2009 and it is also about to take delivery of a third submarine in November, Reuters reports.
September 07, 2014
Touring Monsoon flood ravished regions of northern Indian on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the destruction of the raging flood waters and while promising the local governments federal help with the devastation, the newly elected prime minister must now understand more deeply the need for crucial infrastructural development in India. As the Associated Press(AP) reported officials as determining "the situation is extremely grim...we are not able to reach many people because the water is moving so fast," it all underscores the need for dams, roads, new housing and improved water and agricultural works in India. More than 300 people have now been confirmed dead from these recent Monsoon rains and floods across India and Pakistan.
September 06, 2014
INDIA AND PAKISTAN:
The death toll from Monsoon rains flooding regions of India and Pakistan has surpassed 200. And with these deaths, they raise the reality as to how powerful natural disasters are upon fragile and inadequate infrastructures. While natural disasters will continue to occur year after year, the events underscore the dilapidated infrastructural systems in both India and Pakistan.
In respect to India, the world's largest democracy, and with its recent election of the populist Narendra Modi as prime minister, countless opportunities exist for further development. So it would be fitting that the Indian government embark upon immediate plans to attract greater foreign investment to India. In paving this path to Indian development, the government must also act expeditiously to remove those blights upon Indian society of rape and of inequality so as to create a better life for Indians and to increase attractiveness to foreign investors.
Pakistan is at another transitional point in its history with protest calls for the government to resign, and in light of the monsoon deaths, Pakistan needs to put its house in order to reach some form of social and political stability before it could get to work to govern for the improvement of the lives of the Pakistani people.
September 05, 2014
Al Qaeda's announcement of a wing in the Indian Subcontinent and that this establishment would be good news to Muslims in Myanmar, Bangladesh and the Indian States of Assam, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, who could now be liberated from injustice and oppression, comes at at time when the terrorist group is facing stiff recruiting competition from the ISIL. In this recent move, al Qaeda is attempting to regain some attraction among youth in the region who might feel alienated by their traditional societies. Yet, though al Qaeda has announced this new grouping in India, I submit that the group's main focus is penetration across the Chinese border, where it has identified thousands of disenfranchised youth in far western China who might be more ripe for recruitment than the youth of India and elsewhere.
September 04, 2014
As if enough adverse matters effecting the development of South Asia are not already in place, now comes a fresh threat that Al-Qaeda has launched an Indian branch of its military group to "raise the flag of jihad" across South Asia. In response the Indian government has raised its national security alert.(more to come)
September 03, 2014
In denying universal suffrage to Hong Kong, did the Beijing communists breach the undertakings they gave in the 1984 handover agreement that saw Hong Kong deliver unto China in 1997? This is one of the questions a United Kingdom(UK) committee could answer as it carries out an inquiry into the ongoing tensions in Hong Kong. In typical Chinese fashion, Beijing is trying to stop the influential Westminster committee from carrying out the inquiry, the BBC has reported. The Chinese Foreign Affairs Committee has accused the British committee of carrying out a "highly inappropriate act which constitutes interference in China's internal affairs," the BBC report added.
But China fails to take into account that, the UK, as a co-signatory to the deal that gave Hong Kong to China, reserves the right to an ongoing interest in affairs in the city. Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Sir Richard Ottaway told the BBC that if it was true that a Chinese committee was nominating a "limited number of candidates" for an election, then, there did appear to be a "prima facie case" that China had breached the undertakings it gave in the 1984 handover agreement.
So while Beijing continues its attempts to impede full democracy in Hong Kong, it could become possible for an external entity to step up and to help to secure the democratic aspirations of the people of Hong Kong.
September 02, 2014
The first arrests of 19 pro-Democracy supporters in Hong Kong since last Sunday's Beijing denial of universal suffrage to the city, is but a prelude to more aggressive and intimidating acts by the Beijing communists, to stifle the last breaths of aspirations to democracy from the desires of the people of Hong Kong. Through manipulation and coercion, Beijing will over the next months attempt to preclude from Hong Kong most signs of the pro-democracy movement. Occupy Central with love, the main pro-democracy group, has already started to decrease the numbers of people expected to participate in any of its rallies for freedom.
Beijing has always demonstrated its ability to eradicate signs of democracy. Tiananmen Square in 1989 is the best study and Hong Kong could follow the same fate. Communists remain in power but not giving freedoms, but by taking rights, and with the recent actions against one of the pro-democracy group's biggest backers, Beijing has signaled that it will crush the aspirations to be free in Hong Kong.
September 01, 2014
Protests of China's will to undermine democracy in Hong Kong are beginning to take shape. Pro-democracy activists and politicians in the city have disrupted a speech by Beijing's Li Fei as he attempted to explain China's reasoning behind denying universal suffrage to Hong Kong. Li, a member of Beijing's National People's Congress, was in Hong Kong to speak before communist loyalist officials when he was heckled by Hong Kong residents.
Beijing's decision not to allow universal suffrage in Hong Kong is expected to spark more protests across the city in the months to come.
August 31, 2014
That the communists in Beijing have rejected the desire of the people of Hong Kong to attain universal suffrage in the selection of the city's leader, should come as no surprise. The fact that the National People's Congress(NPC) in Beijing earlier today refused to grant more freedom to the people of Hong Kong underscores the realization that communists do not grant rights, they take them.
Now Hong Kong residents will have to chart a Hong Kong path to more democracy since the NPC has determined that it wants to retain a sizable control over Hong Kong in limiting the selection of the city leader to a restricted list of Beijing loyalists.
August 30, 2014
China's claim that it will not tolerate foreign interference and the use of Hong Kong "as a bridgehead to subvert and infiltrate the mainland" amounts to an inverse reasoning of the chain of events and affairs that have led to Hong Kong's yearning for democracy. Beijing has failed to take into account the recent memory people harbor as to the sequence of events in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The violence inflicted upon those martyred who desired freedom is vivid and not a far. It is in protecting their beloved Hong Kong from descending into a Beijing that the voters of Hong Kong are rallying and demanding universal suffrage. It is for the opportunity to live by their own governance and not by one dictated by the Beijing communists that Hong Kong aspires.
No foreign land needs to agitate Hong Kong toward freedom because Hong Kong residents have already tasted and profited from the fruits of freedom. Hong Kong's growth has been facilitated by a high degree of freedom. Thus as Beijing attempts to force the city deeper under its control, it is the memory of Tiananmen Square and not the action of any foreign entity, that forces Hong Kong onto the ultimate path of freedom with or without Beijing's blessings. Beijing will try to impede and to avert the inevitable by the using many tactics, but the will of the people of Hong Kong will be the final determining factor in deciding the city's path to universal suffrage.
August 29, 2014
The first signs of communist acts to smother pro-Democracy supporters in Hong Kong are beginning to surface ahead of Beijing's endorsement or denial of full universal suffrage to the former British Colony. On Thursday, anti-corruption Hong Kong police loyal to Beijing, raided the home of the pro-Democracy movement's biggest financier, Jimmy Lai. Under the direction of the Independent Commission Against Corruption(ICAC), police executed a search warrant at Lai's home in search of bank and electronic records related to payments or donations made by Lai to Hong Kong's Labor Party, Reuters reported.
No to be intimidated by Beijing's actions, Lai said, "There's no doubt it only makes us more determined..." Occupy Central and other pro-Democracy groups in Hong Kong are awaiting this weekend's ruling from Beijing as to whether or not the communists will allow universal suffrage to Hong Kong. Should Beijing not agree to the terms of most of Hong Kong residents, pro-Democratic groups have planned large actions of civil protests.
August 28, 2014
EAST AND SOUTH CHINA SEAS:
That China's vow to respond to United States(US) military surveillance flights over international waters on the East and South China Seas amounts to a direct challenge to the US right to international waters, is a gross understatement. China's declaration amounts to a challenge to US security treaties with its allies on the East and South China Seas. Thus, Washington must respond in kind to any harassment by China on the seas.
While Beijing has rejected US facts that a Chinese fighter intercepted a US patrol plane, the statement by China's defense ministry spokesman Yank Yujun as reported by the Associated Press(AP), that China's military would closely monitor US flights and adopt appropriate measures, could be inferred as a direct challenge of US flights over international waters. Washington, obligated to defend its allies in Asia, must not yield to Chinese aggression and must respond in kind to China's actions.
August 27, 2014
Taiwan has had to scramble its jets in response to Chinese military aircraft violating Taiwanese airspace over the island's Air defense Identification Zone(ADIZ). As reported by the BBC, Taiwan's planes "followed them(the Chinese) closely to make sure they left." Taiwan stated twice on Monday, Chinese aircraft pierced its air space prompting the scrambling on Taiwanese jets in defense.
This recent incident demonstrates the independence nature of Taiwan away from any possible reintegration with mainland China. Economic relations remain desirable between the cross straits entities. Taiwan, just like Hong Kong and most recently Macau, has a deepening attitude toward greater democracy and away from communism.
August 26, 2014
By the end of this week, the path via which democracy to Hong Kong will come would be chartered in Beijing. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress(NPC) of the communist party of China is in session this week in Beijing, and high on the agenda is the deliberation on a report from Hong Kong to revise the election methods used to elect the former British colony's chief executive. While Beijing favors a controlled and a communist endorsed set of candidates from which residents in Hong Kong will pick from, voters in the vibrant city have expressed a desire for universal suffrage to choose whomever they - the electorate of Hong Kong, should please from a selection of candidates by the people or by the local political parties in Hong Kong. The NPC started meeting on Monday and should conclude the session by August 31.
Should the terms of the people of Hong Kong not be met as to their election process, pro-democracy groups have planned large scale civil disobedience.
August 25, 2014
MACAU, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN:
That Macau has now joined Hong Kong in offering its people an informal poll to gauge support for democratic reforms, demonstrates a deepening trend among Chinese communists dominated regions, for a change. Similar tests of democratic reforms are also underway in Hong Kong and in Taiwan. This recent surprising move by the people of Macau, which has opened polling until August 24, underscores a growing desire for democracy away from communism in the Chinese territories. Over the next couple of years, aspirations of freedom will increase in the territories over Beijing's objections, but ultimately, the will of the people of the three territories will get an opportunity to accomplish what the martyrs failed to have accomplished at Tiananmen Square in 1989.
August 24, 2014
China has executed eight people in Xinjiang province on terrorism charges. Three of those killed were liked by the government to an attack in Tiananmen Square last October when a vehicle plowed into pedestrians before bursting into flames. These recent executions are additions to others China has publicly carried out in the region where it faces dissent from the ethnic Uyghur Muslim community. Uyghurs have complained of oppression at the hands of the Beijing communists as the majority Han population gain control over a greater swath of the means of production in the region.
China has responded to increase violent attacks by Uyghurs with heavy-handed security crackdowns. Yet, violent events of dissent continue against the government. The actions of the Uyghurs indicate that credible grievances exist, but Beijing has chosen a crush and eradicate approach to the Uyghurs, while Uyghur supporters have called for dialogue with the communists with a view to ameliorating the conditions of the Uyghurs. Thus far, attacks attributed to Uyghurs have utilized crude weapons as Beijing claims there are supported by overseas groups. There has been no prove to Beijing's claims of outside assistance to the Uyghurs and this is based solely upon the crude weapons used. Maybe, Beijing will open up communications with the Uyghurs, to avert a possible deepening conflict in the region.
August 23, 2014
EAST AND SOUTH CHINA SEAS:
At what point will Washington respond in kind to China's arrogance and boastful attitudes on the East and South China Seas? That Washington has had to file a formal complaint with Beijing over last week's intercept of a US Navy plane by a Chinese fighter jet in international waters, is becoming too often an event. As Pentagon Press Spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby has confirmed, the Chinese fighter conducted aerobic maneuvers around the US plane. This is not the first time that Chinese fighters have conducted such dangerous ploys around both US and Japanese patrol aircraft, and based upon the Chinese attitude, it will not be the last time. However, the degree of an accident or incident resulting from such action by the Chinese obviously increases with every incident.
August 22, 2014
It's been made official - the Indonesian Constitutional Court has upheld the election of former furniture salesman, Joko Widodo, as the next President of Indonesia. With the irreversible decision from the court, Widodo will be sworn in October, 20 as president. However, as Indonesia's economy has retracted since 2008, Widodo faces an uphill battle to return prosperity to Indonesia, a nation of 240 million people. But the popular ruler has an agenda that could address economic concerns and bring growth to his nation. That fuel subsidies make up close to three percent of Indonesia's budget, suggest that a reduction in such could re-budget monies to education and other programs, Widodo has advocated.
However, an increase in fuel prices is merited and Widodo's transition team has been busy lobbying the outgoing president to increase the prices before October. Should the outgoing administration honor the request, it could pave the way for a popular and smooth transition of the son of a wood seller to the Indonesian presidency. Yet, if all goes as Widodo expects, he could still confront some hurdles to his development agenda from the Indonesian Parliament, where his defeated presidential opponent, former general Prabowo Subianto, has much sway.
August 21, 2014
The Indonesian Constitutional Court is expected to rule at any time now to reaffirm the son of a wood-cutter, Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, as the winner of the July 9 Presidential election. Though 'J0kowi' won the the election with 53 percent of the vote or by some eight million votes in the country of 240 million people, his surprising win and his humble beginnings, have spurred political elite and former general, Prabowo Subianto, the loser in the election, to challenge the victory charging voter fraud. Election officials have already certified 'Jokowi' the winner, but the country's constitutional court has the final decision and say on election matters. As the court sat in session earlier today, supporters of the Subianto were dispersed under tear by police after the crowd of about 2,000 tried to converge upon the court.
'Jokowi''s victory was substantial and the court is expected to confirm a fair election. Yet, of note is the sore loser antics of Subianto, who obviously felt an heir-apparent entitlement to the presidency. As the leader of a coalition that holds a majority of the seats in the Indonesian parliament, Subianto's actions suggests he might attempt to impede 'Jokowi's agenda to further develop Indonesia.
August 20, 2014
The future political leadership and the stability of nuclear-armed Pakistan remain in the balance as the present government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif remains under mounting pressure to resign. While two opposition groups one led by former cricketer Imran Khan and the other led by cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, continue to occupy the streets of Islamabad, Qadri's group has taken its dissent farther to reach the doors of the in-session Pakistani legislature.
Qadri, according to the BBC, has urged his followers to stand guard of the gates of the Parliament and "...not allow anyone to enter or leave" the building "not even a mosquito...not even the prime minister." As the legislature sits in session blocked in by protesters, the Pakistani Army is calling for dialogue between the government and opposing sides. The Pakistani Court has summoned both Qadri and Khan to appear before the judiciary tomorrow. Will the army step in as umpire in the developing crisis?
August 19, 2014
In yet another example of Hong Kong's evolution to wean and ween itself from increased communist influence, the pro-Beijing president of Hong Kong's Law Society, Ambrose Lam, has resigned after a no-confidence vote against him from his democracy inclined group.
As reported by Reuters, the no-confidence vote against Lam, who has angered many with his pro-Beijing stance, has exposed a growing determination by lawyers in the former British colony to challenge perceived threats by Beijing to Hong Kong's judicial independence. That Lam, who has praised the communist party of China, supported statements from Beijing that
Hong Kong judges needed to patriotic, proved to be just as much as his 8,000 member group would accept from an impartial judicial society. He then tendered his resignation to take effect immediately.
Hong Kong's legal system is based upon English law, unlike Mainland China's, which system appears very vague even to the best trained legal scholars. The legal system joins other parts of Hong Kong society that many want to retain and to improve upon and not to surrender to Beijing control.
August 18, 2014
Now that Pope Francis has encouraged the faithful of southeast Asia with his just completed trip to South Korea, how will the remaining communists in the region react to his call for acceptance of the church as a partner and not a competitor?
Though religious freedom might hold out some prospect in a changing Vietnam, in China and in North Korea, there will be no willing efforts to relax religious freedoms. It's possible the Pope's overtures were not even heard by the people of China, but only by the government, which will not adhere to any of the Pontiff's calls. The mere fact that the communists in Beijing blocked travel of many Chinese Catholics wanting to travel to South Korea to see the Pope, underscores Beijing's strict opposition to total religious freedom. Moreover, that churches across China have come under recent attacks with authorities removing many crosses from places of worship, clearly demonstrates that Beijing will not budge or improve religious freedoms willingly.
North Korea has jailed westerners for simply leaving a Bible in a hotel room, so any hope of marked improved religious freedom there, sums naught.
August 17, 2014
Hong Kong, an unique political entity - that could bring democracy to a part of China, or descend into authoritarianism under continued control by the communists in Beijing, is having public rally involving tens of thousands of people in support of its local government today. Pro democracy movements have been active in Hong Kong demanding universal suffrage from the Chinese government that rules Hong Kong under the "one country, two systems" agreement. While close to a quarter of the City's registered voters have supported the efforts of Occupy Central, the main pro democracy group, to bring change to Hong Kong, many people - though recognizing the desire to wean Hong Kong from Beijing, prefer to adopt a more non confrontational approach to achieve change from Beijing. "We want to let the world know that we want peace, we want democracy..." Robert Chow, one of the organizers of today's rally was quoted by the BBC.
But will Beijing infer that the rallying of some 100,000, being pro-Hong Kong government, is an endorsement of Chinese rule?
August 16, 2014
Anti-government protesters have now occupied central Islamabad in a call for the 15-month-old government of Nawaz Sharif to resign. Two oppositions sects, one led by former cricketer Imran Khan and the other by cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, have amassed 20,000 protesters in the streets of Islamabad. Some protesters are vowing not to leave the central district until the government resigns. How will the military react? A nuclear-armed Pakistan needs stability.
August 15, 2014
Some version of the future of Pakistan will emerge from Jinnah Avenue in the capital of Islamabad this weekend. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is trying to cling to power against strong opposition from former cricketer Imran Khan and cleric Tahir ul-Qadri. Both Khan and Qadri have led protests to the capital of the mostly Muslim nation calling for the prime minister and his government to resign.
Khan and his followers are upset that the government did not investigate voting irregularities in the last general election. Qadri and his followers are fuming that the police in Pakistan have killed 22 of his followers and jailed thousands because the cleric wants the government to resign because of rampant corruption. High employment, power outages, high crime rates and violent extremism continue to grip Pakistan.
As both opposition groups amass on Jinnah Avenue in Islamabad to call for the government to resign, they do so under heavy security. Violence, according to Reuters, has already broken out along the route of Khan's march upon Islamabad from Lahore in the east.
Qadri's supporters are intent on occupying Jinnah Avenue until the government resigns. The Pakistani Army that some observers believe will stay neutral in the demonstrations, could emerge as the "umpire" over the political games in Pakistan.
August 14, 2014
A tale of three Pakistans is emerging: Sharif's Pakistan; Khan's Pakistan and Qadri's Pakistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government while holding elected power, is under pressure from opposition groups at home. Former cricketer Imran Khan's opposition has been granted permission by the courts in Pakistan to stage a protest march against the government upon Islamabad from Lahore. In contrast cleric Tahir ul-Qadri has been denied a request to march. Both opposition groups want to see Sharif's government out of power, and in anticipation of protests over the next couple of days, the government has cordoned off sections of the capital to restrict protests. Whether or not both opposition groups march upon the capital, the next couple of days will be crucial in determining the future of nuclear-armed Pakistan.
August 13, 2014
JAPAN AND THE NORTHERN TERRITORIES:
As if China's assertions on the waters of southern Asia were not enough as a tension raiser and destabilizing enough to global security, Russia has now joined its bedfellow China in stirring up fresh tensions in Asia. Japan, a western ally, which has without reservations supported western sanctions against Russia for its meddling in Ukraine, now faces fresh tensions from Russia conducting military exercises on the disputed islands of Japan's Northern Territory.
Japan views the drills as totally acceptable and has protested to Russia which has some 1,000 troops and attack helicopters taking part in the exercises. These new exercises by Russia underscore the importance of western security treaties with Australia, Japan and others in the region so as to rebuff continued and future assertions by both China and Russia in Asia.
August 12, 2014
A reduction of tension - the promotion of stability, on the waters of the East and South China Seas is possible. But for the unabridged passage of global trade to and fro over the seas be continued, China must drop its assertive actions upon both seas. Should China continue with past actions in raising tensions by breaching the territorial integrity of other nations’ coasts, then ASEAN nations must respond in kind to denounce China and to recognize that China’s behavior betrays the “good neighbor” doctrine toward adopting a multi-lateral code of conduct on the South China Sea as well as the East China Sea.
August 11, 2014
ASEAN countries concluding a summit in Myanmar, have recognized contrary to China's bidding, that there has been an increase in tensions on the South China Sea. Thus the 10-nation group has "urged all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and avoid actions which would complicate the situation and undermine peace, stability, and security in the South China Sea." Maybe, China would now rethink returning an oil rig to Vietnamese waters and maybe it would rethink erecting structures upon disputed isles on the South China Sea?
August 10, 2014
Briton Peter Humphrey and his American wife Yu Yingzeng have been sentenced to jail in China for conducting investigative work that is normal practice for other investigators across the world. Humphrey and Yu were charged with illegally obtaining person information on Chinese during the execution of their work as investigators. But under China's vague laws, anyone could be charged with something if the government deems it necessary that a person should be charged. Humphrey was sentenced to two-and-half-years and Yu to two-years. Chinese officials have said that Humphrey will be deported, but no word has come as to Yu's final position.
August 9, 2014
"Someone has been exaggerating or even playing up the so-called tension in the South China Sea," China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said while adding that China doesn't "agree with such a practice". Wang's statement sums up China's attitude and view of how it would like the world and its neighbors to reason, just as the communists have conditioned the people of China to reason: that Beijing is innocent in all actions and the reality of its acts are not real events, but a figment of imagination.
But Foreign Minister Wang must understand that the world outside of China is capable of rational thoughts free of communists reprisals and punishments unlike the people of China.
As ASEAN meets in Myanmar at a Regional Forum of the 10-nation group that encompasses much of the South China Sea, some members are calling for a "freeze" or a "cessation" of provocative acts in the region with a view to reducing tension and creating stability. China, which has claimed most of the Sea despite claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia, has heightened tensions in the region by sparring with the Philippines over claims and recently with Vietnam by moving an oil drilling rig into waters off Vietnam's coast.
But if China's Wang's statement is accepted, one would believe that China is innocent as to the explicit and the direct raising of tensions on the South China Sea. China is guilty. Not only on the South China Sea, but also on the East China Sea where it is at odds with Japan over disputed territory.
And Wang's statement about tensions on the South China Sea demonstrates that China does not even agree with its own actions on the seas. Yet, Wang has sought to influence ASEAN members not to act on a code of conduct of the seas so that China could continue its assertions against its weaker neighbors, while also continuing a campaign to place China's stamp on as much territory as possible on the seas before any International arbitration could be held. Moreover, China's desire to place lighthouses on a number of disputed isles on the South China Sea is but another ploy by Beijing to grab more territory against the claims of neighbors. So a "freeze" or a "cessation" of provocations will not augur well with China, so the communists will seek to get ASEAN not to act. But ASEAN must act and act now. There must be regional and international rules on the seas of Southeast Asia.
August 8, 2014
The Chinese trial of Briton Peter Humphrey and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, for illegally obtaining private information on Chinese as part of their jobs as investigators, spotlights a deepening crisis international firms face and will continue to face for doing business in China. The details of the charges and trial of Humphrey and Yu can be had at Reuters, the Associated Press, the BBC, CNN and other news outlets.
But I submit that China's prosecution of this couple has one of two purposes: 1) China has made enough wealth from foreign firms and now seek to protect and grow their home-grown companies; 2) China believes it could use these convictions as leveraged for someone in or headed to either British, American or Canadian custody, thus as a retaliatory tool.
My preferred inference names the first proposition. Given China's recent treatment of tech giants Microsoft and Apple, China has indicated that under the cloud of suspicion, it will undermine the influence of these companies upon the Chinese market. China's investigation into GlaxoSmithKline is yet another form of Chinese intimidation of international firms for practices that are common place among Chinese firms and had been allowed for international firms before China made its wealth. But much pity cannot be spent to these firms for they have allowed profits and greed to lead them into this pitfall in China.
Many of China's laws are vague and ambiguous and because of this, it allows the communists to skirt laws and to fully impose them whenever there is an intrinsic advantage for China. International firms could now face Chinese scrutiny at anytime unless they are willing to give something of value to China in return: possible intelligence. To this end, and against China's sad human rights record, it's time international firms forgo some profits in China and seek other developing markets that are more receptive of investment dollars.
Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng are signalling pawns of what the international business market in China will look like in the future. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Mexico, Haiti and a number of other countries are all seeking investments.
August 7, 2014
That justice to the one-million plus victims of the Khmer Rouge terror in Cambodia in the 1970s, would have to wait 30-plus years, amounts to justice denied to the hundreds of thousands who suffered so tragically at the hands of the Maoists. Yesterday, a United Nations(UN) tribunal in Cambodia convicted two geriatric Khmer Rouge leaders for crimes against humanity committed during the bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge from 1975-79. Nuon Chea, 88, a Pol Pot deputy and 83-year-old Khieu Samphan, the regime's head-of-state, were both sentenced to life in prison. But the fact that the sentences have come so long after the actual atrocities, amounts to a denial of justice, for both of them - long-in-tooth, are ailing and will be dead soon, thus what sense of justice could their victims and kin have gained? As reported by the BBC, Khmer Rouge survivor Youk Chang admitted the verdicts were "a little too late for many", but the survivor said the trial was vital.
International courts of justice must be allowed all accords expeditiously to carry out the functions of justice for the victims of war. Justice should never be delayed. Too often as has been the case in Cambodia and other cases involving war criminals of World War II, war criminals have been allowed to live full and flourished lives after their crimes only to be brought to justice during the final pulses of their lives, evoking pity and compassion from those they denied such kindness in the years of their rules. Justice must always be swift and exacting.
August 6, 2014
INDONESIA and MALAYSIA:
Should a rising communist China continue its aggressive assertions onto the South and East China Seas, Indonesia and Malaysia, will both emerge as the two catalytic buffers to China's expansion. The developing strategic economic nations of Indonesia and Malaysia represent the tipping point of any balance of power in the region. Should these two nations form a more cooperative regional security relationship with Japan and the Philippines and perhaps Vietnam, in a bid to sustain stability in the region, their efforts will be sum enough to nullify any aggressive actions by China. But China will seek to create rifts among the nations by dangling packages of carrots of trade. How best these nations take hold of the ideals of peace, stability and democracy will determine the long term economic wealth and development of Southeast Asia.
The major religion of both Indonesia and Malaysia being Islam, will be more than sufficient to establish a strong bond between these two. China's treatment of all religions within its mainland should serve as evidence to both Indonesia and Malaysia that the freedoms of their people and their historic religious practices, would have to be thoughtfully considered as alliances are established and reaffirmed on the East and South China Seas.
August 5, 2014
CHINA and BANGLADESH:
Recently, a wave of violence has re-emerged in China's western province of Xinjiang - home to the Uyghur Muslim minority. As is often the case in China, actual numbers as to deaths, injuries and impartial details relating to incidents, are slow to emerge and highly suspect, especially originating in Xinjiang after Chinese censorship. But this much is known: scores of people, most of them Uyghurs have died in the past week in violent confrontations with security authorities. Of one event of note of the growing number of incidents was the assassination of Imam Jume Tahir - a pro-Beijing installed religious leader of the Uyghur people. Liked by Beijing, but disliked by many Uyghurs for his pro-Beijing stance, Imam Tahir was reportedly killed by extremist Uyghurs. The assassins were reportedly killed or captured by police.
But despite the many stories, events, incidents and the unfortunate many deaths, one thing is certain: Beijing has a problem in Xinjiang - a problem it thought it could kill, jail and suppress through brute force. That has not been the case. So Beijing, has resorted to blaming the continued violence despite its heavy-handed crack down and presence in the province, on extremists inspired by overseas terror groups. While any resort to violence by a people must be condemned, the communists in Beijing have failed to accept that events in Xinjiang demonstrate that the minority Uyghurs believe they have legitimate non addressed grievances. And Beijing's attempt to beat them into submission is spanning greater radicalized resistance. The claim that the Uyghurs are inspired by overseas extremism if true, should be of much concern, yet of some ease to the communists that the outside influence has amounted to mere inspiration, and actual assistance. Thus, Beijing still has time to address the concerns of the Uyghurs and to establish a workable peaceful dialogue to ensure the long term security and stability of Xinjiang. But Beijing needs to peacefully engage the Uyghurs now. Thus far, the weapons used by attackers have been crude bombs, knives and swords, should there be any radical change in the type of weapons used, then Beijing would have to come to terms with the reality that events in the province have reached an acute stage.
In Bangladesh, 125 people and probably more are presumed dead after a ferry operating on one of the country's many waterways, capsized on Monday 20-miles from the capital, Dhaka. The vessel has not yet been located but 110 people were either rescued or swam to shore following the accident. The M.V. Pinak ferry capsized on Monday with between 200-350 people on board. The ferry had a capacity maximum of 150 passengers, but as is too often the case in Third World and developing countries, no mechanism was in place to document the actual numbers aboard that ferry or any other in operation.
This tragic event underscores the need for developing countries to develop, to enact and to enforce basic civilian safety mechanisms to avert such deadly preventable incidents. Too often from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa to Asia, gross preventable safeguards as flaunted that inevitable lead to unnecessary losses of lives. The scenes are too familiar and have become too common place: four riders of a motorcycle designed for two; 80 passengers in a bus approved to carry 50; scores of riders travelling atop trains; overcrowded boats with no kept passenger lists; and the like. The lack of the enforcement of civilian safety codes have become so commonplace in many jurisdictions, that residents automatically assume that the dangerous mode under which they imperil themselves and others day in and day out, have become so sociably acceptable, that many belief their actions are not illegal.
As we mourn the Bangladeshi and other victims of accidents, developing nations must be prodded to enforce their civilian safety codes.
August 4, 2014
CHINA, INDIA and NEPAL:
Today, in China, India and Nepal, the natural effects of the environment impacting upon fragile settlements are being felt. In the mountainous region of Zhaotong, Yunnan province in southwestern China, 398 people have been confirmed killed and some 1,800 injured in a 6.1 magnitude earthquake which struck the region on Sunday. Thousands of rural residents have been rendered homeless because of the natural disaster that has destroyed 12,000 homes and damaged another 30,000. The Beijing government has deployed 2,500 troops in the region to aid in recovery, but reports indicate that relief is severely hampered by the hilly terrain and the amount of rubble caused by crumbling structures.
It is monsoon season across Asia, and the natural yearly meteorological phenomenon that is welcomed for agriculture purposes to bring desperately needed rains to irrigate of crops, is often associated with wide spread natural disasters of floods and landslides. Last week 108 Indians died in a western state in a landslide precipitated by the monsoon. Earlier today, Indian authorities in the eastern state of Bihar, have been evacuating 125,000 people because of a high risk of an impending flood from a landslide in Nepal. So far, 60,000 Indians have been evacuated into 120 camps because of a landslide in Mankha, Nepal, on Saturday that killed a confirmed 19 Nepalese with 150 missing with no hope of surviving. The landslide, which occurred along a river in Nepal close to the mountainous border with India, dammed the river creating a large lake behind the slide debris. That lake is swelling and it is feared that it will soon overrun its banks causing flooding into India where some 125,000 people reside in its possible path. Another landslide in Nepal this morning killed four people and six are missing.
We offer our sincere prayers to all the victims of these natural disasters.
In light of these natural disasters and the almost certainty that there will be more events, governments of prone regions need permanent policies and studies to address the strengthening of structures, sound arbor management, environmentally friendly agricultural techniques and in many cases possible relocation of residents from prone areas. While there will be natural disasters, all humanly possible safeguards should be taken to protect human life even if it means a reduction of a country's military budget to re-appropriate monies to hedge against the impact of natural disasters.
August 3, 2014
JAPAN and VIETNAM:
Facing a rising and an assertive China on the East and South China Seas, smaller nations with disputed territorial claims with the Chinese communists, are forging ahead with the building of stronger alliances in an effort to counter future aggression. Last week, Japan and Vietnam - two countries with active territorial disputes with China, took a closer step to greater regional security cooperation, when Japan gave Vietnam six naval patrol ships valued at some $5 million. The gift made in Hanoi by visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh, fulfills an earlier promise Japan had made to Vietnam.
Last November, China demarcated the East China Sea in an unilateral action that heightened tensions with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan since the action was done outside of international law. The United States(US) has failed to recognize China's unilateral action. China's created Air Defense Identification Zone encompassed the Japanese administered Senkaku Islands, to which China also claims on the East China Sea. In May of this year, China moved the deep sea oil-drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 within the exclusive economic 200-mile zone of the Vietnamese coast. Vietnam protested. China did not yield. Chinese and Vietnamese ships and fishing vessels jostled and bumped each other on the waters close to the rig. Anti-China sentiment rose sharply in Vietnam where Chinese nationals and businesses were attacked by angered Vietnamese.
Also earlier this year, Chinese ships attempted to prevent vessels from the Philippines from re-supplying a Philippine ship off a shoal on the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines and counter claimed by China. This action involving the Philippines came after that country had sparred with China over other shoals.
With Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam having a common antagonist, China, the three countries have considered mutual cooperation toward regional security. While the US entered into a greater security pact with the Philippines when President Barrack Obama visited this Spring, and with Japan being a security ally of the US; these two nations have a greater degree of security in defense of a probable offensive from China. But Vietnam - once China's communist brother, lack any measurable security agreements with any other nations. Sensing Vietnam's vulnerability to behemoth China, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam have considered avenues to regional security.
Though China has since removed the oil-rig from Vietnamese waters claiming that it completed its task, some observers believe China's withdrawal is temporary forced by the typhoon season. So with Japan's gift to Vietnam, that country now has a larger naval fleet with which to patrol its territory.
August 2, 2014
In a recent presidential election in this rapidly developing country, Indonesians re-affirmed their acceptance of democracy by electing with 53 percent of the vote, Joko Widodo, a former furniture maker and the son of a wood-seller. What has made Joko's rise so significant is the strong support the former governor of Jakarta enjoys among Indonesia's urban and rural youth.
Born in a small village, the 52-year-old new President was twice elected mayor of the city of Solo in 2005 and 2010, when he gained some 90 percent of the votes cast. In 2012, the slender-built Joko was elected governor of Jakarta. In the 2014 presidential election, Joko campaigned as a proponent of increased technology. He has promised to implement "e-governance" across Indonesia to help cut bureaucratic corruption, according to the BBC. Viewed as a clean political who is in touch with Indonesia's masses, Joko in winning the presidential election, broke the historical domination of Indonesia's leader of coming from the political elite and military. His defeated opponent in the 2014 election was former general, Prabowo Subianto - associated with the traditional elite, and backed by Indonesia's media tycoons, but with many unanswered questions of human rights abuses hoovering over his head.
Stunned by his defeat, Prabowo, in an attempt to save-face, has alleged discrepancy and has vowed a constitutional fight with a large team of lawyers. But observers in Indonesia have confirmed that Joko has been the overwhelming people's winner. Fears that the disputed result might trigger violence have not materialized as Indonesians embrace the rule of law and confidence in their newly elected leader, Joko. Moreover, on August 21, Indonesia's Constitutional Court should rule to reaffirm Joko as the legal winner of the election. The decision of the court cannot be appealed. With Joko as leader, Indonesia is set to continue its economic and social development.
Joko's election demonstrates the strength and the courage of the people of that emerging economy to accept the principles of democracy and of equality to have elected one of their peers to lead them onto the next stage of Indonesian development.
August 1, 2014
Tomorrow, this post will debut. It is our replacement for China Today so that we may pay more attention to all the countries of Asia. For the past year and more, we have paid too much attention to China, and in doing so, and because of our limited budget, time and editorial space, we have failed to include analyses of other Asian nations worthy of examination. Thus, we will debut Asia Today to accord attention to issues, affairs, developments and achievements of all Asian nations. Many residents of Asia are embracing democracy, freedom, equality and the rule of law. We aim to encourage and to support them like the rise of the son of a wood-seller elected President of Indonesia. We hope you continue to join us on this journey to promote democracy and freedom. Peter Boyce, Washington, D.C., 08.01.2014.