Sunday, July 25, 2010

CHINasia Update 16 - June / July 2010

CHINAsia Update 16 is out and can be downloaded here:

The 16th issue has undergone a complete redesign in structure and visual appearance.

Our feature Rich Man, Poor Man is about the widening gap between rich and poor in China.

Other Articles are:
SOUTH KOREA: Halting Corporal Punishment in School Met with Opposition
WORLD: When China Rules the World
SOUTHEAST ASIA: Web and Sex Censorship
AFGHANISTAN: Kabul Conference Highlights Pakistan’s role

U.S., S Korea start military drills amid concerns of neighboring countries

The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington leaves for joint naval and air drills with South Korea at a naval port in Busan, South Korea, July 25, 2010. South Korea and the United States on Sunday began their large-scale joint military drills off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula as scheduled. (Xinhua/Yonhap)

BEIJING, July 25 (Xinhua) -- The United States and South Korea launched their large-scale military drills in the Sea of Japan on Sunday, a move that is feared may further complicate security situation in the region.

Many analysts expressed the concern that the war games, which involve the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington, 20 ships and submarines and 200 aircraft, with about 8,000 troops on board, could highten tension on the Korean Peninsula, thus making dialogues more difficult in the near future.

In the wake of the sinking in March of a South Korean warship, the United States and South Korea announced new sanctions against Pyongyang and a series of joint military exercises in the waters off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.

The hardline stance incurred fierce response from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north, which was blamed for the incident by Washington and Seoul.

The DPRK's National Defense Commission threatened on Saturday to mount a nuclear deterrence to counter the muscle flexing of the United States and South Korea.

Labeling the maneuvers as "nothing but outright provocations aimed to stifle the DPRK by force," a spokesman of the defense commission said it is a natural option of the army and people of the DPRK to take corresponding all-out retaliatory measures.

At a Southeast Asian security forum concluded Friday in Hanoi and attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a DPRK spokesman warned a "physical response" to the U.S.-South Korean drills.

"There will be a physical response against the steps imposed by the United States, militarily," DPRK delegation spokesman Ri Tong Il told reporters.

Editor: Tang Danlu

Prepare for more serious flooding of Huaihe River: Chinese Premier

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L, front) visits soldiers at a stone storing site at Huaihe River dike, east China's Anhui Province, July 24, 2010. Wen Jiabao Saturday visited Anhui Province to inspect the flood control operations along the Huaihe River. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

HEFEI, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has told local authorities to be fully aware of the "grave flood-control situation" and to prepare for more serious flooding of the Huaihe River, the third longest waterway in China.

Wen made the remarks during an inspection tour in east China's Anhui Province on July 24 after concluding an inspection of flood control operations along the Yangtze, China's longest river, in Hubei Province.

Water levels on the Huaihe's main stream and tributaries have risen above the warning levels after extensive heavy rains in the river's upper reaches this month.

Although water levels have dropped in recent days, weather forecasters are predicting more heavy rain along the river and areas to its south in the next two days.

Nepali House again fails to elect PM, House session postponed

KATHMANDU, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Speaker of Nepali House Subash Nemwang Friday announced to hold another round of election on Aug. 2 to elect new executive Prime Minister out of two candidates who failed to gain simple majority votes during the second round election.

Nemwang made this announcement after two candidates -- Chairman of the largest party Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) ( UCPN-M) Prachanda and another candidate from the second largest party Nepali Congress (NC) Deputy President Ramchandra Paudel got rejected by majority of negative votes.

Out of 572 CA members presented at the House, Prachanda got only 241 votes in his favor while 113 voted against him. Similarly, 218 remained neutral. Likewise, Paudel got only 123 votes in his favor while 241 voted against him and 214 remained neutral.

According to Speaker Nemwang, House will again hold election on Aug. 2 at 04:00 p.m. local time to decide on these two candidates.

The first round election was held on Wednesday and failed to elect new prime minister as no one of the candidates got simple majority votes -- 300 votes out of 599 Constituent Assembly (CA) members as per Interim Constitution of Nepal-2007.

During the first round election, three candidates had proposed their nominations for the election -- Prachanda, Paudel and the third candidate Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) (CPN-UML) withdrew his candidacy.

Amid political turmoil in Nepal, PM re-election is also witnessing standoff after caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned from his post on July 30 following the pressure from single and the largest opposition UCPN-M to from national consensus government under its leadership.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Saturday, July 17, 2010

CHINAsia Update 15

CHINAsia Update 15 is out and can be downloaded here:

Our focus for this issue is Nepal is waiting for its Constitution

Some key articles are:
- Prime Minister of Nepal Agrees to Resign
- Nepal’s young lawmakers want more say in constitution drafting
- Thailand: Arson in Bangkok, protests spread to other provinces
- Thoughts of a Buddhist Monk on Conflict and Peace in Sri Lanka

Friday, June 11, 2010

Images From Around Asia May

Fisherman in Quang Nam. Vietnam Photo by FlckR User: Nganguyen

An old women is bowing down to an image of Buddha at Boudhanath
Stupa in East Kathmandu. On the 27th of May Buddhist around the
world celebrated 2554th birth anniversary the Buddha.
Photo: Ingmar Zahorsky / CHINAsia Update

One of the lights displayed at Ganga Mata in in Colombo.
Throngs of visitors passed by the hundreds of lights on display.
Photo: Ingmar Zahorsky / CHINAsia Update.

NANJING, May 29, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Children show colored patterns drawn
on their faces in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, May 29,
2010. A facial drawing activity with the theme of “My World Expo” was held
in Nanjing on Saturday. Children drew colorful patterns on face which in
their eyes represent the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Bangkok burning. Photo by BKKApologist
An accrobat performs stunts during the stage show CHA at the En-
tertainment Hall at the World Expo Park in Shanghai, east China,
on May 1, 2010. As the spectacular stage show designed exclu-
sively for World Expo, CHA takes Chinese tea as its theme, and
integrates martial arts, magic, stunts, dancing and other art forms to
represent Chinese traditional tea culture in an artistic way. [Xinhua]

Photo Editor: Ingmar Zahorsky

16th SAARC summit concludes

April 29: The 16th SAARC summit ended today with the adoption of the “Thimphu Silver Jubilee Declaration- Towards a Green and Happy South Asia.”

In his closing speech, the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley described the deliberations as most instructive and productive. But he said the true test of the success of the summit lies in the difference the decisions will make to the lives of the millions of the poor and deprived in SAARC countries.

The summit decided to develop a vision statement by a South Asian Forum. The forum will provide a platform to debate, discuss and exchange ideas on South Asia and its future. It came out with the Thimphu Statement on Climate Change which is expected to provide a strong impetus to the SAARC efforts to address issues relating to Climate Change. The SAARC Foreign Ministers signed two instruments, the Convention on Cooperation on Environment and the Agree- ment on Trade in Services.

The agreement on trade in service will help boost trade and promote people to people contact. The agreement on envi- ronment will help address issues related to climate change. It will also enable SAARC to have a common voice in climate change negotiations in national, regional and international level.

The SAARC Development Fund has become operational and its First Chief Executive Officer appointed. It will finance regional and sub-regional socio-economic development pro- grammes and projects.

The South Asian University in New Delhi has also become operational. The university will open in August and will become the Centre of Excellence for Higher Learning in South Asia.

The Prime Minister also thanked the delegates for allowing Bhutan to introduce the concept of Gross National Happiness. An inter-governmental workshop will be organised later this year to look at the relevance of this concept in our region. The President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed said that there are sufficient ingredients to achieve the SAARC objectives. There was a sense of togetherness and commitment from the countries to achieve the common goal. However he said there are also challenges that need to be overcome. The next SAARC summit will be held in the Maldives. - Bhutan Broadcasting Service