Three Uyghurs Held for Resisting Land Takeover
Authorities have arrested three Uyghurs who they say resisted and assaulted public officers sent to expropriate their farmland for a market in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, according to local sources. Farmer Mettohti Imin, his teenage son Abdusalam Mettohti, and a family friend were taken into custody in late March after confronting “more than […]

Catholic mothers face enormous pressure to abort baby girls
Three years ago, Hoai Anh terminated her 14-week-old pregnancy after an ultrasound scan showed the baby would be a girl. “I feel thoroughly miserable for having taken away my child’s life. If my parents had also had gender-selective abortion, I would not exist,” the Catholic woman said, in tears. Pale and thin, she says she […]

U.S. targets overseas cyber attackers with new sanctions program
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama launched a new sanctions program on Wednesday to target individuals and groups outside the United States that use “malicious” cyber attacks to threaten U.S. foreign policy, national security or economic stability. In an executive order, Obama declared such activities a “national emergency” and allowed the U.S. Treasury Department to freeze the assets and bar other financial transactions of entities engaged in destructive cyber a...

Meet the Chinese Maritime Militia Waging a ‘People’s War at Sea’
When the Philippines announced last week that it was restarting construction in disputed areas of the South China Sea in response to China’s own construction binge, it entered a contest it has virtually no hope of winning. Satellite images released in February reveal that China has undertaken anunprecedented series of construction and land reclamation projects designed to help it control much of the South China Sea, including a 75,000-square yard artificial island with a cement plant and a he...

On Trial and Split Apart, Vietnamese Clan Defiant
The broken bricks and roof tiles of Doan Van Vuon’s house, bulldozed by Vietnamese authorities trying to evict him, lie next to his relatives’ new home, a shack of bamboo and corrugated iron that testifies to their perseverance. Vuon and three male relatives have been detained for more than a year and are now on […]

Mysterious Attack on a Vietnamese Blog
Round up the usual suspects… Twenty months ago, I was approached by a member of the team that puts out the Anh Ba Sam blog, Vietnam’s leading source of “alternative news.” Would I mind, they asked, if they posted a Vietnamese translation of a story that I’d written on the deepening South China Sea crisis. […]

Vietnam’s Obstacles to Reform
Despite the Vietnamese public’s lack of trust in the government, despite the government’s rights violations, reform remains a distant hope. The path to change is littered with obstacles, and what comes after is equally challenging. Vietnam’s economic woes might finally be turning a corner; however, the damage has been done, and its impact has been […]

Domestic Demand For Illegal Wildlife Meat Grows in Laos
Sales of endangered wildlife in Laos, which has gained notoriety as a haven for the trade, is being driven increasingly by domestic demand from affluent politicians and urban residents who seek animal parts and meat for personal consumption, according to nongovernmental organization officials. The endangered wildlife for sale in the Dongmarkkhay and Nong Niew markets in the capital Vientiane, for example, is being bought mainly by Laotians who want animal parts for medicine or to eat, said an...

China says Taiwan welcome to join AIIB with appropriate name
(Reuters) – China welcomes Taiwan’s decision to apply to join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as long as the self-ruled island uses an appropriate name, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday. China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has received Taiwan’s letter of intent to join and has passed it to the AIIB’s interim secretariat, Xinhua cited Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang as saying. “The AIIB is open and inclusive,&...

N. Korean Envoy: Nuclear Weapons Not Negotiable
A North Korean diplomat says his country’s nuclear weapons program is not subject to negotiation, rejecting a U.S. call for its denuclearization. The diplomat, from the North Korean mission to the United Nations in New York, told VOA Tuesday his country will not negotiate away its nuclear weapons. “Denuclearization should not be an objective of any future talks with us,” said the official, who preferred to remain anonymous. “We will never give up nuclear weapons before the U...

Vietnamese folk hero jailed for 5 years
HANOI — A court in northern Vietnam has sentenced two shrimp farmers charged with attempted murder during a land seizure to five years in prison. The case has stoked debate over crucial land use reforms in the country. On Friday, the Hai Phong People’s Court handed down the sentence to shrimp farmer Doan Van Vuon and […]

Weak demand hits China factory, services firms in March, more easing seen
(Reuters) – Surveys of China’s factory and services sectors showed stubborn weakness in the world’s second-biggest economy in March, adding to bets that Beijing will have to roll out more policy support to avert a sharper slowdown. Three separate surveys showed Chinese companies shed jobs last month as they struggled with soft demand and deflationary pressures, suggesting that economic growth may have slipped below 7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, which would be the w...

US: Vietnam Backsliding On Human Rights
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration expressed concern Thursday about Vietnam’s “backsliding” on human rights and asserted that advancing individual freedoms is key to U.S. policy in Asia. One example cited is Hanoi’s treatment of bloggers who have faced prosecution under national security laws. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dan Baer told a congressional panel […]

‘My Sister Was Forced Into Sex Slavery’
Hui Danh’s sister Huynh Thi Be Huong is one of 15 young women from Vietnam who fell prey to a Vietnamese-run sex trafficking ring in Russia. According to the women, when they asked for help from the Vietnamese embassy in Moscow, their situation got worse because officials there were linked with the traffickers. On April 11, 2013 […]

Vietnamese Blogger’s Home Targeted with Rank Liquid
A prominent blogger said Monday that he and his family in central Vietnam have been victimized by what he believes are agents hired by local security forces to threaten him over his online criticism against the state. The once-imprisoned Huynh Ngoc Tuan, 50, told RFA’s Vietnamese Service that the attack occurred at 12:30 a.m. on […]

China’s Xi Sets Tone on Regional Relations
BOAO, China—Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged Asian “frictions” and “hot spots” in an address on Sunday to regional business and political leaders amid mounting alarm over North Korea’s nuclear threat and territorial disputes between China and its neighbors. Mr. Xi didn’t single out any country in his address at the three-day Boao Forum for Asia, […]

India and the Culture of Innovation
It has potential, but India won’t see innovation gains without cultural and institutional change. “Everyone under 18 has only one guru, Google guru,”said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a Nasscom event in early March. He insisted that India’s IT industry, where innovation plays a critical role, is successful because government is “not there anywhere.” By implying that state participation stifles industry growth, this widespread sentiment belittles industrial planning and the promotion ...

Chinese Authorities Demolish Home of Uyghur Supporting Quranic Studies
Authorities in northwestern China’s restive Xinjiang region have demolished the home of an ethnic Uyghur Muslim family that had served as an underground school for Quranic studies, according to local officials and residents. On March 24, officials from Qarasay town in Hotan (Hetian) prefecture’s Qaraqash (in Chinese, Moyu) county ordered some 500 local villagers to watch as workers tore down the home of Mettursun Qasim to set an example for those who support unofficial religious studies, sour...

Vietnam’s Prosecutors Seek Lenient Sentence for ‘Folk Hero’ Farmer
Vietnamese prosecutors on Thursday (April 4, 2013) asked a court to impose a lenient sentence on a former soldier who fought off a government eviction from his farm, a move some say is meant to avoid angering a public fed up with land seizures and corrupt officials. Prosecutors proposed that Doan Van Vuon be sentenced […]

Vietnamese Political Prisoner ‘Seriously Ill’
The health of one of Vietnam’s longest-held political prisoners is deteriorating rapidly and he is seeking medical parole, his daughter said Monday, raising concerns about inadequate medical care in the prison. Poet Nguyen Huu Cau, 66, who is serving a life sentence for “sabotage” over his writings that exposed corruption by ruling Communist Party officials, […]

Vietnamese reject Chinese fruit
HANOI – Jack Nguyen had sold 20 of his 30 containers of imported American grapes when a fresh round of rumours hit the internet and state-run media: Chinese fruit on sale in Vietnam might look good, but it contains deadly levels of preservatives and pesticides. Shoppers quickly stopped buying imported fruit altogether, believing it all […]

Armed Ethnic Groups See Myanmar Charter as Barrier to Political Dialogue
The leader of a coalition of Myanmar’s armed ethnic groups said Wednesday that the country’s junta-backed constitution will present an obstacle to political talks with the government following the signing of a formal nationwide cease-fire agreement. Naing Han Thar of the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) group representing 16 rebel factions said political dialogue following  the signing of a final peace deal would be difficult if the military adheres to a six-point statement of it...

The rise of Chinese contractors in Vietnam
By the end of 2009 Chinese engineering companies were involved in projects worth US$15.4 billion in Vietnam, making the Vietnamese market their largest in Southeast Asia. On occasion, Chinese contractors have even accounted for up to 90 per cent of EPC (Engineering/Procurement/Construction) contracts for thermal power plants in the country. Two major factors account for the […]

Chinese Authorities Release OneTibetan Monk, Detain Others
A Tibetan monk held in prison in western China’s Sichuan province was freed by authorities Wednesday after serving a seven-year term for opposing Beijing’s rule in Tibetan areas, according to Tibetan sources. His release came just days after four other monks and a layman were taken into custody by police late at night on unknown charges in a restive county in Tibet. Tendar, the chant leader at Amchok Tsenyi monastery in Sichuan’s Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) county in the Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous ...

Vietnamese Coffee Brews Global Dreams
When it comes to beverages of choice, Asia conjures images of tea for most, from the bitter powdery green tea (matcha) of Japan’s tea ceremony and China’s soothing oolong to India’s sweet-spicy masala chai. Through a twist of historical fate, however, Vietnam bucks this trend and has developed one of the most thriving coffee scenes […]

EU-Vietnam weigh FTA
HANOI – A proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Vietnam promises to bolster already fast-rising bilateral trade. While both sides agree an FTA would on the whole be mutually beneficial, negotiations will likely be complicated by the potential socio-economic impacts a pact would have on Vietnam’s fragile transitional economy. Negotiations, which started […]

Chinese Media: Maybe It’s Time the US Heeded Deng Xiaoping’s Advice
Xinhua thinks the U.S. is now adopting China’s long-standing foreign policy strategy: “keeping a low profile.” During the Deng Xiaoping era, China’s foreign policy was characterized by the phrase “tao guang yang hui,” generally translated as “keeping a low profile.” In recent years, however, observers have begun to question whether this strategy still holds sway in Chinese diplomacy, particularly in light of Xi Jinping’s recent exhortation for China to practice “major power diplomacy.” Chines...

Trials begin in Vietnam controversial land revocation case
Two trials in the high-profile land revocation case involving a violent clash between farmers and authorities in the northern port city of Hai Phong last year are scheduled to get underway early this month. In one hearing, which will be held April 2-5, Doan Van Vuon, 51, his two brothers and his nephew will be […]

S. Korea to Pay Compensation for Ferry Disaster Victims
SEOUL— The South Korean government said on Wednesday it would pay about 420 million won ($380,000) compensation for each of the 250 students who died or remain missing from last year’s ferry disaster, in the first settlement offer to victims’ families. The families of 11 teachers who died in the disaster will receive on average 763,895 won, the amount higher to account for their lost income, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries ministry said. Other passengers will receive between ...

What China Learned from the Soviet Union’s Fall
Why the process of assessing blame for the collapse of the USSR is still a hot topic in Beijing   In a major speech on July 24, 2012 China’s President, Hu Jintao, called for the country to “unswervingly” carry out reform and opening up and to fight against rigidity and stagnation.  This follows on the heels […]

Confirmed: Pakistan Will Buy Eight Chinese Subs
Details on the type of vessel as well as the new fleet’s price tag are still unknown. The Pakistani government has approved the purchase of eight new submarines from China. “The National Security Committee has approved, in principle, the acquisition of eight Chinese submarines,” Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, Rear Admiral Mukhtar Khan, informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence in Islamabad. Details on the type of vessels or their price are murky. IHS Jan...

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Dies
‘Iron Lady’ Was Among Most Influential Global Leaders of Postwar Period Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who became one of the most influential global leaders of the postwar period, died on Monday, April 8, 2013. LONDON—Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister who became one of the most influential global leaders of the […]

Putin’s New ‘Wunderwaffe': The World’s Deadliest Tank?
Why tankers in the West should be worried about Moscow’s new armor. Russia will display its newest tank during the Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square on May 9 this year. 20 units of the world’s first series-produced third generation main battle tank, designated T-14 and based upon the new “Armata” universal chassis system, have recently been delivered to the Russian Armed Forces for training purposes. By 2020, Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), the largest main battle tank manufacturer in the world...

Vietnamese Dissidents Attacked by Police-Linked Thugs
Unidentified assailants believed to be connected to the police on Tuesday ambushed and severely beat a Vietnamese dissident a day after he tried to shield a prominent woman land rights activist from harassment and attack by suspected government agents, according to the victims. Five or six men appeared suddenly from a bush and beat dissident […]

Cambodia’s Hun Sen Says No Electoral Body Reform Lacking Nominee Deal
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday threatened to overturn reforms to the country’s National Election Committee (NEC) if the opposition refuses to accept his nomination of the head of a local election watchdog as a ninth, “neutral” member to the electoral body, based on health concerns. Hun Sen said that if the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) does not accept Hang Puthea, director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC...

What Yemen’s crisis reveals about China’s growing global power
On Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported that more than 500 Chinese nationals who were evacuated from Yemen had arrived safely in the city of Djibouti. The evacuees had been picked up by a Chinese fleet Sunday and Monday, fleeing an increasingly dangerous situation in the Middle Eastern state. In the chaotic web of alliances in Yemen’s new conflict, China’s relatively meek intervention might be overlooked. But it’s a noteworthy sign of China’s growing geopolitical power...

Anti-Nuclear Energy Activists Becoming More Vocal in Taiwan
TAPEI — A wave of mass street protests in Taiwan has prompted the island’s government to reconsider a fourth nuclear power plant. Demonstrators at concerts and elsewhere this past weekend said the plant would threaten inhabitants of Taiwan’s north coast. About 220,000 people turned out for loud, emotional demonstrations in Taiwan’s three biggest cities to […]

Tibetan Buddhism’s Karmapa Lama
A religious figure comes into his own as artist and green activist Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa Lama, arrived in India in January 2000, literally moving from his 12th century headquarters in Tibet onto the front page of international papers. Now, imagine a setting where, as a 28-year old teacher, he holds a few […]

Chinese Artist Depicts Tibetan Protesters
Self-immolations by Tibetan monks have spiked with China’s leadership change. Beijing continues to ignore their message. BEIJING — On the fifth anniversary of violent protests against Chinese rule in Lhasa, Tibet, authorities are still grappling with unrest and a wave of self-immolations in Tibetan areas of China. One Beijing-based artist is trying to commemorate the lost […]

Vietnamese Women Fall Prey to Sex Racket
Fifteen Vietnamese women have been forced into sex slavery after going to work in Russia, according to one of them who managed to escape following a one-year ordeal at a Moscow brothel but is still living in fear of her captors. Huynh Thi Be Huong said she was among four women who initially fled the […]

Japan PM Abe’s Pacific trade pact gambit pays off
Reuters – Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s first politically risky step of declaring the country’s intent to join talks on a U.S.-led Pacific Rim free trade pact appears to be paying off as his record high ratings edge even higher. Public opinion surveys showed on Monday that Abe’s support ratings had risen since last month […]

Trial begins of Vietnam fish farmer turned folk hero
The trial of a Vietnamese fish farmer who became a folk hero after using homemade shotguns to resist eviction began, with scores of people defying a heavy police presence to show their support. Hundreds of police shut down the roads by the Hai Phong People’s Court to hold back supporters of Doan Van Vuon, who […]

Mourners Clash with Vietnamese Authorities
Hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police during a funeral this weekend in northern Vietnam, officials and state media said Monday, in a rare incident highlighting the alleged impunity enjoyed by top-ranked officials in the one-party communist nation. The violence broke out in the Vinh Phuc provincial capital Vinh Yen on Sunday, according to the […]

Vietnamese always at a disadvantage when doing business with Chinese
China has always been gaining the upper hand in doing business with Vietnam. Experts believe that Vietnam has been yielding to the big foreign partner on many issues. China remains the No. 1 trade partner for Vietnam. A report of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) showed that the two-way trade turnover in […]

Brazil’s Petrobras Obtains $3.5 Billion in Financing From China Development Bank
Cooperation agreement to be implemented through 2015 and 2016 RIO DE JANEIRO—Brazil’s state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Wednesday it signed a $3.5 billion financing deal with the China Development Bank, highlighting the oil giant’s deteriorating financial condition in the wake of a vast corruption scandal as well as China’s growing ties to Latin America. Petrobras didn’t provide any details of the deal, which is part of a cooperation agreement to be implemented this year and in 2016. B...

Farmers Tried for Fighting Police in Vietnam
A Vietnamese court has begun hearing the trial of four fish farmers charged with attempted murder for fighting back against police and army officers seeking to evict them from their land last year. Landowner Doan Van Vuon and three male relatives are accused of using improvised explosive devices and shotguns and injuring seven security officers. […]

Why China Shouldn’t Get Too Invested in Latin America
China is increasing engagement with Latin America, but the relationship’s potential remains limited. The First Ministerial Meeting of China-CELAC Forum, held in Beijing in early January 2015, was undoubtedly a successful one. More than 40 ministerial-level officials from 33 member states of CELAC participated in the meeting, while the heads of Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Panama attended the opening ceremony. Panama’s President, Juan Carlos Varela, suggested elevating the next meeting ...

Vietnam: Rights Dialogue Should Produce Concrete Steps
Washington, DC – The Vietnamese government should use the opportunity of the upcoming US-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue to release political prisoners and make commitments to end the persecution of bloggers, land rights activists, and other peaceful critics, Human Rights Watch said today. The 17th US-Vietnam Human Rights dialogue will take place in Hanoi beginning on April […]

Indonesia Blocks 22 Websites to Combat Islamic Radicalism
JAKARTA— Indonesia says it has blocked 22 websites allegedly used to spread Islamic radicalism. The blockage was requested recently by the National Agency for Combating Terrorism (BNPT). At a hearing before parliament in Jakarta, BNPT head Saud Usman said several criteria are used in the decision to block a website, including urging society to conduct a jihad with the Islamic State in Syria or other countries. “What is needed now is to look for preventive measures  on how to nullify  persuasi...

China Frets Over Deflation Threat
China has taken pains to deny that it is suffering from deflation as the government tries to keep low price growth from stalling the economy this year. Responding to questioning at a press conference marking the end of China’s annual legislative sessions on March 15, Premier Li Keqiang disputed reports that the economy is already getting stuck in a deflationary slump. “I don’t think there is deflation in China,” said Li, citing weak but positive consumer price growth i...

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