At an ocean research center on Hainan Island off China’s southern coast, officials routinely usher visitors into a darkened screening room to watch a lavishly produced People’s Liberation Army video about China’s ambitions to reassert itself as a great maritime power.
As enormous, new naval vessels plow through high seas, a deep male voice intones: “China’s oceanic and overseas interests are developing rapidly. Our land is vast, but we will not yield a single inch to foreigners.”
The 2015 video is one of many signs that China is seeking to emulate the United States’ 19th-century policy of taking exclusive control of security in the Western Hemisphere by excluding foreign powers from the region.… Seguir leyendo »
For months, speculation built in East Asia in the lead-up to the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender, which ended World War II.
Would the new, conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who wants Japan to play a more assertive role on the world stage, address questions of wartime responsibility and guilt in a different way than his predecessors had?
In the end, Mr. Abe said little on Friday that was new. He prevaricated on the causes of the war and on the exact nature of the worst of Japan’s atrocities — from the forced recruitment of thousands of so-called comfort women, or sex slaves, from Korea and China, to the devastating military tactics employed to subjugate the country’s neighbors.… Seguir leyendo »
For nearly a decade, as China made a historic push for business opportunities and expanded influence in Africa, most of the continent’s leaders were so thrilled at having a deep-pocketed partner willing to make big investments and start huge new projects that they rarely paused to consider whether they were getting a sound deal.
China has peppered the continent with newly built stadiums, airports, hospitals, highways and dams, but as Africans are beginning to fully recognize, these projects have also left many countries saddled with heavy debts and other problems, from environmental conflict to labor strife. As a consequence, China’s relationship with the continent is entering a new and much more skeptical phase.… Seguir leyendo »
A new level of assertiveness by the United Nations has produced a swift and fortuitous victory over the worst of the marauding militias that have terrorized eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in recent years.
Remarkably, unlike in past offensives, there have been no reports of mass rapes, pillaging, mutiny or other displays of rampant lawlessness by the Congolese military (the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo), which has long and deservedly been known as one of the world’s most undisciplined armed forces.
The Congolese government, led by President Joseph Kabila, has vowed not to become giddy from the defeat of the militia, the Rwandan-backed force known as M23, earlier this month.… Seguir leyendo »