Asia

The National Museum of China ahead of a reception on behalf of China's President Xi Jinping and his wife marking the Belt and Road Forum on 26 April. Photo via Getty Images.

Despite the twists and turns of wrestling with President Donald Trump, the Chinese Communist party has entered its summer recess and its senior leaders have gathered at the Beidaihe beach resort, 300 kilometres from Beijing, for the annual summer meeting to determine its domestic priorities for the rest of 2019 and in the lead up to the party’s centenary in 2021.

While the Beidaihe meeting is a secretive affair, it is no less important than other conclaves of the party’s senior leadership. Judging by the last public gathering of the politburo on July 30, ‘stabilizing employment, boosting household consumption and mitigating major risks’ are likely to dominate the Beidaihe meeting agenda, and the much discussed trade war and Sino-US decoupling has become a secondary concern.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests over the summer have seen massive turnouts of 1 million people or more as well as violent encounters with police. So after 11 straight weeks, where do things stand? Here are five things to know.

1. Beijing is trying to control the narrative about Hong Kong

By invoking the term “terrorism” to describe protesters’ behavior, Beijing is trying to legitimize the use of escalated force — not by Chinese troops, but by the Hong Kong police. Internationally, Beijing hopes that countries that have curtailed civil liberty in the name of their own war against terrorism will find it hard to criticize China’s turn to repression in dealing with the situation in Hong Kong.…  Seguir leyendo »

European Companies Get Rich in China’s ‘Open Air Prison’

Many people around the world may just now be learning that around a million Uighur Muslims and other minorities have been locked up in extrajudicial internment camps in the region of Xinjiang, in western China. There is a reason for that: Xinjiang is remote and the Chinese government has expended considerable effort to keep the news hidden, from harassing foreign journalists to seizing family members of activists to censoring information within its own borders.

Herbert Diess, however, should have no excuse.

Mr. Diess is the chief executive of Volkswagen, which opened a plant in Xinjiang in 2013 that employs almost 700 local workers and can make up to 50,000 cars a year.…  Seguir leyendo »

El rol de China como actor financiero internacional sigue generando un intenso debate. A comienzos de 2007, el ex director ejecutivo del Banco Mundial y luego editor de Foreign Policy, el venezolano Moisés Naím, inauguraba la categoría de ayuda canalla (rogue aid). Entonces se citaba una negociación en la que Nigeria desechó un préstamo del Banco Mundial y optó por la liquidez rápida de 9.000 millones de dólares de China para un proyecto de trenes a cambio de petróleo. Debora Brautigam, investigadora de la Universidad John Hopkins, respondió Naím con su libro El regalo del Dragón. Ni héroes, ni villanos.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the video Op-Ed below, three Chinese citizens whose parents disappeared demand their release from China’s “re-education camps.” The government is estimated to have detained over one million people. The goal: to force China’s Uighur ethnic minority to assimilate.

China’s decades-long campaign against the Uighur minority has surged in recent years through the construction of hundreds of detention camps. Even outside of detention centers, millions of Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang region live in a virtual prison. The surveillance state deploys sophisticated technology, including facial recognition tracking, compulsory apps that monitor mobile phones, and even DNA collection.

China has justified its actions as a fight against religious extremism within the predominantly Muslim ethnic minority.…  Seguir leyendo »

En abril de 1989 me encontraba en Pekín con profesores y estudiantes de filosofía de la Academia de Ciencias Sociales. Aunque ya conocía China y había enseñado allí alguna vez, entonces no observé nada excepcional. Desde la detención de la camarilla maoísta en 1976 y la vuelta al poder de Deng Xiaoping, al que, en Occidente se consideraba moderado, el clima político mejoraba y la economía por fin despegaba. China parecía destinada a unirse al bando de las sociedades abiertas, y a abandonar las utopías revolucionarias y los horrores totalitarios. Aquel día mis interlocutores me abrieron los ojos: el Partido Comunista seguía siendo represivo, la libertad se mantenía a raya y la prosperidad estaba reservada a los dirigentes del partido, reconvertidos en empresarios.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protestors at a rally at Hong Kong International Airport on Wednesday.CreditCreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

As Hong Kong’s sleepless summer of political strife wears on, not a day, nay, an hour, seems to go by without someone evoking the 1989 crackdown against another group of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing. On breathless postings on Twitter, people share pictures of military exercises by Chinese troops just across the border from Hong Kong, saying or suggesting that the end is near for the protest movement here. But who knows where or when exactly those pictures were taken, or for what purpose they have been made public.

On other social networks, friends and contacts bemoan what they see as the inevitable next stage in the current escalation of violence: Chinese army boots on the ground and a blood bath in Hong Kong.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters resting on the floor of Hong Kong’s international airport on Tuesday.CreditCreditPhilip Fong/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

With the Hong Kong government paralyzed by mass protests, the chances of armed intervention from Beijing, once unthinkable, are rising by the day.

Far from hiding its intent, Beijing has been parading it in full view over the past week. The protesters, initially reviled as mobs, have been rebranded by Chinese officials as criminals and terrorists. The state media has broadcast ominous footage of its anti-riot police, who fall under the command of the People’s Liberation Army, marshaled on the Hong Kong border in Shenzhen.

To be sure, the threats against the protesters are designed to ensure that Beijing never has to carry them through.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea in June. Mr. Kim called the moment “historic.”CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Guess what country just issued stamps of Donald Trump? North Korea! Yes: An official postage stamp features grave-looking likenesses of President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, standing side by side. It commemorates their pleasantry-laden chitchat earlier this summer at Panmunjom, in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas.

Why is North Korea celebrating that moment as “historic” (Mr. Kim’s own word)? Because it has to. After Mr. Kim scurried down to get whatever face time the American would grant him, the scene had all the makings of a public humiliation. So the North Koreans are now aggressively pretending that the encounter was somehow a coup for Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indian security personnel on the streets of Srinagar, Kashmir, last week.CreditCreditAtul Loke for The New York Times

As India celebrates her 73rd year of independence from British rule, ragged children thread their way through traffic in Delhi, selling outsized national flags and souvenirs that say, “Mera Bharat Mahan.” My India is Great. Quite honestly, it’s hard to feel that way right now, because it looks very much as though our government has gone rogue.

Last week it unilaterally breached the fundamental conditions of the Instrument of Accession, by which the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in 1947. In preparation for this, at midnight on Aug. 4, it turned all of Kashmir into a giant prison camp.…  Seguir leyendo »

Jawaharlal Nehru salutes the flag as he becomes independent India's first prime minister on Aug. 15, 1947, during the Independence Day ceremony in New Delhi. (AP/AP)

Were I a biographer of the Buddha or a historian of the Mughals, there would be little overlap between my politics and my profession. However, as a historian of modern India, I find there is a continual and often agonizing tension between how I think as a scholar and how I feel as a citizen. The past few days — following the government’s decision to scrap the special status of Kashmir — have been, even by Indian standards, extraordinarily tumultuous for my country and its people.

Meanwhile, I was asked to write this essay to coincide with the anniversary of my country’s independence from British colonial rule.…  Seguir leyendo »

Al escuchar su respuesta entendí el problema de Hong Kong. Conocí a mi amiga hongkonesa en una discoteca pija de Barcelona y nos pusimos a charlar de política. Le conté que había visitado Hong Kong un par de años atrás. Lo que más me fascinó entonces fue que, justo al llegar a la ciudad, me encontré con una manifestación ante mis narices. Había pasado meses trabajando en China continental como periodista y ver una protesta cruzando la calle era para mí una absoluta novedad. Parecía que hubiera entrado en otra realidad.

Mi amiga me explicó que iba a estudiar en una escuela de negocios de élite de Barcelona.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters occupy the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International Airport during a demonstration on August 12, 2019 in Hong Kong, China (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

La crisis en Hong Kong parece acercarse velozmente a un clímax devastador. El gobierno de China ha comenzado a usar una retórica similar a la que precedió a la masacre de la plaza Tiananmen en junio de 1989, y es muy posible que los manifestantes prodemocracia (y de hecho, la democracia misma) de Hong Kong estén en grave peligro.

Hong Kong lleva más de dos meses alterada por protestas. Nacidas en respuesta a un proyecto de ley que permitiría la extradición de presuntos delincuentes al territorio continental de China, las manifestaciones se convirtieron luego en llamados más amplios a salvaguardar (o, para ser más precisos, restaurar) la democracia semiautónoma del territorio, incluido fortalecer la rendición de cuentas del aparato estatal (especialmente la policía).…  Seguir leyendo »

On Aug. 8, in a 40-minute address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi argued that Article 370 of the Indian constitution had prevented economic development from reaching Kashmir and had stimulated terrorism and corruption.

Three days earlier, Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had announced the abrogation of Article 370, which had accorded the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) special status — including a separate constitution, a state flag and control over internal administrative matters. India also abolished Article 35A, part of Article 370, which stipulated that only permanent residents of J&K could own property in the region.…  Seguir leyendo »

Where the Cold War Never Ended

In a rational world, South Korea and Japan ought to be the best of friends. Their cultures and languages are closely linked. Their economies are deeply entangled. And as the only liberal democracies in East Asia (along with Taiwan), they have to contend with the threat of North Korean belligerence and Chinese domination.

But the world is not so rational, and so the two American allies have recently become engaged in a flaming economic row, ostensibly sparked by historical wrongs. Late last year, the South Korean Supreme Court ruled that Japanese companies should compensate Koreans who were forced to work in Japanese factories and mines during World War II.…  Seguir leyendo »

El rápido ascenso económico de China durante las últimas décadas ha asombrado al mundo. No obstante, las razones detrás del éxito del país a menudo se mal entienden y se mal interpretan.

El ascenso de China se atribuye ampliamente a su capitalismo de Estado mediante el cual el gobierno, al estar dotado con grandes activos, puede ir tras la consecución de una política industrial de amplio alcance y puede intervenir para mitigar los riesgos. Por consiguiente, China debe su éxito, primordialmente, al “control” que tiene el gobierno sobre la totalidad de su economía.

Esta explicación es fundamentalmente errónea. Es cierto que China se ha beneficiado de tener un gobierno con la capacidad de implementar políticas integrales y complementarias de manera eficiente.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters march near the skyline of Hong Kong on July 7. (Kin Cheung/AP)

The Hong Kong government had described some of the early protests in Hong Kong as a “riots.” On Aug. 7, Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said the protests have taken on “color revolution characteristics,” warning that “the central government will not sit back and do nothing.”

Wang Zhimin, head of Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong, added that the crisis has evolved into a “battle of life and death.” An anti-riot drill across the border in Shenzhen and earlier troop drills by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong suggest that Beijing has a close eye on Hong Kong.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the run-up to his election victory in 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a form of federalism that was “co-operative, not coercive.” The statement solidified a long-term trend of Indian leaders who have been willing to recognize the country’s regional diversity. Though the central government once regularly dismissed state governments — 95 times between 1966 and 1996 — such practices seemed a thing of the past. State governments became more likely to serve out their terms, and the central government seemed more amendable to seeking compromises with local leaders. Even the troubled state of Kashmir saw free and fair elections and a steep decline in violence between 2001 and 2017.…  Seguir leyendo »

India’s controversial move to pull the autonomy of the disputed region of Kashmir marks a major moment in the regional politics of South Asia. The decision, as political scientist Ahsan Butt explained here at TMC this week, was motivated by Indian domestic politics — but its implications will reach beyond India. It will force a number of countries, including Pakistan, China, and the United States, to recalibrate their foreign policies — and other key players, such as al-Qaeda, will watch developments closely.

Will this increase conflict in South Asia? Here are four key things to watch.

1. The India-Pakistan rivalry is likely to worsen

Contention over Kashmir broke out soon after the British partitioned India into two countries in 1947.…  Seguir leyendo »

India Annexes Kashmir and Brings Us Back to Partition

Pakistani kids are taught in and out of school that Kashmir is our “shah rug (jugular vein). Indians believe that Kashmir is their “atoot ang” (indispensable body part). Urdu and Persian poetry is full of paeans to the beauty of Kashmir. If there is paradise on earth, “it is this, it is this, it is this,” the 14th-century poet Amir Khusro wrote. Since the time of Partition, 72 years ago, India and Pakistan have been fighting wars over Kashmir and calling each other the occupier and the oppressor of the Kashmiris.

Occasionally, there have been halfhearted pledges that the Kashmiri people should probably get to do what they want with their paradise.…  Seguir leyendo »