Politics

  • The Indian-Chinese Rivalry Paid Member

    China's "assertiveness" in regional disputes, particularly Tibet, is causing disquiet among the member nations of ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations). ASEAN is now looking into territorial disputes in the South China Sea: Although Tibet was never mentioned as part of the dispute in the South China Sea, and the Chinese position over its sovereignty is both very clear and undisputed by all attending ASEAN nations and observers, it is obvious that China’s 60 year old assertiveness towards regional disputes has reached a plateau. Buddhism is still a strong influence in many ASEAN member countries and the plight of the Dalai Lama, while not officially recognized or discussed, still causes regional discomfort. Add to that skirmishes with Vietnam in 1979, and still ongoing border disputes over Tibetan territorial claims with India, and China’s position as asserting more regional sovereignty is now starting to be questioned. Neither India nor China is a member of ASEAN, but the two countries are wrestling for influence in southeast and central Asia and are the elephants in the room at ASEAN discussions. More »
  • China's pollution worsens, prominent Tibetan conservationist arrested Paid Member

    Four years ago, China overtook the US to become the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. Now International Energy Agency (IEA) has announced that China tops the list as the biggest energy consumer in the world. What does all this mean? Lots and lots of pollution. A report in yesterday's New York Times painted a dispiriting portrait of China's environmental problems: More »
  • Amid turmoil, Pakistan reaches out to Buddhist tourists Paid Member

    The Guardian's Riazat Butt calls it a case of fiddling while Rome burns: Pakistan reaches out to Buddhists amid allegations that its intelligence service is actively aiding the Taliban while putatively aiding US/Coalition forces in Afghanistan. (The war is of course taking place on Pakistani soil as well, the border region being so nebulous and porous.) UPDATE: A plane crashed in Pakistan today, killing 152 people.) More »
  • Chinese migrants and money pouring into Tibet Paid Member

    Military truck convoys and high-altitude speed trains are bringing Chinese migrants and money into remote areas of Tibet as part of an effort to increase wealth and tourism in the area. From the New York Times: Han Chinese workers, investors, merchants, teachers and soldiers are pouring into remote Tibet. After the violence that ravaged this region in 2008, China’s aim is to make Tibet wealthier---and more Chinese. Chinese leaders see development, along with an enhanced security presence, as the key to pacifying the Buddhist region. The central government invested $3 billion in the Tibet Autonomous Region last year, a 31 percent increase over 2008. Tibet’s gross domestic product is growing at a 12 percent annual rate, faster than the robust Chinese national average. More »
  • Khmer Rouge prison warden found guilty of war crimes Paid Member

    The eight-month trial of former Khmer Rouge prison warden Kaing Guek Eav came to a close today in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Extraodinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, a UN-backed tribunal, sentenced Kaing Guek Eav, commonly known as Duch, to 19 years in prison for crimes against humanity and war crimes for overseeing the torture and killing of more than 14,000 prisoners at the S-21 prison between 1975 and 1979. During the trial, Duch's testimonies wavered from admissions of guilt to claims that he was a small part of a greater mechanism. From a New York Times report: More »