The United States, Japan, and South Korea will fully operationalize a missile warning system “by the end of December.” While justified as a means to counter North Korea’s missile launches, more worrisome, it escalates tensions in the region with China through the “NATOification” of all three countries, agreed upon in the “Spirit of Camp David” agreement. The agreement was hailed as a “new era of trilateral partnership” during the August 18 press conference following a meeting between the heads of state of all three countries. Western media echoed the sentiment, calling it “historic” and “unprecedented.” China, listed in the agreement as a regional concern, accused the United States of creating a “mini NATO in Asia.”
While largely unnoticed by the US public, the trilateral summit between Japan, South Korea, and the US that took place at Camp David this August sent shockwaves throughout East Asia. US President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio punctuated the end of the three-day summit by releasing a joint declaration rife with the kinds of diplomatic ambiguities and appeals to vague principles typical of this sort of affair. The three leaders pledged their support for a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” for an international “rules-based order,” and for “peace and stability” around the world.
July 27 marked the 70th anniversary of the 1953 ceasefire to the Korean War. In the three years leading up to the anniversary, South Korean peace movements organized the international Korea Peace Appeal campaign to replace the armistice agreement with a peace treaty to conclude the 70-plus-year Korean War. The anniversary has come and gone, but, instead of peace, the Joe Biden, Yoon Suk Yeol, and Fumio Kishida administrations are stoking tensions in the Korean Peninsula as a smokescreen to build a NATO-level US-Japan-South Korea trilateral alliance against China. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has played his supporting role well.
US President Joe Biden announced a multinational rail and ports deal linking Europe, West Asia, and South Asia on 9 September at a gathering on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi. The deal, known as the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), comes as the White House seeks to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Russia and Iran’s North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) by pitching Washington as an alternative partner and investor for developing countries. A memorandum of understanding for the deal was signed by the European Union, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the US, and other G20 partners.
Anywhere between 691 million and 783 million people across the globe faced hunger in 2022, according to this year’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report published by five specialized agencies of the UN on Wednesday, July 12. As per the report, even with the mid-range figure of 735 million, around “122 million more people faced hunger in 2022 than in 2019, before the pandemic,” despite the fact that “hunger is no longer on the rise at the global level.” The report records that 9.2% of the world’s population faced chronic hunger in 2022, compared to 7.9% in 2019. The figure is slightly better than 2021 when it stood at 9.3%.
The New Delhi Declaration was adopted on Tuesday, July 4, after a virtual meeting of the leaders of the nine-member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The declaration underlined the need for stronger and more effective international regimes and vowed to work for a more “just, democratic and multipolar world order.” The 23rd meeting of the Council of Head of States was hosted by India virtually. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the meeting along with leaders from Central Asian countries.
A huge new U.S. Marine Corps base on the island of Guam was paid for, in part, by Japan. Why would Japan do this? I read that it was part of a deal during the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” to get Marines out of Okinawa. Locals there despise the presence of gaijin (foreigners) who rape and kill girls and women, and Okinawans have been struggling for decades to get rid of them. Why export the misery to Guam? The indigenous population of Okinawa understands all too well what it’s like to live under Japanese imperialism. And taxpayers in Japan are by no means on board with ramping up military spending and abandoning Article 9 as the U.S. is demanding. Demonstrations against Japan’s remilitarization are common in Tokyo and other Japanese cities these days — but don’t expect to read about it in the U.S. corporate media.
Asia possesses many of the world's largest and fastest-growing economies. In this era of growing discord and crisis in the West, the majority of nations around the world are looking to Asia to set a different example. The region took center stage in the week of November 11 to 18 as the emerging economies of Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, the G20, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting respectively. These important exchanges provided numerous opportunities for major countries to assert their leadership on the world stage. And in this regard, it was China that shined the brightest. One of the highlights was Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia ahead of the convening of the G20 summit.
Asia possesses many of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies. In this era of growing discord and crisis in the West, the majority of nations around the world are looking to Asia to set a different example. The region took center stage in the week of November 11 to 18 as the emerging economies of Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, the G20, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting respectively. These important exchanges provided numerous opportunities for major countries to assert their leadership on the world stage. And in this regard, it was China that shined the brightest.
It is impossible to track the geoeconomic turbulence inherent to the “birth pangs” of the multipolar world without the insights of Professor Michael Hudson at the University of Missouri, and author of the already seminal The Destiny of Civilization. In his latest essay, Professor Hudson digs deeper into Germany’s suicidal economic/financial policies; their effect on the already falling euro – and hints at some possibilities for fast integrating Eurasia and the Global South as a whole to try to break the Hegemon’s stranglehold. That led to a series of email exchanges, especially about the future role of the yuan, where Hudson remarked: “The Chinese whom I’ve talked to for years and years did not expect the dollar to weaken. They’re not crying about its rise, but they are concerned about flight capital from China as I think after the Party Congress [starting on October 16] there will be a crackdown on the Shanghai free-market advocacy. Pressure for the coming changes has been long building up.
Between August 22 and September 1, the United States and South Korea concluded their largest joint military drills in the Korean Peninsula since 2017, under the name ‘Ulchi Freedom Shield’. Over the last four years, the scope of the annual exercises had been scaled back, first because of Donald Trump’s attempts at diplomacy with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and later because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With these drills, however, the US and South Korea seem to be attempting to send a clear message to both North Korea and China of their united military posture in the region, and come at a time when the US’ encirclement of China continues rapidly.
Marginalized communities and their ability to organize themselves towards a common goal would attest that even amid multiple crises, they can cultivate notable practices that produce and reproduce transformative pedagogies, especially for the young generation of learners. These four (4) cases from Southeast Asia provide a material foundation for dynamic learning processes that amplify the central role of communities in developing emancipatory pedagogies attuned to their situation, context, culture, histories, and capacities. Their ground-based undertakings dare to challenge the mainstream educational paradigm extremely influenced by market and capital.
Our next webinar takes place on Saturday 24 September 2022, 11am (US Eastern) / 8am (US Pacific) / 4pm (Britain) / 11pm (China). This event will address the rising aggression of the US and its allies in the Pacific region. We will discuss the Biden administration’s increased support for Taiwanese separatism; Western power projection in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits; the hysteria surrounding China’s security agreement with the Solomon Islands; the AUKUS nuclear pact; developments in Korea and Japan; and more.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its sixth report in three phases beginning in August, 2021 and concluding in April 2022. The first report declared that the climate crisis is unquestionably due to human activity and called the situation a 'Code Red for Humanity.' The second and third parts indicated that not enough action is being taken not just to mitigate the crisis but also to adapt to it. Clearing the FOG speaks with Professor Benjamin Horton of the Earth Observatory of Singapore about the gravity of the crisis, including that some impacts such as sea level rise are irreversible for the foreseeable future, the importance of activism by scientists to inform the public and push policy makers and how to keep fighting for a more livable future.