BJP aims at Delhi elections as Hinduization spreads

BJP aims at Delhi elections as Hinduization spreadsMunicipal elections in Delhi later this month have become politically significant for Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party at a time when its political opponents and critics are gradually resigning themselves to maybe as much as a decade of increasing Hindu nationalism in India’s social and political life. The BJP is launching an intense vote-winning campaign…

US Faces Growing Troubles in Asia

US Faces Growing Troubles in AsiaA bit more than two months into the new administration in Washington, DC, the US is arguably facing the severest threat since World War II to its military and diplomatic ascendency in Asia, a situation President Donald Trump seems, from his public statements, not to understand. And, although the president compounded the problems with his…

Three Scenarios for Hong Kong’s New Chief Executive

Three Scenarios for Hong Kong’s New Chief ExecutiveCarrie Lam is the Chief-Executive-elect of Hong Kong as a result of the territory’s hermaphroditic electoral system, in which she won 777 votes from the 1,194-member election committee, a collection of tycoons and pro-Beijing special interests. "She is a Hong Kong lady. Ruthlessly pragmatic, mercilessly efficient," says an intimate observer of politics in Hong Kong.…

Pyongyang Finds an Ally in Moscow

Pyongyang Finds an Ally in MoscowOn Feb. 3, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent out Lunar New Year greeting cards to international allies. For the third year in row Russia was listed at the top of the list of friendliest countries, relegating China to second place.  Gone are the days when Beijing was by far the Democratic People’s Republic’s most…

Impeachment Mania in Manila

Impeachment Mania in ManilaFor the first time, the Philippines’ two highest officials face the threat of impeachment in the House of Representatives. President Rodrigo Duterte faces an impeachment complaint filed on March 16 by a bemedaled former putschist-turned-congressman, Gary Lejano, while Vice-President Leni Robredo faces one filed on March 20 by a perennial candidate, Marcos loyalist and political…

Afghanistan: A Fruitless War Continues

Afghanistan: A Fruitless War ContinuesJudging by statements from senior Pentagon officers, there is a real possibility of another military “surge” in Afghanistan. If it materializes, the result will prolong a fruitless war and foreclose any political resolution of the underlying conflict. A few words on the nature of this war. One, from the predominant Afghan perspective, this is a…

Beijing Sends Hong Kong an Ominous Message

Beijing Sends Hong Kong an Ominous MessageIt might be possible to feel sympathy for Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor. On Sunday, Beijing’s bludgeoning of the business and professional elite had assured her of an overwhelming victory (67 percent of 1,163 valid votes) in the unequal contest to become Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive, easily defeating former Financial Secretary John Tsang. She promised to…

The Mess in the Middle East

The Mess in the Middle EastThe “Great Game” being played in the Middle East with Syria and Iraq as the center rings bears a superficial similarity to the power political maneuverings of the dominant European states in their African and Asian periphery during the 19th century. There is a somewhat closer resemblance to the Spanish civil war in the mix…

Beijing Serves Up Yet another Chief Executive for Hong Kong

Beijing Serves Up Yet another Chief Executive for Hong KongThe election charade for Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive has entered its final week with the two candidates destined to be defeated still pretending that this is a real fight.  In practice, the two are simply trying to maintain and enhance their images with the public rather than expecting they can seriously challenge Beijing’s dictate…

Philippines’ Duterte Buckles to China

Philippines’ Duterte Buckles to ChinaA submerged extinct volcanic ridge at least 3,000 meters underwater that is 350 km. east of the Philippines’ coast appears likely to be the next flashpoint between Manila and Beijing, at least partly because the Duterte administration is at sea over strategy. On March 9, Delfin Lorenzana, the Philippines Defense Secretary, told reporters that satellite…