Thursday, September 30, 2004

IMF's Rato says time for China to move on currency

IMF Managing
Director, Rodrigo
Rato (Servihoo)

WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - IMF Managing Director Rodrigo Rato said on Thursday strong economic growth in China makes the time ripe for Beijing to start moving toward a more flexible currency.

Complete article.

Will China eventually follow IMF's (and US's) suggestions?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Suspected N.Koreans Break Into Canada Mission

(AP Photo)

BEIJING (Reuters) - Forty-four suspected North Korean asylum seekers used makeshift ladders to scale the fence and leap into the Canadian embassy in Beijing on Wednesday, the ambassador said.

Yahoo News. Sept. 29.2004.


Will the refugees keep leaving North Korea until Kim Jong Il is the last person there?
What will this mean to Chinese relations to NK?

At least two dead, seven missing as Typhoon Meari hits Japan

TOKYO (AFP) - Powerful Typhoon Meari pounded Japan with heavy rain and strong winds, leaving at least two people dead and seven missing, weather officials and police said.

(Yahoo News. AFP. Sept. 29. 2004)

Full Article

Is the US media too focused on the storms (news) of its own?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Jiang still has power over Hu's new regime

On Sept. 19, Jiang Zemin (江澤民) finally handed over chairmanship of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Central Military Commission. In fact, this had long been predicted. After all, for Jiang, 78, the biggest enemy has been his physical condition, rather than party comrades.

.... Has the curtain dropped on Jiang's era? It is still too early to say. Although Hu is now serving as president, CCP general secretary and chairman of the military commission, he is not necessarily able to exercise his power yet. If Jiang's physical condition is still good, members of the "Shanghai clique" at the CCP's Political Bureau will be able to go visit him from time to time. Thus, the time for "what Hu says goes" has not arrived.

(Taipei Times, 9/25/04 by Lee Fu-chung 李福鐘)
Link to article.

Has the time of Jiang come to pass?

Monday, September 27, 2004

Seoul admits sodium cyanide shipped to N.K.

The Korean government yesterday acknowledged that about 100 metric tons of sodium cyanide, a toxic chemical compound that can be used to produce nerve gas, was illegally sent to North Korea via China last year.

Korea Herald. Online. Sept. 27. 2004.

Article Link

Is SK truly being cooperative in the efforts to disarm North Korea?

Japan reshuffle lacks surprises

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has reshuffled his cabinet and ruling party leadership a bid to boost his ambitious plans for reform.

BBC News. Online. Sept. 27, 2004.

Article Link

Will the new cabinet boost economic and financial sector reforms in Japan?
Will this shift have any impact on recent Japanese growth?

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Activity seen at North Korea missile bases

TOKYO (Reuters) - Engineers and vehicles carrying liquid fuel have been seen gathering at North Korean bases housing missiles capable of striking most of Asia and parts of the United States, a Japanese newspaper says.

full article

Friday, September 24, 2004

'Historic' S Asia meeting hailed (BBC)

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has hailed "historic" talks with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in New York.

BBC News Online. Sept. 24. 2004

Link to article

Is this the first step towards a deal in Kashmir?

Thursday, September 23, 2004


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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Nations Lobby to Expand Security Council


UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Seeking more influence over global decisions, Brazil, Germany, India and Japan joined forces to lobby for a permanent U.N. Security Council seat and pledged to work together to reform the United Nations.

Full article

AP. Yahoo News.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

AP: Kerry Fund-Raisers, S. Korean Spy Met

WASHINGTON - A South Korean embassy official who met with John Kerry (news - web sites) fund-raisers to talk about creating a political group for Korean-Americans was in fact a spy for his country, raising concerns among U.S. officials that he or Seoul may have tried to influence the fall presidential election.

Associated Press - Yahoo News
Article Link

Prospect of war will recede under Hu, say China watchers

WITH Chinese President Hu Jintao in full control of the military, a cross-strait war can almost be ruled out in the near term, provided Taiwan does not make an overt bid for independence, according to China watchers in Singapore.

Straits Times, Sept 21 2004


Is China less likely to enter an armed conflict with Hu at the helm?
Does it matter who is the leader in China, as long as President Chen maintains his aggressive posture towards the mainland?

Candidates for East Asia

Who of John Kerry, George Bush and Ralph Nader would best fit the interests of the East Asian nations?

Lemme hear ya' comments!!

Monday, September 20, 2004

UK oil firm strides into N Korea

Anglo-Irish oil company Aminex has signed a 20-year deal to develop North Korea's oil industry.

BBC On-Line, Sept. 20, 2004.

Link to article

Is it ethical to "do business" with North Korea?
What will this mean for the future development of North Korea?

Defense panel head says Kerry better for resolving nuke crisis

A leading ruling Uri Party member says South Korea would be better off if Democrat John Kerry is the next U.S. president insofar as dealing with volatile Korean Peninsula issues is concerned.

(Korea Herald, 9/20/2004)
Link to article

Who do you think would be a better US President to tackle the North Korean Nuclear crisis?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Hu Replaces Jiang as China Military Chief

BEIJING, Sept. 19 -- Former president Jiang Zemin resigned as the head of China's military on Sunday, turning the job over to his successor as president and Communist Party leader, Hu Jintao, and completing the orderly transfer of power to a younger generation.

By Edward CodyWashington Post Foreign ServiceSunday, September 19, 2004; 3:04 PM

For full story: Link

Is this a move towards democratization or Hu's consolidation of power?
Is China in better hands under Hu alone?

Saturday, September 18, 2004

North Korea: On the face of it

"The standard of living appears to be rising in North Korea, but is everything quite as it seems?"
An interesting report on the conditions in North Korea by the BBC


Can we trust North Korea to develop under Kim Jong Il?

Friday, September 17, 2004

Japan closes Citigroup branches

Japan's market watchdog has ordered US banking giant Citigroup to shut down its private banking operations there.
(BBC Online)

Is Japan being fair and financially progressive?

Envoys see N Korea mystery site

Foreign diplomats have visited a large construction site in North Korea which Pyongyang said was the cause of a mysterious cloud last week.

Interestingly: "Seoul also said it now believed the cloud was not caused"

What do you think it was?
Is North Korea flexing its muscles?

(BBCnews on-line)

Indonesian polls point to change

East Asian Developments Blog

Election-eve opinion polls in Indonesia suggest the country is headed for a change of president.

Is this the end for Megawati?
Is this good for Indonesia's future developement?
Indonesian's are encouraged to comment!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Explosion in North Korea

Report Says Huge Explosion Occurs in North Korea; Colin Powell Says It Wasn't a 'Nuclear Event'

The Associated Press

Question of the day: Is Kim Jong Il playing with fire? or is fire playing with him?

China slams Taiwan over failed U.N. bid

China dismissed Taiwan's failed bid for membership in the United Nations this week as a "cheap trick," official media reported Thursday.

Kyodo. Yahoo News.

Link to article

Japan wants to know what Annan meant by saying Iraq war illegal

Thursday, September 16, 2004 at 14:36 JST/TOKYO — Japan will try to confirm what U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan meant by reportedly saying the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act, top government spokesman Hiroyuki Hosoda said Thursday.


For China, One Party Is Enough, Leader Says

BEIJING, Sept. 15 - The Chinese Communist Party chief, Hu Jintao, said Wednesday that Western-style multiparty democracy was a "blind alley'' for China and that the one-party state would fight "power abuse and corruption" by policing itself better.

(NY Times, Sept. 16, 2004)

What is the future for Chinese Democracy?

Link to article

N Korea stalls nuclear talks

BBC Reports:

North Korea has said it will not agree to further nuclear talks unless South Korea's admission about secret nuclear experiments was "fully probed".