By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - He came, he listened, he bought soybeans. That would be a reasonably accurate but cynical summary report of the February 13-17 visit to the US by China's Vice President Xi Jinping. It would miss out, of course, on other aspects of the visit, the complexities and nuances of the bilateral relationship, and its significance in broad global terms.
By Alicia Wong
SHANGHAI (IDN) - Despite the unresolved border conflict, China and India have made "significant" progress in their bilateral relations. But U.S.-led multinational military collaborations in the region, including India, threaten to have "a complicated and in-depth influence", according to a Chinese think-tank.
"In recent years, China and India's cooperation has made significant achievements in various areas and both countries have maintained good coordination and cooperation in dealing with major international affairs, including border issues," says Hu Zhiyong, associate professor at the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
By Richard Johnson
GENEVA (IDN) - The recent wave of reforms in Myanmar has had a positive impact on the people of what is popularly known as Burma, but serious challenges remain and must be addressed to improve the human rights situation and deepen the country's transition to democracy, according to a senior United Nations (UN) official.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, in fact warns: "There is a risk of backtracking on the progress achieved thus far." Concluding his fifth mission on February 5, he said: "At this crucial moment in the country’s history, further and sustained action should be taken to bring about further change."
By Shastri Ramachandaran*
NEW DELHI (IDN) - Both Norway and India have lessons to learn as the conflict over the Norwegian authorities putting two children of an Indian couple in foster care gets resolved to New Delhi's "satisfaction". But there are also questions that will not go away.
By Jagannath P. Panda*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis | IDSA
The Chinese New Year celebrations formally began on January 23. China has become 4710 years old as per its lunar calendar. This year will be known as the Year of the Dragon, which symbolises strength and prosperity. The New Year celebration is one of the longest and the principal festive season for the Chinese: the official holiday itself extends over a week or two. Tibet and Tibetans, however, have to wait a little longer for their New Year celebrations. Popularly known as Losar, it is celebrated from the first to the third day of the first Tibetan month, which corresponds to February 22-24, 2012. This year will be known as Year of the Male Water Dragon.
By J. C. Suresh
TORONTO (IDN) – When an international commission headed by Nobel laureate Willy Brandt drew attention to global economic interdependence in its report in 1980, the world was divided between rich North and the poor South. More than three decades later, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is asking what were until recently developing countries to help stave off the European financial crisis resulting in the global economy sinking like Titanic.
By Katsuhro Asagiri
TOKYO (IDN) - Leaders of the six nations that share the Mekong River have agreed on a 10-year plan to boost growth, promote development and reduce poverty in the region comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Viet Nam, and China's Yunnan and Guangxi regions. The decision was taken at the fourth Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Summit in Manila, the Philippines.
By Rajaram Panda and Victoria Tuke*
NEW DELHI (IDN) - The demise of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on December 17, 2011 has introduced a new dimension to the security situation in Northeast Asia. His death, it is feared, will make the situation in the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia worse.
By Shastri Ramachandaran*
NEW DELHI (IDN) - As the New Year ushered in, the concern in India was how it would acquit itself in dealing with the formidable challenges looming on the foreign front. On present reckoning, the big tests for India in 2012 would be relations with China and the United States, and neighbourhood 'management'.
By Katsuhro Asagiri
TOKYO (IDN) - While the 'Pyongyangologists' are studying the emerging power equations in North Korea and the mainstream media has been reporting the elaborate state funeral of Kim Jong Il, scant attention has been paid to the abysmal human rights situation in the country, which inevitably calls for constructive intervention.
The dilemma of Pyongyangologists and foreign intelligence agencies was characterised by the fact that they failed to detect Kim Jong-Il's death, underlining just how little is known about the ongoings behind the North Korean iron curtain.
By Shastri Ramachandaran
NEW DELHI (IDN) - While the border dispute between two Asian giants, which led to the Sino-Indian war in 1962, has yet to be settled, two recent developments signify that neither India nor China wants occasional, but inevitable, irritants to scuttle bilateral talks and business-as-usual engagements.
One is the relatively lenient sentence of a Chinese court in Shenzhen in the case involving 22 diamond traders from Mumbai and Gujarat detained since January 2010 for smuggling and duty evasion. The court ordered 13 of them to be deported (meaning, let off with fines). The nine others were sentenced to between three and six years.