|Asia News Digest
British-Controlled Uighurs Threaten China
March 25 (EIRNS)The British-controlled Uighur Muslims, who inhabit almost one-sixth of China, and whose population numbers about 8.5 million, now pose a serious threat to China, says an Indian intelligence source. The terrorists, however, will come from outside China, and most likely from the tribal areas of Pakistan, where many Uighur terrorists are working hand-in-glove with al-Qaeda and other Islamic militants. These Uighur terrorists are now deployed by British intelligence to weaken the U.S.-NATO troops, and help push for a break-up of Pakistan. A secessionist movement would create a territory that would include the tribal areas of Pakistan, Pakistan's Balochistan province, and Pakistan's Northern Territories bordering the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir, and southwestern China.
The British objective at this point is not only to prevent any further effort by China to gain access to the Persian Gulf, and a land connection with a number of southern and western Central Asian states, but also to provoke an internecine war within China, now.
According to the Indian source, a very large number of Pakistani traders operate in major trading places of western China such as Urumqi and Kashgar. The source pointed out that there is no way of telling how many of these "traders" are working to help the Uighurs in Xinjiang to disrupt the upcoming Olympics and force the Chinese hand.
Washington's New Problems with Pakistan
March 26 (EIRNS)With the induction of a coalition democratic government in Islamabad, the Bush Administration has run into a fresh set of problems. In order to maintain the status quo, on March 25, President Bush phoned the new Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, invited him to visit U.S.A., and urged him to continue with the war on terror. The Pakistani Premier told President Bush that a broader approach to the war on terror is necessary, including political solutions and development programs, a statement said. Subsequently, Bush has exempted Pakistan from a law that limits funding to countries where the head of state was deposed by a military coup, as President Pervez Musharraf had done in Pakistan, and has asked the U.S. Congress to approve $300 million in security assistance for Pakistan.
Furthermore, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Richard Boucher, were sent to Pakistan to gauge the attitude of the new government, and to keep the "business as usual" approach going.
However, Negroponte's meeting with Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose party, the PML-N, is in the government, ended with Sharif telling the U.S. diplomat that while Pakistan agrees with the United States on the necessity to eradicate terrorism, he will not allow Pakistan to be turned into a "murder house." In other words, Sharif made clear he would be demanding in the coming days a whole new arrangement for battling terrorism alongside the United States.
In order to keep future options open, Negroponte met with now-powerless Musharraf, who agreed on the war on terror, and also with the Pakistani Chief of Armed Services (COAS), Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.
Bio-Fuels: The Most Foolish Thing Humanity Can Do
March 28 (EIRNS)Speaking at a public lecture organized by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, India's Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the price of many food commodities has soared worldwide to record levels over the last year, due to booming demand in fast-growing Asian countries as well as the increased use of biofuels. "As citizens of the world, we ought to be concerned about the foolishness of growing food and diverting it into fuel," Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram, who spoke on the challenge of sustaining economic growth amid global uncertainty, said the relentless rise in food and commodity prices have put an "enormous problem" on developing countries. "There are non-food items that can be produced to make biofuels ... to convert corn to fuel.... I think it's outrageous and it must be condemned.... I think it is the most foolish thing that humanity can do."
Pointing out the threat that high price of oil and food poses to developing countries, Chidambaram said the price of oil, for example, has risen from US$34 a barrel in 2004, to more than $110 a barrel recently. Urea, a fertilizer, cost only $175 per metric ton in 2004, rising to $288 in April 2007 and $370 as of January this year, he said, adding that the prices of metals and minerals have also risen sharply. Palm oil cost $471 per metric ton in 2004, rising to $1,177 by February 2008, he said.
Britain's Opium and War 'Addiction' Ravages Afghanistan
March 28 (EIRNS)Once again, the poppies are in full bloom in Afghanistan, as the warring groups prepare to battle through Spring and Summer. This Spring, a large part of Afghanistan is starving, while the warring British and Afghan drug and warlords are flush with cash derived out of yet another bumper opium crop.
Afghanistan was not food short before 1980 when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, and the endless war began. Despite the low level of technical development and the slow growth rate of its output, agriculture dominated the economy throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The share of agricultural output in GDP remained about 60% between 1961 and 1980. These figures were probably lower than the reality, for a great deal of agricultural output remained on the farms as subsistence production. Now, opium constitutes more than 55% of Afghanistan's GDP.
Afghanistan is another classic case where Britain has revived its East India Company policy of using opium to wage and fund war. The British and Dutch, the two major colonial powers, control Helmand province, where more than 50% of Afghanistan's opium is grown. Afghan opium is then carried by the Balkan and Russian drug networks to create politics of crisis, all along Russia's southern tier and into the Balkans. A part of this opium also funds the Uighur militia against China, and various terrorists operating in the Ferghana Valley of Central Asia.
A world blinded by consumerism does not see reality any more, But, back in 1876, the American economist Henry Carey, at the age of 80, battling the British free-trade policy, in a pamphlet titled "Commerce, Christianity and Civilization Versus British Free Trade," called for world development, attacking the British destruction of China through the opium trade. Carey asked ironically: "What do you mean by 'Free Trade'? Oh, you mean this crime."
China To Help Cambodia Become 'Battery of Southeast Asia'
March 27 (EIRNS)Cambodia, one of the poorest nations on Earth, after suffering the most massive bombardment per square kilometer in history under Henry Kissinger's madness in the 1970s, followed by genocide under the Anglo-French creation known as the Khmer Rouge, is now working closely with China to develop its vast hydroelectric potential. Foreign Minister Hor Namhong announced last week that due to (primarily) Chinese investment and construction assistance, Cambodia can become the "battery of Southeast Asia." Only 20% of Cambodians have access to electricity, but the scope of the hydroelectric program, which is supported by the Asia Development Bank's Mekong Power Grid Plan, will provide for both domestic use and eventually for export to Thailand. Of 14 priority projects, six are underway, all by the Chinese. Half of the total will be dams along the Mekong itself.
Needless to say, the Gorey-minions of the International Rivers Network and related green fascists are denouncing these plans, and China, for harming animal habitat in order to help improve the lives of mere humans.
India Should Tell Dalai Lama: 'Get Real'
March 26 (EIRNS)"The time has come for India to use the leverage that comes with hosting the Dalai Lama and his followers since 1959 to persuade or pressure him to get real about the future of Tibetand engage in a sincere dialogue with Beijing to find a reasonable, just, and sustainable political solution within the framework of one China," states the lead editorial of Indian national daily The Hindu. The rioters in Lhasa "committed murder, arson, and other acts of savagery," and were far from any "democratic" uprising.
The calls on China to "initiate" a dialogue with the Dalai Lama are unjustified: "this is precisely what China has done for over three decades," as all can see, The Hindu wrote. No government in the world disputes that Tibet is part of China. As China has entered a new period of economic development, Beijing has also increased its conciliation of the Dalai Lama's camp, and held six rounds of discussions since 2002. The problem is that the Dalai Lama's demands would go far beyond "autonomy" for Tibet, but also break up the provinces of western China to create an unacceptable "Greater Tibet," "causing enormous disruption and damage to China's society and political system.... Multi-ethnic India is no stranger to such challenges to its territorial integrity," The Hindu wrote. It is time to bring the Dalai Lama under control.