|Asia News Digest
Cameron Had Another Bad Day in India
July 30 (EIRNS)Heaven was not smiling down on British Prime Minister David Cameron, during his late-July visit to India, in which he promoted a "special relationship" with Britain's former colony. First, it was Myanmar's head of state Gen. Than Shwe, who upstaged him as the state guest of India, and made Cameron cool his heels in Bangalore until Than vacated Delhi. And then, the much-awaited meeting with the Congress Party president, and arguably the most powerful political person in India, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, did not come through.
In fact, Cameron had requested a meeting with not only Gandhi, but also a separate meeting with her son, Rahul Gandhi, considered by many as a prime minister-in-the-wings. None of these meetings came through though, and the Congress Party spokesman told the news media that he was aware that the meetings were requested but were never set up.
But that was not all. At an interview with an Indian TV channel, NDTV, Cameron was asked whether Britain would return the 105-carat gemstone, Koh-i-Noor, set in the British Royal coronation crown when Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. The stone was mined in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, and later seized by the East India Company. Cameron could only weakly argue that, "What tends to happen with these questions is that if you say yes to one, then you would suddenly find the British Museum empty."
Philippines President Quashes Revival of Bataan Nuclear Plant
July 28 (EIRNS)Twenty-four years after neo-cons George Shultz and Paul Wolfowitz overthrew Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, for the crime of building a nuclear power plant (which Marcos did with the help of some sane Americans), newly elected President Noynoy Aquino today quashed the budding effort to revive the fully completed Bataan nuclear facility, a campaign which has been spearheaded by the Philippines LaRouche Society.
The pro-nuclear effort had won such a degree of support that Aquino had been forced to give some lip service to nuclear power in the days following his election, but in the end, he covered for his mother, Cory Aquino, the puppet placed in office by Shultz after the coup in 1986. Her first act as President was to mothball the completed nuclear plant, before it had produced a single watt of power, while promising to pay every penny of the cost and interest costs on its construction.
That Noynoy is following in his mother's footsteps is no surprise, as his election was the result of a massive fraud, run by the Venezuelan/American voting machine company Smartmatic, and facilitated by a dirty deal between outgoing criminal President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and incoming President Noynoy Aquino, orchestrated by foreign interests, including U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas. As a result, the Philippines continues its slide into economic oblivion, poverty, and hunger, failing entirely to break from the Anglo-American straightjacket and join in the Asian drive for nuclear-driven development which is otherwise dominant across Asia.
Leading Royalist in Thailand Calls for War on Cambodia
July 29 (EIRNS)The British Empire's sponsorship of the royalist police state in Thailand has taken another step towards blowing up Southeast Asia by threatening war on neighboring Cambodia. The threat came from the leading apologist for the monarchy and the fascist government at The Nation, the newspaper partially owned by Rupert Murdoch's Dow Jones. At issue is a small tract of land on the border which holds a temple complex known as Preah Vihear. Although the issue was settled in 1962 by the International Court of Justice, in Cambodia's favor, the government has revived the issue, in a typical British imperial ploy to use territorial issues to "divide and conquer," and in this case, to further the policy of creating a "ring of crisis" around China.
The Foreign Minister under the current fascist government, Kasit Piromya, not only participated in the coup against former nationalist Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, but led a campaign among royalist "Yellow Shirts" to stir up revanchist sentiment against Cambodia over the temple, which resulted in several firefights between military forces from the two countries.
Now, with a UNESCO meeting that is discussing the issue taking place, Thanong Khanthong of The Nation, who serves as an international spokesman for the fascist regime and the feudal "lèse majesté" laws used to justify the police-state measures, published an article, demanding that Thailand respond to the international ruling granting Cambodia management over the temple, by "closing the borders and stopping all trade with its neighbour." Thanong continued: "This would be the first warning. Thai soldiers on the border are on high alert. If the first warning goes unheeded, we should reserve the right, under our sovereignty, to drive out any nationals infringing upon our land."
Earlier this week, former general and religious cult leader Chamlong Srimuang, a leader of the "Yellow Shirt" gangs, led a demonstration at the UNESCO building demanding Thai control over the territory. When he offered a protest petition to the government, both Foreign Minister Kasit and Prime Minister Abhisit Vijjijava personally appeared to receive the protest.
Meanwhile, the corrupt courts in Thailand have announced that the exiled Thaksin and 24 of his allies among the "Red Shirt" opposition forces are to be indicted as "terrorists," facing death sentences, for their sustained protests against the criminal government in April and May.
Taiwan Reacts to Mainland's 'Cross-Strait Military Trust' Initiative
July 31 (EIRNS)The government of China is "calling for official bilateral talks to end the state of hostility between the two sides the Mainland and Taiwan, based on the "One-China principle," and to forge a peace agreement." "To stabilize the situation and reduce military misgivings in the Taiwan Strait, both sides can conduct exchanges in terms of military issues by beginning with setting up a cross-strait military trust mechanism."
China's Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng made the proposal at a press conference in Beijing yesterday. The proposal by Geng does not appear to contain any language directly concerning mainland China armaments near Taiwan, although the Taiwan press has interpreted it as "Beijing would discuss the removal of guided missiles targeting the island."
Initial official reaction from Taiwan has been cautious. Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) vice chairman Liu Te-shun said it would not comment until it fully understands China's offer. He said he believes after business and trade issues are tackled, a good climate will arise for the two sides to talk about other matters, including building a cross-strait military mutual trust mechanism.
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, who was elected by a large majority in March 2008, has worked to better economic relations and trust with the Mainland, supported by his Nationalist Party (KMT) majority in the Legislative Yuan (congress). A number of agreements to improve transportation and communication across the strait were agreed to and implemented early in his term.
On June 29, an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, was initialed by both sides after several rounds of negotiations. The agreement, which is structured to favor Taiwan, would greatly increase trade between the two, while protecting Taiwan from "cheap competitive imports" and other potentially negative effects. Ratification of the agreement is now under debate in the legislature where the opposition, DDP, is desperately dragging its feet to slow passage.