Asia

After weeks of speculation, the rumour that a fuel price hike was coming was finally confirmed. The working class was hit with a 30-percent price rise. Starting on Saturday 3 September, the price of petrol shot up from 51 cent to 67 cents per litre, and diesel fuel from 35 cents to 46 cents per litre.

Pakistan has been ravaged by floods and torrential rains, while the ruling class continues to loot and plunder the impoverished masses at this time of distress and disaster. According to reports, around one third of the country has been devastated by the floods and rains of the last three months, while 33 million people have been affected. Around 1,400 have died, and around 4,000 injuries have been reported according to official figures. According to the recent reports 482,030 people have been displaced while 372,823 buildings have been destroyed.

A two-day Marxist School was held in Rawlakot, Kashmir on 6-7 August. It was the most successful Marxist School ever organised by the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), with more than 200 students, youth, workers and political activists participating from Karachi to Peshawar, and Baluchistan to Kashmir.

As we have previously reported, for the past month the regime of Ranil Wickremesinghe in Sri Lanka has unleashed repression against trade unionists and left-wing activists. Now the regime has escalated its repression, using the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to detain activists for long periods without trial. On Sunday 28 August there will be protests outside the UN Human Rights Council office in Geneva, and at Sri Lankan embassies around the world at 2pm local time.

Just over a month ago, on 9 July, the insurrectionary masses of Sri Lanka stormed the Colombo residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This was the culmination of island-wide protests that had been ongoing since March. They had already brought down three government cabinets, the governor of the Central Bank, and Gota’s own brothers: the Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, and the powerful then-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was forced to resign on 9 May.

On 2 August 2022, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, in an act of clear and reactionary provocation towards China. Far from furthering the cause of democracy as Pelosi claimed, her trip has the potential to destabilise the entire Indo-Pacific region. In this podcast episode produced by the Canadian section of the IMT, Fightback, Daniel Morley, writer for In Defence of Marxism, discusses the U.S. and Chinese saber rattling over Taiwan.

A wave of class struggle, rising all over the world, is approaching Vietnam. Under increasing financial pressure, sections of the Vietnamese working class have engaged in furious wildcat struggles. The rising tension is also reflected in the actions of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (VCP), which is now led by its most powerful leader in decades. While making a show of proactively addressing corruption in Vietnamese society in an effort to appease the masses, it has simultaneously increased repression.

The trip by Speaker of the United States Congress, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan has placed the Taiwanese national question at the forefront of world politics. Though Taiwan is, de facto, an independent state, the Chinese government has always maintained that the island is part of its territory. Meanwhile, the United States has maintained a deliberately ambiguous stance on the question for decades. Pelosi’s trip is yet another nail in the coffin of this delicate balance which, if upended, could threaten the stability of the whole region.

After days of intensive speculation and evasion, US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei, Taiwan on a US Air Force Jet yesterday. This reckless and reactionary provocation towards China by US imperialism threatens to destabilise the entire Indo-Pacific region. 

A slew of banking crises, struggles, and repression have recently rocked the rural areas of Henan province in China. Earlier in the year, several local banks declared that customers could no longer withdraw their own savings. The depositors quickly organised a struggle against the banks, which were aided and abetted by the CCP bureaucracy. Despite living under the most technologically advanced surveillance state in world history, the depositors’ protests soon escalated from economic to political demands and slogans. These unprecedented developments garnered widespread attention across China, as many workers and youth fear for their future amidst lockdowns and real estate crises that

...

On Friday 8 July, a few minutes after 5pm local time, Shinzo Abe was pronounced dead. The former PM of Japan, and one of the most influential bourgeois politicians of the last decade, not only in his country but in East Asia generally, was assassinated while making an electoral speech in favour of one of his fellow Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members.

On Saturday 9 July, tens of thousands of ordinary Sri Lankans overcame transport chaos to descend on the capital, Colombo. Police barricades were swept aside like matchsticks, and the masses stood before the steps of the president’s official residence. And then, they surged forward. The masses, in the floodtide of their ‘aragalaya’ (struggle) suddenly overflowed the safe channels that the ruling class had erected to keep them out of politics. Within minutes, thousands of people had taken over the presidential residence. Within hours, the president-in-hiding was forced to name the date of his resignation.

Yesterday in Myanmar, we saw a spontaneous outbreak of industrial workers’ protest against wage cuts, worsening conditions in the workplace and the intensification of work at the A Dream of Kind (ADK) garment factory in Mingalardon township, Yangon. Around 2,000 women workers are demanding labour rights, guarantee of sick leave, casual leave, social welfare, and a wage increase.

In July 2021, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) celebrated the 90th anniversary of its founding with a blitz of propaganda boasting about how the party’s rule had led to a prosperous, confident and happy China. Yet a year later, the discontent among the Chinese masses towards the regime has reached unprecedented levels, while those at the top of the byzantine party-state bureaucracy are showing clear differences about how to proceed. What does this reveal, and what is its significance for Marxist revolutionaries?

While a lot of attention is being dedicated to the war in Ukraine, an equally important conflict is developing in the Pacific, and it is about who is to dominate this key region: the United States or China? In fact, the main pivot of US foreign policy is against the growing influence of China.

In 2001 US President George W Bush sent American troops into Afghanistan, and soon afterwards the Taliban regime fell. This was followed by years of fighting, in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed. After twenty years of fighting, the Taliban are now back in power.

Forty-two years ago this week, South Korea was engulfed in the flames of class struggle. Amidst the fight by the masses for democracy and to bring down the military, a heroic episode took place in Gwangju – a city of nearly one million people. The workers beat back a vicious military, and for a few days the working class de facto took over the running of the city, which was briefly under the control of armed workers’ militias.

On Monday 9 May, dramatic events rocked Sri Lanka. After months of economic turmoil, and weeks of mass mobilisations on the streets, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa made a desperate gamble to establish order and save his own political skin. But his brutal crackdown backfired in dramatic style. By nightfall, Mahinda was hiding in a naval base, whilst dozens of MPs’ residences were in flames. By the end of the day, eight people were dead including one MP and two police officers, and the hospitals were flooded with the injured.

On 25 February 1986, the infamously corrupt and brutal dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, fled the country with his family from a revolutionary mass revolt. Yet on 9 May 2022, another Ferdinand Marcos was voted in as president: the son of the senior Marcos also known as “Bongbong.”