Asia Times Covering geo-political news and current affairs across Asia Wed, 05 Apr 2023 09:23:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Asia Times 32 32 173017365 Rethinking Jordan’s overcrowded jails Wed, 05 Apr 2023 09:23:14 +0000 Jordan’s prisons are bursting at the seams amid a dearth of beds, a surge in crime, and legal codes that favor incarceration. With more than 19,000 inmates in 18 institutions designed to hold no more than 13,300, it’s a bad time to be in a Jordanian jail. Overcrowding has resulted in several problems, for inmates and for […]]]> 735543 China’s war labyrinth Wed, 05 Apr 2023 08:44:38 +0000 China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy soldiers patrol at Woody Island, in the Paracel Archipelago in the South China Sea. Photo: ReutersDrums of war sound louder around China. For at least three years, Beijing’s propaganda has been warning that China must prepare for war, a vague phrase in China’s often macho Communist Party rhetoric. The announcements are to be taken literally, warned a recent Foreign Affairs article signed by two of the most prominent China analysts in the […]]]> 735541 Finland’s joining NATO threatens key Russian bases Wed, 05 Apr 2023 05:57:03 +0000 In 1948, the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance was signed between the Soviet Union and Finland, providing a key basis for relations between the two states that was to last throughout the cold war. With memories of the 1939 “winter war” between the two still acute, the agreement embodied the Paasikivi–Kekkonen doctrine, named […]]]> 735530 China intensifies nuclear strike threat in South China Sea Wed, 05 Apr 2023 05:31:40 +0000 China’s nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) are now prowling the South China Sea round-the-clock, ensuring a second-strike capability against US and allied forces in the event of a Taiwan contingency. This week, Reuters reported that China is now keeping at least one nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) at sea at all times, potentially stretching US […]]]> 735525 Asia needs a cross-border fintech policy Wed, 05 Apr 2023 04:12:50 +0000 Financial technology is a sector that’s growing rapidly across Asia, which is benefiting economies and societies in the region, but some clear – and resolvable – challenges remain. While many of the biggest tech giants are currently based elsewhere, the consumer fintech boom has taken off in Asia like nowhere else.   The existence of […]]]> 735517 Brain-drained HK workforce marks historic decline Tue, 04 Apr 2023 18:14:00 +0000 Confronted with an emigration wave and an aging population, Hong Kong has just registered the biggest decline in its working population in decades. The workforce in the former British colony, which was handed over to Beijing in 1997, fell by 94,100, or 2.4%, to 3.87 million in 2022 from the previous year, according to the […]]]> 735482 America’s will in Taiwan is at stake in Ukraine Tue, 04 Apr 2023 17:56:41 +0000 More than once recently, critics of US arms shipments to Ukraine have argued that the weapons should go to Taiwan instead. In the long run, these critics say, China is the more worrisome adversary and its threats to take Taiwan by force must be countered. They’re half right. Yes, the US must stop China from […]]]> 735500 Webinar video: Digital Revolution in the Global South Tue, 04 Apr 2023 15:54:05 +0000 Watch the webinar video Mobile broadband, Cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence are transforming the Global South. The International Monetary Fund wrote this year, “Digital technologies can increase the efficiency of the public and private sectors, expand financial inclusion, improve access to education, and open new markets by allowing companies to serve distant customers.” At the grassroots […]]]> 735484 China roars as Philippines opens wider to US forces Tue, 04 Apr 2023 10:00:41 +0000 After months of anticipation, the Philippines has officially announced the exact location of four additional military bases that will be opened to American troops under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Signed in 2014, the EDCA initially identified five bases, namely Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro City, Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu, […]]]> 735463 Time to change myopic view of the Mekong Tue, 04 Apr 2023 09:15:53 +0000 All eyes this week are on the Mekong, the mighty river that is the lifeblood of Southeast Asia. As prime ministers, diplomats, and business and finance leaders gather in Vientiane for the fourth Mekong River Commission for Sustainable Development (MRC) Summit, there is a critical need to move the focus of discussions from its water […]]]> 735457 US Senate leaves 2001 authorization for secret wars in force Tue, 04 Apr 2023 06:43:50 +0000 On March 29, the US Senate voted to repeal two Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs), one passed in 1991 and another in 2002. The repeal now goes to the House of Representatives.  But those Authorizations are irrelevant to the present; they apply only to the Iraq war. A third AUMF, passed in 2001, was […]]]> 735430 A water crisis of Turkey’s own making Tue, 04 Apr 2023 06:24:18 +0000 Alarming meteorological imbalances topped with decades of poor water management are pushing Turkey to the brink of an avoidable hydrologic crisis. The data speak volumes. In 2022, Turkey experienced its warmest December in more than half a century, as the average temperature hit 8 degrees Celsius – 3.2 degrees above previous averages. The heatwave was […]]]> 735422 Why South Korea shouldn’t go nuclear Tue, 04 Apr 2023 05:49:36 +0000 The North Korean nuclear predicament has haunted South Koreans for more than 30 years — yet the problem has gotten worse. While Seoul has always been uncertain about Washington’s commitment to extended nuclear deterrence, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol recently released an unprecedented and dangerously misguided level of support for nuclear weapons. In January 2021, […]]]> 735440 Huawei voices ‘confidence’ in face of continuing sanctions Tue, 04 Apr 2023 05:44:57 +0000 Last year at this time, China tech giant Huawei revealed its 2021 financial results, posting a 29% drop in overall revenues, but with a surprisingly robust surge of nearly 76% in year-on-year profits, suggesting that it had, if only temporarily, found a way to innovate around US sanctions.  Last week, Huawei released its 2022 financial […]]]> 735381 Australia should eschew US-style green protectionism Tue, 04 Apr 2023 05:24:33 +0000 My book “The Superpower Transformation” showed how Australia’s full participation in the world’s move to early zero net emissions would underpin full employment with rising living standards for a growing population through the next four decades. While doing well for itself, Australia would increase the likelihood of success in our battle with climate change. Australia moving to net zero reduces global […]]]> 735436 China spy facility speculation swirls over Cambodia, Myanmar Tue, 04 Apr 2023 04:38:55 +0000 China may be on a spy infrastructure-building spree in Myanmar and Cambodia, deftly leveraging these countries’ security and economic troubles to advance its geopolitical interests. This month, Economic Times reported that satellite imagery from US-based Maxar Technologies showed renewed construction activities on Myanmar’s Great Coco Island, including a freshly-lengthened 2,300-meter runway. The report also mentions […]]]> 735452 Free webinar: The Digital Revolution in the Global South Tue, 04 Apr 2023 01:50:21 +0000 Mobile broadband, Cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence are transforming the Global South. The International Monetary Fund wrote this year, “Digital technologies can increase the efficiency of the public and private sectors, expand financial inclusion, improve access to education, and open new markets by allowing companies to serve distant customers.” At the grassroots level of the economy, […]]]> 734563 UK’s real point in joining Asia-centric CPTPP Mon, 03 Apr 2023 20:04:48 +0000 Representatives of members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in March. Photo: Reuters / Ivan AlvaradoHere’s a prediction: In 10 or even 20 years’ time, no reputable economist or statistician will be able to work out convincingly what economic benefit the United Kingdom gained from joining the 11-country Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2023. Those 11 countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore […]]]> 735406 Micron probe by China seen as chip war retaliation Mon, 03 Apr 2023 19:34:54 +0000 A Chinese cybersecurity watchdog has launched an investigation into the products of Micron Technology, an American memory chip maker – timing the announcement of the probe to come right after Japan joined hands with the United States and the Netherlands to tighten export bans on chip-making tools to China. On Friday, the Japanese government unveiled […]]]> 735388 US cranking pressure on China in South China Sea Mon, 03 Apr 2023 15:17:06 +0000 MANILA – The US Navy has conducted its first major freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea in 2023 with the deployment of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) close to the China-occupied Paracel Islands. Back in November, the Pentagon deployed the US guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) to the contested […]]]> 735340