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  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The cancellation of a draft peace agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine government triggered renewed violence in the Philippine south and allegations that U.S. forces are involved in Philippine armed forces suppression activities. Both Manila and Washington deny the charges, though U.S. Special Operations Forces have been training the Philippine military in Mindanao since 2002. The U.S. has added new sanctions against Burma's junta and continues to criticize its political repression, while aid for the victims of Cyclone Nargis remains under the Burmese military's control. Ratification for ASEAN's new Charter by its member states has been achieved by eight of the 10 countries. The delays include concerns in the Indonesian and Philippine legislatures about Burma's detention of Aung San Suu Kyi as well as the junta's insistence that any ASEAN Human Rights Commission be toothless. The U.S. State Department has expressed concern over the Malaysian government's arrest of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on suspicious sodomy charges. Malaysian leaders responded angrily that the U.S. complaint constitutes interference in Kuala Lumpur's domestic politics and that Washington is not “the policeman of the world.”
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Burma, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Robert Sutter, Chin-Hao Huang
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Chinese relations with Southeast Asia were overshadowed for most of the quarter by Chinese leadership preoccupations with the 2008 Olympic Games and various crises involving toxic Chinese milk supplies, turmoil in U.S. and international financial markets, leadership uncertainty in North Korea, and the Russia-Georgia war. Although official Chinese media highlighted President Hu Jintao's meetings with Southeast Asian and other world leaders at the Beijing Olympics, he and other top leaders did not travel to Southeast Asia except for the foreign minister's attendance at the ASEAN meetings in Singapore in July. New troubles emerged with Vietnam, notably over oil exploration in the South China Sea. The recent pattern of Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean leaders meeting independent of ASEAN, despite their continued avowals of ASEAN's “leadership” in East Asian regional matters, paused when Japanese officials announced the postponement of a planned summit among the three northeast Asian powers in September on account of the resignation of Japan's prime minister.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Beijing, North Korea, Southeast Asia
  • Author: James J. Przystup
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The issue of contaminated frozen gyoza moved to the bilateral front burner during the quarter. In his meeting with President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the G8 summit at Lake Toya, Hokkaido and again during the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, Prime Minster Fukuda Yasuo emphasized the importance of making progress on the six-month old case. Hu promised to accelerate efforts to identify the source of the problem and in mid-September, Japanese media reported that Chinese authorities had detained nine suspects at the Tianyang factory. The commemoration of the end of World War II on Aug. 15 passed quietly with only three Cabinet ministers visiting the Yasukuni Shrine. Meanwhile, joint Japanese and Chinese public opinion polling data revealed markedly different perceptions on the state and future course of the bilateral relationship. In early September, Japan's Ministry of Defense released its Defense White Paper 2008, which again expressed concerns about China's military modernization and its lack of transparency. Later in the month, the Maritime Self-Defense Force sighted what was believed to be an unidentified submarine in Japanese territorial waters. Reacting to Japanese media speculation, China's Foreign Ministry denied that the submarine belonged to China's Navy.
  • Topic: Development, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Beijing
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 4, 2008: Japanese Supreme Court upholds lower court decision dismissing claims for compensation raised by wartime Chinese forced laborers in port of Niigata. The court, while acknowledging abuse occurred, cited expiration of statute of limitation. July 4, 2008: Taiwan National University Maritime Research ship intrudes into Japanese territorial waters in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Island