East Asia: Publications

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  • South Korea under Lee Myung-bak

    The 17th South Korean Presidential elections were concluded on December 19, 2007. The last serving President Roh Moo-hyun could not contest these elections as he had completed two terms in office. Roh Moo-hyun belonged to the Centrist Reformists Democratic Party, formerly called Millennium Democratic Party (MDP), or Saecheonnyeon Minju-dang, but changed its name to the present form on May 6, 2005. The MDP lost popularity when Roh was impeached in March 2004 by the National Assembly for illegal electioneering and incompetence.

    January 22, 2008

    Chinese Cyber War

    In 2007 Chinese hackers gained notoriety in the US after a series of cyber intrusions, including one involving Pentagon systems. Though China denies involvement and the US is reluctant to make it public, the reason for suspecting China stems from the history of Chinese hacking since 2001, when a Chinese hacker community, Honker Union, declared cyber war on US government and business. Since then, there has been a series of Chinese hacking operations.

    January 22, 2008

    The intent behind the PLA’s ‘Joint-Military Exercises’

    A China Daily news item on November 22, 2007 states that both China and India will hold their first joint-army exercise in Yunan province of Southwest China in December. The piece titled “China-India Plan Joint Military Exercise” highlights the pledge of both the Chinese and Indian Prime Minister’s intent to push the Sino-Indian strategic partnership to a “new level”. Given the political value and media attention, the nature of this forthcoming exercise is seen as a “need” to fortify a sense of confidence between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

    November 30, 2007

    White Paper on China’s Political Party System

    A month after the 17th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was convened in mid-October, 2007, the Information Office of the State Council published a White Paper titled China’s Political Party System on 15 November. Comprising seven chapters and one appendix, the publication of the White Paper is perhaps reflective of the deliberations within the higher echelons of the Chinese leadership on initiating political reform.

    November 23, 2007

    Is the time for rapprochement with North Korea Coming?

    As the time for North Korea’s “disablement” of its nuclear facilities draws closer, the six- party nations, especially the United States and South Korea, have stepped up their efforts to ensure the process reaches its desired outcome. The sixth-round of the six-party talks successfully reached a ‘Second-Phased Action’ on October 3, 2007 outlining a road map for the disablement of North Korea’s nuclear programme including the 5-megawatt electric reactor, the fuel fabrication plant and the radiochemical laboratory in Yongbyon by the end of the year.

    November 22, 2007

    Modernisation of Chinese Special Forces

    Tension has subsided across the Taiwan Strait in recent years. China has adopted a “wait and see” approach and has chosen to focus more on economic growth, scientific development, and securing energy supplies, while Taiwan has been content with the status quo up until recently. Further, trade links between Taiwan and the Mainland are expanding rapidly and there have even been discussions about increasing air traffic in order to promote stronger business ties.

    November 06, 2007

    The Unfolding Crisis in Myanmar

    Myanmar has been in the eye of the storm in recent months. In August, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), as the Myanmarese military regime led by Than Shwe is known, arbitrarily increased the fuel prices from US $1.18 to $1.96 per gallon. This sudden decision caught the country's impoverished people by surprise, who subsequently began a massive non-violent protest. Similar mass protests had taken place in 1988 against the military regime's removal of bank notes from circulation resulting in loss of savings for the common people.

    October 19, 2007

    The 17th Congress of the Communist Party of China

    The Communist Party of China (CPC) will convene its 17th National Congress from October 15. The "highest decision-making body" of the CPC, the party congress is mandated to convene every five years. The 17th Party Congress assumes importance as its pronouncements and anticipated leadership shuffles would indicate the direction of state policy in the coming years. Reports in the state controlled media have referred to the 17th Party Congress 'electing' a fresh CPC Central Committee as well as a Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

    October 15, 2007

    China's Posture on the Indo-US nuclear Deal

    Will China veto the India-specific waiver at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)? While various news sources have recently reported that China will not actively oppose the Indo-US deal at the NSG, its approach to the issue so far has generated doubts and debate.

    October 10, 2007

    Hizb ut-Tahrir's Jakarta Conference

    The Caliphate Conference of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT) in Jakarta on August 12, 2007 brought together its global leadership from more than twenty countries. It reemphasized the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate and uniformity in governance in Muslim-majority countries of the world. The conference, which was attended by almost 100,000 supporters and sympathisers, is indicative of the increasing influence of the HuT in Southeast Asia. Another remarkable aspect of the conference was the sizeable representation of women among those who attended it.

    August 18, 2007

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