East Asia

Will Indonesia's idea for an Asian peace treaty fly?

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa recently called specifically for a new "Indo-Pacific-wide treaty of friendship and co-operation". Photo: AFP

Everyone else in East Asia knows how to behave - with practised disdain for those around them. China hates Japan. Vietnam hates China. Everybody hates North Korea. North Korea hates everybody. Basically, we all know where we stand.

Thursday, 6 June, 2013, 2:10am

Pentagon chief Hagel to reassure East Asian allies on trip

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs the press at the Pentagon in Washington. Photo: AFP

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel will reassure allies in a trip to East Asia this week that the US intends to "follow through" on its promised strategic shift to the Pacific region, American officials said.

30 May 2013 - 1:36am

With drone plan, China seems to be learning America's unilateral ways

With drone plan, China seems to be learning America's unilateral ways

Talk about China's ambitions and excesses with mainland officials, scholars and students, and the phrase "just look at what the US does" surfaces with crushing inevitability.

26 Feb 2013 - 4:00am

Strategic mistrust a useful ally in Korean Peninsula

Park Geun-hye. Photo: AP

With new leaderships in place in China, Japan and South Korea, hopes are high about opportunities for better co-operation in East Asia. Expectations are particularly high for South Korea's Park Geun-hye, who will be inaugurated today as the first female head of state in northeast Asia.

25 Feb 2013 - 2:52am

The major power shift at play in East Asia must not end in war

Natsuo Yamaguchi (left), leader of the Komeito party from Japan, shakes hands with China's president-in-waiting Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on January 25, 2013. Photo: AFP

Whether East Asia's politicians and pundits like it or not, the region's international relations are more akin to 19th-century European balance-of-power politics than to the stable Europe of today. Witness East Asia's rising nationalism, territorial disputes, and lack of effective institutional mechanisms for security co-operation.

1 Feb 2013 - 3:02am

Lack of trust clouds strategies of China, Japan and the US in East Asia

Disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands.

The world watches in bewilderment as two of its largest economies inch ever closer to war. It's all the more puzzling given that the countries have become close trading partners in recent years and the arguments between them seem trivial.

Their economies are so interdependent that any confrontation - let alone a full-scale war - would surely bring ruin to all.

30 Jan 2013 - 9:15am

Japan's Shinzo Abe sending envoy to see South Korea's Park Geun-hye

Shinzo Abe. Photo: AP

Japan's incoming prime minister said yesterday he would send a special envoy to Seoul to meet South Korea's president-elect, in an early attempt to mend frayed ties.

Shinzo Abe will send a senior official from his Liberal Democratic Party to deliver a letter to Park Geun-hye.

22 Dec 2012 - 3:27am

South Koreans head to ballot box to elect new president

Moon Jae-in’s rival, Park Geun-hye, of the ruling Saenuri Party and the daughter of the military dictator General Park Chung-hee, spent her last day of campaigning at a rally in Busan, 420 kilometres south of the capital. Photo: Reuters

Just days after the return of the hawkish Shinzo Abe to power in Japan, South Koreans today head to the ballot box to elect their new president.

19 Dec 2012 - 4:23am

John Kerry's familiarity in Asia - a plus, or a minus?

John Kerry backed the congressional push behind China's landmark entry into the World Trade Organisation. Photo: AFP

The prospect of failed US presidential candidate John Kerry becoming the next US secretary of state throws up a number of intriguing questions for the East Asian region. One of the key ones is: will familiarity breed contempt?

18 Dec 2012 - 2:03am

Hong Kong men end moustache campaign for prostate cancer

Hong Kong rugby player Salom Yiu Kam-shing joined the campaign. Photo: SCMP

Hongkongers have defied a myth that East Asian men can't grow much facial hair - and all for a good cause, raising awareness of prostate cancer in a month-long campaign.

2 Dec 2012 - 3:28am 1 comment

Japan should rethink US ties and improve relations with China

Civic group members protest over the alleged rape of a local woman by two US servicemen in Okinawa. Photo: AFP

Changing times necessitate new thinking. Japanese who believe that their country's security alliance with the US has become a hindrance rather than a benefit certainly think so. An alleged rape by American servicemen in Okinawa, home to about half of the 47,000 US troops in the country, has amplified calls for a reshaping of relations.

23 Oct 2012 - 3:27am 3 comments

ADB cuts growth estimates, says Asia must boost service sector

Pedestrians stroll through Hong Kong’s Central business district... The Asian Development Bank has warned that Asia must boost its service sector and diversify its base to sustain domestic growth as external demand weakens. Photo: AFP

The Asian Development Bank cut most of its 2012 and 2013 growth estimates for developing Asia on Wednesday as a slump in global demand weighs on the region’s powerhouses China and India and on its export-dependent economies.

3 Oct 2012 - 11:51am

China will reshape East Asian politics

Chinese vice president Xi Jinping, right, and former Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa, left, meet with  the Hong Kong delegation to the National People's Congress in Beijing in this March 4, 2012 file photo. Photo: SCMP

When former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa came out to discuss the health of China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping, it served as a reminder that the 18th national congress of the Communist Party is drawing near.

5 Oct 2012 - 10:21am 1 comment

Heated rhetoric over disputed islands serves Asia poorly

Heated rhetoric over disputed islands serves Asia poorly

Tensions in Northeast Asia are rising sharply. Small islets - most unable to support human habitation - are the friction points. These are long-standing disputes, with the Senkaku/Diaoyu chain claimed by Japan and China, while the Dokdo/Takeshima islands are contested between South Korea and Japan.

23 Aug 2012 - 2:08pm

HK needs to embrace its role in region

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's decision to wade into the dangerous waters of regional diplomacy over the disputed Diaoyu Islands raises vital questions about the future of Hong Kong's place in the region.

Could it be that Leung is prepared to liberate Hong Kong from the twilight world of its post-handover role in East Asia? If so, it would not be before time.

31 Aug 2012 - 1:26pm