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Beijing signals support for ‘Marshal’ Kim and his supposedly reformist policies

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un with former chief of general staff of the Korean People's Army Ri Yong-Ho at a military parade in Pyongyang.  /Kyodo/Reuters

Special to By Willy Lam, While much of the world is scrambling to figure out the meaning of the latest power shifts in Pyongyang, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has signaled early — and staunch — support for Kim Jong-Un and his supposedly pro-reform policies. Kim, who is believed to be in [...]

July 25th, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

Mickey Mouse and miniskirts: N. Korea’s new young leader instructs nation in ‘global trends’

Mickey and Minnie Mouse have a chat as North Korea's Moranbong band performs in Pyongyang.  /AP/KCNA via Korea News Service

Special to By Lee Jong-Heon, North Korea’s youthful new ruler Kim Jong-Un has publicly called for the reclusive state to catch up with “global trends” in upgrading the country’s industries — a sign that the Swiss-educated leader may pursue certain reforms. Kim used the term “global trends” during recent public activities, according to [...]

July 19th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

There’s a word for Beijing’s new island dispute tactics with Tokyo: Hardball

A Japan Coast Guard vessel (bottom) monitors a Chinese fisheries patrol boat (top) near the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea in August 2011.

Special to By Willy Lam, Since territorial disputes erupted between China and Japan in the early 1970s over the Diaoyu islets (called the Senkakus in Japan), Beijing has stuck to late patriarch Deng Xiaoping’s famous dictum: “Leave the question of sovereignty for the next generation; let’s put the emphasis on joint [economic] development.” [...]

July 18th, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Japan,Life,NE Asia | Read More »

China economic dragon’s fire turns out to be hot air

A tricycle porter transports packs of tissue paper outside a wholesale market in Beijing, China on July 10.  /Alexander F. Yua/AP

Sol W. Sanders   It’s taken quite a long time but now even National Public Radio’s Beijing correspondent acknowledges Chinese statistics are a little more than dubious. It’s become an even more critical issue for more than a minority of us who have cast doubt on them for a long time. For there’s now general [...]

July 16th, 2012 | Posted in China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,NE Asia,Sol Sanders,Top Stories | Read More »

N. Korean documentary on Kim Jong-Un’s mother omits her revolutionary sin: She was born in Japan

An image of Ko Young-Hui is shown in a new North Korean documentary about Kim Jong-Un's late mother.

Special to By Lee Jong-Heon, A new propaganda film about the mother of North Korea’s youthful new ruler highlights Pyongyang’s dilemma over how to promote legitimacy of the family’s dynastic rule. The documentary film about Ko Yong-Hi was originally to be shown to the public on what would have been her 60th birthday [...]

July 12th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

With 150,000 ‘Arab Spring’-like incidents from Hong Kong to Xinjiang, are CCP’s days numbered?

Thousands of protesters crowd a street urging new Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying to step down.  /Reuters

Special to By Willy Lam, For years, analysts of domestic Chinese politics have been pondering this important question: With riots and protests increasing to more than 150,000 incidents a year, how close is China from an Arab-style mass uprising that could result in the destruction of the dictatorial Chinese Communist Party (CCP)? Even [...]

July 11th, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Life,NE Asia,Top Stories | Read More »

Clinton: Massive aid from Iran, China and Russia keeping Syria ‘afloat’

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media during a "Friends of Syria" press conference at the U.S. Embassy in Paris on July 6.  /UPI/David Silpa

Special to WASHINGTON — The United States has determined that international sanctions on Syria were not being enforced. Officials said Western and other countries were failing to honor U.S. and European Union sanctions on the regime of President Bashar Assad. They said the biggest challenge was penalizing China and Russia for continued and massive [...]

July 9th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,China,Exclusives,France,Iran,Mideast,NE Asia,Russia,Syria,Top Stories | Read More »

Power struggle gives rise to top Chinese generals, hawkish foreign-policy statements

China's President Hu Jintao, center, and Vice President Xi Jinping, right, at the National People's Congress on March 11 in Beijing.

Special to By Willy Lam, A ferocious power struggle among three of China’s most powerful figures — former President Jiang Zemin, current President Hu Jintao, and expected President Xi Jinping — has resulted in top generals of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) acquiring unprecedented power. The extraordinary clout of the top brass of [...]

July 5th, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,Life,NE Asia,Top Stories,World Links | Read More »

U.S. signs Asia ‘pivot’ pact with New Zealand despite ban on ships

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, right, and New Zealand Minister of Defense Jonathan Coleman on June 19 at the Pentagon.

Special to Compiled by Miles Yu, The United States last week signed a defense agreement with New Zealand as another piece of its Asia ‘pivot’ to counter the growing global influence of China by forging strategic ties with nations in the region. The move is a further indication of the importance the U.S. [...]

July 3rd, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Intel Brief,NE Asia,New Zealand,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

Israeli military buys cheap gunpowder from China, saves millions

Israel's military is said to have been procuring gunpowder from China since 2009.

Special to TEL AVIV — Israel, in another effort to cut costs, has begun purchasing gunpowder from China. Israeli industry sources said the Defense Ministry has been ordering gunpowder from China for Israeli ammunition. The sources said the procurement began around 2009 as a cost-cutting measure within the defense budget. “It’s the same quality, [...]

June 29th, 2012 | Posted in China,Exclusives,Israel,Mideast,NE Asia,Top Stories | Read More »

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