See More on Facebook

Analysis, Opinion

Editorial round-up from around the region

A round-up of the most important and relevant editorials from ANN partners.


Written by

Updated: +00

It has been an interesting two weeks in Asia, one that might shape the future of the continent for the foreseeable future. We take a look at several editorials from our partners to offer a perspective on these events.

Japan 

Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe visited US President Donald Trump in Florida over the past week to push his country’s trade agenda and to seek reassurances about Trump’s planned negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Abe has been experiencing a drop in poll numbers back home and was looking towards the meeting to shore up his sagging prospects.

An editorial in the Yomiuri Shimbun had this to say on trade:

The problem is that the two countries differ in their expectations about where the trade talks under the new framework should be directed.

Abe encouraged the United States to return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, saying the TPP is “best for both Japan and the United States.”

Trump emphasized his intention to not return to the TPP unless it is renegotiated under terms very advantageous to the United States, saying, “I would much prefer a bilateral deal.”

The reason why the United States is sticking to bilateral negotiations must be that it thinks it will be easier to obtain results, such as increased imports of specific items and restraints on exports by its trading partners.

Korea 

Korea (both of them) have been making all the headlines recently, though this time for the right reasons. Both sides have taken steps to de-escalate tensions on the peninsula, starting with a rapprochement at the winter Olympics.  Since then high-level meetings have been conducted by diplomats from both countries with South Korea sending a team to meet Kim Jong-un in the north. A summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim will take place later this week.

The north has prefaced the talks by saying it will halt its nuclear and missile tests. An editorial in the Korean Herald takes a closer look:

True, it is a good sign that the North took what should be one of the first steps toward denuclearization on its own ahead of the summit talks with Moon and Trump.

The latest development, however, should not give unguarded optimism. Most of all, neither Kim nor the party meeting report touched on denuclearization, which should include verification and dismantlement of existing nuclear stockpiles and related facilities.

Moreover, Kim made it clear that one reason he was putting a moratorium on nuclear and ICBM tests was because his country has already completed the capability to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile and to develop delivery and strike means.

India and Pakistan 

More conflict in Kashmir as India and Pakistan again clash. An editorial in the Statesman questions the futility of it all:

For even the most gung-ho military and political leaders will privately admit that despite boasts of breaking the back of militancy, not even stray rays of light are discernible at the end of the tunnel.

The aim of this comment is not to apportion blame or point accusing fingers ~ for the separatist leaders and the sponsors/mentors of violence, many operating from the western side of the Line of Control, are as much responsible for gunfire/stone-pelting doing the talking, as are the security forces for discarding drills, operating procedures etc. However both the democratic leadership and the people at large have to ask themselves if this level of bloodletting is acceptable.

Thailand

Elections are likely delayed again. This is at least the fifth time the junta has pushed back on its election promises, falling back on the argument that it was following its vague, poorly-defined roadmap. What is not being reported as much as the first days after the coup is the systematic degrading of rights and due process under the military government.

An editorial in the Nation newspaper takes a look at the junta’s silence on its rights abuse:

What must be made clear at the outset is that many of the laws enacted by the junta-led government are unjust because they limit civil rights. The United States took note that many junta decrees enacted following the 2014 coup to restrain warring ideologues remained in effect in 2017, long after hostilities had ended.

Order No 3/2015, for example, replaced martial law in March of that year but gave the government sweeping powers to curb “acts deemed harmful to national peace and stability”.

The junta defines “national peace and stability” as it wishes. It’s a catchall phrase used to justify the detention of citizens even when there is no legal merit for doing so.

Philippines 

The drug war continues in the Philippines. Many had hope that new police chief Oscar Albayalde would temper the situation. However, a day after he was sworn in, 14 suspected drug smugglers were killed for ‘resisting arrest.’More of the same or just a carryover from the old administration? It remains to be seen.

An editorial in the Daily Inquirer takes a look:

Would the much-admired Albayalde chart a different path? Would he stand up for vigorous law enforcement that, at the same time, respects and upholds the basic constitutional rights of Filipino citizens?

Perhaps it’s too early to tell, but the shock and awe of his early days in office do not serve to inspire much confidence. An EJK-weary nation desperately hopes that he will prove such fears wrong.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Analysis, Opinion

China releases a white paper detailing trade war stance

White paper warns US actions risk global economic woes. China published a white paper on Sino-US trade frictions on Monday, defending the legitimacy of its positions on trade and innovation practices while accusing the United States of trade bullying and intimidation. The document was released as a new round of tariff hikes between the two sides took effect amid growing concern over undermining global growth. On Monday, new US levies on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods came into force, followed by Beijing’s new tariffs on about $60 billion worth of US imports. It showed that Sino-US tariff tensions that had grown for the past several months had hit a new high point, observers said. On the same day, China released the white paper — The Facts and China’s Position on China-US Trade Friction — which aims to clarify facts about the bilateral economic and trad


By China Daily
September 26, 2018

Analysis, Opinion

Swift assistance needed to rehabilitate Hokkaido’s quake-stricken industries

To realize Hokkaido’s post-quake rehabilitation, it is indispensable to rebuild its industries. A half month has passed since the Hokkaido earthquake, which registered the highest level on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7. A power blackout that spread to all parts of the prefecture has been resolved. The No. 1 unit at the Tomato-Atsuma thermal power plant — a facility that plays a central role in the supply of electricity there — has been brought back on line. The government has withdrawn its request for power-saving, and neon lighting has returned to flourishing areas in Sapporo. However, scars from the earthquake have not yet healed. Even if the amount of direct damage, including that caused to roads, rivers and forest land, is calculated alone, the figure exceeds ¥150 billion. There are still many disaster victims in evacuation centers. T


By The Japan News
September 25, 2018

Analysis, Opinion

Maldives strongman Abdulla Yameen in shock election defeat

The Maldivian election was watched closely as an indicator of China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region. Maldives strongman Abdulla Yameen’s hopes for a second presidential term were dashed on September 24 with opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih defeating him in the country’s elections. After a months-long sweeping crackdown on the opposition and a brief state of emergency imposed by the autocratic Yameen, the election on September 23 was preceded by a bitter campaign during which opposition leaders frequently accused the ruling regime of rights abuses and oppression. Several independent news websites reported that after the counting of a majority of the votes, Solih had won more than 58 per cent of the votes to 41 per cent for Yameen. Hours after the emergence of the informal results, Yameen conceded defeat to Solih during a televised news conference, saying: “Mal


By Lamat R Hasan
September 25, 2018

Analysis, Opinion

Moon, Trump discuss ‘corresponding measures’ for NK denucelarization

South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in New York on Sunday for a bilateral summit with US President Donald Trump that is partly aimed at brokering a second US-North Korea summit. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump on Monday discussed possible ways to reward North Korea for its denuclearization measures that will apparently include a second US-North Korea summit. “The leaders agreed to continue communicating closely about corresponding measures,” said Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. In their bilateral summit held in New York, the leaders of South K


By The Korea Herald
September 25, 2018

Analysis, Opinion

Thai seafood giant to address slavery issues at UN

Thailand’s progress in promoting human rights in the fishing industry will be addressed in a panel session on modern slavery and human trafficking at the United Nations General Assembly by seafood giants Thai Union. Darian McBain, global director of sustainability for the Thai Union Group, will address the panel on the topic of “Stepping up Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking”. “Thailand has made a number of advances on human rights, which should be commended, but there is more work to be done and I believe Thailand has the opportunity b


By The Nation (Thailand)
September 24, 2018

Analysis, Opinion

India launches world’s biggest healthcare programme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched India’s ambitious healthcare program on Sunday. Deemed the “world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme”, the scheme will cover half a billion people through its network of hospitals and support services. Speaking at the event, the PM said that the number of beneficiaries is equivalent to the total population of the United States, Canada and Mexico or the entire European Union. “This is a major step taken to fulfil the vision of providing better healthcare facilities to the poorest of the poor and to those standing last in the queue,” the PM said. Following the launch, the PM informed the gathering that the scheme covers diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, kidney and liver problems, diabetes and over 1300 various ailments. “The treatment of the diseases can not only be done in government hospitals but also private hospitals,” said


By Cod Satrusayang
September 24, 2018