- See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/5684/shipbuilding-crisis-korea%E2%80%99s-status-strong-shipbuilding-power-shaken#sthash.xVFr5x4e.dpuf
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Indonesia has elected Jakarta governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as its new president. He joins the ranks of new Asian leaders such as Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of India and Shinzo Abe of Japan and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who with their nationalist yet outward looking growth-oriented agendas and rapid decision making are striving to redefine Asian power and identity. These countries and their new leadership could well put Asia into the driver’s seat. Not only do they represent more than one-third of the world’s population, they are also a group of fast growing economies.
A C-130 U.S. Air Force plane lands as Nigerien soldiers stand in formation during the Flintlock military exercise in Diffa, March 8, 2014 (Reuters / Joe Penney)
Both China and the US are trying to broaden and deepen their influence in Africa, with China dominating the continent economically, whereas the US is more pro-active militarily, Asia Times journalist Brendan O'Reilly told RT.
RT:What does the US hope to achieve with the upcoming summit?
Brendan O'Reilly: Essentially the US is trying to broaden and deepen its influence in Africa right now. The US has many interests in Africa, especially economic, and what we see a lot now is politics and military. Right now the US troops are in a broad swath of the African nations from Mali in the west all the way through to the Central African Republic, Ethiopia into Somalia, and there is a major US military base in Djibouti now, and since 2008 the US has established the US Africa Command to coordinate military activities in Africa.RT: What are the key factors that attract foreign investors to Africa?
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
Book Review: Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950 by Suzy Kim reviewed by Glyn Ford
27 July 2014 — Suzy Kim uses as the foundation of her new study a mountain of documents captured during the Korean War from the north of Inje County that straddled the 38th parallel prior to the war. This material has to date been barely explored by academics, although a decade ago Charles Armstrong did a similar labor of love on a wider canvas with his The North Korean Revolution 1945-50 in which he made the convincing case that the resilience of North Korea owed much to the fact that its revolution was, unlike those in much of Central and Eastern Europe, notimposed but indigenous, cut with the grain of Korean culture, history and community.
It was a revolution nonetheless. Here in a lucid and detailed analysis, Kim explores the three central elements of that process: land reform, literacy and elections, each of which was both transformatory and incredibly popular. Land reform took the land from the feudal landowners and distributed it evenly amongst the landless and poor peasants. The result was a 50% leap in output and productivity. The gains in literacy were even more striking. In 1944, 80% of Koreans had had no of schooling of any kind; by March 1948, half-way through the three year literacy campaign, 92% of peasants in the North had learnt to read and write; the number continued to creep up towards an unattainable 100%.
There were elections in both 1946 and 1947. While the North Korean Workers Party—the Communist Party—was by far the largest party with over 30% of those elected, it was far from the only party represented. In 1946, about 20% of those elected were split evenly between the anti-western nationalism/nativism of the Chondogyo Young Friends Party and the Democratic Party;and just shy of 50% were independents. In the People’s Assembly elections of 1947, the figures were 36% Workers Party, 13% Chondoists, 13% Democratic Party and 38% independents.
Simultaneously—in a break with the Confucian tradition of male seniority—there were mass mobilizations into not only the Party itself but also women and youth organizations that changed forever Korea’s patriarchal, feudal and deferential society. Women were brought out of the kitchen into the frontline. These organizations served as transmission belts to deliver the new thinking. The new social system—unlike that in the Soviet Union—was epitomized more by motherhood than brotherhood. This, like so much in Korea, had its origins in the Japanese occupation: Korean mothers were told “sons are not your own but are the Imperial Majesty’s sons.” Now their responsibility was to nation rather than Empire.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
In January 1907, The New York Times published “Defects and Needs of Our Banking System,” an essay that would have a significant impact on the financial world. Within the extended article, a German immigrant named Paul Warburg railed against the inherent vulnerability of a financial status quo that had forced Americans to rely heavily upon European banking systems, particularly that of England, to “take measures for the regulation of our own household.” Warburg also believed that “so long as it [the U.S. financial system] is not thoroughly reformed, it will prevent us from ever becoming the financial centre of the world.” Thus, for the sake of financial health and the future goals of the U.S., a rising power during the early twentieth century, Warburg argued for an entirely new banking institution. After the Panic of 1907, the Senate brought Warburg on as an economic reform consultant. Within fifteen years, the ideas expressed in his article turned into a concrete reality through the creation of the Federal Reserve.
More than a century later, in a year when periodicals are full of comparisons to the period before World War I, surprisingly few mentions are made of Paul Warburg, whose attitude towards global institutions is very much alive in today’s rising power, the People’s Republic of China.
Similar to how Warburg felt about the U.S. and its relationship with the global financial community at the turn of the century, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his colleagues seem to believe that current institutional arrangements are not ideal for China’s ambition to achieve superpower status. In response, over the past few years, Beijing has created and updated international organizations, bodies and forums with a fervor not seen since the Allies redesigned the global community in the mid-1940s.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
- See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/5591/economic-dependence-korean-economy-increasingly-subordinate-china#sthash.sMM2lcEG.dpuf
- See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/5585/increased-foreign-visitors-number-foreigners-visiting-korea-increased-203-last-month#sthash.bxQbD3no.dpuf
- See more at: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/5581/closing-wallets-korean-consumer-sentiment-index-55th-place-out-60-countries#sthash.PpLQxBFi.dpuf
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
The Extraordinary Story of the Komagata Maru: Commemorating the One Hundred Year Challenge to Canada’s Immigration Colour Bar
1. Gurdit Singh (front row, left with his son) challenged Canada’s exclusion laws by chartering the Komagata Maru in Hong Kong and bringing 376 of his compatriots to Vancouver. (Courtesy: Vancouver Public Library, 6231. Frank Leonard photograph)
John Price and Satwinder Bains
One hundred years ago, Gurdit Singh Sirhali chartered the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru and brought 376 Indian passengers to Canada in a direct challenge to Canada’s immigration colour bar.1 The ship’s forced departure from Vancouver harbour on July 23, 1914 ended an extraordinary two-month standoff between the passengers, determined to enter Canada, and a Canadian government determined to enforce its anti-Asian exclusion policies, come what may. The ship’s departure, however, was not the end of this saga—the passengers faced unimaginable hardships on the return voyage only to be met by the iron fist of British authorities upon their arrival in India.
The Komagata Maru story has tended to be inscribed in national narratives, both Canadian and Indian, but in this article we argue that the 1914 confrontation was a historical moment in which a heterogenous, diasporic movement for social justice became a wellspring for a transborder, anti-colonial upsurge. Entangled in the maw of virulent settler racism and the emerging British-American alliance for global white supremacy, the Komagata Maru saga would have profound repercussions that continue to be felt to this day.
A recent article in the Washington Post follows a Korean man and his Vietnamese mail-order bride and their journey to transnational holy matrimony. The couple depicted by the author is but one case in the thousands of international marriages in South Korea. The phenomenon of mail-order brides in South Korea and the issues that stem from it have in fact been developing for decades. Unfortunately, not all of these marriages have a fairy tale ending. As The Diplomat’s Tae-jun Kang has pointed out, some 69 percent of immigrant wives say they have experienced some form of abuse from their Korean husbands and international marriages frequently end in separation.