US President Donald Trump to visit Asia from Nov 3 to 14

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump will travel to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Hawaii between Nov 3 and 14, the White House said on Monday (Oct 16), amid rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

Trump will “call on the international community to join together in maximising pressure on North Korea”, the White House said in a statement, and will meet family members of Japanese citizens who have been abducted by North Korea. Continue reading “US President Donald Trump to visit Asia from Nov 3 to 14”


Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military

NBC News

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.

Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve. Continue reading “Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military”

Vietnam is worried that Trump’s weakness is making China strong

Citizens of Vietnam have developed an unusual national pastime: Across the country and on social networks, people trade suspicions that their government is secretly giving in to an aggressive China. And lately, there has been plenty of fuel for their rumours.

Some blame a visibly diminished US presence for giving Beijing an opportunity to act behind the scenes. Many blame officials in Hanoi for putting economic cooperation or alleged communist solidarity above questions of national pride. Last month, when a valuable project overseen by the Spanish company Repsol was suspended without explanation, both theories abounded. Continue reading “Vietnam is worried that Trump’s weakness is making China strong”

World reacts to Trump’s new strategy on Afghan war

Al Jazeera, Aug. 22, 2017

India, UK and NATO express support for US president’s policy, but Pakistan, China and Russia offer little enthusiasm.

Donald Trump has committed the US to an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan [Reuters]

Politicians from across the world have reacted to US President Donald Trump’s new strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

Trump on Monday committed the United States to an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan and signalled he would send more troops there.

He insisted that the Afghan government, Pakistan, India and NATO allies step up their commitment to resolving the 16-year conflict. Continue reading “World reacts to Trump’s new strategy on Afghan war”

US President Trump to be in Vietnam for regional summit


Updated : 04/21/2017 07:46 GMT + 7

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump will attend three summits in Asia in November, one of which will be hosted by the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang, Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday after a meeting with ASEAN secretary general Le Luong Minh.

President Trump will arrive in Da Nang for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Reuters quoted Pence as saying during a visit to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday. Continue reading “US President Trump to be in Vietnam for regional summit”

The Enduring Darkness of International Women’s Day


Women have gotten screwed for millennia, and that’s not a legacy that can be shaken off in a few short decades.

By Rosa Brooks March 8, 2017

The Enduring Darkness of International Women’s Day

About a week before the election that swept Donald Trump into the White House, I was sitting at home with my two girls, listening with half an ear to their after-school chatter. “Michael is so mean,” declared my seventh-grader, showing her phone to her sister. “He sent my friend Hannah” — not her real name — “a text with bad words in it.”

“Is that a screenshot? May I see?” I asked. I was curious to know what counted as a “bad word” to a 12-year-old girl. Butthead? Poop brain?

I was way off. Michael had called my daughter’s friend — also 12 — a “cunt” and a “whore.” He asserted that she “wanted dick” and accused her of giving blow jobs to another boy in the class.

Whatever I’d been expecting, it wasn’t this sexualized vitriol — not from a nice middle-class boy at a nice middle-class school. Continue reading “The Enduring Darkness of International Women’s Day”

Welcome to the Post-Human Rights World


Welcome to the Post-Human Rights World

Less than two months in, President Donald Trump is already shaping up as a disaster for human rights. From his immigration ban to his support for torture, Trump has jettisoned what has long been, in theory if not always in practice, a bipartisan American commitment: the promotion of democratic values and human rights abroad. Continue reading “Welcome to the Post-Human Rights World”

Don’t Believe the New Trump

Don’t Believe the New Trump

Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday night was the first truly presidential speech he has ever given and therefore the best — far superior to his egomaniacal “I alone can fix it” Republican National Convention acceptance speech or his dark and divisive “American carnage” inaugural address. His tribute to fallen Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, delivered while his widow sobbed in the balcony, was a genuinely moving moment, even if earlier in the day he refused to accept any personal responsibility for ordering the raid in which Owens died. For once he did not vilify the media or his opponents. Continue reading “Don’t Believe the New Trump”

Merkel ally calls for Europe to retaliate if Trump imposes trade tariffs

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Volker Kauder (L), 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Volker Kauder (L),  Credit: Steffi Loos/Getty Images

Europe should impose punitive tariffs on imports from the United States if President Donald Trump acts to shield U.S. industries from foreign competitors, a senior ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a newspaper interview.

Trump has already formally withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, distancing America from its Asian allies, and vowed to renegotiate the U.S. free-trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

The tycoon-turned-president has also threatened German carmakers with a border tax of 35 percent on vehicles imported into the U.S. market, saying such a levy would help create more jobs on American soil.

Continue reading “Merkel ally calls for Europe to retaliate if Trump imposes trade tariffs”

China hits back at Donald Trump’s ‘champion of currency manipulation’ jibe

US president risks ratcheting up tensions with latest currency claims and repetition of desire for nuclear supremacy

Donald Trump (left) and Xi Jinping
Strained relations between Donald Trump (left) and Xi Jinping appeared to have settled after their phone call a fortnight ago. Photograph: EPA

Beijing has hit back at Donald Trump after the US president risked reigniting a simmering feud with China by accusing it of being the “grand champion” of currency manipulation.

After months of turbulence and uncertainty between the world’s two biggest economies, relations appeared to settle two weeks ago after the US president and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, held their first phone conversation since the billionaire’s inauguration.

However, in an interview with Reuters on Thursday that also saw Trump reiterate his desire for American nuclear supremacy, the US president, who has attacked China over trade, Taiwan, North Korea and the South China Sea, threatened to undermine the tentative rapprochement with a fresh verbal assault.

Vietnam Is Getting Closer To Its Rival China Because Neither Side Trusts Trump

Ralph Jennings, Contributor
I cover under-reported stories from Taiwan and Asia.

Less than a year ago Vietnam was counting on U.S. support in building up a defense against China. Vietnam and China have clashed over land for centuries. Now the Asian neighbors bitterly dispute much of the sea closest to their shores, with China taking more control as the world’s No. 2 economy and No. 3 military power. U.S. ex-president Barack Obama, probably hoping to contain China, lifted a decades-old ban on arms sales to Vietnam last year and from 2014 to 2016 his government spent $46 million on upgrading Vietnam’s military. Continue reading “Vietnam Is Getting Closer To Its Rival China Because Neither Side Trusts Trump”

A Zen Master’s Advice On Coping With Trump

huffingtonpost_For HuffPost’s #LoveTakesAction series, we’re telling stories of how people are standing up to hate and supporting those most threatened. What will you stand up for? Tell us with #LoveTakesAction.

What can Zen Buddhism teach us about the art of effective activism in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency?

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, who has been a social and environmental activist for more than 40 years, has said the most important thing for those feeling a sense of despair is to remember that meeting anger with more anger only makes matters worse.

The 90-year-old Vietnamese monk, who is considered to be one of the world’s leading spiritual teachers, is known for creating the idea of Engaged Buddhism, a method of linking mindfulness with social action.

His essential teaching on activism is that mindfulness gives people the ability to find peace in themselves so that their actions come from a place of compassion.

“Mindfulness must be engaged,” Hanh writes in his new book At Home in the World. “Once we see that something needs to be done, we must take action. Seeing and action go together. Otherwise, what is the point in seeing?”

“Nonviolence is not a set of techniques that you can learn with your intellect,” he goes on to say. “Nonviolent action arises from the compassion, lucidity and understanding you have within.”

Drawing from his own experience in seeking an end to the Vietnam War, Hanh writes that activists must learn to look after themselves if they are to be effective:

[I]f we don’t maintain a balance between our work and the nourishment we need, we won’t be very successful. The practice of walking meditation, mindful breathing, allowing our body and mind to rest, and getting in touch with the refreshing and healing elements inside and around us is crucial for our survival.

Thich Nhat Hanh.
Continue reading at huffingtonpost

Trump Responds to North Korean Missile Launch With Uncharacteristic Restraint

On Sunday in Seoul, South Korea, people watched a news broadcast on the North Korean missile test. President Trump had a decidedly muted response. Credit Kim Hee-Chul/European Pressphoto Agency

WASHINGTON — After North Korea threatened on New Year’s Day to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, Donald J. Trump, then president-elect, reacted with characteristic swagger. He vowed to stop the North from developing a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States. “It won’t happen!” he wrote on Twitter.

But six weeks later, after North Korea defiantly launched a missile into the sea, Mr. Trump, now president, reacted with surprising restraint. Appearing before cameras late at night on Saturday in Florida with his golfing guest, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Mr. Trump read a statement of just 23 words that pledged American support for Tokyo without even mentioning North Korea.

Continue reading on New York  Times

In Letter to China, Trump Says He Wants ‘Constructive Relationship’

President Xi Jinping of China in Lima, Peru, last year. The fact that President Trump and Mr. Xi have not talked since Mr. Trump took office in January has drawn increasing scrutiny. Credit Cris Bouroncle/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HONG KONG — President Trump has sent a letter to his Chinese counterpart saying he looked forward to developing a “constructive relationship” with Beijing, the latest in a series of conciliatory signals by the new administration after months of heated rhetoric aimed at America’s largest trading partner.

The letter, dated Wednesday, also thanked China’s president, Xi Jinping, for a message he sent congratulating Mr. Trump on his inauguration and conveyed wishes to the Chinese people for the Lunar New Year, the White House said in a two-sentence statement.

It is unclear whether the letter was meant as a substitute for an anticipated phone conversation between the two leaders or as an ice-breaking prelude to such a call. Before his inauguration, Mr. Trump and his cabinet appointees made comments and took actions that alarmed Beijing and pointed to rocky ties between the world’s two biggest economies.

Since his inauguration, Mr. Trump has spoken by phone with about 20 foreign leaders. Usually highly scripted affairs, many of those calls have been anything but. The president’s conversation last month with Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister of Australia, turned contentious when Mr. Turnbull urged Mr. Trump to honor an agreement made under President Barack Obama to accept 1,250 refugees from an offshore detention center.

Continue reading on  New York Times

But arguably no bilateral relationship is more important than the one between Beijing and Washington, and the fact that Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi have not talked since Mr. Trump took office in January has drawn increasing scrutiny.