Tensions Between China and India May Soon Rise as Trump Approves Historic Tibet Act | Asia-Pacific Research

29-12-20 04:21:00,

US President Donald Trump signed into law on Sunday the historic Tibet bill. US Congress had passed this bill on December 21. The Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA), which supports Tibet in key areas, even includes possible sanctions against Chinese authorities should they try to appoint the next Dalai Lama themselves and calls for building an international coalition to ensure such appointment is only carried out by the Tibetan Buddhist community. The bill has bipartisan support and demands Beijing allow Washington to set up a consulate in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Finally, it has safety provisions regarding the Tibetan environment calling for greater international cooperation to monitor this issue besides providing funds.

The Act also allocates $6 million for Tibetans living in India and 3 million for Tibetan governance, as well as $575,000 for scholar exchange programs, $675,000 for scholarships, and $1 million every year for the Special US Coordinator on Tibet. The Act also extends to Taiwan (another hot topic in the region), supporting its participation in United Nations bodies.

China sees such move as interference in its internal affairs and has responded by announcing it could start imposing visa bans against US officials.

In 1995, the Chinese government arrested Gedhun Choekyi Nyima (aged 6 then) who was identified by the Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of the Panchen Lama who is the second most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism after the Dalai Lama himself. Gedhun Choekyi Nyima remains detained by Beijing, residing along with his family in an undisclosed location since 1995. In light of this incident, there are concerns over the choice of the next Dalai Lama. The current one, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is now 85 years old. From a Chinese perspective, Tibet is a domestic issue and the current 14th Dalai Lama (exiled in India) is a separatist. The Dalai Lama, besides being a spiritual leader for Tibetan Buddhists, is the Head of state of the Central Tibetan Administration in exile based in Dharamshala, India.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin warned last week after Congress passed the bill, that such “meddling in China’s internal affairs” could harm “cooperation and bilateral relations” between Washington and Beijing. Lobsang Sangay (president of the Central Tibetan Administration), stated that the Act sends a “powerful message” of “justice and hope” for Tibetans.

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Tensions Grow in Bolivia as Arce’s Inauguration Day Approaches – Global Research

05-11-20 03:11:00,

Arce’s victory was not enough to overcome the effects of the coup in Bolivia. Currently, the country is strongly threatened by the confluence of the anti-democratic interests of various political groups, paramilitaries and religious fundamentalists who seek to prevent the inauguration of the new government, scheduled for November 8. Institutionally, there is no doubt about the validity of Arce’s victory, which has already been confirmed by the Bolivian Electoral Court, but even so, several groups continue to question the procedure. Day after day, new allegations of fraud and all sorts of accusations arise, even without any material evidence.

As expected, the core of criticism against the electoral process comes from the city of Santa Cruz, a fortress of the Bolivian far right and where the articulations that led to the overthrow of Evo Morales originated last year. In Santa Cruz, the demonstrations have already started, and the agenda is just one: that the elections be annulled. With this goal, the demonstrators have hardened their speech and called on the Bolivian Armed Forces to intervene.

On the evening of November 2, at a meeting, the Cruceñista Youth Union (UJC) – a Santa Cruz-based far-right paramilitary group – decided to completely ignore the election results, demanding a “citizen, military and police audit” of the current Bolivian electoral situation. UJC is one of the most violent political groups in Latin America, having carried out beatings and murders during the protests against Evo Morales last year. In addition to calling on the military to “put order in the country”, UJC militants are blocking roads and various strategic locations in the country with the aim of causing chaos and instability – in short, the strategy is to generate social disorder to justify the necessity of military intervention – which will seem to be the only possible way out.

However, now the problem goes beyond UJC: some retired military personnel have recently come together to form active political groups, characterized by common agendas with the UJC, such as policy of alignment with the US, economic liberalism and racism against indigenous people. These military nuclei currently ask Añez to refuse to pass the position to Arce. Although Arce’s victory was recognized, Añez and her ministers made no public response to repudiate the requests they have been receiving from extremist groups,

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As Cold War tensions escalate, what are governments trying to hide?

18-07-20 11:59:00,

The new Cold War launched by the West against China and Russia is escalating by the day. In a single week, the Kremlin has been unmasked trying to discover the secrets of Britain’s pursuit of a vaccine against coronavirus and revelations are promised about covert Russian interference in British politics. Boris Johnson made a U-turn on Huawei, announcing that it is to be kicked out of participation in the 5G network because it poses a threat to British security, though a curiously slow-burning one since they will only be evicted over seven years.

The US may put the widely used Chinese video app TikTok on a blacklist that would prevent Americans from using it. The administration is considering using the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act in order to penalise TikTok as “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to US security. President Trump says he is considering banning the app in response to the way China handled the coronavirus epidemic.

This is a clue to the prime motive for Trump to ramp up the Cold War against China, which is his determination to win a second term in the White House by diverting voters’ attention from his catastrophic handling of the pandemic. “Don’t defend Trump – attack China,” is the advice of a leaked 57-page memo circulated among Republican Senatorial candidates in April. It suggested that Republican politicians should blame China for starting the epidemic by allowing the virus to escape from a laboratory in Wuhan, lying about it and hoarding medical equipment needed to treat the sick.

A striking feature of the US and British diplomatic offensive against China is how little criticism or even discussion it has provoked in any quarter in the US and Britain, even from those whose normal knee-jerk reaction is to denounce anything said or done by Trump or Johnson. This may be because these critics are genuinely horrified by undoubted Chinese oppression of the Uighurs, proposed imposition of dictatorial rule in Hong Kong, and assertions of military power in the South China Sea and on the Chinese-Indian frontier.

As during the original Cold War in the late 1940s and 1950s, critics can be conveniently dismissed as Communist sympathisers or dupes. Unsurprisingly, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is responding to the confrontation with China by demanding that the US should take an even tougher stance towards Beijing,

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Hot and Cold Tensions, What Iran and the US Offer Their Allies: Tehran’s Multiple Messages – Global Research

24-09-19 06:39:00,

The alternately hot and cold  tension between the US and Iran is evolving on the Middle Eastern stage where Tehran is hitting its enemies (on its own and with the help of its allies) without causing the death of a single US person so far. It is targeting strategic objectives in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf in response to the US unilateral sanctions that followed US withdrawal from the nuclear deal known as JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). Iran aims to send multiple messages across borders to Saudi Arabia above all, and to the United States of America. Tehran is selecting, from its bank of objectives, specific targets whereby it is gradually increasing the damage and maximising the impact on its enemies.

The latest Houthi attack against Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities required months of preparation due to its multi-purpose objectives. According to a well-informed source, “Iran has been testing – via the Houthis in Yemen – the US and Saudi Arabia’s weak defensive systems to find a hole since May this year when an Aramco facility was hit for the first time. The Houthis sent many drones to different parts of the country over the past five months. This was tactical reconnaissance to test radar capabilities and the safest route for hitting crude oil exports and forcing the end of the war in Yemen. Russia is now advertising the advantages of its S-400 missile over the US Patriot missile interception system, which showed itself useless in this attack; Putin’s suggestion that the Saudis purchase the Russian system elicited chuckles from Rouhani and Zarif in Ankara.

The attack on Saudi oil sent multiple messages: it showed the strength of Iran’s partners in the Middle East, ready to offer a plausible deniability by Iran when needed. It revealed a stage for Iran to hit its enemies. It was a testing ground for new and impressive military capabilities. It delivered the message that Iran’s allies in Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen have the power to impose their own rules of engagement and undermine their enemies’ deterrence. It told the world that Iran’s oil must be allowed to be sold on the international market, and US sanctions lifted, or else crude oil exports will suffer considerably. It confirmed that Iran has the means to push the price of oil and insurance on tankers sky-high.

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As Tensions Rise, UK Criticised for Arming Both India and Pakistan – Global Research

28-02-19 02:12:00,

The UK has exported weapons to both India and Pakistan

After the Indian military bombed Pakistani territory last night, Pakistan promised to respond and the UK has been criticised for arming both sides.

The Indian Air Force claimed to have targetted a training camp of the militant Jaish-e-Mohammed group in Pakistan.

Pakistan said the bombs fell on an empty area but said it would respond “at the time and place of its choosing”.

The Indian and Pakistani governments have been hostile to each other for decades, mainly over the disputed region of Kashmir. Over 850,000 people have been killed in clashes between the two countries.

Both sides of the conflict, although particularly India, have been armed by arms companies based in the UK with exports approved by the UK government.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:

“For years now, the UK has armed both India and Pakistan. This has meant ignoring the tensions and dangers, and putting arms sales ahead of peace-building and human rights.

“These arms sales have only added to the volatility of the situation, when what is needed is diplomacy and dialogue. The Government must put the need for peace and disarmament before the interests of the arms companies.”

Both countries have nuclear weapons and the UK government and arms companies have been complicit in India’s development of these weapons.

When it was revealed that India was upgrading Jaguar aircraft to fire nuclear weapons, the UK refused to halt the sale of UK-built components that were being used to keep the aircraft airborne and could be used to build the Jaguar delivery systems.


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Joe Lo is a freelance journalist and reporter for Left Foot Forward.

Featured image is from Left Foot Forward

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

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