|Asia News Digest
London Connections to Kyrgyz Riots
June 20 (EIRNS)According to news reports, the deposed Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's son, Maksim Bakiyev, was entirely responsible for initiating recent ethnic riots in southern Kyrgyzstan that took reportedly 2,000 lives.
Over the years, under the tutelage of his father, Maksim Bakiyev became the most important controller of opium/heroin produced on the Kyrgyz side of the fertile Ferghana Valley, and the Afghan drugs that run through Kyrgyzstan into Russia. The drug-generated money power had allowed Maksim Bakiyev to link up with bankers and investors in the netherworld.
One such beneficiary of Maksim Bakiyev's drug money is a Latvian banker, Valerie Belakon, who is allegedly using Bakiyev's drug money to buy a British soccer club, Blackpool.
Sources point out that Maksim Bakiyev, who came over to Britain seeking asylum and has since been "arrested" by the British Border Forces, may have played himself into a British plan to separate the southern part, which will then be under control of London. Since the Ferghana Valley, and the southern part of Kyrgyzstan, in particular, produce a lot of drugs, Britain and George Soros had been looking longingly to gain control of this area. However, the violence in Osh, Jala-Abad, and elsewhere in southern Kyrgyzstan, could bring the well-entrenched Islamic terrorists, led by the British-controlled Hizb ut-Tahrir, to power in Bishkek in the forseeable future.
China's Future Generations at Stake in Economic Debate
June 24 (EIRNS)China's economic growth "faces tremendous challenges both at home and abroad," whatever the "unrealistically optimistic" views of some Western observers, who claim China will move ahead rapidly in the alleged "post-global economic crisis" situation, wrote Prof. Pang Zhongying of Beijing's Renmin University, in China Daily today. "Hundreds of millions of Chinese still work for low wages. They may have powered China's economic development, but they can hardly meet all their needs and prepare their next generation for a better future," wrote Pang, a longtime reader of EIR. "More than anyone else, it is they who deserve higher wages," and more and more workers in China are now demanding higher wages, he wrote. The government is aware that China's "irrational income distribution" is ever-widening the income gap between rich and poor, Pang wrote, and has intensified efforts to ensure that workers get more of the national income flow.
However, China faces two huge challenges: depletion of natural resources in the recent decades of rapid growth, and the crises in its two biggest external markets, the European Union and United States. China is in no situation to "outshine" the rest of the world economy, Pang wrote: "China, in fact, faces more severe challenges than the West, and is likely to do so in the near future."
During the recent period, much attention has been paid to strikes at Honda and elsewhere. Anti-China forces have been working themselves into euphoria over this as a sign of "burgeoning anti-government trade unionism." While there may be some elements in China playing such a game, the fact that these strikes have been permitted, indicates that the government may see these as a means for the Chinese workers to force wage increases from their employers, and thereby to improve the economic conditions of the workers in the factories.
Vietnam Increases Nuclear Program Fourfold
June 23 (EIRNS)The government of Vietnam has announced a major upgrade of its nuclear power program, increasing the number of planned reactors from 4 to 13 by the year 2030, and the planned output from 4,000 megawatts to 15-16,000 MW. Vietnam already had one of the most ambitious nuclear programs for a smaller, less developed country, with four reactors planned to be on line by 2022, the first two of which are almost certainly to be built and financed by Russia.
The new plan extends the timeframe of the development to 2030, and envisions a completely nuclear energy base for Vietnam in the future. According to the government website:
"The development of nuclear power is divided into three phases.
"The first phase (by 2015) aims at completing the approval of investment project, selecting location and contractors, and training the human resources for the construction of the first nuclear power plant. Mechanisms and policies on forming and boosting the engagement of domestic players in equipment and material provision, construction, installation, project management, supervision and quality control plant will also be issued.
"In the next five year stage, the first turbine of the Ninh Thuan Nuclear Power Plant 1 will be finished and put into operation by 2020. The second plant will also be built during this period.
"For the last phase until 2030, the next nuclear power plants will continue to be built, making nuclear power the country's main energy. During this period, Vietnam targets to master the technologies of designing nuclear power plants and to raise domestic enterprises share up to 30%-40% in each nuclear power project."
The reactors will be built in eight locations in the central provinces of Ninh Thuan, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Ha Tinh and Quang Ngai. Today the country's development centers around Hanoi in the North and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in the South. Bringing this concentration of advanced power to the central provinces will transform the development of the country and of Southeast Asia as a whole.
Vietnam had a shortage of 2 billion kilowatt-hours in the first five months of the year, according to the state electricity body, and forecast electricity demand growing at a 16% annual rate.
Vietnam will be the representative of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the G20 meeting this year, so this announcement, just before Prime Minister Dung takes off for Canada, can be considered the country's gift to the conference, which sorely needs this type of thinking.
Obama Delays Handing Over Operational Command to South Korea
June 27 (EIRNS)President Obama today held a series of bilateral meetings with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, in the context of the G20 summit. Prior to the meeting, Obama announced that the U.S. was delaying the turning over of operational control of U.S. forces in South Korea, scheduled to occur in 2012, until 2015. According to briefers at the summit, this move was in response to a request from South Korean authorities, and is undoubtedly meant as a signal to North Korea that the U.S. military is there to stay. Obama also used the opportunity to ratchet up the rhetoric against the North, saying that the destruction of South Korean ship Cheonan, for which North Korea is being blamed, would have "consequences."