North Korea’s Kim rattles the bars of his cage

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs May 7, 2016 A good rule of thumb is to always be deeply suspicious of optimistic projections for the future of North Korea. There have been some rose-tinted forecasts wafting from Pyongyang this week as the Workers’ Party

Party dissent in China as time for a new mandate for Xi nears

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs March 26, 2016 China’s leader Xi Jinping is facing serious criticism from within the ruling Communist Party as the time approaches when he must be reconfirmed as party boss and the country’s president. Since being selected by the

BRICS turning to rubble

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs March 18, 2016 The leadership chaos in Brazil and South Africa is a timely reminder for emerging economies that unless they also press ahead with political, administrative, judicial and social reform they are doomed. The presidents of both

Matters of Facts, and Opinions, this week

Reports: CRAIG VENTER: Biotech’s biggest entrepreneur on a quest to delay ageing. By Roger Highfield Craig Venter wants HLI to create the world’s most important database for interpreting the genetic code, so he can make healthcare more proactive, preventative and predictive. Such data

China’s island building in defence of nuclear missile submarines

“China is clearly militarizing the South China Sea, and you’d have to believe in the flat Earth to think otherwise” —  Adm. Harry Harris JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs February 26, 2016 It has been a long and expensive quest, but Beijing has now

Taiwan set to complete the transition to democracy

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs January 16, 2016 (Updated) Taiwan has surged over the hump of its 35-year voyage from a military-ruled, one-party state to one of the most successful and vibrant democracies in Asia. Tsai Ing-wen, 59, leader of the opposition Democratic Progressive

China’s soil as poisonous as its air and water

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs December 19, 2015 I was wrong when I said in last week’s column there is little reliable information available about the extent of soil pollution in China. Well, half wrong. In my hunt for facts I foolishly neglected to

Washington, courts defy Beijing imperialism

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs  October, 2015 At long last, the Beijing regime has this week been dealt two significant set-backs to what is the world’s most extraordinary contemporary campaign of imperial expansionism. On October 29, a tribunal under the United Nations Convention

Japanese Remorse: Once More With Feeling

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs  August 14, 2015  Saturday, August 15, is the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in the Pacific, and that anniversary pulls my memory back 50 years to 1965. I was an apprentice journalist on a

Beijing collides with China’s new community of human rights lawyers

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs   July 17, 2015  Having used his anti-corruption campaign to remove any challengers to his power atop China’s Communist Party, President Xi Jinping is now bent on crushing increasingly assertive and publicly influential human rights lawyers. Last weekend, in an