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China closely watching as Burma evolves from a socialist winter

Leader of National League for Democracy party (NLD) and Myanmar's new Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, right shakes hands with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)

Special to WorldTribune.com By John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — A new dawn has come to Burma. At long last the political pariah state, also known as Myanmar, has ushered in a new civilian government in which Nobel Peace Prize […]

Posted in BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,Burma,China,Columnists,Exclusives,John Metzler,NE Asia,Stateside,Top Stories,Washington | Read More »

Report: China threat spurs ‘long overdue’ military upgrades throughout Asia

Japanese ships during an Oct. 18, 2015 fleet review off Sagami Bay.  /AFP

Special to WorldTribune.com Asian Pacific nations are spending big on “long overdue” military upgrades to counter the threat posed by China, according to a IHS Jane’s report. In 2015, nine of the 20 fastest-growing defense budgets were in the Asian […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,Burma,China,Exclusives,Japan,NE Asia,Philippines,Top Stories,Vietnam,World Links | Read More »

Burma and North Korea? No comparison

Street scene in Burma (Myanmar).

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, EastAsiaIntel.com Comparisons between North Korea and Burma (also known as Myanmar) over the years have suggested that the two nations share some of the same problems. However, even in the worst periods of military […]

Posted in BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,Burma,Columnists,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,NE Asia,North Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

U.S. files felony charges against HSBC bank for laundering rogue states’ funds

HSBC’s record penalty caps a year in which U.S. regulators have fined UK banks $3.4 billion.  /AP

Special to WorldTribune.com WASHINGTON — The United States has determined that a British bank helped money-laundering with Iran, Libya and Sudan. Federal prosecutors filed charges against Britain’s HSBC Holdings for allegedly violating international sanctions on several countries deemed by Washington […]

Posted in Africa / Europe,Americas,Burma,Cuba,Exclusives,Great Britain,Iran,Libya,Mideast,NE Asia,Recent Hits,Sudan,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence | Read More »

Obama’s ‘Asia pivot’, 6-hour Burma layover, causes heartburn in Beijing

Burma's military rulers are allowing incremental reforms.

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — The historic visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Burma, the highest profile American diplomatic contact ever to this long isolated political pariah state, saw the United States enter a high stakes geopolitical chess […]

Posted in Burma,China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,NE Asia,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Politics,United Nations | Read More »

When world leaders talk about ‘human rights’ and when they do not

Leaders at ASEAN summit on Nov. 20.  /Tan Chhin Sothy/AFP

Special to WorldTribune.com By Donald Kirk, East-Asia-Intel.com The spectacle of the ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh did more to lay bare the problems, conflicts and paradoxes of relations among the region’s wildly different and widely scattered nations than to resolve […]

Posted in Burma,Cambodia,China,Exclusives,Japan,Life,NE Asia,North Korea,Philippines,South Korea,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Politics,Vietnam | Read More »

The Burma Road back to normalcy is long and uncertain

Burma's parliament includes a fresh crop of military representatives.  /Soe Than Win/AFP/Getty Images

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is on the road to Burma to witness a “critical moment” in the isolated Southeast Asian state’s slow but sure transition to a more open political system which may bring […]

Posted in Burma,China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,NE Asia,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »