Hundreds of Chinese Army Veterans Visit Graves of Fallen in Protest
RADIO FREE ASIA
Several hundred former soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from the southeastern province of Fujian have made a trip to the graves of those who died fighting during China’s short border war with Vietnam in 1979. Local governments are increasingly nervous that such events could turn into mass eruptions of anger over nonpayment of pensions and other benefits to PLA veterans. Leaked documents seen by RFA show a March 24 directive issued by Fujian’s Quanzhou police department warning local governments in Fujian about the possibility of “mass petitioning in Beijing.”
North Korea Legalizing Marketplaces to “Manage” Population
Elizabeth Shim, UPI
The North Korean regime is navigating sea changes in the country by legitimizing the country’s expanding marketplaces, according to a South Korean government-run think tank.The Korea Development Institute said in a report issued Wednesday that Pyongyang has legalized 404 markets in the country. The “general markets” are found in government-designated sites and vendors must pay bribes, or a street tax, to do business, according to the report.
Polish Consulate in Ukraine Attacked With Grenade Launcher
Saim Saeed, POLITICO
Unidentified assailants attacked the Polish consulate in western Ukraine on Wednesday. “It was probably a grenade launcher,” Polish Consul Krzysztof Sawicki told local media. “The projectile hit the top floor, leaving a hole of about 70 centimeters.” No one was injured in the attack. The Polish foreign ministry summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to Poland, Andrii Deshchytsia, in response. “We expect and demand that the security of our institutions be improved across Ukraine,” a spokesman for the Polish foreign ministry said in a statement. He called on Ukrainian authorities to “explain the circumstances of the incident,” and to “identify and arrest the perpetrators.”
Will Trump Stand Up for South Korea With China’s Xi Jinping?
Josh Rogin, WASHINGTON POST
If President Trump goes through with an expected summit with Chinese Communist Party Leader Xi Jinping at Mar-a-lago next week, the United States’ allies in Northeast Asia will be watching closely to see if the Trump Administration will stand by its friends against increasing pressure from Beijing. With a changeover in government coming to Seoul soon that could see a much more China-friendly leadership take power, the Chinese intimidation campaign is ramping up and the United States has largely remained silent. Republican lawmakers in both chambers of the US Congress are calling on the Trump administration to do more.
Communism for Kids, The New Book for Revolutionary Youngsters
“Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true?” begins the overview of the just-released book, “Communism for Kids.” Its pages are filled with princesses, a talking chair and fancy swords—and hopes to teach young children about the crisis of capitalism. Written by Bini Adamczak, a Berlin-based social theorist and artist, the book “presents political theory in the simple terms of a children’s story,” brought to life by illustrations of “lovable little revolutionaries experiencing their political awakening.” The book is on par with growing discontent about capitalism among the world’s youth.
Sudan, Venezuela Provide Trade Deals
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
Officials from Sudan and Venezuela have held meetings to discuss plans for Venezuela to invest in the African state’s gas and oil industry.The talks were part of a political consultation process and were held at the foreign ministry in Khartoum. Venezuela discussed investment opportunities in oil and gas production fields, gas processing, the establishment of refineries, deposits and petroleum utilities as well as oil pipelines and derivatives. The meeting comes as Venezuela’s economic crisis continues to deepen.
Venezuela’s Ruling Party Calls Mexico “Fake, Hypocritical” Over Human Rights Criticism
Elana Toledo, PANAM POST
Tensions between Mexico and Venezuela rose this week following their differing view on the Organization of American States’ role in restoring democracy to President Nicolás Maduro’s administration. Mexican Ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso de Alba, stated that Venezuela’s situation must be evaluated since there have been alterations “to the democratic order.” In response, Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, described Mexico as a “false and hypocritical” country. Mexico has positioned itself as one of the leaders of the 20 or so countries pushing for “concrete proposals” to solving the crisis in Venezuela.
OAS Prods Venezuela Toward Dialogue, Easing Suspension Threat
Members of the Organization of American States urged Venezuela’s government and opposition to settle their differences through dialogue, backing off from threats to suspend the socialist-run country and providing President Nicolás Maduro some short-term relief as he struggles to rescue the polarized nation from crisis. The outcome also showed the degree to which Venezuela—even crippled by triple-digit inflation and widespread shortages of basic goods—still can count on an alliance with a few small Caribbean nations whose support was won through years of subsidized oil shipments.