The Plaid Avenger

Plaidcast  |  East Asia-Pacific

Asian Axis of Democracy?

So China is on the rise in the world, and China is specifically on the move on the water: assertively and aggressively pushing out its power and influence into the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean in general. Can their power now ever be checked? Is Chinese world domination around the corner? Ah! Mommy! I’m scared! NOT! There appears to be a political /military/ideological team slowly former that certainly will not stop China, but may serve nicely to check its growth and contain its more aggressive policies. The potential Pacific China-checking team? The Asian Axis of Democracy! Let the Avenger clue you in!

Related Stories:
U.S. Says S. China Sea Events ‘Troubling’ After Vietnam Meeting
Beijing Stages South China Sea Military Drills
China blames Vietnam for rising tensions over disputed sea (*esp pay attention to what Hillary Clinton sez)
'Axis of democracy' flexes its military muscles

Keywords: Asia, Asian Axis of Democracy, China, US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam

China Acquires Aircraft Carrier

Sino-ships ahoy, my plaid friends! As the Spratly spat in the South China Sea continues to swell, a new component to the Chinese sea power equation has been added: China’s first aircraft carrier has been revealed! What is so special about this particular piece of weaponry? How many other countries have them? Why would China want one? What does it mean for the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region, and perhaps the world? The Avenger will cover all these queries, and elaborate on the why/how/where the Chinese plan to project their aircraft carrier power to.

Related Stories:
As China Extends Maritime Reach, Neighbors Grow Uneasy
China admits 'secret' aircraft carrier is nearly ready for launch
Chinese aircraft carrier, a sign of rolling back West's global reach

Keywords: aircraft carrier, South China Sea, Spratly Islands, Senkaku Island, China, Japan, Taiwan, IKEA

A Tit for Tat: Spratly Island Spat!

South China Sea shenanigans are afoot my friends! An aggressive China has been bumping into ships from Vietnam and Philippines on the high seas just south of the mainland…and the shizzle that goes down over the Spratly Islands located therein are going to affect military and strategic policy in the Pacific for decades to come! What’s that? You don’t know jack about the Sprats? Well then, settle in for a few minutes and find out the where, who, and why this little group of rocks that is quickly becoming the focus of an international showdown that may eventually involve China and the US squaring off against each other, along with other Asian nations in in the fray!

Related Stories:
South China Sea Dispute Flares Up
China accuses Vietnam in South China Sea row
Tensions escalate over the South China Sea

Keywords: South China Sea, Spratly Islands, China, Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan

Japan Quake Shakes the World

The Plaid Avenger gives a quick assessment of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, but also talks about the wider implications to the rest of the planet concerning this already historic event. Due to the unfolding nuclear crisis being caused by 3 damaged nuclear reactors which may turn into an even bigger disaster than the quake, the world is likely to slow or perhaps even abandon the emerging nuclear power industries, which in turn will make for skyrocketing prices of fossil fuels (Note: the price of oil is currently dropping, as Japan’s demand for oil has evaporated in the short term but don’t look for that to last much longer.) In addition, this epic event in Japanese history is likely to be looked back upon as the time that Japan slipped from its economic/political leadership role as an Asian titan, to a more subsidiary player behind China and other rising Asian powers.

Related Stories:
Japan Earthquake Among World's Most Expensive Catastrophes
Death toll rises, stocks plunge, foreigners flee as nuclear crisis escalates
Fears mounting over U.S. nuclear plants
Germany to shut down pre-1980 nuclear plants
Japan gets coal, gas from historic rival Russia
China to continue providing aids to Japan, calling for global nuclear safety cooperation

Keywords: Japan, earthquake, tsunami, nuclear reactor, nuclear energy, oil

Japanese Island Hijinks (part 2)

Summary: Holy hibachi! Japan is in a Pacific pinch, my friends! A collision between a Chinese fishing boat and Japanese coast guard vessels in September near the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands north of Taiwan set off a firestorm of diplomatic fury by both countires…only to be followed in November by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pissing off Japan by visiting the disputed island of Kunashira in the Kuril island chain north of Hokkiado. Damn! Battered from both ends! But these territorial squabbles centering around Japan have repercussions far beyond the borders of these dink-ass islands. In this plaid-cast, the Avenger high-lites some of the deeper ramifications of these Pacific geo-political problems.

Related Stories:
Sino-Japan dispute overshadows summit
Japan Besieged From North and South by Island Claims
Japan recalls ambassador to Russia as tempers rise over island dispute
Japan Summons Envoy to Russia Over Kurile Islands Dispute

Keywords: Japan, China, Russia, Senkaku, Diaoyu, Kuril, Kunashira, Hu Jintao, Naoto Kan, Dmitry Medvedev, APEC, ASEAN, G20, India, Manmohan Singh, Asian Axis of Democracy

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Issue 2: Battle For Burma

Well, the battle for the heart and soul of this country is on, but no one outside Burma seems to be able to do a damn thing about it! Why not?

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