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Stormy weather in the South China Sea: Manila, Washington, Seoul weigh the options

Korean T50s.

Special to By Donald Kirk, MANILA ― War clouds hang over the South China Sea. The question is whether they’ll burst into a storm or simply cast a menacing shadow and eventually blow away. The outlook for clear […]

Posted in BB Columnists,BB NE Asia,China,Columnists,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,NE Asia,Philippines,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

Ironies abound in Subic Bay and Vietnam: U.S. Navy welcomed back with open arms

The USS Shiloh sailed into Subic Bay this week.

Special to By Donald Kirk, SUBIC BAY, Philippines ― The presence here of the USS Shiloh, a cruiser laden with missiles and cannon, reminds visitors of a bygone era. It was almost 25 years ago that the U.S. […]

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Beijing’s hard power push seen stigmatizing nation for ‘imperial overreach’


Special to By Willy Lam, The Xi Jinping administration’s aggressive power projection in the South China Sea could deal a frontal blow to Beijing’s “peripheral diplomacy,” which is supposed to improve the country’s relations with neighbors in the […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,China,Exclusives,Indonesia,Intel Brief,Japan,NE Asia,Philippines,Top Stories,Vietnam | Read More »

Asian corruption: Despite investigative reporting exposes, it’s still going gangbusters

Imelda Marcos, right, with her children at the Supreme Court in Manila. / Aaron Favila / AP

Special to By Donald Kirk, MANILA — The title was alluring: “The First Asian Investigative Journalism Conference.” For two days, experts regaled journalists from all over Asia on how to track down the secret stories, the purloined funds, […]

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Hong Kong’s battle of wills with Beijing: Where are all the other righteous Asian protesters

Special to By Donald Kirk, The demonstrations in Hong Kong are at a critical stage. In the spirit of democracy movements in Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, these protesters are not giving up. Unlike demonstrators elsewhere, those […]

Posted in BB NE Asia,China,Columnists,Donald Kirk,Exclusives,Hong Kong,NE Asia,Philippines,South Korea,Top Stories | Read More »

‘I shall return’: 70 years after MacArthur’s triumphant return to the Philippines, history repeats itself

Two years after leaving the Philippines, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur uttered the following on Oct. 20, 1944: ” People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil — soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples.”

Special to “I came through and I shall return.” — Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Australia after being ordered by President Franklin Roosevelt to leave Japanese-occupied Philippines in 1942. By Donald Kirk, MANILA — U.S. forces were supposed to […]

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East Asian winners, losers and scam artists — not to mention China

Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is sworn in as president of the Philippines.  /Erik De Castro/Reuters

Special to By Donald Kirk, MANILA  One long-running story forever dominates the front pages here. That’s corruption, bribery and cheating on a mass scale — so massive as to bear comparisons with that in big bully China. The […]

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UN swamped by a ‘Perfect Storm’ of humanitarian disasters


John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — Faced with the ongoing civil war in Syria, the natural disaster in the Philippines, and a spreading civil conflict in the Central African Republic, the UN humanitarian agencies are confronting a near perfect storm […]

Posted in Africa / Europe,BB Columnists,Central African Republic,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,John Metzler,Life,Mideast,NE Asia,Philippines,Syria,Top Stories,United Nations,World Links | Read More »

China’s mixed motives in its belated and underwhelming response to diaster

China's Peace Ark

Special to By Donald Kirk, TACLOBAN, Philippines — The great game for power and influence in Asia laps up on the storm-ravaged shores of this devastated city in the form of a Chinese vessel known as the Peace […]

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Foreigners to the rescue in the Philippines; but where are the Filipinos?

Tacloban Airport is covered by debris after powerful Typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province on Nov. 9.

Special to By Donald Kirk, TACLOBAN, Philippines — The Korea Disaster Relief Team keeps a gruesome body count in the search for ever more victims of Typhoon Haiyan, aka Yolanda. “Every day we retrieve cadavers,” says Lee In-Sun, […]

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