Category Archives: Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and volcanic activity. Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as Indochina, comprises Cambodia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia, and Maritime Southeast Asia, which is analogous to the Malay Archipelago, comprises Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines, Christmas Island and Singapore.
Geographically Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan] are sometimes grouped in the Southeast Asia subregion, although such grouping is rare politically, since in political usage the definition of Southeast Asia is overshadowed by ASEAN memberships. The same is true for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India, and occasionally regions of the Seven Sister States such as Manipur.
Obama’s Secret Treaty Would Be The Most Important Step Toward A One World Economic System
By Michael Snyder, on November 12th, 2014
Barack Obama is secretly negotiating the largest international trade agreement in history, and the mainstream media in the United States is almost completely ignoring it. If this treaty is adopted, it will be the most important step toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen. The name of this treaty is “the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, and the text of the treaty is so closely guarded that not even members of Congress know what is in it. Right now, there are 12 countries that are part of the negotiations: the United States, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. These nations have a combined population of 792 million people and account for an astounding 40 percent of the global economy. And it is hoped that the EU, China and India will eventually join as well. This is potentially the most dangerous economic treaty of our lifetimes, and yet there is very little political debate about it in this country.
Even though Congress is not being allowed to see what is in the treaty, Barack Obama wants Congress to give him fast track negotiating authority. What that means is that Congress would essentially trust Obama to negotiate a good treaty for us. Congress could vote the treaty up or down, but would not be able to amend or filibuster it.
Of course now the Republicans control both houses of Congress. If they are foolish enough to blindly give Barack Obama so much power, they should all immediately resign.
And it is critical that people understand that this is not just an economic treaty. It is basically a gigantic end run around Congress. Thanks to leaks, we have learned that so many of the things that Obama has deeply wanted for years are in this treaty. If adopted, this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, healthcare, copyright and patent protection, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more. This treaty includes many of the rules that alarmed Internet activists so much when SOPA was being debated, it would essentially ban all “Buy American” laws, it would give Wall Street banks much more freedom to trade risky derivatives and it would force even more domestic manufacturing offshore.
In other words, it is the treaty from hell.
In addition to imposing Obama’s vision for the world on 40 percent of the global population, it is also being described as a “Christmas wish-list for major corporations”. Of the 29 chapters in the treaty, only five of them actually deal with economic issues. The rest of the treaty deals with a whole host of other issues of great importance to the global elite.
The following list of issues addressed by this treaty is from a Malaysian news source…
• domestic court decisions and international legal standards (e.g., overriding domestic laws on both trade and nontrade matters, foreign investors’ right to sue governments in international tribunals that would overrule the national sovereignty)
• environmental regulations (e.g., nuclear energy, pollution, sustainability)
• financial deregulation (e.g., more power and privileges to the bankers and financiers)
• food safety (e.g., lowering food self-sufficiency, prohibition of mandatory labeling of genetically modified products, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease)
• Government procurement (e.g., no more buy locally produced/grown)
• Internet freedom (e.g., monitoring and policing user activity)
• labour (e.g., welfare regulation, workplace safety, relocating domestic jobs abroad)
• patent protection, copyrights (e.g., decrease access to affordable medicine)
• public access to essential services may be restricted due to investment rules (e.g., water, electricity, and gas)
Why can’t we get this type of reporting in the United States?
And if this treaty is ultimately approved by Congress, we will essentially be stuck with it forever.
This treaty is written in such a way that the United States will be permanently bound by all of the provisions and will never be able to alter them unless all of the other countries agree.
Are you starting to understand why this treaty is so dangerous?
This treaty is the key to Obama’s “legacy”. He wants to impose his will upon 40 percent of the global population in a way that will never be able to be overturned.
Of course Obama is touting this treaty as the path to economic recovery. He promises that it will greatly increase global trade, decrease tariffs and create more jobs for American workers.
But instead, it would be a major step toward destroying what is left of the U.S. economy.
Over the past several decades, every time a major trade agreement has been signed we have seen even more good jobs leave the United States.
And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why this is happening. If corporations can move jobs to the other side of the planet to nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages, they will make larger profits.
Just think about it. If you were running a corporation and you had the choice of paying workers ten dollars an hour or one dollar an hour, which would you choose?
Plus there are so many other costs, taxes and paperwork hassles when you deal with American workers. For example, big corporations will not have to provide Obamacare for their foreign workers. That alone will represent a huge savings.
Any basic course in economics will teach you that labor flows from markets where labor costs are high to markets where labor costs are lower. And at this point it costs less to make almost everything overseas. As a result, we have already lost millions upon millions of good jobs, and countless small and mid-size U.S. companies have been forced to shut down because they cannot compete with foreign manufacturers.
Later this month, consumers will flock to retail stores for “Black Friday” deals. But if you look carefully at those products, you will find that almost all of them are made overseas. We buy far, far more from the rest of the world than they buy from us, and that is a recipe for national economic suicide.
We consume far more wealth that we produce, and anyone with half a brain can see that is not sustainable in the long run. The only way that we have been able to maintain our high standard of living is by going into insane amounts of debt. We are currently living in the largest debt bubble in the history of the planet, and at some point the party is going to end.
Please share this article with as many people as you can. We need to inform people about what Obama is trying to do.
If Obama is successful in ramming this secret treaty through, it is going to do incalculable damage to what is left of the once great U.S. economy.
10/12/2014 17:02 by Tyler Durden
We first exposed the “secret” US-Saudi deal in September which led to the inevitable bombing of Syria. We then progressed to explain the quid pro quo of the deal in lower oil prices (benefiting US consumers into an election and crushing Russian revenues). In today’s Wall Street Journal we get the final piece of the puzzle as it is clear that what Saudi Arabia loses in ‘price’ it will make up in ‘volume’ as The Kingdon is taking the unusual step of asking buyers to commit to maximum shipments if they want to get its crude. Simply put, “they are threatening [European] buyers” to discontinue sales if they don’t agree with the full fixed deliveries. The ‘oil weapon’ grows stronger…
Days after slashing prices in Asia, Saudi Arabia is now making an aggressive push in the European oil market, traders say.
The kingdom is taking the unusual step of asking buyers to commit to maximum shipments if they want to get its crude.
“The Saudi push is not just in Asia. It’s a global phenomenon,” one oil trader said. “They are using very aggressive tactics” in Europe too, the trader added.
This month, state-owned Saudi Aramco stunned the rest of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries by slashing its November prices to defend its market share in Asia’s growing market. The move, setting a price war in the oil-production group, was combined with a boost in the kingdom’s output in September.
But Riyadh is also moving to protect its sales to Europe, a declining market where it is facing rivalry from returning Libyan production.
After cutting its November prices there, Saudi Aramco is also asking refiners to commit to full, fixed deliveries in talks to renew contracts for next year, the traders say. They say the Saudi oil company had previously offered a formula allowing flexibility of more or less 10% of contracted volumes, the most commonly used in the industry.
“They are threatening buyers” to discontinue sales if they don’t agree with the fixed deliveries, another trader said.
* * *
Of course, the more pressure the US (prxied by Saudi Arabia) puts on Russia (and Iran) and implicitly Europe now (as they are forced to buy ‘more’ oil than needed, albeit at lower prices – but leaving their budgets bursting still further), the more the rest of the world is forced to consider alternatives to US hegemony and side with those that, for now, have not reached peak totalitarianism.
Woodside advises that Daewoo International Corporation has accepted an offer by Woodside to farm-in to the Production Sharing Contract for Block AD-7 in the Rakhine Basin, located in the western offshore area of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
The offer is for a 40% participating interest in the Production Sharing Contract, and is subject to execution of fully-termed agreements, completion of due diligence, and necessary government and other approvals. Daewoo will remain operator of the PSC.
The proposal provides the opportunity for Woodside and Daewoo to undertake a 3D seismic acquisition program during the period 2013-2014. The transaction also provides the option to drill an exploration well in a subsequent exploration period.
Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the offer demonstrated the company’s commitment to secure international growth opportunities in frontier and emerging basins that leverage Woodside’s core capabilities, especially in deepwater exploration.
“The Rakhine deep water basin is an exciting frontier exploration area and Block AD-7 is adjacent to the Daewoo-operated Shwe field development,” Coleman said.
“We are looking forward to finalising this opportunity and building a new partnership with Daewoo.”
- Woodside strikes agreement in Burma (news.com.au)
- Woodside Plans to Join Daewoo in Myanmar Exploration Venture – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Myanmar army may get invite to US-Thai exercise (kansascity.com)
Malaysia is aiming to become Asia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading hub by 2020 with the establishment of a $1.3 billion LNG terminal in the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC), the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement Thursday.
The LNG terminal – also known as the Pengerang Independent Deepwater Petroleum Terminal (PIDPT) – will be developed by the Johor state government, Netherland’s Royal Vopak and Malaysia’s Dialog Group.
PIDPT – which will be constructed over two phases – is designed to have a total storage capacity of five million cubic meters. The terminal will be used for storage, loading and regasification of LNG, both for trading and domestic use. The first construction phase of PIDPT has already started, and is scheduled for completion by 1Q 2014.
“This will be the first independent LNG trading terminal in Asia, allowing multiple LNG users to store and trade the product. It will spur the growth of the [petroleum] industry, and help establish Malaysia as Asia’s LNG trading hub,” Razak said.
PIPC will also house Petronas’ new $20 billion refinery and petrochemical integrated project. The project – scheduled to be commissioned by 2016 – will be able to produce 300,000 barrels per day of refined products.
Malaysia’s PIPC has been touted as a potential strong competitor to Singapore’s Jurong Island – an artificial island located to the southwest of the main island of Singapore, off Jurong Industrial Estate. Singapore is, at present, the Asian price discovery center and trading hub for oil products due to its significant oil storage and trading infrastructure in Jurong Island. The island which is home to oil and gas companies – such as ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, BASF, Celanese, Mitsui Chemicals – sees up to 1.3 million barrels of crude processed each day.
Singapore is also aggressively developing its oil and gas storage infrastructure. The island-city, through the development of the Jurong Rock Cavern (JRC) project, will create an additional 1.47 million cubic meters of oil storage space by 2013. JRC is the first underground rock cavern for oil storage in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Construction work on JRC started in February 2007.
- Malaysia ‘wants to be Asia’s hub’ (todayonline.com)
- BG Group inks pipeline deal for LNG terminal (calgaryherald.com)
- Shell to Build Kitimat LNG Terminal Despite China Investment (mb50.wordpress.com)
- U.S. Expected to Approve Expanded LNG Exports to Japan (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Golden Pass Files with DOE to Export LNG (mb50.wordpress.com)
SITTWE, Myanmar – Gunshots rang out and residents fled blazing homes in western Myanmar Tuesday as security forces struggled to contain deadly ethnic and religious violence that has killed at least a dozen people and displaced thousands more.
The conflict pitting ethnic Rakhine Buddhists against Rohingya Muslims in coastal Rakhine state marks some of the worst sectarian unrest in years. President Thein Sein has declared a state of emergency and deployed army troops to restore stability, warning the fragile nation’s recent democratic reforms are under threat as it emerges from half a century of military rule.
On Tuesday in the regional capital, Sittwe, police fired live rounds into the air to disperse a group of Rohingyas who could be seen burning homes in one neighbourhood. Hordes of people ran to escape the chaotic scene.
“Smoke is billowing from many directions and we are scared,” said Ma Thein, an ethnic Rakhine resident. “The government should send in more security forces to protect both communities.”
Truckloads of security forces have been deployed in Sittwe for days, and much of the port city was reported calm, including its main road. But homes were burning in three or four districts that have yet to be pacified.
In one, police fired skyward to separate hundreds-strong mobs wielding sticks and stones; in another, soldiers helped move 1,000 Muslims out on trucks to safer areas.
Ma Thein said that some people were running short of food and water, with banks, schools and markets closed. Some small shops opened early Tuesday to sell fish and vegetables early in the morning to residents who braved the tense streets.
The unrest, which began Friday, was triggered by the rape and murder last month of a Buddhist girl, allegedly by three Muslims, and the June 3 lynching of 10 Muslims in apparent retaliation. There are long-standing tensions between the two groups.
The government regards the Rohingyas as illegal migrants from Bangladesh and has rendered them stateless by denying them citizenship. Although some are recent settlers, many have lived in Myanmar for generations and rights groups say they suffer severe discrimination.
The United Nations’ refugee agency estimates 800,000 Rohingya live in mountainous Rakhine state. Thousands attempt to flee every year to Bangladesh, Malaysia and elsewhere in the region, trying to escape a life of abuse that rights groups say includes forced labour, violence against women and restrictions on movement, marriage and reproduction.
The conflict poses one the biggest tests yet for Myanmar’s new government as it tries to reform the nation after the long-ruling army junta largely ceded power last year. The handling of the unrest will draw close scrutiny from Western powers, which have praised Thein Sein’s administration and rewarded it by easing years of harsh economic sanctions.
Human Rights Watch called on the government to “take all necessary steps to protect communities at risk” in Rakhine state and accused authorities of not doing enough to stop the violence.
The New York-based group’s deputy Asia director, Elaine Pearson, also questioned Thein Sein’s decision to impose a state of emergency, which allows the military to take over administrative functions in the area.
“Given the Burmese army’s brutal record of abuses … putting the military in charge of law enforcement could make matters worse,” Pearson said. Myanmar is also known as Burma.
“The Burmese government‘s policies of exclusion have fostered resentment against the Rohingya,” Pearson said “Longer-term, the government should be thinking about how to address the years of discrimination and neglect that the Rohingya have faced.”
State run newspapers reported that 4,100 people who lost homes had taken refuge in Buddhist monasteries, schools and in a police headquarters the towns of Maungdaw and Buthidaung, both in Rakhine state.
Thousands more were reportedly displaced in Sittwe itself, according to a Rakhine political party called the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party. The party is one of the major parties associated with the country’s ethnic minorities, and won 35 parliamentary seats in the 2010 elections.
State media has reported eight dead in Maungdaw, and an AP journalist saw the corpses of four people killed in Sittwe.