December 17, 2013

The Asia Pacific's Paranoid Stalinists

Irish Times, Irish Times

The Associated Press

Jang’s fate, like that of ambitious Chinese Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai, though he escaped with his neck, illustrates the problem such regimes have in managing any political challenge or transition in a peaceful fashion. Democratic structures allow the gradual emergence of countervailing forces and provide both the public and the regime with measures of their real influence. In Pyongyang and Beijing, despite massive internal security machines, in truth crude and blunt instruments, rulers have no accurate way of assessing the real danger represented by rivals. The result is a state of permanent paranoia and responses to “threats” based on fearing the worst. The more paranoid, the more brutal.

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Asia Pacific, Asia, Bo Xilai, Jang Song Thaek, North Korea, China

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

December 13, 2013
North Korea: 'Richard III' with Nukes
Gordon Chang, The Daily Beast
The executions and blood-letting in Pyongyang are only going to get worse as a dynastic purge threatens to destabilize the entire region. more ››
December 16, 2013
Kim Jong-un's Reign of Fear
Scott Snyder, Los Angeles Times
When a political crisis hits Pyongyang, the leadership's normal antidote is to hide the real drama in rumors and shadows while assuring the world that outside forces are no match for North Korea's spirit of "single-hearted... more ››
December 4, 2013
The Asia 'Pivot' Has Run Out of Puff
Michael Fullilove, U.S. News
Despite Joe Biden's Asia trip, Obama’s foreign policy has seemed Atlantic-focused recently. more ››
December 16, 2013
What the Rest Should Learn from the West
Pankaj Mishra, Bloomberg
It was the bitter experience of “free trade” under the auspices of imperialism that led most postcolonial countries in Asia after 1950 “to start with import substitution in the manufacturing sector.” For... more ››
December 16, 2013
Australia Talks Tough to China
Brendan O'Reilly, Asia Times
Diplomatic rhetoric is nevertheless important. If Australia chooses to remain America's sheriff and Japan's best friend, it may find its relationship strained with an ever more economically vital and geopolitically ambitious... more ››